Behind the Scenes: Fern Flower


Hello! I’m Adrian Bik, an 18-year-old dwelling in Cracow, Poland.

I’ve been learning Blender on my own for round 4 and a half years now. I’ve been taking part in video video games since my childhood and at all times puzzled how these digital areas have been created. Sooner or later I stumbled upon Blender and I bear in mind being completely blown away by what was attainable to do at dwelling, even with my sluggish laptop computer. I began watching tutorials on YouTube (Blender Guru, CG Geek, and CG Enhance helped me loads) and since then, my progress has been sluggish however regular.

Now, I’m in the course of my senior yr of highschool. I wish to main in laptop science, however my dream is to work within the sport/VFX business some day.


I used to be initially impressed throughout a stroll within the woods, which jogged my memory of outdated Czechoslovak animated films that now really feel very nostalgic to me. Jiří Trnka made a film referred to as “Špaliček” displaying a few of the Czech traditions over the course of a complete yr in a really stunning method.

I actually preferred that and needed to create a render that reveals a few of our Polish custom, whereas retaining a little bit of that signature look.


As at all times, I began by gathering references for all the undertaking.

I watched the film “Špaliček” to get a really feel for the lighting, ambiance, and magnificence earlier than gathering some pictures and organizing all of it in PureRef (It’s the principle program I take advantage of for holding monitor of my concepts and holding the look constant throughout work.)

I additionally made an idea which was a few fast iterations with a pencil to assist in setting of the correct composition and temper.


First I began sculpting. I sculpted the principle physique type with Blender, blocking out the final form and making the puppet appear like it’s filled with cotton.

Then I rapidly rigged the character with the assistance of Blender’s built-in Metarig add-on. This allowed me to animate him bending into the ultimate pose. This step can be required later, as this was how I needed to realize lifelike folds and creases within the clothes.

To make his outfit, I used Marvelous Designer and constructed a material simulation. I assigned totally different stiffnesses to all the equipment.

With all the things in place, I simulated the fabric whereas the mannequin was setting into his place:

Marvelous Designer additionally allowed me to rapidly add lifelike buttons and stitches. It gave me UV maps for the clothes as effectively.

Lastly, I modeled a fast sword and was prepared to begin the texturing.


The character was textured in Adobe Substance 3D Painter. I divided the mannequin into 4 totally different texture units—the physique, head, garments, and the sword.

I used to be utilizing PBR (Bodily Primarily based Rendering), so I wanted to arrange 5 totally different texture maps: Albedo/Base Colour, Roughness, Metallic, Regular, and Top. The decision was 4K.

I took a few totally different cloth supplies from Quixel Megascans as the bottom for each piece of clothes. I additionally used Substance’s built-in mills for the stylized wooden and metal.

This regarded too clear, so I broke it up a bit by including put on and scratches to each a part of the mannequin. This was executed by utilizing a mixture of generated masks and hand portray with a graphics pill.

To me, it nonetheless regarded too excellent, so I painted in additional mud and dust splashes whereas nonetheless being cautious to not add an excessive amount of or to use it in unrealistic locations.

Lastly, I gave the puppet its face.

The total course of, however animated:

Listed here are all the opposite textures:


Lastly, to complete the character off, I added his hair. For me, this was a pleasant alternative to check out Blender’s new hair curve system. It has not too long ago been reworked to permit simpler strand placement, clump administration, and customarily made creation of hair and fur for characters loads less complicated. To familiarize myself with it, I adopted Noggi’s nice tutorial on this subject:

Regardless that the contemporary instruments made the method loads simpler, I used to be nonetheless fighting shaping many hair curves (skilled CG hair artists, you could have my respect), however I’m certain it’ll get simpler with follow.

Moreover, I’ve utilized a couple of extra typical particle techniques to the garments to present them a softer, fuzzier look.


Creating the surroundings was a problem of its personal.

The forest ground is a subdivided airplane that I displaced utilizing numerous noise textures combined collectively for a extra irregular look. The fabric consists of three major layers—first mud, then lifeless leaves, and at last grass.

For the vegetation on this undertaking (and the cliff face), I used property from Quixel Megascans. To distribute them, geometry nodes proved extremely helpful. After arising with the appropriate setup, I may simply paint spots on a weight map. It managed the bush density, basically permitting me to “paint in” greenery like Bob Ross. Geo-nodes additionally took care of scattering tiny particles like sticks throughout the digital camera.

The geo-node tree is proven over right here:

Objects just like the timber and fern have been positioned manually, and the timber have been modeled on my own with Maxime Herpin’s Modular Trees add-on. It permits for the procedural creation of timber, nearly like Speedtree however free and inside Blender.

I did discover that it’s relatively restricted by way of attainable tree sorts and stability although. The total course of is damaged down:


There may be nothing significantly attention-grabbing about the best way the flower is modeled. Nonetheless, I feel that its materials deserves a point out on this article. The flower has two components with two distinct supplies—a translucent hole shell and a smaller, emissive model of it on the within.

The outer materials vaguely resembles glass. It’s a subsurface scattering base that we’re capable of see-through, due to a transmission shader combined into it.


Many of the lighting within the scene is coming from a large picture of the background, set as much as fill the entire view (impressed by the LED greenscreen improvements within the movie business). I additionally brightened up the shadows a bit utilizing an HDRi set to a tiny brightness worth. That is meant to make the shadows look extra lifelike as they’re by no means utterly black in actual life—there’s at all times a little bit of background noise.

To deliver the lighting up a notch, I added a few gentle sources in strategic places. They have been supposed to drag the viewer’s consideration into the appropriate place and likewise to maintain the scene trying lifelike.

For instance, there’s a white gentle positioned close to the forest’s edge that provides further moonlight scattering on the timber that was utterly lacking earlier than.


And there you could have it!

Thanks for studying this text and I hope that you have discovered one thing new.

Concerning the Artist

Adrian Bik, an aspiring 3D artist who’s making artwork in his free time. He’s at present on the lookout for alternatives within the skilled area.