Warmth and Comfort

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  11 November 2003
Warmth and Comfort

"Welcome to the Tea Cozy. A little place to rest and kick your heels up along your travels from here to there. The fire is always crackling and the tea freshly brewed." ~Visan Bechal, Tea Cozy Owner

Here's my ode to the teapot primitive - a sanctuary for a wonderful lil' gnome and all those who wander by. I wanted to convey a sense of coziness in the cottage by the steam coming from the spout and warm glow from the windows. It may not look that cold now, but I hoped that by adding in the blues and purples in the sky it would imply a storm might be coming along - giving more of an excuse to visit the Tea Cozy. Please let me know if I was successful in conveying these feelings.

Also, I'm not sure if there is a good sense of depth in this environment. What can I do to push it more?

I hope this scene fits within the parameters of the Evocative Forum...it's also my first post in CG Talk! (Is the picture too big?)

Created in 3D Studio Max 5.0 with 72,140 polys. Textures in Photoshop 7.0. I custom painted textures and also photo manipulated some of my own photographs. There are a couple of standard Max textures, too (rock and stone). BTW, how do you capture a good wireframe (of print quality)?

Thanks for letting me share!
  11 November 2003
Nice! The coziness is coming through clearly. What I'm not getting though is the sense of the approaching storm. I think the sky needs to be even darker in the distance, and with all the trees in the way I didn't notice the dark clouds at all until you pointed them out.

If you wanted the inside to look even warmer, try orange lights instead of yellow. Right now the inside color isn't any different from the sunlight, so the inside of the building isn't any more inviting than the garden.

As for depth, try rendering with a camera that uses focal length and f stop so that the closest parts of the foreground and the furthest background are blurred. That'll also help put more focus on the teapot.
  11 November 2003
This image is very fairy tale like. It's a very warm composition but the darkened sky in the background sends mixed signals. Cracking the door open a little bit would also make the house more inviting.

To get a good wireframe I would take a screen shot of the scene in the viewport. I'm familiar with Maya so I hope this translates to Max. In Maya I would turn on shaded mode and hit an option called "wireframe on shaded" in the pane. Wires show up as blue by default if unselected, so I take my screen grab into photoshop and channel out everything but the blue.

Hope this helps.
  11 November 2003
Well here's what i convey from the image...when i first looked at it i thought everything was supposed to be warm and cozy, but then i thought to myself 'he needs to do something with that background, it looks more like a storm rather than a warm and cozy setting' and sure enough that was what you were trying to show, so good job.
  11 November 2003
In addition to what's been said previously, the smoke coming out of the teapot house needs some more self shadowing and show a bit more volume. It looks rather flat and out of place compartively to the rest of the composition.

Personally, in regards to the background sky, I would have gone more for a sunset with a deep orange and yellow sky just as the sun is tipping over the horizon on a spring day. But overall I think it's an excellent piece, great work.

  11 November 2003

The scene feels "Flat" in the sense of "sameness" between all of the elements (i.e. similar saturation of colors, similar sizes of elements) which I think zaps some of the punch that it could have. I am not getting a strong sense of depth. To help with this you might consider taking the saturation down and the lightness up on the more background elements, like the tree to the left and back just a bit. To me, the dark clouds are sending mixed signals as well, I agree with a warm sunset, for mood. Also agree with "warmer" lights from the cottage. I think that the overall "read" of the picture should clearly be "warm" and warm colors are better for this. Alternatively, if you go with the storm cloud idea try pushing it a lot more for instance consider including:

Dusk or evening shot to accentuate the "cold outside warm inside" idea

Play up the warm interior and maybe move the camera to a little closer position so that you can see inside of the teapot that is all aglow with a warm light radiating out into the darkness.

With a closer shot you might see bits of a kitchen scene through the windows which would add a "home cookin'" feel.

You could also add some small glowing path lights or something
  11 November 2003
I like this site. I'm actually getting real critiques instead of "Nice job" comments (which always feel good but leave you wanting more). You all made good points. Work on depth and chose what direction I want to go with the sky (and overall color). And if I pick the warm in and cold out, I have to make that more obvious. Got it.

Qwatkins, I like your suggestions and will work on adding some path lights to the scene. That combined with Psyop63b's ajar door idea would make it more welcoming.

Emmortal1, good catch on the smoke, I'll tweak those particles some more. I had some trouble compositing the scene together and lost some smoke volume when I put it togeter.

Pyraxis, I'll play with the f-stop in Max. I was trying to do blurs in Photoshop thinking it would be easier, but as you noticed it didn't go too well since I didn't use it in the scene above. Hehehe.

Seanic, I'm glad you got what I was trying to say even though it wasn't fairly obvious. Oh, and BTW, I'm a "she".

Thanks again, for the comments. I really appreciate it. I was coming to a point where I wasn't able to discern what the scene needed anymore. I'm glad I have renewed focus.
  01 January 2006
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