Sopwith Camel

This is my first official render.
I wasn’t getting any comments in the finished section,
so I figured maybe it shouldn’t qualify as finished.
Please give some helpful comments! Thank you.

Hello Quad, very nice first work you got there! Especially considering it’s your first, my first looks terrible compared to this. I’m a bit of an aviation buff, and this brings back good memories of MS flight sim 7 and the redonkulously hard-to-fly camel. :slight_smile:

I find the best way to learn to improve your work is to get honest feedback, and I hope you don’t mind me picking this apart, trying to find things wrong with it. :slight_smile:

Overall, the ambient lighting is a bit weak. The underside of the aircraft; the shadow side is a bit too dark in my opinion. If you haven’t already, one easy way to correct that is to enable “Ambient occlusion” and play with it’s strength setting to brighten up your scene.

It appears as if a section of the cockpit is missing! There is blue sky behind the engine cowling.

The specularity in your prop makes it look a bit like folded sheet metal. If it’s a polished wood prop (like most were/are), turn down the Hard value of the specularity.

The sun is pure white while it usually appears more yellow to reddish through the human eye, and on photographs.

The background image is also not too spectacular. It’s not unrealistic (though it is a bit low resolution), but it’s not very impressive either. Try finding a sky photograph rather than a texture, and adjust the camera accordingly to match the angle. This is just a personal
preference, take with a bit of salt.

The RAF symbol on the underside of the wings is WAY too saturated.…

The tires appear a wee bit thin I think, make them just a tad broader.
Also, the rubber material looks to be pure black. No normal thing is nature is ever pure black under normal lighting conditions.That’s according to Jeremy Birn, the renown author of “Digital Lighting & Rendering”. don’t make them grey, just bring the dark down a notch.

Here’s a load of fantastic reference images which you may find useful:…

With a few changes, you could have a seriously nice camel floating 'round!
Hope this helps at least a little bit.

If you want to take the whole scene to a whole new level, you could maybe add the Red Baron chasing our British friend here. Guns blazing, an’ all that good stuff!

Thanks, that was fantastic.
I was hoping I would get some good helpful responses like this.
I think I actually did make the rubber slightly less than black, but I can check again.
I actually had to make my own RAF symbol, mostly cause I forgot what to call it.:smiley:
I did actually notice the prop, but I couldn’t figure out why, thanks for that tip.
I didn’t actually model a cockpit for this one, but with all the other changes that you and others have suggest, I am probably looking at a new render when I am finished.
Thanks for the helpful criticism!:slight_smile:

Actually, I was thinking of modeling a basic snoopy and adding the red baron to the scene. It would give it some humor.

Just to be clear, I don’t mean the interior of the cockpit; the controls. I meant the fuselage behind the engine, it looks as if there’s nothing there. Pardon me if that’s what you meant.

To make it more effective add a lens flare to it.

I think it needs some vector blur on the prop.

I think it’s really very nice, especially for a first. The only gripe I have with it is what someone pointed out, the little blurb on the fuselage, it makes it looks as if there’s a large hole in your plane and the sky is shining through. But I’m sure that’s just a decal or something which tricks the light…
At any rate, I think you should consider posting it on BlendSwap, if you’re okay with giving it away for free. I think there are already a couple of other WW1 fighters on there, so this would make a very welcome and fitting addition, especially as the Camel is the signature WW1 fighter and I don’t think there are any Camels on there yet, especially none this good.
The nice thing about it is, not only will you get very positive feedback for it, but you just might wake up one day to find your plane flying around in a dogfight in someone’s animated short film. That’s a fun way to contribute to opensource filmmaking without having to make a movie yourself.
At any rate, GREAT JOB!

There are two things that immediately stand out to me. First is the prop (this will basically be a repeat of some comments above). If you look at an photograph of a prop driven aircraft in flight the prop is blurred. It looks like you tried to blur it? This would add tremendous realism to the aircraft. A quick Google images search turned up the following to help give you a target look:

The second part that immediately stands out to me is what the materials appear to be. Right now the body and wing materials appear to have a plasticy appearance. This is where texturing comes into play. Right now it looks like you’ve just colored the mesh, but if you where to add texture to the material I think you could make a large improvement. Since the Sopwith Camel is covered in fabric (canvas I believe) you may want to see if you can find some good canvas textures and use them as a normal map. I will say that I think you did a good job with the spec and diffuse settings for the materials. Their just a little to uniform right now. Remember: no real object is “perfect” and our eyes are used to that. With modeling it is really easy to make things “perfect”, and our eyes can spot the fake because it is “perfect”. The challenge is to add the age, wear, dents, scratches, and other abnormalities that are present in reality to create that illusion of a photograph. If you can nail that, you will often end up with a convincing rendering. Nitpicking a little more, you might want to touch up the wing struts. Right now they are really good, but if you look at reference pictures they were typically painted a yellow color.

Gosh, I wish my first work looked half that good, especially on the modeling . . . fantastic start!

The only thing missing is snoopy :smiley:


err yeah…focused critique, forgot about that…you should really model the engine, because even at distance, it’s an obvious texture.

You should also use an image for the background, to add interest to the scene. Right now it’s bland.

I tried to thank you all, but it wouldn’t let me, it said I had used some forbidden word?
I can’t figure out why.
I didn’t say anything I think could be considered bad. . .

You may have used a URL in the post, maybe? The software sometimes gives weird errors to new users.

I have to disagree with the person who suggested a lens flare, though. Lens flares are overused and cheesy, and instantly give an amateurish look to your artwork. This is true for everyone, yes, even you, JJ Abrams.

As always, the decision of what you do, or don’t do, it yours to make, so all my suggestions are just my opinions. :slight_smile:
Anyway, I’m not sure I like the suggestion of adding a canvas texture, as fine grain detail in your material may make it look noisy at a distance. If you plan on doing a closeup, a canvas texture would be fantastic, but with what you currently have? I have my doubts. Won’t hurt to try it though I guess!
On the flip side, I totally agree with adding a bit of motion blur to the prop, should have thought of that!

Textures are what make and break a scene, you can have really bad mesh topology, and still achieve a good looking scene it the textures are awesome.
In your case the models really good, and with just a bit of texture work on the cloth area’s it would be superb.
Are you using UV textures?
If no then it is a good time to learn about them
If yes then try just adding speckle noise to the image.

Okay, thanks for all the comments!

radialronnie, Thanks, I was trying to figure out what you meant by that.
neilrulz, I did add a lens flare, but it was only minimal.
Modron, I did try to add a motion blur, but it didn’t quite blur right.
I could post the .blend and see what you think.
I also made an animation and the blur looked bad, but should have been there, cause the prop was weird.
AdamEtheredge, Thanks, it still helps to have to comments on the same thing. different perspective
BrikBot, Please look at what I said to Modron
I will also look at giving it some more detail.
Optikz, I laughed once I saw this.
I actually did model the cylinders, but that is it.
Do you know what engine it had so I can find some reference images?
I can probably find out anyway on Wikipedia.
I will try and find a background image, too.
sdfgsdfg, I am using UV textures.

But notice to all of you who mentioned motion blur, I did an animation too, but the motion blur did some weird stuff. Some help with that would be nice.
Thanks for all the comments!

What type of blur are you using? The motion blur in the render settings or the vector blur found in the compositor? Also, could you post your animation? That would help us see whats going on so we can make some suggestions.

I am using vector blur.
My animation has some problems, with setting changes part way through.
But I didn’t want to re render it as it was a only a amateur animation.

Alright, I made a new render based off of most of your ideas, thank you!
I am going to post this on BlendSwap once I am a hundred percent done.(or at least as far as I think I will get;))
So here is the new render.
I am also re-rendering my animation now, too.

I think my plane was a little too dark, but I will leave the “Focused Critique” to you.
I turned up the soft shadow and added some grunge.
I also turned down the mirror on the really shiny metal rim that looked like it was a hole in the plane.


This is getting better and better! But something doesn’t seem right about the sun. It seems too dark. Normally a photograph of something with the sun directly in the background produces a washout effect with a very bright flare. Like so:

Other than that, this is shaping up nicely. =)

Okay, I will take that into consideration.

Here is a clay render of my model, and a normal model render.

Both of them are on studio backgrounds, just to show the model.