Create a Studio Ghibli-inspired scene in Blender · 3dtotal · Study | Create


The VDI challenge is always a challenge because it is mean to finish an amazing illustration in a short time. This project has some alternative steps to get an amazing result with basic tools. We will need to know about the basics of modeling, compositing, and lighting (we’ll make a length explanation of that), and you need love the cute characters and want tell a history with little elements. Of course, I’ll be using Blender!

spirited away ghost face anime studio ghibli 3d model render
Final illustration

Investigation & moodboard

We love to make art, we love to begin drawing, but we need to do research in the first step of a project – why? Because even when we see the movie many times, seeing it again can give us more information than the first time we see it.

I know, I know, what happens if we don’t have time to see it again? Don’t worry; just researching some images can give us information to create a fantastic image too. I only researched some images in this step, with the purpose to find the most recognizable elements of the Studio Ghibli movie.

spirited away ghost face anime studio ghibli 3d model research moodboard imagery
Moodboard the place I can see the primary parts of Spirited Away: Chihiro, Kaonashi, and Haku

Tough sketch

Now could be the time to sketch. I feel sketching is a option to convey your ideas to the floor the place we will see them. Possibly when you understand your course of, you possibly can take into account if you will need to give a lot time to this step or not. For me, it’s solely tough, however when you can add some further particulars right here it may be wonderful!

After I select my principal parts, I solely create a sketch the place my parts are the central level. Don’t fear, this isn’t my ultimate composition, it’s only a composition I’ll use like reference.

rough sketch thumbnail illustration layout blocking ideas
In my blocking I only need to use basic shapes like spheres or cubes, simulating, floor, walls, and characters

Blocking & basic shapes

Good blocking is key for having good final art. For that we need to place all our basic shapes simulating some of our details, like boxes, walls, or plants. In particular, to simulate a character place a sphere, though this won’t determine the shape of your character, only the space they will inhabit. One tip would be to try to be as close to the final image as possible, but only with basic shapes and the minimum of deformation. That’s to say we only need to use native shapes, without extrudes or bevel deformations.

beginning 3d render blocking shape making blender
In my blocking I only need to use basic shapes like spheres or cubes, simulating, floor, walls, and characters

Be crazy with the details

The spirit of a good illustration are the details, which is where you can become hypnotized for hours trying to find them all. But, how can I put lot of details in my illustration? We need to know you can’t just place random details because you’ll lose the magic behind an image. Firstly, I recommend you know the place where your image is – in my case, Japan, and a traditional Japanese house. After that you can make a list of all the elements you can normally find in that place.

environmental detailing blocking japanese windows objects 3d
The objects on my list included lotus flowers, a water body, trees, and those special Japanese windows called Shoji

Light sketch

Light sketch? Yes, maybe it sounds weird but this is a process to select your main light’s intensity. To help with this step, you can make the scene grayscale. for that all this step is make in grayscale. I recommend in this step to select the intensity, direction, and position of your main light. Also I recommend you do all the lighting in Eevee because you can see the changes in real-time.

3d model light sketch sculpting shapes moulding rendering
The objects on my checklist included lotus flowers, a water physique, timber, and people particular Japanese home windows referred to as Shoji


Creating the characters was one of many best issues within the course of. I’ve this type proper now, nevertheless it was not at all times this manner. To explain the method you solely have to know the anatomy of your world. In my case I really like the lovable world, and the traditional guidelines there are: heads are larger than the physique. It must be like a child, with easy and gentle shapes, quick legs and arms, and with which you can create numerous cute characters.

3d character design model rendering rigging studio ghibli spirited away
The inflexible face usually gives a childlike expression, however you possibly can strive different varieties of poses and expressions, and it’ll give extra selection.

Lighting particulars

For the superior lighting we want take into consideration colour principle, and of the picture’s temper. Right here I would like make an evening scene. I do know my surroundings shadows will likely be blue, and sure, that I have to put a gentle blue gentle to provide it blue shadows. My principal gentle must be the direct distinction of my surroundings – the colour principle goals to a yellow/orange colour, which says my principal gentle may be of that colour. And for the little lamps we have to make all of them emissive objects to assist as guides to assist viewers take a look at our characters.

lighting details camera rigging 3d model render studio ghibli
The additional lights will assist make a zone the place our eyes drop. It making a pure body.

Supplies & extra particulars

When the lighting seems to be good we have to add supplies, however not randomly. Usually my supplies are with out superior textures, as a result of I really like that kind of artwork, as a substitute I want put consideration into the colours of the illustration, particularly having in thoughts the way it will help our lighting set. The dominant gentle colour within the composition is heat. For that our supplies colour wants be heat too, particularly within the place the place the sunshine has excessive presence. To create one other pure body we will put chilly materials colours round our characters, in zones the place the shadow has presence.

lighting detailing contrasting foreground 3d model sculpt render
The distinction is a crucial half all through.

From Eevee to Cycles

Till this level, all of the lighting and supplies work has been created utilizing Eevee like render engine, and Eevee is okay, however to provide a greater lighting consequence we’ll change to Cycles. It is very important know Eevee doesn’t work like Cycles – each could have fairly totally different outcomes. For that we have to change the values of some lights, particularly our principal gentle. The modifications are large, however you will need to take particular care with the aim of our lights, considering of shadows and particulars. Many supplies will change too, however this step will solely take you an hour.

light values alteration 3d model rendering sculpting cycles
Watch out together with your gentle values and alterations.

Render & post-processing

Sure! All of the work has carried us to right here, the render time! The values are widespread: 2800×1575 px, 180 samples (we’ll use the denoise if crucial), RGBA, and eight depth colour. When our render is completed we have to use our composition window, and to provide a extremely cool look, I take advantage of a “Lens Distortion” node and a “Glare” node. The values are completely customizable, however for the lens node I take advantage of the “Match” choice, and for my glare node I take advantage of the “Fog glow” in a medium worth.

fog glow rendering model denoise effect final imagery studio ghibli
I used a depth of area in my digicam to provide an genuine photographic look

Ending the picture

Now we have completed our picture, and solely want so as to add an additional – however essential – element. The post-production may be carried out in Photoshop or Procreate. In my case, I used Procreate to regulate the Colour Steadiness, Curves, and so as to add distinction. After that our picture is able to be printed in all of the locations we wish!

colour adjustment warmth 3d visual character design studio ghibli
The final colour adjustment is essential – all of the rendered photographs want it, it would give the additional contact to make a magical picture.

High tip 1 – Preserve the composition clear

Usually when you use characters, you will have to provide them further consideration, utilizing props to create pure frames. It may be flowers, wooden, or some further props. Attempt to get the traces of that prop to level in course of your characters.

High tip 2 – Create the props in one other file

Many occasions, when we have now doubts about the kind of property we will discover in a world, essentially the most handy factor is to mannequin it in one other file. Don’t fear to make all of them the identical. If you import it to your challenge file you will have to switch it to provide a visible variant.