Realistic urban scene creation

This scene is the second scene I am doing for the St. Vincent project. This workflow was similar to the one in the bamboo hut timelapse I did. I have also done a timelapse on this scene too that is displayed below. This second timelapse is to show what I have learnt from my first experience creating a scene in Blender and to better come to grips with creating and editing timelapses as I enjoy making them.

While creating the first building, I had used a method of 2D modelling to create the archway first. This was done by importing a circle and cutting it in half, extending and manipulating the verticies around it. This was a very efficiant workflow due to its ability to also work into the walls, floor and ceiling.

This urban scene is based off Kingstown in St Vincent, the reference image is shown below.

What have I learnt while making this scene? While creating this scene I had learnt new workflows and techniques like opacity on textures, leaf creation, a bit about the cloth material and how it reacts with modifiers and 2d modelling. The leaf texture was the most exciting thing i had learnt about in the project as it focuses on working with textures and realistic lighting traits such as lighting passthrough and dispersing through the thin skin of the leaf. In the future I would like to hone my tree modelling.

I had also learnt about 2d modelling. This workflow consists of taking a 2d shape, duplicating verticies, extruding and filling them.

What would I change about this scene? I would change the lighting. The lighting seems very static and only contains the basic. Through my semester break I will learn more about lighting within 3d packages and not relying on the inbuild game engine lighting.

The textures in this scene are also not completely accurate to the reference image. This is partly due to me not knowing how to do the bricks following the arch type texture, and not having the recources for the texutures or knowing how to create good ones from scratch.

Comparing this scene to my first scene, do I think I have made an improvement or learnt anything new? I believe I have. In the hut scene I used pre-made leaf textures so I didn't learn much about the textures or lighting, however in this new scene I had made the material from scratch using tutorial videos. I think this second scene is much better than the hut scene due to the fact that it is a completely different scene, the hut is more organic while the urban scene is very linear and looks artificial, and more man made with little reference to nature.

Here is a link to the archway tutorial I had used.

Here is a link to the tree creation tutorial I had used.