Twr Mawr Lighthouse

(LazloWoodbine) #1

Hello. Long time lurker, but this is the first time I’ve ever been brave enough to upload any of my render attempts; mainly because they have usually been awful and also because the critiquing can be quite brutal (though never unfair). However, I’ve decided I’m never going to improve if I don’t share things with people who know what they are talking about!

This is a lighthouse in Wales. I’ve never been, but seen many photos of it on Flickr and thought it was simple enough for my ‘skills’. The base topography is taken from 50cm LIDAR data from the Welsh government, brought into QGIS to merge and crop. I then took this into a new piece of software called Gaea (by Quadspinner) to smooth out the LIDAR artefacts and add more detail (using the erosion and sculpting tools). Then brought into Blender and displaced (using the modifier not microdisplacement).

‘Modelled’ the lighthouse and wall, did some sculpting of the rocks to add more detail. Grass and flowers are from Graswald (obvs), HDRI from HDRIHaven, texturing from (all free low res versions…). Some compositing done in Blender and PS (including judicious cropping). I think it was about 500 samples in cycles (2.79… can’t get my head around 2.8 yet), but rendered at quite low resolution as I’m impatient.

I know there are some glaring issues, but I’d be grateful for any advice on how to make things better and to improve my techniques and understanding. Also, if I’ve made any errors of uploading etiquette then let me know too!


Well I gotta tell you, your work looks incredible! And I can’t critique it, as it’s far beyond my skill level anyway! The composition is great the details are great, so all around great job! :+1:

(alf0) #3

nice work !!!

(SystemAgnostic) #4

Terrific work. You’ve been lurking too long, your work clearly can benefit and be enjoyable for others.

The only flaw that stands out to me as noticeably CGI is the water - it seems like the scale of the ripples is off compared to the lighthouse. Also, where the water meets the horizon it looks too crisp. I don’t know how to fix it, but perhaps extend the plane of water back, ensure that the render distance is great enough, and ensure that the camera doesn’t have infinite depth of field (which you already set, at least in the third shot). That may make the horizon a bit blurrier and less distinct.

But really - I think this is very realistic and good work. At first I thought one of them may have been a sample photo you were copying.

(LazloWoodbine) #5

Many thanks for that. Very much appreciated. I think you are definitely right on the sea - but I’m not sure how I could sort it myself!