Still Life

Hello Blender Friends!
I’ve been working on my own first project: a still life. Gere’s the render:
http://i1000.photobucket.com/albums/af122/dtrawi/Render.jpg

So here goes.
I wanted to build a simple still life in a castle sort of environment with sunlight pouring into a double-arch window providing the primary lighting to the scene. I included a knife with a wooden handle on a wooden cutting board. A bolw of fruit (which looks vaguely like purple apples, but its a made up fruit.) and a cup of wine sit with it on a red table clothe. I originally planned to have the fruit on the cutting bord cut in a slice, but didn’t know how. The bowl and cup are supposed to be made out of unglazed clay.

I’d love to have some critiques. For one, I hoped the wine might look a little clearer and the wood of the cutting board looks a little too extreme in the light. The stones in the wall could use some work too. Here’s my lighting setup:
http://i1000.photobucket.com/albums/af122/dtrawi/SetupfromAbove.jpg
http://i1000.photobucket.com/albums/af122/dtrawi/Setup.jpg

I know this is probably rediculous but one sun lamp just wasn’t doing it, and then I used an area lamp to give some light to the background bricks.

Speaking of the bricks, I wasn’t sure what to do there. I basically created a large cube shape which acted as the mortar, and then placed over it dozens of duplicated bricks. This was very hard and I have reason to believe that it has something to do with my really slow render time.

All of the materials and textures I made up, not wanting to go for a photo-realistic material or texture. The only exception is the brick texture which is an altered version of the texture for the tiles in the Essential Blender lighting tutorial. In case you were interested (as I see this asked on several of the threads, here are the wireframes:http://i1000.photobucket.com/albums/af122/dtrawi/SetupWireframe.jpg
http://i1000.photobucket.com/albums/af122/dtrawi/WireframefromAbove.jpg

So, any critique y’all can make would be very appreciated. Thanks!

Dwayne

Just some food for thought, not really anything specific:

Consider playing around with hemis for fill light.

Consider using ray transparency for the wine.

You could have just used an array modifier to copy the stones over and over, rather than doing it manually.

The cutting board looks rather odd. Maybe the texture’s UV map is stretched? Anyways, the solid lines running along it look rather ugly.

Maybe instead of using suns, consider using a spot with halo turned on? It would add a good sunbeam effect.

Sorry for the laundry list, but this is focused critique, so… Anyways, you’ve got a good start, keep going!

ithepie55 already hit everything I could think of.

  • ray mirror on the cup would work too
  • maybe some SSS on the food.
  • stems on fruit?
  • some small halo particles in the halo light for some quick dusty light

Wow guys! Thanks for your help! This are great ideas. Ithepie55, I totally appreciate the “laundry list,” that’s why i posted. Thanks!
I’ve tried to do ray transp on the wine and I guess I just need to tweak it more. Could it be that there’s not enough light hitting it? I’ll work on it.
I also tried SSS on the fruit. I started with the apple template and then played around. I’ll keep trying.
The cutting board does look really wierd. In the materials menu it looks exactly like I want it but then under the light it looks really bad. But, again, I’ll keep working on it. It’s just a material that i used based on what i learned in the Materials chapter in Essential Blender, but maybe I need to do a UV Map instead?
Thanks for all the help! I’ll be posting with more changes soon!

Wow guys! Thanks for your help! This are great ideas. Ithepie55, I totally appreciate the “laundry list,” that’s why i posted. Thanks!
I’ve tried to do ray transp on the wine and I guess I just need to tweak it more. Could it be that there’s not enough light hitting it? I’ll work on it.
I also tried SSS on the fruit. I started with the apple template and then played around. I’ll keep trying.
The cutting board does look really wierd. In the materials menu it looks exactly like I want it but then under the light it looks really bad. But, again, I’ll keep working on it. It’s just a material that i used based on what i learned in the Materials chapter in Essential Blender, but maybe I need to do a UV Map instead?
Thanks for all the help! I’ll be posting with more changes soon!

HMM, maybe manually add some ripples to the liquid in the wine glass, might have some sun rays coming through the window(made with spot light- hit the halo button might good a tutorial), might be cool if you added some sort of stone material to the goblet, improve the table texture, and like they said some SSS would be nice on the fruit, oh than that looking quite nice

It terms of the lighting you should definitely look at using linear workflow. (don’t ask me to explain it. Its really technical and I only just about get it)

here are some vids and a thread that explain it… in particular watch vid 2 where you see a before and after shot, to see why its important.

http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=119205&highlight=linear+workflow

Alternatively render in HDR and the colour correct in photoshop or gimp. HDR is slightly less technical and I can explain that one if you need me to.