Barren Landscape


I’ve been working on the Dark Fantasy collection this morning, but in the end couldn’t get a nice fantasy image to work so I just went for trying out a couple of default plants.  It’s worth generating new variations of a plant ’til you get one that you like.

And Another


Still working on these. I used a small rise in the ground as a connecting line between the tree and the bush. Payne suggested that the elements that make up the steelyard are not necessarily the focal point, so here I’ve attempted to make the larger cottage the focal point.

Another Steelyard?


I intended this to be a steelyard, with the foreground trees on the right and the trees in the background. However adding other elements to fill out the scene changed that somewhat. I guess one would have to call it a circular or U-shaped composition now.



This is a classic steelyared composition, although not otherwise very interesting. I’m reading through the calalogue of compositional schemes in Edgar Payne’s book and trying out each one.


So, I made a fundamental mistake with this image. The whole point of the steelyard scheme is that the fulcrum is closer to the larger mass, not the smaller! Like a lever. Small mass x long distance = large mass x small distance. And I did it the other way. What an idiot. Here’s a corrected version, with added detail for interest. Plus I swapped out the farmhouse for a cottage because I was getting strange artefacts in the wall texture that I couldn’t get rid of.


The sky is a bit boring, so I swapped out the stratus for some strato-cumulus with volumetric shadows, as recommended by Drea Horvath. Plus I painted some grass onto the global ecosystem for a bit of added detail.


Landscape Basics


Despite having worked on landscapes for a decade or more, sometimes I get lazy. I found a nice course on Udemy for a discounted price (solstice is the current excuse) and it’s going through some basics. Such as the importance of value. This is fairly easy to forget when doing 3D landscapes, but it’s quite easy to convert a render to monochrome and check out the values. Also the importance of layers.

In the case of this image I started with the hills (background), the plants (midground really) and the sky. I needed a far background, and an actual foreground. So I added larger terrains at the back, and adjusted size and distance so that aerial perpective differentiated them enough from the background hills, which had a rock/grass texture to make them a little darker. Including some foreground meant I needed to give it a more interesting material than the default, so I found a rocky material in the library. Plus a couple of objects (rock, dead branch) so the foreground wasn’t too bare.

The result is a lot better than I first started with. It’s good to be reminded of what I need to be doing to make successful images.

Vue Library


I’ve been exploring the Vue library and trying out a few things that I haven’t done before. Such as generate several variants of basic Vue trees by changing the seed value in the plant editor. The trees still tend to look a bit strange because the alpha planes used for the leaves are relatively large, but I fixed that in post with the liquefy tool in strategic spots. Multipass rendering is now only available in the professional edition, but one can render selected objects as a separate image, so that’s something.

I’m becoming increasingly inclined to just focus on landscapes, and incorporate the ideas of Edgar Payne. Vue is definitely the tool to use for that kind of work.

Cabin model by OliverMH, from Blendswap.


And here’s another I whipped up with just a terrain preset and a couple of Joshua trees.

Old Acacia


Here’s a simple scene, just a tree, some clouds, and a bit of grass, with a couple of standard terrains in the background. Viewport performance was surprisingly sluggish this time around, given the GPU I’m using. Anyway I’m just doing simple stuff at the moment. So many directions I don’t know which way to turn.