Train Across Bridge At Night Scene - HELP!

I’m doing some CG work for a film, and I am having a difficult time trying to make it look realistic. Attached is the scene: it’s a basic train model (from TurboSquid) going over a bridge with a pine tree forest in the background. I have the camera sweep back, but this the first frame, and ultimately how the rest of the scene looks.

So, is there anything I should add to make it more realistic? Any suggestion would help a lot! Thanks!

P.S. I haven’t used this site in a while, and I thought it was called “BlenderNation,” hence the name of the file :stuck_out_tongue: Lol


There’s a lot you could do LOL :wink: but Idk i think maybe add some like motion blur, make some different lighting, and add some stars, it’s easier to make realism if you have visible textures

Add stars.

Right now can’t see any light from the train’s headlight bouncing off the track in front of it. Make that happen! I think it’ll help a lot.

The texture for the wood beams is really repetitive, spend more time with that. Especially the edge of the platform.

The bridge trusses look like they’re carved out of a solid piece of wood, which I don’t think is how trusses are typically made. They’re composed of many individual beams, held together with gusset plates - steel plates with bolts through them. Do some image searches for train bridges and study the details.

Trees all look pretty similar. Try to get a couple different tree models for variety, maybe? Also put in a few dead ones, some stuff lying on the ground - i.e. fallen trees, etc.

I don’t like the lens flare, but maybe that’s just me.

Also, it seems like the ground behind the bridge could use some shadows being cast across it. Maybe try to change the angle of light and see if that does anything for it?

The main thing I would suggest is adding some texture detail to the train and the bridge. Not even anything super complex, just a generic metal texture set to a nice subtle level. Right now the model looks way too flat, and I think the eye picks up on that. With some subtle texturing and normal mapping it would really pop.

Same thing with the wood for the most part, I imagine just turning on some subtle normal mapping would improve things dramatically. It does look great though, can’t wait to see how it looks after a bit more tinkering.

Yeah I’m going to add motion blur, but I didn’t want the example picture to be blurry for the website :stuck_out_tongue: Thanks though!! :slight_smile:

Any tutorial on how to make stars? The one on BlenderNation is outdated and doesn’t use the same node settings. Also I’d like to keep the blue-ish tint to the sky, but still have stars on top of it, any way to do that?

I’ve started to fix the bridge texture-wise, and I’ll have to figure out how to remodel the mesh. Thanks for that tip on the individual beams though!

I’ll fix the trees :slight_smile: And yeah the lens flare was a Photoshop addon, I still don’t know how to make a lens flare in Cycles :stuck_out_tongue:

Okay yeah, so would a grungey-metal texture for the train be a good one? Just something to give it depth? Thanks for your comments though! :slight_smile:

add some ambient occlusion so it’s not so dark.