View Full Version : Shack in scandinavian landscape

12 December 2011, 09:18 AM

I would like to get some more input on this picture, as it seems to have some flaws. I wanted to create a shot of a shack in a scandinavian inspired landscape, evening mood.
All models, also plants and textures have been selfmade. I used Mograph and Surfacespread to scatter the plants onto the terrain. Scene was put together in Cinema4D and rendered with Vray for Cinema4D.
Actually I considered this picture as done, but now I will continue working on it ;-)
I plan to:
- work on the rock on the right (add some tangle seawwd stuff and make a clearer line between wet and dry)
- add some "dirt" to the water

The person on the left is a billboard, carving boy, sitting there for personal reason and I wonīt remove ;-)

thanks for your time!

and a bigger version:

12 December 2011, 04:29 PM
I added some floating dirt to the water surface, both via shader and geometry. I also reduced the height of the waves, closer to a mirror like evening water surface.
Added some tangleweed to the rocks, but I am not happy with the change of the rocksurface.
Added some props to the carving boy.

12 December 2011, 05:01 PM
I like the image what you have so far.
I have two critiques:
Firstly I am expecting more contrast in the lighting at this time of day. You have too much ambient illumination and as a result shadows are too bright. The sky should receive a little color towards the sun and be just a little darker towards the trees.
The second is about the composition. I think it will look better if you include more water and less sky. You have a very low point of view and it is more natural to have more water in the frame. And the empty sky doesn't contribute that much to the image anyway.

12 December 2011, 08:52 PM
I added some space on top and bottom some versions ago (which was later cropped in Photoshop), so instead centering the crop I moved the crop area to the lower part - so now its a bit more water and less sky.
I also reduced the ambient gi to get more contrast.

12 December 2011, 03:22 AM
I think your image could use some DOF. My eyes are having difficulty figuring out what your focal point is.

12 December 2011, 08:19 AM
okay, probably I try to increase DOF a bit and probably I will put the focus not on the shack in the back in this shot. Itīs probably not good to put the shack that far to the back and hide it behind the reed and on the other hand put the focus plane of the camera on this hut.

I planned several shots, one of them you can see below. And those will put the shack in focus

12 December 2011, 09:41 AM
I think your first shot looks better now. Try to lower the frame even more - so that the upper edge is close to the birds and see if you like it.

12 December 2011, 06:25 PM
I changed the focus plane towards the pier now and also lowered the camera. Now I probably will have to move some of the objects, for example I donīt like how the tree "meets" the boy on the pier.
Perhaps I will try a 50/50 split instead of 33/66.
From that angle the wavelets look a bit strange towards the boat.

12 December 2011, 11:19 PM
this is a test to see, if the 50%50 split works or not. I am not convinced yet.

did no color correction and the like on that one, so please donīt care about that

12 December 2011, 07:03 AM
There's one problem I see that's kind of ruining the image. You have a large portion used up by the reflection in the water, yet the reflection isn't inherently interesting--it's just a flat reflection of the scene--nothing else. What if we can see some interesting ripples, creating exciting highlights that reflects the sunlight? What if there's actually something interesting on the water? Ducks? Someone in a boat? How about the tip of pier and a little boy sitting at the edge with his dog?

12 December 2011, 08:42 AM
yes, with the lower perspectives I have to move and probably add some objects, to lead the eyes over the watersurface towards the pier.
I created a trail of old leaves and particles on the water surface, but because of the DOF you canīt see it anymore.
For sure I will put the pier more to the right, I like the versions before better. About the dog - its already there ;-) I am just hiding it in the back. thought it might be to much.

About water - on the last version I wanted to create one of those mirror pictures, like you sometimes can see in landscape photography. But I think this does not work so well on that subject here.

Iīll be back ;-)

12 December 2011, 10:02 AM
just some small changes on the floating dirt, made some parts bigger and for now turned of the DOF

12 December 2011, 10:32 AM
added some more rocks to the foreground and turned DOF on again. Now I hope the dirt is still recognizable, when the reed is back and reflected in the water.

12 December 2011, 09:01 PM
testrender with the new rocks in place, I also added another tree to the background.

01 January 2012, 11:10 AM
When you add something into a composition, it should ideally serve a purpose besides taking up space. What's interesting about that piece of rock? How can you make it more interesting? Should you have plants growing on it? Should something else be on it? A child's toy left out? An animal?

01 January 2012, 11:14 AM
I am actually working on two variations right now and have to see which one works better - one is with a bird, the other is with a child. In both cases they would investigate a jellyfish or a dead, leftover fish. But it might take some days, until theres something new to show.

01 January 2012, 10:08 PM

thats the jelly fish take, but it seems that this picture still does not meet the standards, as it has been rejected. I guess i wonīt take another jump.

01 January 2012, 10:08 PM
bigger version:

01 January 2012, 02:39 AM
Please don't be discouraged by the rejection. Rather seeing it as us kicking you up the ass to improve your work. I know it sucks to be rejected, but rejection is something that all artists need to learn to take in their stride.

Personally, I think your image is 75% of the way there. You've got all the elements, but you need to reconsider your presentation of them as a piece of art.

One of the biggest issues is focus. Yes, you've made a pretty scene, but what exactly are you trying to say with it? I think you should experiment with some different camera angles for a start, because I don't think this one is really doing the trick. The low angle of this isn't really doing justice to the scene at all, in my opinion - usually a low angle like this would be used to highlight a so-called "big sky", but that's not the case here. Instead, it's putting uninteresting elements right in front of the viewer and destroying the focus of the image.

I was replying to another WIP thread earlier with the same comment I'm going to post now - your camera is a tool, not just a window to render through. When working on scenes like this, it's essential to think like a photographer. Study some National Geographic landscapes or landscape shots over on or to see how ordinary landscapes can be photographed in stunning ways, and take your cue from there. You could do so much more with this scene than you're currently doing.

Changing the camera angle would also allow more focus on the boy on the pier, as he is currently almost impossible to actually see.

Remember, as CG artists we have one big advantage that photographers do not - we can re-arrange a scene as we see fit. However, a skilled photographer doesn't let that get in the way of great photos, and that's something that CG artists could learn a lot from too. But if all else fails, we can re-consider the placement of elements in our scenes to improve composition. Do a bit of reading on compositional rules like the rule of thirds, and try to apply that type of thinking to your camera placement. Positioning the main elements of your scene according to a compositional rule can greatly improve the impact of your images.

Perhaps I am being a bit of a pedant, but the building doesn't look Scandinavian. I've travelled extensively through Sweden, Norway and Denmark (Scandinavia is actually my favourite part of the world) and one of the one defining characteristics of Scandinavian cottages is their red and white colour schemes, which are really quaint and lovely, and more importantly - very typically Scandinavian. I'd also say that your choice of trees is not really selling the Scandinavian feel either. While you do get trees like these there, a more Scandi feeling would be created by using the types of trees typically found in the region's beautiful boreal forests, like pines and spruce. But the tree issue is being a bit nitpicky; however, I'd definitely suggest painting up the shack in red and white to sell the Scandinavian idea here, like here:

I think your lighting is okay but not really very exciting. However, a different camera position would possibly compensate for the relatively generic lighting, so that may not be an issue. Having said that, if you're going for an evening scene, as you mentioned somewhere, then the position of your light and the colour of it are slightly incorrect. This article covers lighting for different times of the day:

Maybe throw a moose in there somewhere too :-)

Please don't give up on this one. I'm one of the people who votes on gallery submissions (along with Lunatique and a few others), so please realise that we are here to help you make kickass artwork, not put you down or discourage you from your art.

01 January 2012, 09:17 AM
I am not discouraged. I already got some nice hints and i used them to improve the picture. But with the last step I did I noticed, that for my taste I am starting to "leave the trail". And I fear when I now continue fiddling around it wonīt bring me any further.
Donīt taking a jump on this shot does not mean that I give up. I mentioned earlier, that I am also working on other angles and light situations. So I drop this particular camera angle, because I donīt want the focus to be on the sky and this would be more typical for this camera position, just as you point out. Perhaps later on I will retry with a different sky, but not now.

So next time I come back to this thread I will come with a different pov and take ;-)

01 January 2012, 09:53 AM
The image in post 14 was the best, I think. At that stage you had a beautiful landscape.
The seagull is unnecessary and really divides the focal point of the image, the same goes for the jellyfishes. I believe there is one on the nearest rock too, which only distracts.
A little bit algae/moss on the rocks near the water will improve the contact between both.
I as a photographer would make anything to get rid of the sun flare on the right.
And don't forget you don't have to and can not please everybody.

01 January 2012, 10:39 AM
thats what I thought too, the seagull was the point for me where I passed the peak and went downhill ;-)

01 January 2012, 05:00 AM
I live in Scandinavia and where I come from is the source of the red color used for hundreds of years. It is a "trademark" of Dalarna in the midle of Sweden. So itīs actualy a rather local phenomena. If you would combine the "falu red" with some birch trees, at least I would feel at home :)

You could allso search the webb for "härbre or harbre". It is a kind of "building" common in the area of Dalarna.

About the renders Iīm not the one to comment. Not right now anyway :)

Keep it up and good luck!

CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2012, 05:00 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.