WIP Un chateau dans la guarrigue - Improving my render

Hi there !

Here is my first big work on blender, The purpose is to rebuild a ruin of a castle according to historical and archéological elements.

The render is not so bad, but, I don’t know, somethings looks wrong, flat, " unbelievable… espacially on the rock parts of the castle, What do you think of it ?
I didn’t use dispacement, just normal maps effects.
All the textures have been scanned on the original walls, they are around 6 and 8k
. Maybe it just miss some " human appropriation " things, like flags, objects, … Or displacement, IDK,

I’m looking for tips :slight_smile:
I’m on B2.79b and cycle

Here are the views
https://ibb.co/3YRQLYJ https://ibb.co/8btJgrP https://ibb.co/bRkz6yJ https://ibb.co/4ZHF87t

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The textures should be darker and have the shadows and dirt/stains more pronounced. Also the vegetation is a bit too dark and it seems to have another light source. I think you can fix this even in photoshop. … I wanted to test this :slight_smile:

Hi bestelix and thanks !

It just miss flags, ivy and a wall to be totally finished.
So IYO it just a question of light ? I’m ok with the trees light, except the few on the right, those on left have a light problem, don’t know why,
My only light source is Pro light skies.

I’ll will try this but on blender, i want to do a video and 3D for sketchfab so 99.9% of work must be done on blender :wink:

Thanks again !

Than maybe you can try the Color Management options. Filmic or differnt gamma & exposure may solve the problem.

Hi ppl !

I tried to add some displacement to my wall on the corner.
What do you think of it, did it improve the render ?

Thanks :wink:

Something about the first image seems off a bit. At a first glance my brain told me is was a fairly small structure, rather than a large an imposing one. The background trees are partly responsible. They are taller than the structure. The windows are adding to the scale problem too. They dwarf the gateway in size and glazed windows didn’t become common until much later than the design of the rest of the building suggests. Those large glass panels seem huge as well. Why would the castle builder bother with all the common fortification features (walls sloped and thicker at base, crenelations, machicolations over the gateway, towers, etc, when all a besieger would have to do is launch projectiles through the huge glass windows? “Windows” in castles were usually very small and unglazed.

The other images look great and don’t suffer from the issues above.

Hi John,
I really appreciate your feedback !

A little bit of history :
This is the " monastère-chateau de Thouzon " https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Château_de_Thouzon ( no english translation, sorry ) At first, this was a monastery, without any wall, defense, or any military construction, this was in XI century. Later, a bishop decided to transform the monastery and add a part ( the one with the big windows ). Few century later Raymond de Turenne transform the " monastère de Thouzon " en " Chateau de Thouzon " by militarizing the construction…
This is why it didn’t look like a castle and didn’t look like a monastery too !
And this is why the machicolations haven’t the same stones, and look very strange, there is two centuries between the wall and the windows, and two between windows and machicoliations.
You’re right about the background trees, some are too big, and maybe the windows are too tall, but the width is good based on archeological researchs

Really thanks ! I’ll modifying it tomorow and reup :wink:
( sorry for my english )

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Ah… interesting stuff. That was true of many old buildings - added to and changed over the years. My town, Paisley, has an old Abbey first build in 1163, but modified, repaired and changed over the centuries. It’s the one where, during restoration work in the 90s, someone decided to add an Alien gargoyle/grotesque which wasn’t noticed for years :slight_smile:

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I don’t know if you want to keep it as low-poly as possible, but otherwise i would try to bevel/round out all edges. In your first image, the one thing that makes it feel flat for me is the fact that all edges feel 100% sharp. A castle like this definitely has NO sharp edges at all :wink:

Displacement will help here a lot. Also, I feel like there is only one, direct bounce of light. What are your bounce settings?
What shaders are you using? Principled, or simple diffuse maps?
I also feel that your materials have wrong roughness. I can try some things if you’ll share .blend file and share with you my conclusions.

Hi svdv.3d !
When you said the first pictures, is the one of the first post ? In this case, yes, it is sharp and flat. As you said, I was looking for a low-poly model, but it can’t be low-poly and realistic so on my yesterday post, I add subdivision and displace on the left wall to test, and the result look much better so …

@Acrivec
Where can I find bounces settings ?
My roughness is between 0.7 and 0.85 on walls depends of the real roughness that I can see on ruins of the monastery.
Hmm, I can send you .blend but all the materials ??? And i’m using classics shaders, ( diff, glossy, … ) no principied ones.
But, and it was why I posted in first time, there is something wrong with light/materials, but i don’t know why. It’s ok with the light on background and ground, I mean, the way it act, but not with the exteriors walls.
I can’t say what, not enough experience in 3D.
All the interior textures are procedurals, all stone are scanned on the ruins.
And I’m using pro light skies

@JohnMalcolm1970
Wow, I’ve ever see this gargoyle, pretty cool haha !
Ever design it in 3d ?

Thanks everyone

You can send me a private message with .blend with packed up textures - I won’t show it to anyone else nor use it anywhere. It’s just much, much easier to tell what’s wrong if you have the project in front of you.
Roughness differs on materials - that’s why we have roughness maps. Even a stone that seems to be rough is not constantly rough - some parts can be a bit shiny, whereas some are completely rough. It’s quite important.

/edit:
For example a free texture from Poliigon:


Look at it’s roughness map. It’s not plain and constant.

@Acrivec
Sorry but I can’t sent you that, not because of privacy but my .zip will be too big for my country connection ( something like 2-3go, it’ll take a day ) …
I didn’t used roughmap, just roughness from diffuse shader so it’s very generic. Materialize don’t give this map …

Maybe I could try with a principied shader to see the differences.
Can you tell me more about bounces settings ?

Yeah you’re right, it looks a little better in your later renders, sorry for missing that!
Not sure what your settings are but maybe even try to displace it a little more. In your later render (1.jpg) the bottom left wall/corner looks good, the ‘battlements’ (had to google what they are called) still feel a little square.
You’re definitely on the right track!

So I applied all your comments,
Improving displacement, changing size of windows and trees, …
But Idk, if the ground and vegetation ( without some little bugs like transparency and wrong normals ) convince me, all the construction don’t look good. It’s like … Idk how to describe, unrealistic. Maybe by adding some details like flags, ivy, burned wood or missing stone can improve this bad feeling.

I’m like " I have to take it back from the very steps " but it tooks me too many hours, haha !

It might be worth trying to do a couple of test renders in different light situations. Maybe some more overcast light rather than one with such sharp shadows?

Okay, send it without textures (but with materials).
You are using diffuse only, which is mainly the reason why it looks bad. Use principled instead, it will apply fresnel correctly.
Also, I would make stone a bit darker to be more realistic. Although a freshly restored castles do look kid of off, like this one.
Vegetation looks unrealistic because it has no transcluency, no gloss. It’s just like it’s plastic. Principled shader should be used here as well.
Also you should increase amount of grass.

Light bounces are in render tab. Set them all to 16. It shouldn’t affect your render times very much as of it’s an open scene. Over 4 is overkill for most people, but it should make corners a bit better.
Have you applied bevel modifier like previous people said? There are no sharp corners in real world. Even if it’s a 1-3 milimeters bevel - it still is.

@Acrivec
I’ll prepare it this week :wink:

I tried a real render ( I mean not just Shift+Z ) with 16 as light bounces
The light is pretty better ! It’s less " Lego " Castle

To be honest, i’m not looking for a perfect result, it’s my first work.
My goal is to reach something like this work : Reconstruction of castle in Slovakia

Good day !

Maybe U can use lighting tricks like volumetric to get an atmospheric sensation, or sun beams. Third pic looks fantastic!!! Loved it.
Great textures, but they look so white.

Hey There !

@Alexander_Cidbal
Thanks !
Yes, some lighting tricks could probably improve that, I’ve to try :wink:

Here is some stuff,
As everyone told me that my textures looks white, it’s because the stone is really clear, it’s limestone very white one, looking like chalk, the name in french is calcaire urgonien
I admit my settings could improve this white effect but it is naturally.

As you asked me @Acrivec I tried with a principled BSDF, diffuse+roughness(map)+normal (normal) the result is … even brighter haha it’s the a.jpg
On the b.jpg pic, its a classical diff, but I changed the normal map, it looks really better, I just have to modify the pattern between the windows

c.jpg is a part of the windowed wall material cropped at 100%