They look like photographs, but look again. These detailed, cinematic landscapes are actually a blend of 3D renderings and illustrations.
These images are by Larry Jacobsen, a Shutterstock contributor based in the mountains of Southern California. Jacobsen is a freelance artist who has been contributing his images to Shutterstock since 2005, where they’re popular with customers worldwide.
Jacobsen creates the images by rendering elements such as mountains, trees and buildings with Vue3D software. For images with wildlife, he usually hand-paints the animals using a graphics tablet and Photoshop. Then he puts these different elements on separate layers in Photoshop Elements, where he assembles his final composition.
“I'm interested in creating a well designed, realistic, representational style of the western United States," he says. "I like the land features and coastline of the western part of the United States, with its mountains, streams, lakes, deserts, and rocky coastline and most of all, its rocks."
Below are some of Jacobsen’s favorite Shutterstock images. To see more of his work, view his portfolio.
“I always like the rugged rock formations of the Great Southwest in the early morning sunlight. This image also reminds me of the type of illustrations that I would see on the front of plastic model kit boxes that I purchased when I was a kid.”
“This image is of the California coastline. I have been living in the California mountains for over 34 years now and would like to relocate to the Pacific Coast and experience what it would be like living there.”
“I think castles are a good subject matter for a composition and this was my first fantasy castle scene where I have added wildlife.”