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.