The above render was my entry for the Blenderguru Dreamland competition. I entered in this competition because I wanted to do something other than architectural visualization renders.
The story of this image is that of a young, curious boy, who loves to explore the land of his dreams. I tried to go for a semi photorealistic look, giving the image this dreamlike vibe. Not only is the subject of this render different from my previous creations, it also led me into some new territory on the technical side.
“Exploring Dreamland” contains a lot of firsts for me. Not only is it the first render I ever published with a character in it, it also marks my first try to create clouds with volumetric shading in Blender. Due to the amount of geometry in this scene, rendering the final image was quite the challenge especially because I had the competition deadline closing in. Luckily I got away with rendering it at a very low amount of samples (just 100 for the final image). With the volumetrics involved Cycles would usually usually output a very noisy image but thanks to some blur filters in post-processing I was able to reduce the noise while still getting an acceptable result.
The modeling and texturing was pretty straightforward for this image, as only a few non-procedural elements are visible. The character was modeled after some pirate reference images as he should somewhat resemble a pirate of the skies. His flying sail ship was inspired by some of the famous cruisers of the 17th century. The big rusty anchor meanwhile is a slightly modified version of a standard admirality anchor.
An OpenGL render of the flying sail ship