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Photorealism has many elements. Take, for instance, the figure 1 below, a shot from Dune Part One movie.

Figure 1 enter image description here

The process of production of a image such as this one, is laborious and involve more than one people, more than one team of people. On the other hand, a more "crude" version of Figure 1 is Figure 2 below.

Figure 2 enter image description here link: https://cdnb.artstation.com/p/assets/images/images/043/232/735/4k/rodeo-fx-art-department-020-0010-cpt-v06.jpg?1636666658

It is the same shot, but now we can see its state as concept art, specially in lighting.

Now, potentially, I can realize how can I reach a somewhat nice photorealistic render of the mountain and the castle, as well as the fog, sky and lighting. But one major element that really makes the image pops out is the ocean. That is my problem here. You see, my workflow is based on:

Moddeling ---> Texturing ----> transport everthing to Unreal Engine to use its light systems

I have achived results that I enjoyed, at least as concept arts. But when I have to input oceans the photorealism crumbs down.

Take a look at Figure 3.

Figure 3 enter image description here

In this upscaled section of Figure 2 we can see nice fine details such as whitewater and little waves and irregularities on water, tipically is what we would see in real world, due to things like the wind sheering the water surface and water-shore encounter.

So, my question is:

I can potentially say which softwares can be used to model the mountain and the castle, as well as the fog, sky and lighting. But how can I reach this level of complexity and photorealism for the water? Would Houdini be suficient ?

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not entirely sure if this is the correct place to ask the question. You can simulate water in some or all of its parts (e.g. the main body, the waves, the foam that builds on top / at edges). You can simulate light transport through water (in which case this is certainly the right place to ask!) or you can try to just model something and throw it into an engine (in which case, I'd argue you should ask more design oriented people). In general the question is a bit loaded and too broad. You may start here as an example: youtube.com/watch?v=fyMhOi1eQ_s and then go to finer details $\endgroup$
    – Tare
    Apr 18 at 7:21

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