I think the composition looks a lot better now. I like the colors of the ocean too. Maybe the ocean needs a higher AA value in the render settings. What values did you use?
The only thing that maybe you could improve would be the light on the tree leaves. The leaves seem too opaque. That's normal with xfrog trees. This could probably be improved by changing one or all of these settings of the leaves materials (to better learn the effects of each, I'd recommend to change one by one and do comparative renders): - set backlight to 100% (tab Effects) - set highlight color to white and set intensity to a high value (highlight size to a medium value) - set bump depth to a low value - set material to one sided
I suspect my AA settings were too low for this version. 4/8 60% with crisp. Am trying some stuff right now on the tree. I had actually turned down the backlighting to about 60 but figured I would try to crank it up again. The render time was really fast so I guess I could up the quality some .
If all my other tips fail, there's another one, more radical: make the leaves a bit more transparent.
The leaves are probably made with variable transparency driven by a bitmap, in the "transparency production" of the Transparency tab. The bitmap is surely pure black and white, which means totally transparent or totally opaque. You can make the parts that are totally opaque a little bit transparent by simply playing with the filter called "transparency", that sits just next to that image in the material editor. Edit the filter and raise the zero value a lot, until it almost reaches the upper left corner. If you put the zero value totally in the upper left corner, the material becomes totally transparent so put it just slightly below. Experiment with various positions until you're satisfied.
Rays look lovely! For such a strong sun right in front, it seems that the tree has too much light from behind, like if there's a second light source. I would say that the shadows should be a bit stronger. I really think the horizon line should be moved higher, to 1/3 of the image. This would not only make the horizon in a more "compositionally correct" position, according to the standards, but it would also put the sun in the correct position (also from the compositional theories point of view). For such a calm scene, I would also move the tree a bit away from the border.