Image break-down and quick update

It has been a while since my last tutorial or blog post. As many of you know, I have been very busy with the release of Light it Up. This project has been a blast and I am very grateful to the blender community for the great reception it has had. Making a training product like that was honestly a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I can safely say I am back to the land of the living. I have a couple of new tutorials in the works, and even have had the time to put together a new blender artwork piece. I call this one “The Symbol of Fear.”


My mind has obviously been on the new Batman VS Superman movie (which In my opinion looks just awesome and full of delicious visual effects) so I set out to create a stylistic Gotham city image.


I chose portrait instead of landscape because I wanted the feel of the image to be as if someone were walking through a back alley in Gotham and snapped a picture with their cellphone. I wanted a strong blue light to fill the scene so that the alley seemed to be lit by the moon, but then I ran into a composition problem of very little color contrast, so I added the fire barrel. This not only provided extra light in my scene, but balanced my entire composition. 

What makes this image come together is unquestionably the volumetric lighting. This is surprisingly easy to pull of in blender. Just a cylinder covering my entire scene with a volume scatter node for the material. I set the value to .2 and cranked up the sun lamps. The result is that epic fog that covers the scene and creates a deep suspicion of what lurks in the shadows.


For my render settings I used Branch Path Tracing, which I found works better for volumetric lighting, and less samples are needed. The final image was just 800 samples at full resolution.


I put together a quick breakdown of the creation of this image. The music is by Zachary Horner, and is part of the epic music tracks that come with Light it Up. Enjoy!