Nearly 20 renders later, I think I’ve finally (hopefully) maybe achieved the final look for my animation. I knew rather vaguely what I wanted from the beginning, but what I wanted was hidden behind a thousand lighting and colour correction sliders. And ontop of that, I was battling to keep the render times down whilst keeping the quality high. A careful balancing act.
The first render I did of my finished ship in the enviroment. It’s nice, but the lighting is completley off. The ship doesn’t blend with the enviroment at all. The water is also way too reflective, something I’ll tweak continously throughout further tests.
The fog is also way too dense. It elongates the rendering time alot and anything not placed in a tight bunch you wouldn’t even be able to see.
An improvement, I think. I toned down the fog and water reflections. Also created a cool scene of 4 ships in a firing formation, to test the impact of rendering the model in bulk. To my surprise the models perform very well.
The lighting is awful though. This what I originally thought I wanted, a really deep and strong sunset scene. I thought it was great at the time, but further renders proved me wrong.
Really, really liked this one. It wasn’t at all what I thought I wanted but it turned out rather nice. The lighting is a lot gentler, though less realistic and more surreal. The material I used for the ships I found was also way too shiny. I wasn’t aiming for a realistic look, but this was a little over the top.
A fine balance between all of the previous tests. Using colour correction and a primitive HDRI I could really fine tune what I wanted.
Not too realistic, but not too shiny and colorful either. By optimizing the shadows and anti-aliasing, I was also able to considerably nerf the render time to around 1 minute 30. It’s quite long, but it was quite a full scene and at HD. There’s still a whole bunch of tweaks I can make.
The lighting also looks good from every angle, which is pretty essential for a 3D animation.