Saint Michael Cave entrance - Minervino (Italy)

This is the entrance building to the cave of Saint Michael in Minervino (Bari, Puglia - Italy). The atmosphere there is very suggestive and I hope this holds out. It is a place that has probably been frequented since the Neolithic, there are certainly traces of attendance dating back to the Greek age and more markedly to the Roman age. In fact, for example, a statue was found that was supposed to represent the saint, but after a careful analysis it was later attributed to the goddess Minerva (from which the town also takes its name), historical protector of the place, who later became during the Christian period the current saint patron Saint Michael, a saint whose religious patronage hegemony extends throughout the province.

The grass and weeds are scattered and animated with geometry nodes, though I guess I need to explore and work more with it. Assets are from Blenderguru’s Grass Essentials and Vegetation add-on (the trees). Rendered in Cycles at 512 samples.
This is the first test animation I upload on a new channel on youtube. Hope to do many more! :slight_smile:

I have changed very small details compared to the original place and I hope you’ll like the work done so far. If you want to see the actual real-life place you have to simply google ‘Grotta San Michele Minervino’ and check some photos. I will definitely soon do some more renders of the inside of the cave and perhaps another longer e more complete animation.



B&W 1440p

Some 1440p shots with a bit of chromatic aberration on lenses


amazing job, I love the quality render, the realism, how you put the grass, the development of the particles or de masonry in the building. somenthing to notice, the trees if you see the branches theese arent connected to the main tree, I see many leafs floating. otherwise I like this work, I am sure you could achieve a very possitive ressult with geometry nodes the next job :DDD


Great work, congrats.


Thanks I appreciate the comment. Well, as I said, trees are generated with an add-on, so the models are “standards”. I noticed the same thing on top of some of the main trees when working on the piece, but if you look close enough (and you can since the main shots are in 4k :slight_smile: ), you’ll see that leaves and branches are well connected to the trunk or to other branches. It’s just that some (branches) are too tiny and from a distant point of view they might appear disconnected, especially with the volumetric atmosphere. If you meant the greeny-yellow leaves floating in the 2 main shots, well they are simply falling :slight_smile: . The thing I think that could be improved is the animation control over the grass with geonodes: they appear to be a bit stiff sometimes (if you see the second part of the animation you will notice it). I worked on it and solved it, but now I am too lazy (my computer is) to do another animation :stuck_out_tongue: . It’s just a detail, but I care and next time it will be better! :wink:

I just add a couple of shot to show what I was talking about since I realized that the images are compressed here and then no more 4k to zoom in

I featured you on BlenderNation, have a great weekend!

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Thanks a lot! :green_heart:

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