View Full Version : Environment: Boathouse

06 June 2003, 09:11 AM
I posted in the WIP section this morning before this fourm was open. I already got some good critique over there.
I am hoping to get some hard critique here, all the comments on the other images have been awesome, so far.

So here I go with mine.

I am using 3dsmax and Vray
Here is a Wire (
If anyone is interested here is my progress page (

06 June 2003, 09:17 AM
couple things:

first one that gets me is the far hills, they just dont seem big at all, as if miniture hills ;-). i dont know howto fix this though, maybe a tree(s) or something, sorry no advice otherwise.

and the second is the boat:
1) i wouldnt mind seeing some rotting wood, ie: darken and green it up a bit (thats just me)
2) theres no visibility of the boat underneath the water. i would assume there would be but im not quite sure of that.

HTH - pretty vague critique, im sorry.

it does look good though, i like it :-)

06 June 2003, 10:25 AM
Generally it has a nice look, but I think your fur shader on the grass and on the roof is too rough edged, and is giving the piece a very "CG" feel. An easy way to fix this might be to render in layers, and soften the fur in photoshop before compositing with background.

(It's just the parts where it's in front of the sky that look off)

I think if I were to be extremely critical, I would say that while the GI has helped you out quite a bit, I think there is still much to do on lighting. The whole piece could use just a touch more contrast, and perhaps a bit more colour difference between the light and shadow areas. I would also add just a touch more sense of some reflected light off the dock onto the walls of the shed. Some causics (faked or otherwise) under the dock, and on the hull of the boat would go a long way as well.

Keep it up, you're well on the way to making a really great peice...

06 June 2003, 10:31 AM
Don't know if this would change much, but I would like to see some more space above the house.

Otherwise, maybe a little bit more irregularities should make it look even better. The shapes is bit too linear for my taste.

Try using some sort of deformer on the ladder for example, a lattice maybe, and see if it works. Otherwise, forget what I said. I'm not an expert :)

06 June 2003, 10:45 AM
what I would like to see is some more stability under the house, the house looks very solid and heavy, so the base needs to have more beams and maybe some crossover beams

06 June 2003, 12:31 PM
the water looks murky, but not dark enough... also if its THAT muddy it should leave slime on things, and also a large body of water that big is NEVER flat as the wind will cuase it to move alone. also something that popped out was the grass sticking out at the bottom right of the image. It sticks out of the water and is obvious becuase it looks like a radial array. Nothign really seems to have been affected by weather in this image :S

06 June 2003, 12:32 PM
Pebbles on the near shore line would also help, instead of just relying on the texture. Even if it's not solid rocks, it would give that area some more depth.

06 June 2003, 12:35 PM
you got a really nice piece goin...great atmosphere to it which i like

the only thing that bothers me about it is the boat....well, the boat and the house...

i am torn trying to decide what to look at... the house is the predominate stucture commanding the most space and weight but it is washed out...then there is the small sliver of a boat which is stonger in hue and value than anything else in the intrigle part of the story here, true , but is it the main object of focus?

soooo, i like the piece, however i'm not sure what i an supposed to be looking at

06 June 2003, 12:46 PM
Why don't you try placing the fog on the foreground where the boulders are to soften that area a bit, as in the morning and take away the fog in the background which will show the hills with more contrast, maybe add more detail there and some dof. I will have a trap door underneath the house to get access to my boat more easily...
But that's just me.

06 June 2003, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by mage111 2) theres no visibility of the boat underneath the water. i would assume there would be but im not quite sure of that.
I guess it's OK to critique the critique as well, so...

At this angle, it is highly unlikely that any part of the boat would be visible under the waterline. So - don't change that...

06 June 2003, 03:12 PM
Nice Work and i am a beginner but i would say some things in this very nice image could make it more realistic.

The color of the Water could be more to Green or more to blue but like this, it seems a bit unrealistic. Ive never seen a see in that color.

You used a bit fog, thats nice but the hills behind the scene are too saturated. You can see that the hills are not far. I would desaturate it or grow the distance so the fog does his work. If you see in nature, hills far a way are more bluegrey (depends on lighting of course) but you cannot see the green on that. But hey very cool pic.



Dave Black
06 June 2003, 03:28 PM
When first looking at the image, my eye is first drawn to the house, then down the ladder, then to the boat, across the to the pier, and then down to the hill on the lower right. I feel as though then the boat and house fight for dominance.

I think there are a few things that jump out at me. First, I'm going to assume this scene is at low tide. It does not appear to be the right motif for a lake, as the house has the look of a sea weathered fisherman's hut. The lines(ropes) around the pilons are also indicative, at least visually, of the sea.

It being low tide(again, presuming), the pilons should be wet and scum stained up to the high-water mark.

Like in this image I found on the 'net:

I also feel as though the fog effect falls short in a way. If we are looking at a lake or river, one would expect to see the fog lay more heavily at the water line. If it's a sea shot, then it seems too thin in the background. But that's a personal opinion.

The last issue I have, is that the stones and landmass in the forground are too cleanly embedded in the water. You need to add either more debris, bubbles, foam, or some surface tension around these objects to better tie them to the water. Right now, they really have that cg look of objects clipping into a noisy plane.


06 June 2003, 05:23 PM
The first thing that strikes me about this piece is the lighting. It's good, but it seems a little flat. Too uniform. It needs a little more contrast in the shading, and perhaps a highlight in a few places. Also, the fog is too uniform. I live in the mountains of North Carolina, and the mist that creeps up from the ground on foggy morning isn't even like that. Fog is a great way of adding interest in a scene, and also hiding certain details from the viewer. But the way that you have it, it washes out the entire image to where you do not have any key points of interest. Hope this helped.


06 June 2003, 07:05 AM
WOW, First let me thank you all for the comments, they have helped alot.

mage111 - Something does need to be added in the background, maybe the color adjustment like some have recommended.
I am hoping to get to the rotting wood also

Dargon- I am rendering out my layers as I type to hopefully soften the edges (good tip)
I agree with the more contrast.
I was going to put caustics under the dock, but on the boat i didnt think of thanks.

m.h- Now that I look at the ladder some tweaks would be good

Hexodam- Excellent catch, I had originally planned on doing that but though it would be to much, I agree with you so i will add them.

BiTMAP - The water is actaully not flat, it is animated thats what is creating the distortion.
I was going for an early morning feel where the water is fairly calm.
I think slime on the rocks will really help thanks

skywisenight - Will take note thanks

pigwater -Do you think taking the some saturation out of the boat will help? Any suggestions?

maxmare -I want to put an overall fog on right above the water surface, which I think will extend in the foreground

JamesMK- I think so to

Esim- I wanted to be able to see the hills back there but, maybe a little extra will help, I will try it and see how it looks.

3DZealot- Any suggestions on the adjusting the loactions of objects, someone else mentioned that also.
You are right about it being on the sea.
I started working on the high water amrks, but have not perfected it yet. Thanks for the reference pic, mine were not as good as that one.
The harsh edge around the foreground elements where the water is bugged me also, I am trying to work on that, not much expiernce in that area. i will have to do some tests.

ZeroNeuro- I am hoping fog on the water surface will help break up the uniformity

I will post an update when I get the fixes done.

06 June 2003, 07:32 AM
OK -- list of things in no particular order:

1. Distance -- in real life darker in the forground and lighter in the background

2. Distance -- use depth of field with long focus from foreground to front of house.

3. Camera -- what lens are you useing? Whatever it is (if it's not orthographic) is way to long. Always use a lens that a real, professional, photographer or cinematographer would have used... this is a dificult shot due to the extreem depth of field.

4. Atmospherics -- the house and hills are too soft for the bright sky. Decide what the environment is and stick to it! FOr better overall mood I would suggest you try an overcast sky or a bright sunny day. As it is it's indecisive.

5. Water ripples -- there fake. You should have ripple sources with inverse square amplitude falloff from *all* of the objects in the water.

6. Texture -- Foreground rocks and grass are way to fake. THere needs to be more natural varyation.

7. Texture -- the forground rocks and ground need to be darkend to wet them at the waters edge -- use an additional UV map for this that is oriented to the sorface of the water.

8. Geometry -- the house geometry is too clean and the protruding joists are unbelievably large, neat and impractical.

9. Geometry scale -- the grass on the house roof appears to be to large in scale and too even -- if it's even half alive it needs some green tint to it.

10. Reflection. Use fresnell falloff -- you should *always* do this except for highly mirrored surfaces. Ifnyour case the high viewing angle in the foreground means that you should see more of the rocks underwater wherass in the distance the water should be almost all tinted reflection.

11. Geometry & believability -- the ladder is way to neat and regular and the arched door in the shed is not consistent with this strcture.

12. Geometry - believability. THe poles are all sawn at an angle -- why? ... if they were then the makers would have aligned them all the same way relative to the landing.

13. Belevability -- rope would not be used on the poles -- it rots too fast -- tounge and grouve type construction would be used - the poles should be inset just in the landing.

14. Believability -- there would not have been a masonry chimney on a strcture on a peir -- it would be too heavy ... you could have a metal flue for a free standing pot belly heater.

15. Error -- the underside of the landing should reveal strcture and shading -- it's flat.

UH -- that'll do for now. I think you get the idea -- great start by the way :)

06 June 2003, 07:46 AM
WOW, now there are a list of comments.

Tore me up good on that one, hey but that it what this forum is for, they are all excellent comments.
Thats what I need to improve though.
Thanks Mark. :)
And everyone else

I better stop typing and get to work now

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