Behind the Scenes: Elf Bust


Hello, my identify is José María Barbenza. I am a 29-year-old freelance 3D artist from Argentina. I’ve at all times favored all facets of 3D, however I focus on 3D modeling, sculpting, and texturing.

From a really younger age, I labored in movie and brief movie productions, which helped me acquire robust expertise within the 3D world. Then, I began working freelance for movie productions, collection, video video games, and commercials. I have been utilizing Blender since 2011, and I’ve at all times beloved its nice flexibility for all areas.


I’ve at all times favored The Lord of the Rings, and I needed to do a challenge associated to it. As quickly as I had the time, I did it. I used to be impressed by the elves within the films in addition to the stylized elves within the Dragon Age online game.

I made a decision to combine kinds and create a semi-realistic elf with a mix of real looking and stylized options.


First, I at all times begin with a tough blocking of what I bear in mind after which add particulars in a particular order. I started by sculpting the pinnacle after which re-topologized it utilizing conventional Blender instruments.

Subsequent, I used the high-poly mannequin so as to add extra particulars, resembling pores and skin texture and tweaked it to create a standard map and displacement map for the high-poly to low-poly mesh conversion in Substance Painter.

I additionally added the eyes and a teardrop.

After ending the pinnacle detailing, I proceeded to mannequin the clothes and ornaments.


I used Substance Painter to texture the mannequin.

For the pores and skin, I wish to hand-paint it by combining completely different colours till I get the fitting one.


First, I posed the bust and ready the digital camera. Then, I used Blender’s particle system and divided it into elements:

  • Facial Hair
  • Eyebrows, Eyelashes, and Beard
  • Hair and Braids (I used HairNet for the braids in order that the particles observe information curves)

It’s a complicated and tedious work, however it’s necessary to get the main points proper. It was most likely essentially the most time-consuming a part of the challenge.


This stage can be lengthy. I make lighting assessments till I discover the fitting form, appropriate errors and particulars.

On this stage, I additionally added the crown that I modeled with curves.


Thanks for studying. I hope it has helped you perceive the method.


Concerning the Artist

José María Barbenza,
a Senior 3D Artist / 3D Modeler from Argentina. Presently freelancing in movie productions, video video games and commercials.