Small Transylvanian church (update: Sept. 1)

This is the tower of a small church, the architectural style is Transylvanian. It is not finished, I would like to hear what you think of it; where could it be improved?
I’d also like to know whether anyone has a workable, more or less photorealistic approach to trees! These trees were made in Arbaro, a free, Java based tree modeller. One of the problems are the leaves, as they have no textures, they should have UV maps, but I don’t see any way to do that, but one-by-one… which at 30,000 leaves is a non-option.

Rendered in Yafray, the background is a self-made HDR probe.

Nice tower. Before you posted this I was under the impression YAFRAY could only render images with sharp edges. off subject though…

Arbaro did the leaves for you then? If you could redo your tree in Arbaro but leave off the leaves and then in Blender duplivert the leaves, maybe…

nice work.

One think that kill realism is the sharp shadows border imho. more ambient should attenuate the problem if you dont want to kill your render times by adding more lights or AO

The building is nice, but the scene doesn’t fit it. I see a blue sunny sky with green leaves and I get a nice warm happy feeling inside. :stuck_out_tongue: This kind of arcitecture needs a cloudy dark scene to complement it and make it look scary. BgDM’s vampire scene is a good example of what I am talking about.

But good idea. This could turn out nice.

A newer version. I added two more trees, and moved them a bit to the back, this way the leaves aren’t seen as much, plus there’s some bump on them, so they don’t look so fake.
The sun light has been replaced with an area light, this softens the shadows. There is AO by the way, actually global illumination, otherwise many parts of the tower would be unlit.

Ezz: heh, now that’s funny :slight_smile: Why couldn’t it, I mean it renders anything you model in Blender, nothing to do with what renderer you use.

About the trees, Arbaro can output UV coordinates for the leaves, but only in POV-RAY export. And I don’t know how to import a POVRAY file into Blender, and keep these UVs.

Any ideas on what to add/change? It seems weird that only three days into a project, I don’t know what else to do with a picture…

EDIT: Tracer: that sounds interesting… the architecture is real, and has nothing to do with the weather, actually the wheather is mostly warm and sunny there. I guess it’s stuff like movies (Van Helsing comes to mind) that ties the architecture to such themes. However, that’s a good idea, I’ll look into creating other backgrounds/lighting conditions, maybe even two-three variations.

bricks have polygons

yea, I actually was thinking of Van Helsing when I saw this lol. Now that I think about it, it doesn’t matter unless that is the look you are going for. I think it would look cool, but if you are trying to get a different result, than it is fine.

Much much better. Add some crows and call that finish.

it rocks !

but the clock seems to be paint on the wall, and perpaphs you should work on the leafs (too much “linked ?” don’t know if it’s the right word)

Okay, I think I’ll call this one finished.
The bricks are different, the polygons were there to make them more “rugged” and less smooth, hopefully in this one it’s more subtle. I finally added a simple repeating, seamless leaf veins texture onto the leaves, simple cube mapping, giving a more natural look and colour. The clock was actually painted, anyways, I changed it to a more common, seperately installed clock. Plus there’s a bit of post-pro colour adjustment and noise added.

lukep: thanks very much for that idea (crow)! That’s what the picture was missing. I tried crows, but finally settled for these geese.
balooo: I’m not sure what you mean that the leaves are linked…?

When and if I do different variants on this, with different lighting conditions, I’ll post it here.

stats: 900,000 verts, 380,000 faces, ~1 hour rendertime.

Its looking really great. Leaves look fine to me now. IMO, the way they are all different shades due to the angle the light hits adds enough variation…

I think the leaves look more real then the lower portion of the tower now… Its either the towers textures, or its reflection settings. The tower in the original looks better to me somehow.

err, i can’t see the last picture… I hope i’ll can when i’ll retry later (my comp acts strangely today…)

when i say “linked”, i want to say that the color is the same in the whole leaf. the leaf has got no texture. I don’t know how to said that in English… (in French, its “uni”).

Just a quick update. The birds are farther, with less blur, not to steal focus from the building. The sky is lighter, and more ambient light in general. Plus some small changes in the tower.

My lighting: one HDRI map made with terragen, this gives the background, as well as global illumination lighting. Plus one yellow area lamp for the sun light, this oine casts the shadows. Because area lights act as photon emitters when GI in Yafray is turned on, I have to render an area ligth pass, and a GI pass seperately and composite them.

After a few days of playing around with fluid simulation, I went back to work on this picture, now you can see the whole building, plus there’s a wall, and a typical Transylvanian gate. The background is now a photo. Comments welcome!

BTW: the other pictures in the above posts won’t show up, because of an ISP problem, all my files were lost…

My poor comp. almost died when doing the GI rendering, it took up 1.5 GB of the windows pagefile. There are 53,000 leaves and 8500 blades of grass.

It was worth it though. That image looks great. I was about to ask if it was rendered in Blender only because I didn’t think Blender could do that but I see it was done in yafray.

The only thing that I don’t like is the tree on the right. It seems unnaturally faded compared to the one on the left. The one in the distance on the far left looks OK though.

Beautiful! I also think the tree on the right doesn’t match. It lacks the appropriate contrast (shadows).

One newer picture, and I consider this project done. There were only some minor modifications:

  • a bit darker and more worn walls for the church
  • smaller and denser grass, as the previous one looked out of proportion
  • someone said that the roof looked like a texture, so I modified the model, the roof plates are more haphazard, and they use 3 different materials, randomly assigned to the seperate tiles. Plus there are rivets holding them in place, though you can barely see these.
  • lighter trees and grass. The tree on the right is actually part of the background photo, and I couldn’t really make it have much more contrast.

A beautiful render. From those numbers thats a lot for a computer to render. May I ask how many vertices? (at least a few million I imagine)

I agree with the trees. You might want to make the grass in front of the wall a bit thicker and small tweaks here in there (if you are up for a new rendering of course :P)

I think some nice snow capped mountains in the background would add a nice affect IMO. Nice job.

Try rendering it in passes to *.png format with Alpha channel (RGBA), and then composing the layers in PS/GIMP. Like render the grass first, then buildings, and then the trees.

It sholud eat less memory, and without using the pagefile it should be like 100 times faster. :slight_smile:

And make more grass blades.