View Full Version : Creepy Cottage in the Woods...

07-23-2004, 09:11 PM

"Old Hagatha's Cottage"

Created entirely with LW 8 & Worley Labs Sasquatch. I like to think of my working style as "stylized realism".

07-23-2004, 09:34 PM
That`s lovely! Quite illustrational in feel.

Did you try the ray marcher ground fog? Might be even more spooky.



07-23-2004, 10:16 PM
Vury beautiful work, the textures:wood and shingle, and
the color/tone contrast in the lighting really sell it. Bellisimo.

07-24-2004, 03:58 AM
Very nice!

I do have one crit though. Are those lightning bugs? They seem a bit overdone, both in number and intensity. It's a little thing though.

07-24-2004, 04:03 AM
hi- cool work,
i would maybe highten the contras in the image- Get more intesive blacks and bring out the hidden details-

07-24-2004, 06:03 AM
this is really cool Jevin, I love it ... Velijko is right about contrast.... I'd go for unshrp mask in Photoshop... Nice job !!

Could we see a wireframe, if possible..?


07-24-2004, 06:11 AM
I've tried Unsharp Mask with your image...
(hope you dont mind..:D)

In my POV I would go for :

Amount 70
Radius 30
Threshold 10

ps. what do you think Velijko....?

07-24-2004, 07:36 AM
Thx for the kewl comments, guyz!

In regrds to the contrast and darker shadows, I was trying for a soft & slightly misty/foggy feel, like the cottage is right on the edge of an eerie roll of fog, and just beginning to be slightly affected by it (hence avoided rich dark shadows -- actually used a very low ambient light to haze and soften those areas). Might need some tweaking, tho -- will go back and review it today. Thx Hrgiger for the lightning bug tip -- will re-visit that as well!

07-24-2004, 08:22 AM
I really like the overall feel of this picture. As others have said I think a little more contrast would go far. Also I have to say that your three bare trees look a lot the same. You should add more branches off of the main branches, not have all the branches droop down so immediately or all the same amount. My only other crit is the light from inside the cottage. If it is lantern light it is too even. Flames flicker, and lanterns don't cast as wide a cone as electric lighting. You need to dirty up the light seen through the windows (probably easily done as post in PhotoShop).

I like your "stylized realism" aproach. This image feels like it work well for book cover illustrations. Really good work here.


07-24-2004, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by hrgiger
Very nice!

I do have one crit though. Are those lightning bugs? They seem a bit overdone, both in number and intensity. It's a little thing though.

I agree, maybe ease off a hair. The bridge looks a little odd to me also, maybe if it were "Cottage in the swamp", it would click with me better.

07-24-2004, 12:00 PM
Well -- took many of the suggestions to heart, and it really made a difference, as the above-updated illustration shows. Thanx to all!!!!

Turned the ambient light into a negative light (-10% intensity, which pulled the light from the shadows and added a beautiful contrast.) Also, tweaked the fog to get the effect I needed (and added ground fog), then adjusted the window lighting to give the appearance of interior light fall-off (great sugg -- thanx!). Also added variance to the background dead trees, and shrunk the fireflies.

I love the bridge, so am not adjusting that.

07-24-2004, 02:47 PM
Very Nice. I think those things made a great improvement. My only suggestion now is that you should put the old image back at the top and the new image down here so that people (especially those who haven't yet viewed this thread) can see what a difference it is. It will be a valuable contrast and perhaps help newer artisits to understand WHY the changes you made were important.

Keep up the good work!


07-24-2004, 02:52 PM
Dxyner -- excellent idea! The only thing, tho, is that I replaced the previous render with this one (usually don't save old stuff when I tweak and update it....). Bummer -- will keep this in mind next time, definitely -- a progress flow would have been excellent here!

Really appreciate everyone's feedback -- excellent suggs!

07-24-2004, 03:52 PM
Looks like its floating. I suppose the cottage is on stilts but the orange glow underneath it (right side) seems strange to me.

Nice ;)

07-24-2004, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by jevinstudios
I love the bridge, so am not adjusting that.

If you love it, then I cant argue with that. It still isnt right though. Since that's what your going for, I like it!

07-24-2004, 06:32 PM
Looks good, needs a little bit more light to add some contrast. Not sure where though??

07-24-2004, 07:45 PM
The ground fog made a difference! Looks just right now.

You haven`t seen `Big Fish` by any chance, have you?


07-25-2004, 12:30 AM
way too dark now, you're loosing details.... unsharp mask is your saver.... at this point forget LW....:D

07-25-2004, 01:36 PM
is it me or does the smoke coming out the chiminy seem a bit thick. or a bit much. its somthing. i cant put my finger on it.

07-25-2004, 04:35 PM
Hey, Alblil --

Thx for pointing out the chimney smoke -- you were right on the $$. I made a change, and it looks much better (see the image at the start of the thread).

Also toned down the negative light (actually removed it), which made a more even contrast along with keeping the details in the shadows.

07-26-2004, 04:17 AM
it would be cool if you left the old images and posted revisions- this way someone checking out the thread can see the start and the finish-
its a bit confusing this way-

07-29-2004, 06:34 PM
A top model, Kev - one of the best you've posted. The texturework and lighting are superb and create a really powerful atmosphere.

I think this is a real award winner / gallery creation. Only one suggestion I'd make would be to 'jitter' the polys of the house walls and roof tiles very slightly. IMO the reason the image looks 99% and not 100% flawless is because of the sharp CAD - clean edges of the building. It needs to look more aged "wooden" and sunken in on itself. Try messing the geometry up a little more.

Otherwise fantastic work. I'm always in awe of great texturing as I tend to focus on modelling and need to spend a lot more time in the digital paintbox.



07-29-2004, 09:12 PM
All you need now is to add a few hundred more
surfaces. And don't forget to quadruple your poly count.
Then, while you're at it, why don't you go ahead and relight it.
And a few spaceships and lens flares of course,
and uh - a monkey -
yes, an angry monkey.
Let me know how things work out. I be off cracking the
whole cold fusion thing, chiao!

07-31-2004, 02:59 PM
I love this image, looks like home.

07-31-2004, 03:50 PM
Thanks for the kewl comments, Bob! Actually went back and made some minor adjustments to the house -- as much as I could do without corrupting the geometry. Rendered and posted a new image, and I can say with all confidence now, that this puppy is finished (sometimes ya' just have to know when to walk away and move on to the next one....).

Really appreciate all the excellent feedback!

Oh, and in regards to the textures: images. I use digital photographic textures for about 90% of my objects. Mix different images in separate channels (diffuse, spec and bump), along with procedural textures, and you get a wonderful, rich look to the models.....

07-31-2004, 05:52 PM
I like it a lot!
The only thing I can see that doesn't quite "fit" is the grout that is holdning the stones together in the chimney.. it seems far too white and clean for the rest of the image, and for it's environment.

08-01-2004, 10:00 AM
Sastira -- right on the $$ with your observation. Couldn't call the image finished unless I addressed the chimney stone issue. See the newly updated image at the start of the thread; think it's finally where I want it. Appreciate the feedback!


Tom Wood
08-01-2004, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by lunarcamel
Looks like its floating. I suppose the cottage is on stilts but the orange glow underneath it (right side) seems strange to me.

Nice ;)

Yes, the floating effect isn't working for me, but I'm an architect so I react to that sort of thing. Just placing it on stilts doesn't work for me because nobody ever builds a masonry chimney on top of a wooden frame, the chimney needs to rest on the ground. The alternative would be a metal pipe flue, which would imply a cast iron stove inside. Then everything could be up on stilts. Also, if the cottage were sitting on the edge of a small ridge overlooking the ravine that the bridge spans, then it would make sense architecturally with the masonry chimney.

Similarly, the posts supporting the porch roof should be in vertical alignment with the posts that support the porch floor, what you are showing isn't structurally sound. There would also be more structure under the porch itself - cross beams and such.

Nitpicky stuff I admit, but I'm assuming you want all sorts of opinions. The overall look and feel is great.



08-01-2004, 01:13 PM
If you look closely, the old house is built on a rocky mound; only the porch extends beyond the mound, hence the stilts to keep the porch from collapsing. Kinda like a high island rising up in the middle of the grassy, misty ground around it. Also, the porch roof posts were offset intentionally, to give a "hodge-podge" look to the old structure, as if the porch roof could have been built as an afterthought. Wanted a subtle sense of chaos and disorder about the building, since it was built for an old witch in a seldom-traveled corner of a sinister forest..... Who knows? Maybe she even constructed it herself.....

This is fantasy, afterall; not looking to ground all of the details in reality.

08-03-2004, 03:31 PM
really great work!! I love this one!
at this point I'd only make the shadows a bit less defined! (like when using shadow maps or area lights)
but just a nitpick.. excellent stuff!

08-04-2004, 07:44 AM
Thanks, Oblivion!