6 Tips to Make Your 3D Renders Instantly Cooler

In this video, Martin Klekner shares 6 tips to breathe life into your 3D renders and make them instantly cooler.
From light rays, to atmosphere, adding birds and falling leaves, these will help you bring your artwork to the final result. Demonstrated on an environment scene in EEVEE.

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6 steps to final result (01:45)

Something that often happens to all of us is putting so much effort into a project, respect all the composition rules and such but at the end still getting a poor result.

Like in this case.

Using this example, here are 6 steps you can use to make look better a landscape:

  1. Add a blurred Foreground elements
  2. Add some cloud shadows
  3. Add Godrays
  4. Add some falling leaves
  5. Add also flying birds here and there
  6. And finally add atmosphere

#1 Adding blurred foreground element (03:03)

This is a trick that you can see in many films and artworks.

Adding a blurred foreground elements will add an amazing sense of depth to your shot and this will be accentuated even more if you move your camera.

#2 Adding moving cloud shadows (04:27)

If you collect some reference images of landscapes and start to compare them, you will notice that almost in all cases the shots that look more epic are those with huge cloud shadows

This effect can be easily achieved in Blender with the help of a plane and a noise texture used as alpha.

#3 Godrays (06:44)

Adding some light rays to your scene is a good way to bring even more epicness to it!

You can do this by using some black and white images you can download online or create by yourself in Krita or Photoshop. Just import these images as planes into blender, plug the texture into the alpha of the material and you’re done!

#4 Falling leaves (07:37)

Adding some flying leaves to your scene will bring to it a poetic atmosphere.

You can do this by importing some leaves images as planes, exactly like you did with the clouds. Then you can make them fly with a particle simulation and use some physics fields to add some randomness.

#5 Flying birds (10:59)

Something that will add to your scene even more realism are flying birds. There are several ways to add them to the scene.

  • If it’s a still image you can use an image of birds.
  • If it’s an animation video, you can go outside, film some birds with a camera, get rid of the sky in post-production and then bring everything to blender.
  • An alternative way is also to use a simple model of a bird, add a simple shape key animation to its wings, and then use it to create a particle system. Use Boids physics and a cube as goal to make the birds particles fly across your scene.

#6 Adding Atmosphere (16:34)

Finally, one last thing you can do is adding some atmosphere.
Once again there are more than one technique you can use.

  • The first one consists in adding a cube with a principled volume shader on it.
  • The second way you can do this is with the help of a 2D plane with a gradient texture plugged into the Alpha channel.
  • And the last one consists in using a transparent fog texture and a big plane spanning almost the whole scene. If you add a particle system to the big plane, you can use it to instance the fog texture across the whole scene.

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