Realistic Whale (cycles render)

Hi, everyone! This is my first post on Blenderartist and I thought I would share my realistic rendering of whale. Currently, it’s just a render test. I’m having problem with underwater lighting and it might not be realistic to you, but I’ll work it out.




it looks nice to me :slight_smile: i wouldn’t dream of doing something like that

Looks nice. How did you do the water surface (seen from below)?
Probably I would change the camera position. The opposite side of the upper mouth isn’t visible and for the shape looks strange then.
Are there baleens?

Thanks! But, I think it still needs a lots of improvement. Especially the realism.

I used ocean modifier for the surface and volumetric lighting for the underwater.
There are no baleens lol. It’s still an incomplete model. I just modeled the basic shape and quick texture paint it and render it out to see the result.

Hey the whale looks lovely. But it feels like the surface of the sea should fade gradually into misty water. We shouldn’t really see a sharp line where the top of the surface sea mesh is ending. It should all just fade away. Adding some environment fog and more brightness or value I think towards the surface would help a lot.

Oh, you’re right. I didn’t think of that.
Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll take that into account.

Welcome to Blender Artists!

What a beautiful whale! You’re already off to an amazing start :slight_smile:

I have some subjective suggestions, which I’d encourage you to disagree with or disregard, as you’ll eventually know what works best for you:

I’d eliminate the current glow.

Since there’s a suggestion of relatively strong illumination on top of the whale - which I like - I’d recommend adding the appearance of a light source above the water shining through.

This gives an opportunity for some volumetric (or faux volumetric) lighting, which can add a beautiful sense of depth and density to the water while highlighting the whale.

I’d also recommend, in keeping with the current direction of light, having a light (top/left) to dark (bottom/right) graduation (gradient) of light.

I created an example incorporating these possible ideas - using only your image - in GIMP:

And, as you can see, there’s a baby whale now as well - just an idea, but something which could build a bit of a story here - a parent guiding its child toward the light, or something like that :slight_smile:

Much of these very same effects can be created within Blender’s render compositor (e.g. sunbeams controlled via a Color Mix[screen/add/overlay/lighten/or softlight mode] nod , directional blur node, RGB color nodes, etc.).

Even the Filter / Blur and/or Defocus node can help you contribute to the sense of being underwater here.

Also, Blender’s built-in Color Management options can also help you further tweak the final result.

I hope at least some of this information will be helpful to you.

I’m sure whatever you wind up with will be great!

Best wishes on your project, and I look forward to seeing more of your projects here at Blender Artists!

Take care.


Hi Jasskick. It would be good to study some photographic reference as well. Especially how the light works underwater. And important to focus and keep to your own individual vision and idea. This is your project.

Thanks for the critics! Lots of suggestion are really appreciated.

Thanks for the input. I thought about participating on the current challange :joy:, but as you said I’ll have to keep focus on my own project or it’ll not go anywhere.