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THRONE ROOM - Mandate From Heaven - LunaZ

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LunaZ
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LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
Final Submission Shot:

vj1Nwna.jpg



Hi guys,
I'm new in the polycount forum and this is my first thread. Thanks to Spoon, who inspired me to take on this challenge, and so far I'm having really a lot of fun.

I chose the Mandate from Heaven theme, because I recently bought a book about ancient Chinese architecture and was playing with the thought of create something like the forbidden palace in Beijing. Well, I'll have to model a throne room for that anyway, so this challenge might the right kick in the ass to start.

So, these are kind of my inspiration:
3lMmltX.jpg

It is suppose to be very traditional. Of course first I thought of a fantasy kind of throne room. But then I felt to cliche... and I decided to back to the roots. But that's just my thought for now.

So I'm able to came up with two mock up so far. And I'll see how far I can go. Currently I like the details, but it doesn't feel majestic enough.

Version 01: Simple Ba-gua formation of the room, with the son of Heaven be-seated in the middle.
rvfi7ji.jpg

And the second version: It's more rectangular, but I still wanted to keep the eight sides of the Ba-Gua symbol.
mUq20ax.jpg


I'm planning to use 3DsMax, Zbrush (If I have to), PS for sure. I'm still not sure about the engine, though. many people recommended Unreal to me, but since I only can work on this project on the weekend, I'm not sure if I'll have enough time to reach a good quality. On the other hand, Unity3D might still not be the best choice.

I'll try to post some pictures of details and hopefully I can keep this thread updated (I'm horrible in posting in forum... never know what to say.)

Replies

  • Spoon
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    Spoon polycounter lvl 8
    Wait... your second version is already super awesome!! :D
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    So, here is a mood mock up in Unity 3D. Well this is a very rough version. But you get what I want to do.
    IQdXpMc.jpg
  • _Kratos_
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    _Kratos_ polycounter lvl 6
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    So, I made some small changes to the scene. As I said, it wasn't majestic enough for me. So I thought rising the ceiling height might help. So this is the result, and of course, I roughly slammed on some colours, so I can see how it would look like.
    Qr2lNKa.jpg

    It's a little bit too dark, and the blueish moonlight and the golden fire is kind of lost in this strong red dominated scenery. But I'll work on it, maybe I can manage something more dramatic, that still can work with this now Black, red and gold tone.
  • Benmx
    Angmarluna wrote: »
    So, I made some small changes to the scene. As I said, it wasn't majestic enough for me. So I thought rising the ceiling height might help. So this is the result, and of course, I roughly slammed on some colours, so I can see how it would look like.
    Qr2lNKa.jpg

    It's a little bit too dark, and the blueish moonlight and the golden fire is kind of lost in this strong red dominated scenery. But I'll work on it, maybe I can manage something more dramatic, that still can work with this now Black, red and gold tone.

    This render is in unity too?
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    Benmx wrote: »
    This render is in unity too?

    Jep. I used mostly normal point lights and one directional light for the moon. And it's a baked lightmap.
    And the material is just a color with a little specular intensity.
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    So, after a little bit of try and error, I created a new mock up. I thought I was further, but in the end, I did like my last mock-up. So this is my new one.

    kcXOz1M.jpg
    Any ideas? Suggestions?

    Rendered in 3Ds max with a skylight, so sorry for the bag quality. Needed to be fast.
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    And here, my first throne design:

    TvW7iB6.jpg
  • EpicBeardMan
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    EpicBeardMan polycounter lvl 7
    The new blockout you have looks pretty good. And the throne is really interesting- Can't say much for now but, from what I see so far, this is going in the right direction.

    Cheers!

    P.S. I don't know what to suggest since I'm not really familiar with the oriental (chinesee) culture.
  • Spoon
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    Spoon polycounter lvl 8
    Nice blockout, and props for doing it, instead of being too precious with the previous one :)
    Like Epic said, this is going in the right direction :)
    Perhaps the circular roof in the bg could be scaled down a bit? Seems a little out of proportion. Maybe it is just the thickness of the pillars, or maybe it is just me :)
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    @Spoon
    Thanks for the feedback. I'm not sure about the round roof part, thought.
    Originally I wanted to keep it open, but then the whole throne room makes no sense. So I slammed in the roof last minute. I'm currently thinking about something like this:
    chinese_pagoda-t2.jpg

    or this:
    Pagoda-Ceiling_Chinese-Gardens-in-Darling-Harbour-Sydney.gif

    So in tonight's session, I'll try to finally find something I like.
  • wvaughn409
    I hope I do not offend with this comment. I am giving my honest feedback and if you do not agree, that it totally cool, but i still think this shot...

    [IMG]http://i.imgur.com/IQdXpMc.jpg" border="0" alt="" class="ncode_imageresizer_original[/IMG]

    ...which you described as mood lighting looks far better than any of the subsequent shots in which the environment is textured/colored. So what I'm saying is that I think sticking with this color scheme/lighting scheme is golden, so that whatever materials and added detail are present in the final, if you squint your eyes it will be pretty close to this shot. hope that helps:poly122:
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    wvaughn409
    I'm not offended at all. I like the lighting in this one as well. What I mean is, with the colored version, the contrast is completely lost . Well, I mean, in this shot, it's plane white material and in the others, I basically have very dark red and black material on everything. So, that's no wonder it doesn't look that good.

    But since I'm playing with a new layout of the scene and opened up the roof in my last scene shot, the lighting will change. But I think, I'll still stay with the gold/bright lighting in the room and dark outside.

    Well, maybe I'll go away from the red, black and gold combination as well. I'm not attached to it. :D
  • Lilith
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    Lilith Polycount Sponsor
    wvaughn409 has a point, I really love that screenshot with golden lighting.
    I`m thinking that maybe colors that you used are too dark? If you`re making pbr materials, then albedo is usually pretty bright. I mean if both screenshots have the same lighting everything should be better with btighter textures. Brighter textures are also better if you want to use bouncing lights. I think bright red columns would look superb with a bit brighter lighting and textures.
    Anyways, I really like your progress so far. Great composition and design
    Subscribed :)
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    so, the new throne design:

    dOZHPFu.jpg
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    Of course, there is still a lot to be done, but this is where I want to go. Maybe it'll work out. :D
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    @Lilith
    Thanks a lot for those motivating words.
    On the both picture, the lighting stayed the same, since it's basically just color, all the lights get absorbed. So, in the end I'm going to use pbr, but I'm a noob in that, so I'll have a lot of fun.
  • Lilith
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    Lilith Polycount Sponsor
    Don`t worry, there`s tons of tutorials and examples now, not like a couple of years ago. You`ll do great I`m sure :)

    Maybe this can help a bit:

    THE COMPREHENSIVE PBR GUIDE from allegorithmic
    Tutorial: Physically Based Rendering, And You Can Too!
    Physically Based Rendering for Artists
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    oh, that's awesome. I can't wait to finish some models so I can Start with the Materials and texturing
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    So, another couple hours of work.

    here: The updated throne room.

    qdW8grh.jpg

    Change log:
    Throne updated, relief plate blocked out, pavilion changed

    And here a detailed shot of the throne:
    O8m5fSH.jpg

    I hope the big chunks are reconizable as stone/rock. Will be sculpted later.
    The idea behind it is, the relic (giant round plate) ist from a much older time, and there comes the new emperor and put his new and shiny thron on the ancient stones, that used to be a shrine.

    So the entire scene will change a little more. I want to find a way to show the different ages of the objects and of course have some new shiny surfaces for the reflection.
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    So, after four seasons of Prison Break, I finally was able to get back to work.
    Took on the stone formation for the throne this weekend, this is the first result:

    This is the high poly sculpt in Zbrush:
    0zhoiMj.jpg

    And completely made out of there for stones:
    WId63oy.jpg

    And this is the final Lowpoly version with AO and Normal maps:
    Go9aetC.jpg

    The highpoly is done in Zbrush, retopology in Topogun and baked the Normal and Ambient Occulusion map in Substance Designer.
    Well it's my first try with Substance, and there are still some black spots on the map, will polish the HP better, so the bake might have better results.

    Anyone suggestion, critics? Looking for any kind of input.
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    There's another afternoon's work. This time, it worked out better than I thought, but needs a lot of fine tuning. But I'm also getting a better picture, if the idea and blockout I've tried would work out.

    WrlwB9F.jpg

    I have the feeling, since this relic is going to be so big, I need much more details to make clear, this is a huge asset. But also, I kind of like the rough details. But I'll see after I'm finished with it.
    couple more subdivision and couple more hours of sculpt, mabye it might look good.

    And here is another screenshot with the stone formation I started yesterday.
    LtZomoR.jpg

    OMG, I'll have so much to do... Why did I want to sculpt stones in the first place? :poly127:
  • Em.
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    Em. polycounter lvl 10
    I like the direction you're headed in, and ornate Chinese designs are super fun, the dragon emblem turned out nice.
    I think you should go through and sharpen up some of the edges on your rocks to get that balance of wear and softness with the hard edges that rocks have. Right now they read a bit unfinished, especially if these are indoors, they wouldn't be quite so weather-worn. Currently feels more like wear from water as opposed to just being rough hewn if that's what you're going for. Keep at it!
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    @Em. Thanks alot
    Yeah, I'm also struggling to give the rocks a little bit more history. Now it's very shapeless. Guess I'm going to polish it more to give it a little more edge.

    It's my first time seriously trying to sculpt rocks in Zbrush and slowly I'm getting it. Will work on it this weekend again.
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    I NEED HELP!!!

    So, please, dear folks of polycount Forum, help me make a very important decision.

    UNITY 5 or UE4?

    So here are my thoughts:
    UNITY 5:

    + ears of experience with Unity 4, ergo: faster workflow
    + going to switch to Unity 5 soon at work, so a little head start
    + mobile support (easy for GameJams and stuff)



    - too expensive
    - less powerful than UE4


    UE4
    + heard it's more powerful than Unity
    + cheaper with the monthly subscription
    + chance to learn something new


    - I have no idea how to use Unreal Engine

    So help me make a decision, because I really need to start to do some engine work and test out lighting and materials soon.

    Thanks ahead.
  • Spoon
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    Spoon polycounter lvl 8
    How much time do you have?

    If you have very little time, I think you could go for Unity, as you otherwise might not end up finishing.
    When that is said, getting stuff into Unreal isn't a huge challenge (just drag and drop!), so I can recommend trying it out, if you are curious about learning something new, and having the potential to get something sexier than Unity.

    I haven't worked with Unity, so I cannot compared them, unfortunately.
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    @Spoon. Thanks for the info. I think I'm going to try it out, just to learn something new, and it doesn't look that difficult on Youtube...
  • Kienzan
    hi

    To have long worked on Unity, I can only recommend to use it. Especially since its 5.0 version promises much prettier made, thanks to the shader pbr and global illumination.
    Unity is easy to use, optimized, efficiency, the community is great there.

    Now I've tried myself to Unreal Engine 4 recently and it is not so complicated and made of pretty is easily obtained. I also applied for the competition (Volcanic Lost Room).
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    @Kienzan:
    yeah, I've been using Unity for many years now, and the Enlighten of unity 5 looks pretty cool as well.
    I think, I'll try out Unreal, and if time gets too tight and I'm too newb for Unreal, I might switch back to Unity :D

    But I'll definitly looking forward try out Unity 5 as well. And of course the direct connection of Substance to Unity, that also looks pretty cool.
  • Spoon
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    Spoon polycounter lvl 8
    Just pitching in, that you have direct control over exposed substance parameters in UE as well :)
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    So, after a while of trying out some lights and composition in Unreal, I decided to discard my old idea with the stone formation.

    I'm not good at sculpting stones, and with the time left, I would have no time left for the other things.

    So here is the new design. I like it for now, I think I can do a lot with materials and light to get this look like something.

    9Sx2rPA.jpg

    Tell me what you think.

    Cheers!
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    LOW POLY DONE!!!

    So, here is my first mock up with the new throne design.

    0kKjttC.jpg

    and a close up
    miGAadQ.jpg

    Modelling:
    3DsMax
    Engine:
    Unity 4

    there is only point lights and one directional light, and screenshot in real time. no baked lightmap yet. No textures, only the model with white material.

    Somehow Unreal Engine is crashing all the time, other wise I would have done it in Unreal.
    It's still my goal to learn Unreal Engine. But just to showcase the progress, Unity is fine.
  • Spoon
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    Spoon polycounter lvl 8
    Imo this is shaping up really really well!! :)
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    and here another with a little changed lighting and another skybox

    lBk6tQi.jpg

    and the throne is now dark so it can be seen better from the distance.
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    Today is a good day! Tonight would better!

    I just found out, Unity 5 is free as well, how could it get pass me.
    Now all my struggles with UE4 is solved. I've decided now i'm going to use Untiy 5 to lit my throne room.

    I'm so excited!!!
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    Hello guys, so, here is the weekend update.
    Since I'm quite happy with the last assembly version, I decided to start on the Highpoly models. So I managed to do the half of the set I've planned: The columns + walls + panels.
    It was super fun to research for Chinese architecture details and I must say, some of it was just breathtaking. It's so fine crafted and actually each pattern has a meaning.
    I wanted to find something that looks good and also has the meaning I kind of want, but then I'll need time to may. :D

    so here are some results:

    the entire column + wall tiles
    pnNSJDm.jpg

    here is a close up to the walls:
    MLO1TKD.jpg

    another shot of the panels above the windows and walls:
    TEDnoHT.jpg

    it took me a while but I manage somehow to bake this so it looks like relief:
    EBcOiQp.jpg
    a shot with wireframe.

    Sorry for the crappy screenshots, I literally exported the assets to Unity 15 minuts ago.

    Couple more days, I hope I can be done with the environment set, and then I'll have to take on the monster throne.

    Tell me what you guys think and never hesitate to criticize me :D
  • EpicBeardMan
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    EpicBeardMan polycounter lvl 7
    Your walls look pretty good from what I can see.
    The detail and the reliefs look nice, I can see you have some nice sculpting skills.
    Just one complaint: You might want to remove AO information near the flower relief, or just turn in down a lot. When ypu look a little bit from aside as seen in the second picture, it just looks wrong.
    Aside from that, everything looks pretty solid. Keep on going.

    Cheers!
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    Thanks a lot.
    The idea is to reduce the AO down to 20% or something once I have the diffuse map.
    I guess I'll have to rebake the flower relief since I forgot the pot itself, just noticed today, something was indeed wrong with it. :D
    Also on some screenshots, the normals are wrong, so going to change that once I'm have some time.

    But i'm super motivated, can't wait to start texture those. Substance Designer would be awesome! \m/
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    Another week gone and only two weeks left. OMG... I'm running out of time!
    I wish I could work full time on this, couple hours each day is just not enough.

    But at least I've found out what was wrong. I knew I was doing something wrong with the Normal maps, turns out I've forgotten to invert the green channel after baking in 3DsMax.

    So here are my results of my last day's work:
    note: no real lighting, only standard in Unity 5 and just plugged the AO and NM map into the standard shader with a middle value on the roughness.

    here, the complete shot:
    rkdJWCP.jpg

    here, another angle:
    dwkK69e.jpg

    here are some shots of the throne itself:
    kjDOz7g.jpg

    rEmiuhY.jpg

    I'm almost done. Only the throne itself, the floor pattern and the props, then I'm done with all the assets I've planned. I hope I can get it done until weekend, at least the normal map, so I can do the textures. I can't wait to use SD and SP for all the details.

    AHHHH, I'm running out of time.

    hope you guys like what I've done here, tell me what you think .
  • Spoon
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    Spoon polycounter lvl 8
    Waow, this is really shaping up, Luna! The scene is imo super solid!
    This will be furiously awesome with the rest of the textures! :)
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    How I felt when I heard about the Throne Room Challenge:
    kdsEi3E.gif

    First look through the forum:
    kcs7OTq.gif

    After my first blockout:
    Khgs0qX.gif

    After the second blockout
    LDQiq0P.gif

    During the third blockout (the one with the stones)
    bmh.gif

    Once again viewing other people’s work
    7q0Hcml.gif
    And how I felt inside
    tumblr_n0htayZlCx1trab82o1_500.gif

    16 hours of work later, I realized I was baking with the wrong setting:
    Rfvm2I6.gif

    When Unreal crashed again during import:
    cZrtxgT.gif

    Finally switched to Unity 5 and dumped Unreal:
    tumblr_m1mo1wzfiu1qbubzqo1_400.gif?w=562 When

    someone commented nice things in my thread:
    giphy.gif

    When I updated the thread with spelling mistakes and change before anyone notices it:
    ks6sIAK.gif

    How I feel after watching tutorial videos:
    giphy.gif

    How it is trying it out:
    tumblr_inline_n2b18jdIrq1ravrvz.gif

    two weeks left and I’m far from done
    sheldon-hyperventilating-big-bang-theory.gif

    The entire challenge in a nutshell:
    tumblr_nl74j6j9M21u9nz0vo1_500.gif
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
  • wind27382
    The details in this environment are insane.
  • Spoon
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    Spoon polycounter lvl 8
    haha, I like the GIF's, not far from how I feel :)
    Warren is not a huge fan of GIFs? :p


    Portable-Table-Fan.jpg
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    @WarrenM ...??
    Needed to create this, I need to express my feelings so far :P
    So relieved now... til the next strike of reality... called... texturing.
  • wvaughn409
    I love the GIF recap!!! I haven't laughed that hard in a long time and I kept saying, "I know, right?!"
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    @wvaughn409, it's good to see someone can relate. :D
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    So, I started texturing and as I expected, the strike of reality. It took me about 4 hours to somehow getting started. But at the end of the day, I only managed to texture the throne itself:

    4hynjNi.jpg

    aT9E9MA.jpg

    here my cheap substance:
    thkeRDc.jpg

    and everything I open Substance Designer, a message would tell me how much time I have left until the end of the challenge, it's not really helping me to keep a calm mind.

    but anyway, tell me what you think.
  • LunaZ
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    LunaZ polycounter lvl 3
    so, after a very disappointing weekend working on the materials and lighting, I managed to have nothing. Turns out, the great Unity 5 isn't that great after all.
    So I switched back to unreal for the lighting. And I have no idea what I'm doing. Need to tweak the colors of the material to get the overall harmonic mood.

    but still, I'm making progress. I have the weekend time to work on the lighting right?
    zowY0ec.jpg

    if anyone has some suggestion for lighting in UE4, I'm be super grateful!
  • Spoon
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    Spoon polycounter lvl 8
    Compared to how much you were whining, I think this is looking great :)
    The areas that are hit by light looks very interesting!
    Do you intend on throwing in more light in the foreground, to have light on the front facing geo as well?
    You can also try to up the sun's indirect lighting exponent to something wilder.
    I think it would be a much stronger piece, when the light properly helps the focal points, in this case I guess foreground/throne, but atm it is roof and walls behind the throne - at least for me. Those areas look really really great, so I hope you get to light up the other stuff as well :)
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