I wanted to get some opinions on the balance for this image. Something is bothering me, though I’m not sure if its the lighting or the composition.

Should I move the bottle to the right, or the camera to the left? Move the camera lower? Change the lighting.

Would appreciate some thoughts. What, if anything, strikes you?

The bottle and fluid looks good, The barrel wood may have a little too much specular. Something I would do is come up with a better floor material.

But a very nice job on this scene.

There’s too much written information on this image, if you know what i mean. The labels on the background barrels are too visible and kinda disrupting. That’s my first impression. You could try lowering the apperture for some more shallow DOF, also rotating some of the barrels could help, so the labels don’t create that readable pattern anymore. I’m not a barrel maker, but as for me, these rusty iron rings are too thin and would easily break with this amount of rust. There are some visible seams on the wall texture, i would fix that too if I were you.

As for the overall shot, i would either move the camera a bit to the right, or move the packaging and bottle a bit to the left.
Great image and good job anyway, cheers mate!

One other thing I would suggest is warmer lighting, maybe with some deeper contrast. Like an evening sun is coming in through a small window. A good smooth whiskey should put a bit of fire in your belly, this feels a little to cold to me.
I wonder if it would look better with having the barrels to the left of the image and further away from the camera, and the bottle and can to the right of the image and closer to the camera?

The modeling and composition are very good, it’s the lighting that needs a little work, deeper shadows and a little more light reflecting from the bottle, perhaps.

BlenderGuru has a tutorial on three point lighting – which is used a lot in photography – in Blender:


looking good. Im thinking maybe the bump map is a little thick on the rusted metal (maybe not but if not I would sharpen the bump map a little with a bright and contrast node.)

I agree about the lighting needing a little work. I dont generally like BG tutorials but I also know they are for a much more general audience and the video margret posted might be helpful. Can we see what your lighting setup looks like now???

I think the scene could use a glass of whiskey added. I agree with ThontonStrolia on the bump map but I think it might be a bit high on the wood too.

The end result I had in mind is something more like this:-

I have still to add dirt and tone down down the text. There is a little in-camera focal blur, and I will finalise that later with some other compositing. There was just something bothering me about the general look of it, and it may actually be those background diagonals.

Anyway, there are four lights, one of them is only to accentuate the refraction and add a little brightness to the liquid.
The reflections on the glass are from an environment map.

Think about the overall mood and then apply some more modifications. Do you want the whisky to feel old and traditional. Like the setting is somewhere in the underground, smokey and full of “old treasures”. Do you want it to look novel and expensive? Make the image more “shiny”, almost like the liquid is emmitting light and warmth. To make such commercial image work, you need to think like a creative director. What would you feel if you drank it? And when you know that, you just find a visual language in which to translate the feeling.

try using emission planes instead of area lamps… also, unless you are looking to make highlights than spots are a bad lighting method… they diffuse too many of the shadows. That area lamp in the back near the other barels is probably alright but you might want to make it a little wider and make sure it is more top down lighting and make it VERY subtle.

emission planes WILL cast reflections so if you dont want that, I guess continue with what you are doing but as far as size and shape goes, treat it the same as an emission plane and make the nesecary adjustments to X / Y size.

emission planes will also cut down render times so its up to you.

It’s the lighting. Too flat. Scarcely any shadows under the bottle or the packing tube. Barrels in the back have too much light on them.

Ad photographers would put a reflector behind that bottle to shine some light through the liquid, bringing out that amber glow you see in ads but rarely in life. Hide a plane cut to the shape of the liquid in the bottle behind the bottle, and have it emit a soft yellow orange light. Set up a light that just illuminates the labels, and then you can turn the rest of the lights down.

An update, with some compositing:-

…and a higher resolution for big monitors:-

A fine drink by the firelight…soft and warm, you and your special someone…

I like,

I might suggest…the container that holds the bottle…not really important… so hide it much more behind the bottle…they both have the same degree of importance right now which if you think about it…should most likely be balanced for the drink bottle. Like a cover for a fine sword presentation…the lid is put behind or under the display case even though the wood lid might have inlay detail which is pretty, the sword is the focus.

Most likely it is not what you want to hear…sorry.

I see florecent lights reflecting in the glass. That seems odd even if its right it takes away from the feeling of warmth.

I like your barrels and miss them…throw just a wee tad fill light in a cool color back there with the barrels, or perhaps a lattern was left on the floor , warm up your key fill light off to the side, much more in the the yellow-reds. like a fireplace is burning softly with warm embers…yes even though you would not warm a storage room with a fireplace…I guess I want some romance :slight_smile:

a feeling of volumetric light/dust would not be out of place…small and slight perhaps.

I really dig you scene, those are just my thoughts on tweaks that match my romantic eye.

I do like the idea of a glass there too, small and ready to use or just a slight amount…don’t remembe who had that suggesstion but I liked it. It would also give you a triangle to balance out your main characters, the bottle the container and the glass…triangles are your friends in a static display pose…i did display stuff in triangles for years…yoinks. :frowning:

whew…sorry if I’m fuzzy with my feedback.

Nice scene and good whisky (I have tasted it). How did you get the labels?

I think in the last version the background is too dark. I liked seeing those barrels.

It looks very classy now, but i agree with elbrujodelatribu - background needs a bit more light.

I prefer to work at night because its quiet, but looking at it again in daylight the background does seem underlit. If you turn down your ambient lighting it will display closer to how it was intended to appear.
Its a simple fix though, I rendered each light to a separate pass.

Some volume is attractive, though I’m not sure its appropriate. Will try anyway.

Ahh, the labels… I bought a sample. The tube is easy enough. Remove the base and lid, slice it down one side, then soak it in water. At this stage you can peel off some of the backing to make it easier to handle, then dry it flat and potograph it. The bottle label is a challenge I have been unable to meet. Heat does seem to be key here, and some online forums recommend heating the bottle in an oven to soften the adhesive. At the moment this is too much of a health and safety issue to try, so I settled for photographing it head on in situ, and UV mapped to ‘Project from view’. This does leave some baked in lighting issues, such as the excessive fall off towards the edges, some of which can be mitigated with wavelet decompose in Gimp.

I uploaded the label textures to MediaFire:-

I’ll post another image after amending the background lighting…

Overall very good! My favorite is your render in post #8.

Maybe if you laid the tube down on the barrel it would take less attention away from the bottle.
As some said, yes slightly rotate some barrels to break that pattern.
Also the symmetry of the right wall is disturbing, especially around the dark stain.

Here is another, again composited at night, so may not look as intended in a bright room. Brighter background with less blur and more contrast.

Hi res:- http://www.pasteall.org/pic/69561

#13 is my fav. These are all great though. The tube doesn’t bother me, as it’s all part of the package. The writing on the barrels in the back does seem to distract me in the newest pic - which is still incredible. In the #13 one we still see the barrels in the back, which gives to the whole feel of this high quality single malt scotch whiskey - but the focus is on the foreground - where we see the incredibly presented product. Good rust btw. you could stain the wood with more oxidation but it looks good the way it is.

I’m going for a drink now…:stuck_out_tongue:

Really digging how this is coming along from start to finish. #19 is my fav so far. Methinks the bottles needs some kinda shadow playing out on the barrel it’s sitting on, though?