This (from a recent holiday on Kefalonia) was the scene I wanted to recreate. As a bit of background, this was a charming little cafe I passed a few times on the 26km long climb up to Mt Ainos. The last day on the island, I decided to call in.
I created the table first as this was going to be the centre-piece of the image. All boxes. Nothing special. Notice the irregular length of the planks to create a more rustic feel.
I added a few elements ripped out from the cyclist model, the helmet and glasses.
I then created the benches. Again nothing special, just boxes.
The scene base is a simple plane with a few black polygons for the road surface.
I wanted to create lots of interesting shadows in the scene, and the pergola structure was ideal for this.
I played with the sun position to create the desired look and get the ray-traced shadows exactly where I wanted them.
For the distant horizon, the mountains were simply made from 2 flat shapes modified to look like mountains. Here they can be seen to be small objects close to the camera, rather than huge objects in the distance. Careful positioning in the camera would create the desired effect and the viewer would be none the wiser.
Once I'd found the ideal camera position from which to take the shot, further work could be done to improve the detail in the shot.
I then realised the pergola needed some foliage to create the correct 'feel' for a Greek cafe/taverna. Again, I only needed to create the foliage that could be seen from the camera.
I then added lots more assets to the scene. My bike, and the extra detail on the table.
Then the render quality settings were improved to get the correct soft-shadows.
A final addition of a gradient background to recreate a fake sky, along with a few extra render quality improvements to create my #PolyPeloton art style, and you have the final image.