Old West Environment - WIP

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Old 10 October 2012   #46
First pass at comp for the sunset. I need some critique here. This is the first time I have comped in photoshop. Now that I have this, I am waffling a bit on the sunset. I think I would have a better looking image with brighter sun.

Edit: Just realized/remembered I did not render or comp a AO pass yet.

Last edited by JasperCG : 10 October 2012 at 07:29 PM.
Old 10 October 2012   #47
Hey man,

The sunset could look cool, but It might help to have a bit of deep red or orange light hitting the edges of things. Maybe angle your sun so the fronts of your buildings and the edges of the rocks and saguaros get a bit of sunlight.

On another note, do you plan on adding any people to the scene?

Old 10 October 2012   #48
The sunset version is very dramatic, but would need more details throughout the scene to help convey the time of day/darkness. Window lights and light/shadow spill from the saloon doors would be a start. The contrast between the lit side and the shadow side is a little too subtle right now, but the ao and/or a keylight tweak might help that along.

There's still something about that space behind the wagon on the right that bothers me. Can you add some barrels (so we see only the tops) and mess up that fence a little bit? It's a little too regular in the board shapes and even-toned in color and value. Right now it's creating a lot of contrast (not a good thing there) with the dark fence behind it.

If you're saving your renders out as TGAs, be sure to set pre-multiplied alpha to "on" so you get rid of the halo edge on the buildings. I also tend to render against a 50% or 60% gray bg to minimize any aa artifacts.

Overall I like it and think it's coming together great. And why not just do another mid-day render as a separate image?

Old 10 October 2012   #49
Thanks guys.

I wasn't planning on adding people. I don't have any modeled of the period. I am not sure if I could find stock people (alpha images) that are western themed. Will have to look around. Not sure if I need it.

There is a pile of wood on the ground by the wagon in foreground, but now that the wagon is there, it cannot be seen. The fence is really messed up, but I can exaggerate it more.

I was using EXR for the renders and still got halos. used a Alpha to get rid of them, but think I need a black background. It was on my list of things to do....

Artbot - will definitely be doing a mid-day shot too.
Old 10 October 2012   #50
Here is an updated scene. Adjusted the light as per suggested. Added a few objects in foreground and messed up fence more.

This shot is without any post work.

I have not added interior lighting yet.

Last edited by JasperCG : 10 October 2012 at 05:21 PM.
Old 10 October 2012   #51
I like the atmosphere (which I realize is some postwork that you havent done to the latest image) of the previous post. I think your latest image went too harsh with the light and shadows. Judging by the sky, there should be a lot of bounce and the shadows should not be nearly that dark. That being said, I think the image before is a bit too washed out with not enough contrast. If you could take the previous image, add a bit of contrast and then a touch of sunlight hitting the edges of the buildings, I think you would be on to something!

Beyond that, everything is looking good but I do feel that the image lacks a focus point. If you had one lonely cowboy or guy on a horse in the center of the 'street' casting a long shadow or something to focus the views attention, I think that would be a tremendous help. I realize you hadn't planned on modeling a character but as its mostly going to be a silhouette, you can get away with almost no detail. Also, a few interior lights (as you plan to do) will add a lot of interest to the scene.

Its looking good! Great work!
WIP 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Old 10 October 2012   #52
I need some help... I am trying to add lights into the scene and it is looking terrible.

To get the lights to even show up, I am having to crank them up in brightness. The exposure control that helps the sun look correct is fighting the lighting of the interior lights.

It is not giving me the light from within look, but more showing that the interior is a big empty room. I want the shadowy look.

any suggestions on how to get the look we have been talking about? Would I need to comp it?
Old 10 October 2012   #53
the closest I have gotten with the lit windows is this.... to me it doesn't look right, but I am not sure how to get the effect. Most of the references I have found are much darker (blue)
and later into the sunset.

I also adjusted the lighting a bit more here. Moved the horse up too.

I used a box with self illumination and a gradient ramp to create the interior. Tried Lights... that looked worse than this.

Last edited by JasperCG : 10 October 2012 at 08:44 PM.
Old 10 October 2012   #54
Hey man,

Do you know anything about linear work flow?

It also might be a good idea to start splitting things up into passes, with the interior lights and GI/FG being separate from the sun light.

Are you using 3DS Max? V-Ray? MR?

Old 10 October 2012   #55
the window light doesnt look all that bad. I would make a dirt map around the edges of each plane of glass so its dirtier and less reflective/refractive on the outer edges...this should help give a more realistic gritty look
WIP 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Old 10 October 2012   #56
I do know the linear workflow - but I have only applied it to objects. - Car in a simple scene. that kind of stuff. That is why I have been rendering to open exr as well.

I was hoping not to have to pull out each windows (Material ID or object ID), but it looks like I may need to.

One of the things that complicates the interior light, is that I don't want to show the inside of the saloon. I also have curtains on the second floor that will cause issues as well.

Yeah, I noticed the very clean windows as well

I am using Max and mental ray.

With all that said, I am open to instruction - I am a strong believer in being open to learning.
Old 10 October 2012   #57
Hey man,

You can render to 16 or 32 bit tiffs as well. Tiffs can carry information about the exposure settings, so they will look correct when you open them up in PS or Nuke or AE. This helps sometimes with the problems of EXRs looking all pasty when you import them. Its not that big a deal, but It sometimes makes things easier.

You could create one pass that has the interior lights hidden but the sun on, and another with the sun hidden and the interior lights on. You just use the sun pass as your base, and then use an add mode to layer in the interior light pass on top.

Try splitting your sun pass into a diffuse and photon layers. It would enable you to balance the levels between the two. You might need to include a reflection, refraction, and specular passes as well.

I like the idea of the lonely cowboy riding into town at sunset. It might help to add some people. Looks like a ghost town right now.


Last edited by AJ1 : 10 October 2012 at 09:58 PM.
Old 10 October 2012   #58
question about the interior lights... How do the upper floor lights look in the image above? If I dirty up the windows.. and then composite them as stated... would that look ok?

I think I may need to get a basic bar and some table and chairs to hint at things inside the saloon. and then light it.

>> May not get back to this till Monday, but will continue to check here for ideas.

Old 10 October 2012   #59
I think the interior lights should be more subtle and saturated. Also, look at some pics of old west saloon interiors. In the bar areas, they are usually lighted by chandeliers from overhead, and maybe a wall sconce or two. Upstairs is more likely to be lighted by wall sconces and table top lamps. Remember, too, that the bar area is likely to be smokey, so you really don't need to do much of an interior for that area. As already stated, the glass should be dirty and have an imperfect surface.

I'd also cheat your keylight a little up so the steeple shadow doesn't take your eye off the page.

I'm loving this sunset image, though. Keep up the nice work!

Old 10 October 2012   #60
I've been sick the last 2 days, but have been thinking about this window thing. I think I have it.

This is a render with just the window illumination for the second floor. I will comp this into the other scene. The first floor is still causing some grief but I am getting there. I think some curtains or wooden slats over the bottom half should work well.

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