You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.



by Michael W

This week's artwork features one landscape, from a set of three, that Michael has produced for a commercial project; Michael writes:

Due to a non disclosure agreement there's not much I can say about the project itself, but I can say that this was an unusual brief:

I had two weeks, I had to have a fixed camera and had to "bring the world to life"... the techniques I used for materials, object placement and animation were more important than the content itself,which is why I'm allowed to show these at all!

This first image took the longest of the three and ended up as a 60 second animation...

The birds flocked, the trees and grass swayed... clouds passed in front of the sun and the rays flickered...

I'd not touched the sequencer or compositor in a long while:

For most of the last year I've been doing a huge amount of level design and "whiteboxing" - where all the features of a level are blocked out in a simplified form to prove gameplay, before being sent to India, Vietnam or China for final production.... so this project was really a challenge to knock the rust off my chops!

You can see an interesting, though brief, WIP thread here, and view all three landscapes here


  1. Glad you like this!

    Sandking, my website is if you want to see more...

    ...the site has some of my 2d, 3d and character work on show... sadly some of those are un-finished WIP projects that are on hold due to work commitments... most of my "pro" work is under non disclosure agreements....I have a bunch of personal projects that I'm not quite getting time to finish at the moment... But then again, I'm glad of the paid work in this climate!

    Anyway, thanks for the kind comments.

  2. Michael
    Don't worry about non disclosure agreements, no need to share any info, just upload your .blend files and we're ok lol
    BTW great work man! Congratulations!

  3. Awsome, checked out your other landscapes too, i didnt know about the blender greenhouse till i saw that!! that is really something else, is there a trick to pumping out heaps of rocks like you have on the 2nd landscape?

  4. Deso, probably not! but then again i blame my bad comp, as thee rocks are actually behind where the trees are!

    Proportion, the rocks were instanced by a particle system... It's quite a nice way to do it as you can "paint" the density with a weight map and use the particle count to control overall how many there are... you can also randomise the rotation and scale in quite a control-able way. I love it and am planning to try some rubble and destruction soon...

    It'd be nice to have the total count increase as you paint, but it's not really a bother as it is now....

    For nice variety you can use a group of objects and it'll randomise which object is used as it instances... in 2.5 apparently you can randomise the rotation around a single axis rather than only uniform for all 3 axis in 2.49... That'll make trees much easier!

  5. I had always envied the Terrans. Their world looked so beautiful, as it hung there in our sky, motionless, all day, all night, taunting, beckoning, even commanding me to visit her. It was so close, like I could almost reach out or just jump there, if I climbed our highest mountain. To be sure, our planet Forma was indeed beautiful, but I had always thought it too cold, The snow was ever-present, and for almost half of our day, Terra blocked our sun, casting us in to this twilight, and allowing the cold to return. There were some in my province that actually cursed the Terrans and their planet, for blocking our sun and thus stunting our crops. I could understand that, and even I cursed them sometimes, but only when I could not stand my envy. Our Shaman told my mother that I would not be of this world one day, and I had always hoped she meant that I would be there, on Terra, in person, and finally walk among the Terrans.

    That was, of course, until I actually met one.

  6. Mysteriousblend on

    Thanks for the chuckle Papasmurf.

    Deso said: "Not bad :) Should the trees grow from rocks ?"

    Deso, especially in very warm and humid climates trees often do grow up between rocks, and then sort of wrap their roots around them. seedlings or "water sprouts"will sometimes grow up through a tiny fissure in an otherwise largely solid stone formation, eventually splitting it apart. They tend to grow thru and around old stone buildings in much the same way. There are some trees that are more inclined to act that way than others, but don't ask me what species they are, because I never remember things like that. ( I could talk about this for ages, so I'll just shut up now)

    Micheal W
    I read the work in progress thread for this image, and the others that are shown there, and I'm really impressed, Lovely work.

    I liked the Jungle scene, as well as this one. I tried to read your explanation of how you did things, but I'm sort of new to blender and a lot of it just turned into gibberish on the journey from my eyes to my brain. Is there a tutorial somewhere for that particle system technique you described?

  7. i don't know about a tutorial, I figured it out by looking at the settings...

    Try the manual on the wiki for particles...

    Here's the manual page on PARTICLE visualisation

    set the visualisation type to object or group (the latter if you want a random set of objects)

    You'll want to set"unborn" and "died" to on and make sure you're at the first frame.... m 9you may want to have the "emitter " button enabled if you want the emitter to render! could be important if you've used the ground!

    Now your objects should be distributed across your emitter surface...

    the "amount" value on the particle system panel sets how many instances you'll have

    look at the rotation settings on the physics panel..set the pulldown labeled "none" to "normal"... it should angle the objects to the surface and add a random factor as well...

    finally to tweak with weight maps go to the "extras" panel...

    at the bottom is the vertex group pulldown... use it to associate particle parameters to vertex groups...

    (the "gotcha" is that you can assign a vertex group to each of teh parameters on the pulldown, so things get pretty hidden!

  8. Tutorials please!!! this is sooo wonderful... am a beginner and am looking foward to becoming a blender guru. i really wanna know how to do this!!!

  9. Kofex, there are some notes on the techniques I used in the main thread on blender artists and also in the WIP thread on blender artists...

    Both links are in the main article above...

    pixnolve, all three are modelled and rendered in blender using only the internal renderer for output and some composite nodes.... the third shot had some artefacts touched up in gimp...

    the modelling on the third shot (jungle) was assisted by "ivy generator" and a couple of stock models from blender greenhouse (palm and dracena)

  10. Thank you for your reply to my question.
    By the time I was able to get back here and see your message, and then look for the wiki page on particle system visualization the page had been moved, but Now that I know what to look for it should be possible to find where it's gone. Your explanation was very clear, and I think I might actually understand most of it. :)

Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.