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The Gold Mountains
The Gold Mountains
Comments: 6

06.12.2023, 21:22

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5 Butterflies
5 Butterflies


5 Butterflies
Description: Lit with my usual outdoor lighting rig. This image is mostly an experiemnt with getting a more natural look from the complex and natural appearance of the Carrara trees.

Feedback is most appreciated. Thanks all for your time.
Added by: rashadcarter1
Keywords: rashadcarter1, bryce6, Carrara
Date: 08.20.2009 23:32
Hits: 6071
Downloads: 77
Rating: 4.67 (3 Vote(s))
File size: 725.6 KB
Previous image: The Lighthouse
Next image: Nuclear Dawn

Author: Comment:

Join Date: 10.22.2008
Comments: 390

great job Rashad.Love those pine trees
08.20.2009 23:53 Offline bullit35744

Join Date: 07.02.2005
Comments: 1010

Everything looks awesome. My only suggestion is to push up the saturation on the colors a bit, add green to the leaves, blue to the sky and make the flowers brighter. It would add 'life' to the whole image. ;-)
08.21.2009 01:24 Offline spektyr spektyr at

Join Date: 05.26.2004
Comments: 4720

No, spektyr is wrong. The saturation on the vegetation looks very real. More saturation might be more pleasing but it wouldn't be real.

Great job, indeed, Rashad. Beautifully rich vegetation. With all those plants, Bryce came certainly to the dreaded memory limit. The lighting is perfect, too.

My only qualms are with the sky. Though it is true that the sky is usually not determined by the amount of blue but rather by the amount of lack of green, your sky (not the sky light) is a bit much on the grey side. It might look that way near a large city, but in the country, it is bluer. As it is, it looks rather like the preamble of a storm comming up. Perhaps a cloud or two could break up this impression.
08.21.2009 19:42 Offline Horo h.-r.h.wernli at

Join Date: 10.21.2008
Comments: 113

Always love your vegetation images Rashad. Are all the trees Carrara ones? Also was wondering what sort of flowers you have in the front.
08.23.2009 06:08 Offline JoAJ

Join Date: 04.15.2004
Comments: 1092

Amazing nature "photograph"! I lack of words. Well deserved top vote! Strangely enough both Horo and Spektyr are right. Now how's that?! :) The image is almost a monochrome shot if we don't count the flowers (and wings of the butterflies). There's this HSV acronym which stands for Hue, Saturation and Value. Here the hue and saturation are "pinned to the wall" while only the Value (color brightness) has variation around the image. That's why it has this monochromatic look. And here I disagree that monochrome equals realism (it helps it sometimes, but it doesn't create realism). That's why Spektyr's right, colors in Nature do possess "lifelike" saturation, which makes us say "Oh!" and "Ah!" when looking at a beautiful forest or a mountain range.

That being said, nothing in mother Nature is too much, everything is balanced, colors included (if something isn't right, then it's because of human intervention). And Horo very well knows that, that's why he's right too.

I think that when adjusting the proper brightness, contrast and saturation for this image (maybe 5-to-15 for the sake of experiment for each value), Rashad, you should look mainly to the small part of the visible sky, until as Horo said - it gets more to the clean "pure" light blue, not greyish-blue. The rest of the image colors will adjust quite adequate.
08.24.2009 11:59 Offline richter richter at

Join Date: 06.04.2006
Comments: 2610

A grand round of thank yous is in order!!!! Thanks very much for all of the positive feedback, and even the debate.

JoAJ, the foreground flowers are made from Bryce trees. In the leaf assigment, I selected "bunched" which arranges the leaves in a way that makes me think of flower petals. Combine a normal tree with normal leaves with an additional tree that provides leaves bunched as flowers. Ensure that the stems colors on both trees are the same. Group them, place the trunks beneatht he terrain surface, and now you have a full flowering bush.

Spek, Horo, Richter, I am so glad we are having this debate on saturation. This is my personal favorite outdoor render of mine so far, as it is the first time I have reached the level of model complexity needed to let me know if my lighting rig is really working as intended, which it appears to be doing just fine. I did not use the upward light at all, I have learned that it can bake away the leaves when combined with the foliage transparency as it did in Whispers in the Woods

The original render was a tad more saturated, I lowered the saturation by 10% in post, quite a substancial amount but yet still subtle to view. Realism is about meeting the viewers expectations. To do this effectively one must have some means of controling what those expectations are. I am of the opinion that at ths point we are dealing with believable margins of error rather than perfect solutions as such. For me both the sky and the vegetation saturation fall within the believable margin of error, if one was greatly more saturaed than the other than the realism could be lost. The original render for me was good, but this slightly less saturated version seemed closer to that sweet spot margin of error. The haze is greyish white, so the more haze I use the more desaturated my sky becomes. I can imagine a sky with some moisture could indeed look this way. Compared to my other renders, the saturations in this above image are much more real than in these scenes listed here;

I find that even my most realistic to date as Summer Foliage is far too color saturated and far too blueshifted to look real. Spring foliage is properly yellow shifted, but still too high in leaf saturation and too low in bark saturation to look real. Both of those scenes are lacking ground level grass and other complexities to look real. Whisers in the Woods looks like plastic because the Upward Light aspect of my lighting rig is baking the leaves to look almost like ambient glow, which as I have often said ambient glow is evil and very unreal. Richter wisely suggested that I begin to limit the number of species I cram into a single frame, very wise indeed, thanks Richter!!!

Since human vision is very precise in the green ranges, vegetation is especially challenging. I find that when realism is concerned it is better to err on the side of too little saturation rather than too much. Different types of cameras see color differently. The eye finds unlimited colors. Film finds alot more colors than video, where colors are often very saturated and simplified. Monitor contrast ratio has a big impact too I find now. I have two different 'puters here and on my crystal monitor the saturation seems more pronounced and pleasing compared to the earlier model monitor which has a lower contrast ratio and finds fewer colors leading to a more monochrome look to the scene. Jpeg compression also had a profound effect on this image. The number of unique colors was through the roof here, well over 2mb I had to compress the image nearly 20% to shrink the file enough to upload it here at only 750kb. For this reason some of the uniqueness of color is surely missing.

Materials on plants are foliage transparency naturally, are all procedural, not a single image texture anywhere. This saved on render time and memory resources allowing a few more plants to fill in the environment. Naturally, there are many plants that are behind the camera. In IBL situations those oxtra objects are necessary to occlude or hide the hdri intensity on all sides adding to the realism with their shadows. I find it is always obvious when a scene is not constructed to full 360 degrees.

Fun fun. Render times was about 3 days at full priority at IBl quality 128. I could have rendered the scene much faster at a lower ibl quality but I needed a high quality to fill in all those shaded areas realistically.

Thanks all. More to come.
08.24.2009 23:26 Offline rashadcarter1 rashadcarter1 at

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