Swamp worm watching

This is the season when you can watch the Giant Swampworms frolicking in the swallow muddy waters along the coast.
Everything modelled by me apart from the Daz3 Michael figure. Rendered in Blender Cycles at a crazy 5000 samples + denoising. The splash + motion blur gives a crazy amount of fireflies. Comments and critique welcome and appreciated.

i love the idea!
the sky ruins it. looks like one of my grey test render skies. too much water in the air and the watersplashstructure looks unrealistic.


try to find pictures of jumping fish. the boat looks like a kitchensink, maybe you shall try an aluminum skin or turn it around and rebuilt it as a swamp airboat. trees in the background need a little more variation in height. rotate the camera a little upwards.

Thanks. It is rather hard to get the splashing realistic. I used the water simulator for the larger layer where the worm breaks through. Then I added water droplets as particles from the simulated water surface to get the actual spray. As you noticed it worked moderately well. I’m not quite sure how to make it better, I tried many different settings. As for the rest I agree. I got lazy after spending several days on the splashing. A little critique is often a good motivator :-). I added an image of what I’m trying tto achieve.

as far as i have seen pictures with splashing seaanimals , you may keep the spray at the end, reduce it at the middle and no spray at the front.

Now updated according to S-Markt’s excellent advice. Interestingly enough, the fireflies went away when I changed to a hdri environment texture (hdrihaven.com) so this rendered really fast.

This one looks better. The transition from the water line to the background looks strange. maybe try particle system fog? The boat camouflage colors are too light. Also I don’t know if it will help in your case but I like to change my backgrounds to transparency and then put a plane emitting light behind them I find it helps to blend the foreground to the background better. Oh and maybe get rid of some of the spray behind the worm because the water in the front would have to be going a lot higher to fall that far back.

Thanks for input. There is some light fog and that is catching the light, perhaps that is what you think looks strange. It can probably be tuned a bit more. I tried to get it more swirling by multiplying with a noise texture but I didn’t get it to work convincingly.
As for the camo color I intentionally made it lighter because I want to avoid associations to hunting which I am very much against. I was thinking about some floral patterns but I save that for another time. Perhaps it is time for an overhaul of the boat.
By now the spray is as good as I can get it. Next time I’ll spend more time on the water simulator.

You need the camera closer to the worm and have less of the boat, since it is supposed to be the focus of the image.

so much better now. the texture on the boat makes it fit better in the scenery. according to spray: ever thought about using a particle system of metaballs instead of watersim? i played around with these yesterday and i got some interesting results.

edit: forget about it.

I think I am quite satisfied with the camera position. I lowered it according to the tip from S-Markt and that brought a lot of depth and more dynamics to the image. As it is now the idea is that the guy (who is placed roughly according to the rule of thirds horizontally and vertically) indicates the focal point with his look and the shine, the splash and the reflection accentuates it. If I go closer the guy ends up very much to the side and I lose the composition.
S-Markt: I tried metaballs but it has a rather marginal effect. It probably need a major rework to get better. For next time I’ll focus on the water simulation. As I’m new to Blender I didn’t know how to interact water with a moving object so I just poured the water on the worm.