Christmas 2021


Render Time: 21 hours 56 minutes

Resolution: 5120 × 2880

Sample Count: 16384 - Denoised

Particles: 200,000

Triangles: 8,099,934

Render Size: 161.7 MB

File Size: 1.6 GB

Post Processing

Adobe Photoshop 2022

GIMP 2.10.30

Colour Correction + Grading

Exposure / Contrast




Heal Brush

Making of Christmas 2021

Christmas 2021 is the 3rd render of Santa's Gingerbread Christmas City by TheReawakened. This year's render was particularly hard to render, with the use of volumetric clouds and snow.

The issues began when exporting the world to OBJ. I thought it would be a great idea to export the entire scene, which turned out to be over 1GB large. It became apparent after loading into Blender that this would not be possible - the viewport was extremely sluggish, and I maxed out my RAM usage at over 32GB allocated.

In the end, loaded a smaller section of the scene, which had almost no effect on the final render due to the thick fog and camera angle. This sped up viewport peformance significantly, and allowed me to tweak materials and add effects without my computer crashing.

The volumetric clouds were particularly a pain to use. The original clouds were taken from ArtStation and was made by Ryan Andrade. For some reason, the clouds always seemed to look "off" and the scale was hard to judge. Eventually, I settled on the final cloud placement you see here, at a low enough altitude to allow the Christmas Tree to light up the clouds, but not too low as to look majorly unrealistic.

The individual particle was taken from Rich Sedman over from Blender's Stack Exchange. The original material was made entirely from a volume. This raised an issue - the snow particles were barely visible in the final render. I managed to fix this by increasing the emission value of the snow very slightly. This allowed the snow particles to stand out more from the scene.

The entire scene was rendered in Cycles and took almost an entire day to complete, no thanks to high use of volumetrics and subsurface scattering.

Once the render was finally complete, I corrected the overly-yellow colours and brightened up the exposure in Photoshop, then finally adding some small supernova effects in GIMP. Overall, I am extremely pleased with how this render managed to turn out.

Merry Christmas!





Blender File

Size: 1.62 GB

Scene Images

Size: 514.5 MB


  • Final Render

  • Original Image + Denoised