Stone House

Hello, this is my first shot at texturing, and really my first try at creating an entire outdoor scene. I’ve played around with UV mapping before, but never did a project that relied on it 100%. Feel free to tear into me… I’m sure I’ll learn from any harsh criticism:yes:!

Rendered in Blender Internal using AO @ 8 samples. I rendered the tree separately and composited it back in to save rendering time. Overall it rendered in about 45 seconds, but the bush took several minutes do to all the transparent shadows being calculated…


are the stones just textured on? is there actual geometry there? or just a cubeish shape? normal map? whats your lighting setup?

The stones aren’t modeled, I just used the textures I made in photoshop and slapped them on. There is normal mapping though, otherwise it would look too flat. As far as my lighting setup goes, I have a bright sun lamp with a hint of yellow to it casting soft shadows. There is a dim hemi colored light blue to provide some fill light, and ambient occlusion set to “add” and colored light blue. Inside the house I have a raytracing lamp casting negative light to darken the interior.

It looks very good. You said you rendered the tree seperately to save rendering time? It rendered in just a couple of minutes though o_O

As for crits…

-I liked the cracked stone, but I think it draws a little too much attention to itself, it being the only stone that is cracked.

-It looks a little too blue. Maybe do a little gimp/photoshop to color correct it a little more red?

Thanks Asano for the crits, I’ll have to crack a corner off another stone or two. As for the blue, I think I should just leave the blue fill light and return the AO to white. I’ll post an update tomorrow. As for the tree, I guess it wouldn’t have been nessecary to composite it in, but this way I could have a nice background during test renders without having half a million polys hogging CPU power… test renders in seconds is a lot nicer than having to wait several minutes:D

Alright, I fixed the “blueness” of the image, and also cracked two other stones. Please continue to critique! I’m also wondering if a little dof would make this look better?

I also have a high-res render:


Dof wouldnt not make this look good because your viewing everything from a longer distance and they are relatively close so everything in the scene should be in focus. i think you should make the cracks in the sidewalk a little more subtle and add some more grass to the ground, also make some grass growing inbetween the sidewalk panels

The stone mats on the building look alot like Gold and Gold marbled titanium… I like it. :slight_smile:

Alright, I’ve changed/added sidewalk cracks, a real stress fracture would crack straighter than what I had before. I also added more grass… let me know what you think about this. I didn’t like the color of the corner stones, they were to be tan, but they looked like gold. I grayed the color of those a little bit and I think it looks better. I changed the tree as well, the old one had a variety of leaf sizes, so I fixed that. I also have a high-res version available too:


Can i see a wire of this model? Just curious on the geometry, it looks like it relies heavily on textures instead of geomtry for detail

BrightShadow, yes it does rely heavily on textures, as I said in my first post this was my first project that used extensive textures, so for the learning experience, I wanted to do as much using textures as I could. Here’s the wire render (high-res):

The lighting seems harsh, with the effect of flattening-out the model by blowing out details of the stones. The light seems bluish and unpleasant … This is making the model fight harder than it should to look good.

sundialsvc4, the shadows may be a bit blue, but isn’t that natural, since ambient rays that bounce around pick up the “blueness” of the atmosphere?

I think a little DOF would be good. The neighbouring house on the right is noticeably softer (and perhaps a bit ‘warmer’) than the model, which doesn’t seem to fit at the moment. Also the shutters look a bit flat. I see from the wires that you modelled them, but in my experience they should stand out a bit from the wall.

ETA: I added a comment here about the perspectives of the houses not matching, but I just checked more carefully and they do match pretty closely.

I think everything seems OK being in-focus, since everything is pretty close together (no real distant houses or anything). As far as the house to the right looking softer, I believe it’s in the roof, I had taken a high-res wooden roof texture and scaled it down a bit since the house was farther away, but maybe a little too much. I’ll have to fix that, and I agree that the shutters should be moved away from the stone a little bit. As far the the neighboring house looking ‘warmer’, it’s in the exact same lighting, I think it’s just the contrast of the brown wood against the gray stone… I’ll make some changes and re-render. thanks for the crits so far!

I changed what I said in my previous post, I’m not sure if the lighting change was for the better, let me know your opinions!

I think the house is awesome and the whole scene is inviting. I want to find out who’se in that house . . . Anyways, it might just be me, but your first floor seems exceptionally tall and the second floor rather short. Is it me? Or is that intentional? Hope this helps!

The first floor is tall, that way the interior can have a really high, elegant ceiling. The second floor would be considered ‘normal’.

I’d give plenty of awesome ratings on this render . . . . your “seat” proportion to the door just doesn’t seem right - maybe a tad too small. Other wise a really great piece considering that it’s less than a minutes worth of rendering - shows that you attempted to have optimisation in mind when you selected this exercise.
You may wish to look up existing images of houses and nearby items to see your proportions. Look forward to more of your renders in due course.

Overall your on the right track keep up the solid work. Here are the few crits that I have & some are repeats… First is proportions, the difference between the first & second floor has been pointed out, but also consider the bench outside. Compared to the door or window that would only work for small children… I get this odd “something is off” feeling and I think addressing those proprtion issues will help out.

The lighting works in certain areas but not in others. I wouldn’t worry too much a slight blue color cast… You can always use that to your advantage to help set the “mood”. I almost feel some colors from bounce light might be missing from the grass on the neighboring building, But just a hint… Also the lighting might be a bit to uniform. For the front of the building it’s fine but the sides or even in the corners near the roofing I would expect a gradient.

Last thing is the normal maps, NM work great for finer and some mid resolution detail but fall short once you get into larger less subtle changes. For the stones in the wall the affect is convincing for the inset of the cement VS the over shape of the stone. But when you look at most stone buildings the stones surface aren’t flat but push inwards / outwards. The stones for this building seem like they’ve been polished down to a flat surface minus small surface details. The other part is NM fail when the viewing angle come to a sharp angle of the surface it has been applied to. The ground is an example of that… It looks you might have a normal map on it but I can’t be sure.

Are you using this for the Game Engine or are you sticking with Pre-Rendered images. You wireframe model looks clean, great job with that but if your sticking with Pre-Rendered images don’t be afraid to use more polygons, just don’t go overboard either. It’s all about striking the balance between the project needs / performance (For real time) & the quality of the image…

Sorry for the long post, keep up the great work!