Trying to achieve realism is a long process especially when every asset & texture has to
collated & setup into a fresh project with a new program. Sometimes your not sure if it's the light or the textures or low poly geometry that is responsible for the CG look or the lack of other clues, resolution, gamma, hard edges, not enough details, though more often than not it's everything! Every new image just a reminder of how much more needs to be done.
These where too blue & too grey, here the lighting was the main issue but texturing & detailing still had a long way to go.
The Fog hides a lot of issues, moody lighting helps to hide a multitude of sins, displacement of the brickwork ok but would like to improve it a lot, but the model is triangulated in a strange way so not ideal for displacement. I need to figure out a new way to bring in correct topology geometry for perfect displacement.
Things start to improve, though lighting still muted & not because the curtains are drawn, textures could always improve, trying to get away from flat looking diffuse textures, wanting a bit more moisture & grit, or add some volumetrics & some Depth of Field to hide the details that need improving and save me a ton of work...can't resist tweeking & re-rendering...even though the real sun is shining outside.
Aint no Sunshine when she's gone, & there probably aint no sunflowers on Loreto Island, but i'm all out of daisy's, so added these for a bit of sunshine colour, which in this image isnt where i'd like it to be, but the one that's now rendering is looking much better, a higher poly asset may turn up in the future.
The next images are older, and despite many settings being out of whack, I managed some moody images, now have too dive deep into the scene and massage the settings one more time.
Rendered out a few panorama's 8kx4k and upped the resolution of some of the stills 6000x2000 4500x1500, render times I can live with but doesnt stop me dreaming of another machine for animation, when I can get a 64 core Threadripper & 5000+ cuda cores for the right price... maybe 5 or 10 years from now :( The thought of attempting any animation at the moment is a real luxury, trying to get a convincing still is one thing but trying to add motion to every element in a convincing way is something only to be considered for a well thought out shot. I want to explore other more abstract animations for use in a short film, simple things that I can render much quicker, Not sure I have the time to get into Unreal 5 though it would be great if a new playstation could hep out with the rendering or even realtime CGI backdrops.