View Full Version : I need some semi-off-topic artistic advice. (Sundial/Compass Render)

05-05-2009, 11:43 AM
Hi guys...I've brought this model back to life because of the fantastic photographic exposure controls and photometric lighting capabilities of the newer versions of 3D Studio.

I'm pretty happy with the model, and the lighting is also kinda cool. But this "Scene" is missing a lot. I want to compose a scene that really makes the instrument pop, but doesn't overpower the instrument. Something that makes it look like its on display.

What do you guys suggest for composition? Or any other feedback would be useful too.

(Sorry for the watermark)

05-05-2009, 12:25 PM
That's very cool indeed. Perhaps darkening the background. That would pull the focus of the image onto the compass with the highlights. Another option would be to place it on a pedestal and have the background slightly blurred with a depth of field effect.

Steel General
05-05-2009, 12:26 PM
It is an amazing render - very cool.

Maybe put it outdoors where the 'sun-dial' portion comes more into play.


Center it on a table with a old dilapidated map underneath it along with some other navigation stuff.

05-05-2009, 12:30 PM
That's an awesome rendering of the clock piece, Robby!

Don't really have any immediate suggestions. I'd probably place it somewhere it looks in use. Have some REP!


05-05-2009, 01:30 PM
Yea put it on top of a map.

05-05-2009, 01:33 PM
I would put it on some kind of pedestal - possibly the type used when it was in actual use. Then try to do some depth of field stuff to get the background out of focus.

05-05-2009, 02:02 PM
I like the map idea....hmm...pedestal from when it was actually in use...Thats a good question...what kind of pedestal would that be? Is this a nautical device? I dunno.

Anyone wanna contribute a map? Its gotta be old-style like old parchment I think to do the trick.

Thanks for the suggestions/feedback guys!

DoF is coming, it just adds a lot of time to the render.

05-05-2009, 02:17 PM
/Digs around
Feel free to use this one:

That's about the closest I've got.

As for the pedestal - I'd go for richly varnished wood from a sailing ship. This looks nautical to me. Looks like it should be mounted in front of the wheel of a 17th-18th century spice cutter (he says with no historical backing at all).

05-05-2009, 05:19 PM
The current wooden stand it's sitting on looks like the stool I sit on at work...so my thought is that it is too pedestrian to be used as a proper display pedestal. I'm with torstan all the way so far and the map idea is good as well but it should probably be a map of the area where it was found. Possibly a good idea for a challenge map would be to add a second map which shows the actual archeological site (as was suggested some months back). If I remember right, it was found under water but if you're just doing this for fun then any two maps would be cool. I might suggest a glass case with a small plaque that has all of the pertinent information about this archeological find and maybe a photograph of the dude who found it. BTW, awesome render.

05-05-2009, 05:30 PM
That is one beautiful render!!! The glass.....the glass...if only I could get that subtle glass effect with Bryce.

From a colour point of view if you really want the render to pop, I would use a complimentary colour to the dominant gold of the instrument....use a colour wheel. I make it this bluey colour attached below.

05-05-2009, 05:46 PM
This looks to be a compass sundial combination...



I love the render. Ironically I think that by making it the center of the picture and filling the image you reduce it to background as the eye looks for the center of what you've intended.

I think the highest goal would be to reflect something significant into the glass of the compass underneath the upper glass bits.

You might also widen the image to include something authentic and matte without a lot of detail. A contrasting item like a map or a canvas bag would be good - something mundane.

It would be brutishly difficult but very cool if you could make the render the subject of a drawing going on in the picture. That would be a render of a render in a rendering.

Failing that I like the idea of a pillar in white or a contrasting colour. If you could combine the rich metals with a rich marble it would pop!.

05-06-2009, 11:13 AM
well you found my inspiration piece lol.

I'm thinking of modelling the box that its stored in, and having the box with the velvet interior open and sitting on the table next to it. The instrument will be in the bottom right of the scene, and the box will be in top left. I'll change the time of day to early evening which will subdue the white window light from directly above and opposite of the camera and enhance the warmer incandescent light thats behind the camera.

I'll also put a map in the scene that looks like its usually rolled up, and have some stones or something holding the corners down. Could end up really nice.

Some advice I learned for any other 3d studio users here that want to fool around with photometric lighting...SCALE is very important. If you want your object to look small, model it small. use real size units. lol

05-07-2009, 05:22 PM
great modeling. can't wait to see the new version regardless of what you choose.

05-10-2009, 11:29 PM
Sigurd hit the nail on the head with this one.

- crop it, you want it to look epic and important, so make it take up most the space.

-add some contrast! give it contrast with value and also contrast with color.

-definitely throw a map underneath it, possibly have it tilted, with some subtle shadows on the map.

-throw a couple other secondary and tertiary objects in the image. . make sure they are not competing for attention. They should amplify the mood.

hope it helps! looks great so far