Almost done , still to do for sure is some volumetric light and fog , and a few more details (some props ? and floating leaves or litter …)
I kind of like the light and comp as it is now .. however , i’m never sure : modelling and textures ,for me, either ‘work’ or ‘don’t’, i can easily decide if they’re done or not.
Refining light and comp ? it’s a much less linear process .. at this point of making a still i always become paranoid of messing up the look ..or that a different comp could make everything look much better :D
One way to manage this is checking the previous wip renders (doing them often and always saving them) : in this case i ‘confirmed’ improvements in contrast and exposure ..but i probably lost something in colors : too little saturation? …
In the screenshot below, some details about the render setup in Cycles :
It’s non-progressive -of course! this mode is working fine now ( since january fixes i think, but i had not tried vast scenes so far )
I’m getting some decent rendertimes .. Well , sorta. This render is 3 hours on my 6 cores cpu .. but it’s not that bad .. the scene is not optimized for speed (as in being hipoly and fancy materials ), the Gi uses 4 bounces, there’s a hint of dof and motion blur on the leaves (still wip) and resolution is 150% of fullHD .
The noise is very uniform from the 1st sample : that’s a good sign, means not much rendertime is ‘wasted’ sampling some stuff more than necessary ( ‘stuff’ like direct light or AA, which require less samples than gi or ao)
And no fireflies ! well, it’s sunlight and not too much glossy , so not a very though case .. but check the left lamp (selected and with nodes shown in editor below ) the “light falloff” node can be super-helpful : it smooths the intensity decay curve close to the lamp source .. so areas very close to the lamp won’t receive super strong light intensity , and won’t generate fireflies !
By contrast , the lamp under the balcony on the right is still missing that tweak , and you can see it does generate fireflies in the diff indir channel (bottom left of screenshot)
Edit : And by the way , in the diff indir pass, notice the light on the far building facade ? that’s bounce light from a white diffuse card (hidden on the right ) .. that adds some nice bounce light without adding lamps.
That’s also something to remember .. when modelling buildings and streets , you don’t need the ones you won’t see , but if you’re using GI you can often use some planes to bounce back sunlight for realism and/or for a specific light effect..