Solstice music video completed

Here is the latest render

Scene 4

here is the finished video.

Starting New Video Project Called Solstice Now with video test

Ok I’m setting up scenes for my next video project and I want to up my game since my first project. This is a music video for a Instrumental Jazz tune called Solstice.

The idea is to watch the progression of several days at different points during a year from inside a glass gazebo. In the gazebo is a sundial on top of a table. There will be snow for some scenes and grass and flowers for others as needed.

Here is a test render to get an idea of what I’m going for.


The table is mostly complete as is the gazebo the Sundial still needs work and the tree is just a stand in for now.

My current dilemma is how to get the sun to really pop in the render. As you see its just a blurry circle. The glass material in the gazebo takes all it brightness away.

Attached Thumbnails stc=1&thumb=1&d=1425268038

I’ve added the snow as well as a snowman. He he! Modeled the Poinsettia, finalized materials for the garden wall the sundial etc.

I have the scene rendering in layers and the compositor is adding a blur to the mountains.

I still need to work out how to change from a starry night sky to a daytime sky during the video.


Here is a link to the first scene test video.

I like the idea of this video and the blinking lights in the tree and the overall atmosphere fit well to the music. The clouds in the sky are a good element also, but now it looks as if they are raising up from the ground. A horizontal movement would work better, I guess.

What is the look you are going for with this? All the materials have a flat surface, no bumps or displacement. That’s completely OK if it’s the look you planned to achieve. But it is also noticeable.

Waiting to see more :slight_smile:

Here is a render from scene 3.

I have improved my material on the tabletop and the mountains, added a watering can, a few plants and grass etc. still need to add the blooms to the tree and tulips in the yard before I call this scene complete. Then I need to move the improvements I’ve made backwards to the previous scenes and they will need to be rendered again.


At this point I think I’m going to wait to render anymore video that way I can continue to improve things as I go and won’t be wasting time rendering.

To make things more difficult I had a minor motorcycle accident last Saturday and broke my collarbone on the right side. So Now I’m a lefty for a while. LOL

@minoribus thanks for the feedback.

I hear ya. I was working on materials for the table etc just posted an update. Let me know what you think.

I have worked on the materials etc for scene 3 and completed modeling the flowers and the apple blossoms for the tree.

Still need to work on the stone fence some more before its final.

Here is a test render.

Very nice job on the nature parts like the grass, the tree with its blossoms and the flowers!

I wonder what the semi transparent mesh lines are, which are running through the image. Is this the structure of the world dome or is it from a winter garden?

The items in the foreground need some love to match up with your work on the nature parts. The edges of the hard surface items need some beveling and the texturing is waiting for more details for example. But I guess you are not through with them, and that’s still on your list :slight_smile:

Thanks Minoribus, There is lots of texture on the table already but I found that the AO in the world properties set to .8 hides it from being seen. I turned it off and the table and the sundial really show the surface bumps. But then the problem is lighting.

Currently all the light is coming from a sun lamp that is moving through the sky as the scene unfolds. Without AO the watering Pail is completely dark since we are on the shadow side.

I have been playing with lower settings in the AO to see if a compromise that shows the shadows from the tables bump map and still supplies enough light so that once the sun passes everything is not completely dark.

Alos I will note that at different times during the “day” that the texture on the table, sundial and watering pail are more visible. I also noticed the playing the the amount of the bump can really change things around.

So I guess the short answer is: Yes I still have that on my list. LOL

The mesh lines are the reflections of the structure supporting the glass walls and ceiling of the gazebo. My plan is to add green screen footage of me performing the sax as a reflection in the glass. IF you look closely you can also see the table legs in the reflection under the tree.

Do you think the reflections are too distracting? If so how will I show the glas is there in the scene.

When I rendered the scene with the glass on the same layer everything gets dark inside the gazebo even though the glass is not supposed to have shadow.

I’m learning lots with each new scene and new project but the more I learn, the more I know that I don’t know. If that makes any sense.

Thanks again for your input.
Perhaps some more work on that part will improve the scene as well.

Ok I worked on the lighting because I found it was destroying the texturing I was doing and making everything appear flat.

There were 2 problems I identified. First there was too much Ambient Occlusion and second the size of my Sun was too small.

The Sun was set to 1.5cm originally and that gave me sharp shadows when AO was disabled. AO Factor was set to 0.8 on the world and that was way too high. I found a compromise between the 2 and set the size of the sun to 80cm and the AO Factor to 0.2.

This allowed me to really see the textures I had already created really well and I made a few minor tweeks to the strength on the bump maps of my table, sundial and watering pail.

Also the added benifit of allowing the texture on the mountains to really pop.

Here is the result of the render of frame 300 the same frame previously so we are comparing apples to apples.

Thanks so much for your input.

One more render with the Sundial material changed.

In the last two renders your image has improved. The textures, especially the texture of the wood, have become more complex and interesting due to the changed lighting.

Are you rendering with BI or are you using Cycles? The last ones do look more like Cycles. The problem with AO is that it works against shadows and highlights. And the big sun lamp does this also. A big lamp produces a softer light and doesn’t produce much shadow. If you are under Cycles you could increase the number of transparent bounces. That should allow more light to pass through the glass into your gazebo. I had that problem with light passing through glass also some time ago and increasing the bounces solved it for me.

Nice start, maybe the snowman might start dancing at the end of the scene.

Thanks Minoribus. Yes I’m using Cycles. Currently I have 2 suns set to different sizes and scaled back the strength. One is 0.8 m and the other is 1.5cm. the reason I went this way is that I wanted to get a little glint off the Brass on the sundial every once in a while and with the larger sun that all went away.

I will try increasing the transparent bounces and see if the helps. Anything that will simplify the render layers etc would be great and speed up things.

Artkansas thanks LOL that’s not really where I’m going with this video though.

The shadows need to be bit harder, so they are actually visible. Also, adding a bump map and reflection map would really help a lot of the objects like the floor and lining around the building.

Here is a helpful video:

I suggest adding one to anything that has a texture and is remotely rough, or has scratches.

But at this point, I think the lighting is the main thing that needs to be fix. Make it a sunny day with clouds versus a cloudy day with really soft lighting. I know that you are using Cycles, but it looks like Blender Render because of the shadows. So, fix that and it will solve a lot of your problems.

Thanks Gambit I agree that it seems the lighting is fighting me in this case.

I do have procedural bump and grunge applied to the materials especially the glossy like the table the sundial and the pots the plants are in.

If I make the sun smaller it makes the shadows harder and I like that to a point.

Currently I’m working on a compromise where I can see the glass reflection as well as having harder shadows.

I’m moving pretty slow on things because I have a broken clavicle so I have to do most things left handed.

Thanks for your input I will check out the video to see if it adds anything to what I’m already doing.

Some new renders

frame 300

Frame 600

For both of these I have returned to using only on2 sun size 1.5cm and reduced the strength to 1.

AO factor is set to 0.2.

After making changes to the lights I was able to see better what was happening with my textures and adjusted the settings on the floor and the sundial. I also increased the size of the bump on the Watering pail and added bump to the tall houseplant in the center as well as the poinsettia on the right.

What do you guys thing on the lighting?

Oh and the texureing video from Andrew Price was on that I watched when I was setting all this up to begin with. Most of my textures are procedural though but I used the same basic components in each texture.

Also wanted to mention that the grass is from Grass Essentials but all the other plants are my creations.

What do you guys thing on the lighting?

Hi, Tomtuko, since you asked, I think the main problem with this lighting is still that there are no real highlights in the scene. Maybe you can make use of the lightpath node and make more light travel into the gazebo with the help of this node.

The shadows are not pointing in the same direction. That maybe due to a wide camera angle and some lens distortion tat goes along with wide lenses. Do you use a wide lens?

I using settings that are the same as my Nikon 5300 I’m going to use for the live action I will composite into the scene later.

the camera settings in Blender are 18mm Focal point the sensor is 24.5/15.6mm.

Here is an update on the progress. I have worked on the lighting after some help from Minoribus (thanks).

I increased the strength of the sun during the day as well as changed the way my sky and clouds were being generated. I created a dome for the clouds and used the world background for the colors and stars etc. I also added lights to the inside of the gazebo that provide some light during the night and will make it easier for me to add the live action footage later.