I think this is working a lot better!Is there any chance that the people standing especially in the foreground could have some rendering/really bright highlights -- not a lot, just enough to make them pop and not be quite so flat and dark? That's my only real suggestion. Some structures or lighter things might be nice on the distant islands to break up the space a little bit, but that's up to you. Also, when water reflects the sky, it actually will appear darker, not lighter. Reflective surfaces absorb some of the light as a general rule. Google some lakes and you'll see what I mean :) http://www.kidsgeo.com/images/lakes.jpg is a pretty good example.
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Thanks Sam! So I tried the darker water and really didn't like how it looked visually... and maybe if the sunlight was reflecting off of the water then it would appear lighter... I put a bit of rim-light onto the figures to help them pop out a bit more too :)
I saw the original before you took it down... I think part of the problem was that all the highlights in the water were darkened as well as the water. I don't think the water would have to be darker completely -- just some darker tones overall, which would also make the highlights pop. Especially underneath the islands. Something along http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/op/cen/rec/images/scenic_lake2.jpg lines -- here it gets almost black, which I don't think would look good, but something closer to those lines?I hope you don't mind, I did a really quick paintover to show what I mean... it's actually just with adjustment layers, so it's kind of choppy lol.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v395/ntkufreak/orinoco_water.jpgBut if you don't want to go with it that's totally fine, I agree about the first pass and was worried I wasn't being clear lol. Sorry!
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