Photo rebuild

Hi !

My current goal is to learn how to bring more realism and believability to a scene. So I searched the net for an image which isn’t to hard to remodel and choose this one here:

I started to remodel the scene and rendered using Cycles but switched to Internal as this renders much faster (attached image in 13min23, 1.7million faces). The image below is my current result. I don’t want to replicate the photo in too much detail, but want to reach the realism to a high degree. What can I do to increase the realism ? Most things look too “plastic” imho.

My next step is to port the scene back to Cycles and see if I get better results, but if someone has tips for BI, I will try to follow them !

Thanks for any tips.

The tree model is one of these, but I can’t remember which one I’ve chosen:

There is something wrong with the reflection on the water, it looks too flat. Perhaps change the sky.
Other than that looks nice.
Good job.

When you look at the refference you see some light from the candles and lapms reflect/iluminate the water. That would bring the image together better.

This is the current progress in Cycles. All materials ported to nodes, all lights are emitting materials. I stopped at 1050 samples, after ~85min (1920x1080) / 560GTX / Limited GI. Post-proc similar to BI. It looks still too noisy, I assume ~4000 samples are required for a good result. I think the reason for this much noise are the many small light sources. The roof is disabled atm, wood and ocean shader need adjustments. I like the blurry reflection of the light which is missed in the BI result (as @zerator said).

@AlinB && @zerator Yes, I’m not happy with the ocean, in both images. I don’t want to change the sky, it’s the one from the original. Regarding the light reflection in BI: I’ve played around 2 hours but could’nt find a setting that looks like the result in cycles. I think it has something to do with glossy reflection, but I only get some dot’s and I have no idea on how to increase the amount and smooth it:

A few things strike me from the photo.

  1. Its a long(ish) exposure - and there appears to be a much larger contribution from the lights around the edge of the decking than in your picture. try upping the emission value on these lights (but not the candles) and reducing the overall exposure to compensate. This may also help up the water reflections.

  2. In the photo - there appears to be a fairly bright light in between the two benches in the middle of the photo that is hidden from view by the closest bench (you can see this from not only the light on the surfaces between the benches - but also the shadows cast by the legs of the closest table).

  3. The interior of the hut appears to be lit at least in part by directed spotlights (see the highlight at the base of the closest door on the right - and the shadows from the criss cross timbers)

the reference image looks cg anyway. you need more lights in your scene and sharper shadows. also add some bump mapping to your materials

I suspect there are dozens of hidden flashes in the original scene. Where’s the light on the roof of the nearest hut coming from? And the one behind too for that matter? Architectural photographers tend to use lots of concealed lighting so don’t try to motivate what you see from the visible light sources.

Looking at the photo again - I reckon its a HDR that has been tone mapped. That will be hard to simulate.