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The Willows Whisper - Organic environment (personal project)

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Hey everyone! :D This was a personal project I have been working on for the past 4-5 months and I would love to hear what you guys think about! There is always room for improvement so any feedback is king!

Here is some screenshots from the environment!

If you want to check it out on my portfolio page, it is here :)https://www.artstation.com/artwork/KrylRx


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  • Brandon_KyT
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    Cool stuff man. The lighting and foliage all look really nice. The only thing that stands out to me is the purple light in the center. It doesn't seem to blend very well with the tree bark and almost has this paint/matte look to it. I think it needs to be a little more emissive and translucent. Some particle effects and fog would look pretty cool around that area as well.  
  • JamesBrisnehan
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    JamesBrisnehan polycounter
    Very interesting scene. I like the mystical centerpiece with the purple light. I think it looks pretty good the way it is, but since you are looking for feedback, I do see some of things that could be improved.

    The willow branches and leaves have a very messy arrangement and flow in comparison to the typical willow tree. The crisscross-y pattern of the branches create a lot of noise in the backgrounds of each shot and make the whole scene a little too busy. Also the scale of the leaves seems too large, and out of proportion with everything else.

    In your final shot, you place the camera in the canter of a little ditch, which makes for an interesting composition, but unfortunately the lighting draws the eye to the banks of the ditch more than the centerpiece, and highlights how flat the geometry of the foreground is. If you don't mind the extra work, (and the higher polygon count) it would be nice to see some of the vines, roots, rocks and even maybe the dirt modeled out a bit more to add depth to the banks of the ditch. 

    Perhaps the bounce light coming from the directional light could be turned up. I may be wrong, but to me, the strength of the bounced light doesn't match the intensity of the sunlight, especially around the centerpiece.

    One last thought, if you decide you want to try to improve your composition, you could take inspiration from woodland photographers. They spend their whole careers making trees look good, and checking out some of their tips on composition and lighting could help take your environment to the next level. 
  • hungnq1012
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    hungnq1012 polycounter lvl 6
    good work man. just a bit on the purple light at the center. it look weird. not blend out. strong shape. and what's purpose of this light? that's my opinion, everything else really goood 
  • teodar23
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    teodar23 interpolator
    Good stuff but i find the images very noisy. There is so much stuff and the shadows create a lot of noise so the eyes have no resting place and get distracted from the focus point.
    I would use some depth of field to blur out what is behind and before the focus point.
    As mentioned before, the ditch geometry is very flat and breaks believability not only because it looks low poly and last gen but because its not realistic. In a crash or any similar land displacement like that, the dirt would be both smooth and rugged at the same time. Almost like an excavation. Tree roots would be broken as well as any vegetation around the crash. Maybe some burnt dirt and vegetation, dunno.

  • KW_Arts
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    Cool stuff man. The lighting and foliage all look really nice. The only thing that stands out to me is the purple light in the center. It doesn't seem to blend very well with the tree bark and almost has this paint/matte look to it. I think it needs to be a little more emissive and translucent. Some particle effects and fog would look pretty cool around that area as well.  
    Yeah now that I look at it a bit more, the light is coming across slightly stylised due to how its being diffused across the surrounding surfaces, I will definitely look into that!
    I actually had the idea of putting in fog planes and fog assigned to a static mesh through a particle emitter so yeah that definitely crossed my mind!
    Thank you so much for the feedback! :D  @Brandon_KyT
  • KW_Arts
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    @JamesBrisnehan Wow that is a lot of feedback, thanks man. Its super in depth!
    Yeah the tree leaves really bugged me this project as you are right, i couldn't get them the way i wanted for a weeping willow tree as the flow of the leaves is way too noisy. It was my first time using speed tree and I picked a hard tree to begin with! But you are absolutely right, maybe I should have spaced the trees out more to thin out the canopy of leaves that were created!

    Yeah i think some tessellation for the roots and some more decals and smaller props like twigs and rocks could have definitely added more character to the foreground. The deer head definitely needs more attention! I've been told the lighting could have done this as well, by maybe making the outside vignette area darker and the lighting stronger on the deer head, what do you think? :) 

    Thanks for the video, I will check it out, it looks awesome!

    Seriously appreciate all that feedback once again! :D 
  • KW_Arts
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    good work man. just a bit on the purple light at the center. it look weird. not blend out. strong shape. and what's purpose of this light? that's my opinion, everything else really goood 
    Thank you so much! :) yeah the light was based off of a reference for the composition which came from the game Ori and the blind forest, and the vibrant splash of colour is meant to break up the strong green/yellow warm tones from the lighting. It definitely needs tweaking though, it's looking a little too stylised atm. Thanks man!
  • KW_Arts
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    KW_Arts triangle
    @teodar23 Yeah that's definitely a good point, I've been told a few times now the ground is just unrealistically smooth/flat so having some more variation and undulation would definitely make sense! Could I ask how you think I should go about achieving that? I'm not quite sure myself, maybe through some stronger normal or tessellation? 
    Thank you for the feedback though, the picture is a really useful reference image! :)
  • ThisisVictoriaZ
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    ThisisVictoriaZ greentooth
    hey this is looking really nice! Im really enjoying the foliage, especially the wild flowers you have. I saw some other people point this out but the purple light is very confusing, I think its because it doesn't seem to have a source or purpose for being there, I would love to see a reason why the tree is glowing purple, like a crystal or something. Also I love the mood that the environment has so far!
  • DavidBullock3D
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    DavidBullock3D polycounter lvl 4

    Firstly nice work man, I personally find foliage a bit daunting but you have done a good job.

    The composition of the main shot needs tweaking slightly, the deer head in to central and would look better if you move it slightly to the right to sit better on the rule of thirds line.

    The deer head sculpt is a nice model didn’t realise what it was till I saw the breakdown image. Maybe you could position it differently do show it off a little better.

    The ground material could do with some tessellation to help break it up also, you seem like you're not a afraid of sculpting so you could make some small rocks and branches to help with the break up.

    Overall it’s a good piece and even if you don’t revisit to make changes, it you can use these tips for future projects.


  • KW_Arts
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    @DavidBullock3D Thank you for the feedback. I definitely agree with what you said. I've been told a couple times now that it's a little hard to initially read that it is a deer head statue so maybe it does require a reposition!

    Yes I have been looking into tessellation recently and different ways to bring down the cost and also have it a lot smoother, so I hope to revisit this scene and add that tessellation and then I would love to hear your opinion on it again! :D 

    I will absolutely take this into future projects, Once again, thank you man!
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