This scene came together when I started Blender-doodling. Adding a sphere object, and then some pine branches from a model I already had, I started liking the arrangement!
I ended up catching the Blender bug, so to speak, and just kept at it. It gave me a chance to work on my modeling skills by creating a detailed Christmas light bulb and its wires, complete with a filament that emits light, and the shunt and all those fun parts inside the glass.
When I “Blender-doodle”, sometimes I do not pay much attention to the topology. In this case, however, I worked on making it more proper. Here is the bulb housing in its clay wireframe form, with the glass surface turned off, followed by its close-up render:
After that, I had to spend a good bit of time just experimenting with various lighting, be it adjusting the strength of the emission surface of the material, or the transmission and roughness values of the glass, even a little bit of alpha on it.
While I wanted to see if having colored glass would color the more white emission light inside it, that ended up causing too much fall-off. So, in the end, I had the emission be colored, with white glass surface and a touch of alpha with high transmission.
The garland came out nicely using the hair particles system in Blender. I composed this image using tools of contrast, and the flow of the garland and direction of bulbs to direct the eye to the ornament. The depth of field effect also helps with this, and softens the picture a bit. I wanted to give the impression of a nearby fireplace with the lighting off to the right. I also like how the cool tones on the left complement the warm tones on the right, in this finished piece.
I generated a 200% sized image with around 485 Cycles samples, and used the Composite nodes to denoise the inevitable fireflies.
Thank you for stopping by to take a look — I hope you enjoy it!
You may also view this and other pieces on its ArtStation page.