Steam Locomotive, Brick Viaduct

There are many stone and brick viaducts in the UK railway network as well as a good number of abandoned ones. This picture is inspired by the brick viaduct at Yarm in England. All of the brick- and stone-work is created by the same multipurpose brick material that I’m working on. The white substance in patches on the surface is salt which washes out of the brick in a process called efflorescence.

Still to work on for this picture - steam and smoke, improvements to the coaches, more biology on the brick and stone and updates to the sky. The ultimate goal is to model the actual viaduct, which is surrounded by a village of brick houses.



A quick clay render of the scene. It’s actually pretty simple except for the Botaniq trees - the interesting stuff is in the brick shader and the dirt material.

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A closer view. I’ve added some non-specific biology in the mortar gaps between bricks. I’m not yet happy with the stones - they appear too flat.

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Two new renders with a new approach to steam.


Another view - the livery of the carriages has also been updated to one more contemporary with the locomotive.

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I think that I like some of your later camera-angles better – not so much the very last one. Compositionally speaking, I would choke-in fairly tightly on the locomotive and maybe only a few of the cars.

FYI, when I was looking at real photos and considering what to do with them in the darkroom (yes, I still have a real darkroom …), I would use “cropping el’s” made by cutting a picture-matte in half diagonally. I would then use these two pieces to look for what I called “the picture within the picture.” That “low tech” solution might be useful to you here also.

I would also consider fully exploring the various lens-settings and lens-projection types. How much you want to have in the frame and whether there are any converging lines.

The modeling of the locomotive, the cars, and the bridge is very good – as is the cloudy sky – and I think that you have a convincing depiction of efflorescence which I’m sure is taken either from good reference photographs or your actual observation.

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Thanks @sundialsvc4 - great comments.

I’ll continue to explore angles and cropping. Options are a little constrained currently due to how much of the model is built (there isn’t really much beyond the borders of the images - even the track is missing :slight_smile:

I haven’t yet played with lens settings - that may be a little easier to experiment with first. I assume you are suggesting looking at longer focal lengths.

As for the efflorescence - I originally built this without it (and just references to brick) but the more I studied, the more I realized the importance of this and how it can really make the brickwork work.

I’m speaking both of the focal length and the type of projection. For instance, “old timey” bellows cameras are still sometimes used in certain types of shots such as architectural work because you can prevent “converging lines.” Check out the “orthographic projection” option in the camera’s ObData.

Of course you should only model the things that you can actually see in a shot of interest. While you’re considering what might or might not be put in there, you can simply use a dummy object as long as it is “to scale.” If you decide to use the shot, you can detail it later. (The “Workbench” renderer can be your bestest friend …) Just: “point and shoot.” And take notes. (Make new cameras, name them, position them, shoot with them and make another.)

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@sundialsvc4 here’s a couple of quick renders with a different focal length.