Improving light quality of render

Hi there!

I’m working on a render for someone. The first image is in the style they want to recreate, the second one is what I’ve managed to come up with. Can anyone give any recommendations as to how to recreate the quality of the first image? I would really appreciate it!

Thanks so much!

how did you light your scene? light looks very blurry. I’d use a blue skylight environment + directional light (or sun) to start with. The reference image uses light from behind the building which gives more interesting shadow detail. It could also be that the reference is post processed with an extra AO pass, hard to see on a small image. You probably also need more work on the models. Right now they are not very detailed compared to the reference image buildings.

Also try a lower “white” like (210,210,210) or less. It looks like you use 255,255,255 which cause the bright light GI reflections around the buildings.

The color mood isn’t the best too, maybe you can adjust the physical sky. Also you could try a sky HDRI and simple directional light. What you need is a blue sky and light yellow sun.