2009 WIP Shot

I need some feedback on this screenshot. I have not started animating, but I’m really close to starting. It is an underwater habitat, which is why it is foggy. Any (constructive) criticism is most appreciated!

Underwater Base.jpg

Underwater Base.jpg

Looks cool, can’t wait to see it on youtube.

One thing, though:
Is there any specific reason for the sharp-and-pointies everywhere?

Underwater scene = you will be able to see the beam of lights. You need to put volume light on the lights.

Your lights are Way Way to harsh. Subtle light goes a long way, tone down the multiplier of the lights and put attenuation on them. Also there is no style or color to the scene at all. Its just blue, thats very boring. Put some more colored light in other places. Like the background. Think of it like your lighting a stage. Experiment with light but keep in my that subtle light is better than bright lights.
I can’t see the source of the white lights that is lighting up the hot air balloon looking things, you need to put that in.

Right now it looks like it could be a foggy night in on land. You need to put sediment that is floating around the place. This can be done with a particle cloud. Just turn the speed of the particles to zero or .01. Adding fish and bubbles would sell the idea that it is underwater. But the key thing would to add a projection map that fakes the light being refracted through the surface of the water. Like in this picture. http://rpjuniors.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/129516underwater-view-in-a-swimming-pool-posters.jpg

You have green glowing things at the tips of those spikes. I’m assuming they are lights. So they should cast a subtle amount of green on the surrounding objects. You need to put that in.

Your choice of composition is very confusing. I don’t know what I’m suppose to look at. And none of it is arranged in a appealing way. You need to think what these things represent. Are they powerful? if they are put the camera at a low angle. That will make them more epic. The angle you have the camera right now portrays nothing about the scene. I really don’t know if I’m suppose to look at the balloon looking things or the grid thats on the ground. The height and the angle of the camera makes me feel like I’m gonna fall off a railing.

Ok now were back to lighting. I would suggest lighting the side of the balloons (if they are your subject matter) with some Subtle green light. just so this scene can have some color in it. I would also dimly light the generators in the background with some Red or Purple light. Make subtle changes. Not drastically CG ones.

Wow, thank you so much! I haven’t been updating it much recently, but I’ll be sure to get started with the extra stuff.

Okay, I’ve restarted the scene, but I’m having trouble with the particle cloud. I’m not sure whether to use spheres or tetras for the particles, but I also can’t change their color from the default black. Also, as you can see in the attached .avi file, only the top one is really visible. F1 cannot give me any good advice, so can somebody help me out?

testrender.zip (169 KB)

testrender.zip (169 KB)

Looking a lot better now. You need a lots more particles. Don’t make a giant particle cloud over the entire scene. Just set up multiple smaller particle clouds set up directly in front of the camera. I wouldn’t use spheres I would use facing particles with an opacity map like this. http://www.norrkross.com/software/movie/help/CIRadialGradient.png

that can be done in the materials window and then just assign the material to the particles like you do to any other object. Your particles are also moving way to fast. I would also set up a wind force with the strength set to 0 but the turbulence set to 3 or 4. then space warp bind the particle clouds to the wind. that will make the particles slowly move.

Okay, I’ve gotten pretty far on it right now. With the deadline coming up, I want to start kicking things up a bit. IMO, it looks better now than it ever did in the last screen shot (from the OP). Anything else I should add before moving on?



your making it harder for me to pick out things. I like that.

ok! claps and rubs hands together the first thing that stands out to me is that it still screams “I’m a 3D animation rendered out in 3ds max!” its because its to perfect. Look around at the world. Nothing is a perfect. especially a civilization under the ocean. The wood (or whatever those pillars are made of, I’m assuming they are wood because they are brown) should not be entirely visible like that. Have you ever seen a ship wreak under water? There is stuff growing all over it. It becomes a reef in a few short months. Put some Barnacles and shells growing on it. Here is an example.

notice how the fish is underneath the ledge of the piece that is sticking out? Fish LOVE to congregate underneath docks and in shipwrecks. It offers them protection. Put some fish underneath the platform.

Other than that, its pretty much good. There are a few things I would do different but you’re talking way advanced stuff like Layer rendering and sky dome rigs. I love the subtle play of lights you have going on. Very nice. I would add some very weak color lights scattered through out the scene to give it some more mood. and tone down your over all light so you don’t brighten the scene with extra lights. You pulled off the particles very well.

Thanks for all the advice. You are talking to an amateur here, but I’ve absorbed more info on animation this year than I did design, fabrication, fund-raising, and financing last year! Thanks for reminding me about the fish; I was planning to make another particle cloud using fish models as objects to do the fish thing. I’ll also add bump maps to everything to give it a more rough texture. I’m hoping to finish looks soon so we can get started on actually animating. Again, thanks for the tips!

:ahh: you haven’t started animating!!! my goodness you better get cracking. Don’t you only have a week left? always leave time for rendering.

needs more contrast



I disagree with your suggested amount of contrast. It needs more colors. Different colors. Like triad colors or complementary colors.

I think my monitor was calibrated differently and it was hard to see what was going on. Looking at it now on my MacBook in the dark, it looks better.

Okay, yet another updated version. This time, there is real animation. The whole thing is 600 frames long. I made the outdoor lights red to compliment the blue fog, and I added bump maps to most of the textures. I added a fish particle cloud under the base and finished the sediment cloud in front of the camera. I like it, but it can always use improvement. I personally don’t think this will ever be done, because I’ll likely see other things I want to do with it after its submitted.

test.zip (4.07 MB)

test.zip (4.07 MB)

Its too, red. It drawing attention away from the main point. Subtle red. Almost white but some red. those submarines are traveling WAY to fast underwater. Especially the second one. very nice slow camera movement i like that.