Redo and Deepen
🚩 A step-by-step guide like this can only tell a partial truth. Hands-on crafts are less linear than tutorials. This text is a guideline, not a success mechanism. In practice, one tends to jump back and forth. The steps are not that sequential. An accomplished render artist may ignore some, or even break them in spite. But they remain a good starting point for a long journey.
💡 Make a few scenes as rough composition drafts, do intermediate render tests, and see which ones looks most promising. Lighting, camera position and materials interact. A detail discovered late in the process may be significant enough to change or reverse your story for the better.
⚡ Be open to new interpretations of your subject.
It is easy to overcommit to your initial scene. But it takes time to get to know your subject. Only after you have developed the character of your subject can you judge how best to portray it. Be ready to go back and change. Look at your render upside down. Expect the unexpected.
⚡ Deepen you subject.
💡 You are creating a world. Deepening is not simply adding more stuff. Trees don’t look better with necklaces. Deepening is about counterpointing the story, nuancing a character, intensifying a style.
⚡ Only add parts that serve the whole. Remove everything else.
💡 You must get to know the whole. Letting parts take command of the whole is a sign of weakness. Ask yourself what the whole is about. Ask yourself what a tighter connection between the parts of your image would look like.
⚡ Put viewers’ imagination to work.
💡 After investing your sweat and tears in a scene, it is easy to succumb to the temptation of wanting to show everything at once. Don’t leave it this way. It is a mistake. It is not the things themselves that spark interest, but what viewers imagine about them. Never tell it all. Add whatever measures you can to veil elements of the scene, so that they are visible only partially, as suggestions and promises, as the play of shadows on the wall, as vestiges of time. This is a great way to fascinate.
The best is making the scene’s content and form be the veiling. But adding rich amounts of atmosphere, defocus, movement blur, lens effects, dirt layers, and so on helps also.
😓 Whatever methods work best for you, you will need to iterate and deepen. There are no »one-click solutions«, only dedication and hard work. The greatest adventures will demand that you work on a single project for an extended period of time – a labor of love.
We’ll see you again next week. 💙