How should I deal with the horizon in a scene? I have tried blocking it with fog, a hill, or even water but they all tend to look tacky.

Showing none of the sky tends to make it look flat. What should I do to make the horizons look nice instead of just cutting off into the sky?

  • $\begingroup$ It depends entirely on what you're rendering. Often you might not want to have a horizon/"ground" separation at all. I don't know why, but when I saw the question I thought of the renderings of cars where you generally have an entirely black background or a featureless grey or black "room". Otherwise you might just want to look up stuff similar to what you're doing and see what the backgrounds are like there.(side note: I find it amusing how the first results from googling "car" are all sports cars). $\endgroup$ – linuxhackerman Mar 23 '14 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ the scene contains a vehicle, and is generally about vehicles, but the setting is not a garage. while a garage would have been easier the setting is intended to be a more natural scene $\endgroup$ – ZCoder Mar 23 '14 at 21:00
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    $\begingroup$ @ZCoder What about some trees or something to break it up? $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Mar 24 '14 at 6:51

Unfortunately I don't have enough points to make this a comment, but the answer to this question is entirely subjective. "Tacky" "flat" and "look nice" could mean many different things to different people. A visual reference to what you've tried that's not working and a hint of what it is that you're trying to accomplish would be a better starting point...

Some suggestions: It does help to have some atmospheric fog. Objects close to the camera should be sharper than those far away. You're always looking at the horizon through the humidity and other particles in the air, therfore count on some distortion caused by refraction or dispersion. In a landscape think of the horizon line as the brightest value, and make it fall at a strong point in your composition. The horizon is so very far away, use the depth of field to blur it and bring the elements in the foreground in focus. The sky is never as single color, but a subtle canvas of different tonalities. Use gradients and textures on it too. You should look into the the vast history of painting (the subject has been dealt with since the renaissance). Pick up a book or two on perspective and composition. There's been rivers of ink written about this...

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  • $\begingroup$ sorry if it was too subjective. what I noticed when trying to render is often there's be a sharp divide between colors,i.e. a green land suddenly giving away to a bright blue sky- in a perfectly flat horizontal line. I figured that was a no-no, but wasn't sure what should be done to fix that $\endgroup$ – ZCoder Mar 23 '14 at 13:24

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