Winter Ice Storm - Complex Scene

I haven’t posted on here for a while, but I am back! I’d like to share my latest project, a replication of what a Spruce tree looks like after an ice storm. I have been working on this piece for several days, and I think I am ready for some feedback on how to improve it. A few more sets of eyes looking over it would be invaluable before I post to the Finished Projects section.


Considering renaming this piece now that I have added the birds, something like Spring is Coming. What are your thoughts?

ORIGINAL POST: Rendered in Blender Cycles 2.72 at 500 samples. HDRi lighting and supplemental sun lamps. A total of 12+ hours render time split between 3 render layers. Minor post production done externally.

Things I am wondering about:

  • Is the color scheme too similar? Not enough color variation?
  • Can I add some sort of story telling feature, and what?
  • Is this really photorealistic?
  • Is the DOF too much on the branches?

Come on guys, 150+ views and no suggestions . . ?

Hi ! Wouaw this is pretty impressive so far !

Here is my 2 cents :
I have the feeling that the ice is too strong (some huge blocks) on the “leaves” and also it’s missing some snow !
See ref :

Also I would add more displace on the Pinecones, they are looking a little bit too smoothed.

I like the colors

@rattle-snake: Thanks for the suggestions! The images you linked are more of hoar-frost, not of an ice storm, though. I might add a little snow anyways, we’ll see. And yes, now that you mention it, the pinecones look a little bit off.

@Selrond: Thank you so much! I will certainly consider your suggestions! The lighting and getting some inspiration especially.

I will be working on this :yes:

Looking wonderful! Details make the picture my friend - what others said will only add to it!

@cgstrive: Thank you! I’m working on it :wink:

I have made a mockup of what I am going for, although I am afraid it might be a very long undertaking to replicate.

Off to the right there is going to be a bird feeder, I can’t decide how much I will show in the end. Anyways, the birds are going to be a pain to make . . .

I have started work on the Chickadee model, coming along well. Hoping it won’t be as hard as expected. I’ll keep the thread updated with progress!

This is my progress for the evening. Hoping to finish it tomorrow and maybe start on the bird feeder.

Rendered in Cycles at 20 samples

There are some odd artifacts on the leading edge of the wings, and they have some wrong proportions, but this is good enough for tonight. We’ll see what I can get done tomorrow!

The Chickadees are now finished, all I need to do is the bird feeder and the Cardinal! I also have added some snow, although I may change from a 2d paint to a full 3D particle system. More pics coming soon!

personally, i think you should stick with your brown/white/light blue scheme even for the birds, i love how it looks and actually think having a big red bird would be worse.
unless, the point of this was not to show the storm but mostly the birdies :wink:

I have not created the Cardinal yet, and I might find that I don’t need it. I’m working on the bird feeder right now, almost done with that. I’ll upload a pic when I’m done without the Cardinal. That might be enough detail by itself.

Don’t birds generally hibernate in the winter? Could be a bit of a problem.

Don’t worry, these are hardy birds that winter in my home state, I see them every morning at the bird feeder :wink:
Thanks for thinking of that though!

Here is my latest progress, I have added the Chickadees, and a bird feeder. All rendered in Blender except the falling snow and the background. Minor post pro done externally.

The main thing I think is wrong is the birds all have a very similar posture, Do you all think I should add some variation?

Some variation would be good. The two birds on the right look identical. I think you should hide the bird house more though. I would just put more layers of snow infront of it though. not move it more out of the image. It’s really fighting for focus but the focus belongs to the pine cones.

Is your light coloured at all?

I see what you mean about the bird feeder. The light is colored like it would be during a snowstorm, kind of an ambient gray-blue.

Thanks for the feedback!

awesome! you kept the colorcheme while adding more interesting stuff :wink:

about changing the name - i dont think it should be “spring is coming”, i think it should be “winter is coming!”. the birds are in a blizzard! i would call it spring is coming if the snow was ending.
although, i can see that that doesnt really fit for the time of year, but whatever! :smiley:

Thanks for checking back! Glad to see people are interested! I agree that Spring Is Coming is a little bit of an odd name for a snowstorm image . . . I’ll have to rethink that one :wink:

how about just “blizzard”?

or “snow birds”?

if you need more lemme know! :slight_smile:
“frozen feathers”, “frozen fluff”?

actually, you know what i could right a script to combine words! i will be back tomorrow :wink:

this is the most fun thing ive done in a while! here is a long list of combinations:

Here is my latest image, I am considering it done unless any of you people have any more excellent suggestions for me. Thank you all so much! I can see the difference in the two images for sure!