Weekend Challenge #43 "Egyptian" Not Really Done


I’d normally post this in “Finished Artwork” except that it has a nagging problem that I can’t get rid of that means it isn’t really “done.”

Here’s the image:


Click Here for Larger Version

The problem is the “checkerboard” effect in the sand. I have done everything I can think of to get rid of this. Anyone have any ideas?

  1. It’s a massively subdivided plane. The checkerboards you see are the size of individual faces.
  2. Normals are all pointed the same way
  3. I’ve used “smooth” over and over, to no effect.
  4. All faces are set to “smooth” and auto-smooth is “off”

Any hints welcome, and also for improvement to the modeling & texturing.


Very nice - I like the burnished aged metal look on the foreground pot. And the scratches make it look less “CG” and much more real. My only suggestion is to give it a better lighting scheme and maybe some environment. E.g., I think the area to the right of the camera needs a little fill light, the main light is probably just a tad strong. Also, some mist in the background might cover up the seam between the sand and the black background.

About the sand problem, I had the exact same issue. I just had to break down and subdivide some more. Then I added a halo light and adjusted my lighting a little to cover it up. This looks like a bug. :x

Overall, a very effective scene. I think you nailed the materials all around, especially on that jar. 8)

I ran into the same checkboard problem just last night. Yes, it is quite annoying. I minimized the pattern by subdividing it more, too, but I don’t know of anything else which would help. Nice artwork here!

isn’t the checkerboard-problem coming from lights?
I seem to run into it when I try to use only one HUUUUGE spot to light my whole scene… and I have turned the spot to really wide and long…

so try fiddling with your light setup, I think that’s the key here. especially if you have used oversized spots…


try using subdivision surfaces for that wavy sandy look. Nice work on the textures

basse is right,

the squarish thing comes from shadowmap problems.

Drop the spot, use a sun, add a shadow only spot for the vase.


Thanks, all!

The problem was that I had used Stefano’s excellent lighting method for an area light, but had turned the “ShadowBias” down below 1.0 for each of the 12 lamps.

This caused the problem.

Boosting Bias back up to 1.0 solved the problem. Final render will be in “Finished Projects” shortly.

Thank you for the crits!