WIP. Need feedback/tips. First (humble) atempt at photorealism

Hi to all! I’m new not only to this forum but also to Blender too. Sorry for my quite poor English, because I not native speaker.
This simple still life is my very first, very humble attempt at photorealism. I’m noob to Blender and the scene is WIP, progressing as I learn. I don’t use the principled shader because when I started this scene I don’t knew it. Also, I use mostly procedural textures.

Here are some things that I need a help:

(I wanted to upload unlabeled version too, but as new user I can upload only one image)

  • Red circled: When I render(Cycles, GPU, Blender 2.79) Cycles apparently always leave 3 tiles “uncompleted”. I don’t know why - bug or simply I set something wrong.
  • Green arrows: Glass (I use simple Glass shader here) is unnatural dark in some places.
  • Blue arrows: Wood here looks like plastic. I have no idea how to make it more real life like.
  • I need some feedback about a proper way to light the scene. I have a fell that something is not right but I don’t know what.
  • I don’t know how to add details (like dirt, cracks or scratches) in a way that is both realistic and visible without zooming the image. Any tips?
  • Any general critique :slight_smile:

Red: Try rendering it using 2.8, thought I’ve never encountered such bug
Blue: Try adding a bump/displacement to the wood, also a roughness map would help
Green: You need to make the glass translucent, so it can let light pass through it. That should fix the “darkness”

Not gonna explain all of that here, you can find good tutorials on all of the mentioned things.

Composition-wise the image seems like a random mess. There doesn’t seem to be anything that would connect the objects together or tell a story in any way. “Why is there a lantern? Where is the place? Is it a kitchen?” I can’t really tell.
When you figure out what you really want the picture to tell/show, the lighting shouldn’t be that difficult as long as you follow some basic principles. If you don’t know where to start, try looking into 3-point lighting. Also some basics of composition. Maybe add a depth-of-field to the camera.

Thanks for reply. This was feedback that was needed by me. :slight_smile:


Nice start - the modelling seems on point!
Composition wise I agree with domosk - you have just placed objects evenly around your scene - have a look at various composition rules to play with that somwhat.
The lighting isn’t terrible - I like the gradient from left to right. The only thing that might make it ‘pop’ might be having the kerosene lamp lit and getting a gentle, orange glow from that source.

The glass issue - a couple of common problems that I have encountered - check that the object is ‘real scale’ and that you have ‘applied scale’. By ‘real scale’ sometimes we create models that are huge in 3D space and the glass shader correctly makes the very thick glass dark so make it a realistic size. ‘Apply scale’ by hitting ctrl A and choosing scale.
Because part of the glass looks OK and it is just the bottom ,it may be that your normals are flipped for that part - check the normals on your model in edit mode and hit shift N to reset them.

There are a lot of tutorials about dust, dirt and scratches etc. out there. Everyone’s go-to Andrew Price has some helpful procedural ones.

Looking forward to seeing how this turns out!