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Behind the Scenes: Link! Open your eyes!


Hi all,

My name is Nhut Nguyen. I am living in Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam. Currently, I am working for a US-based mobile game company and I also do some freelance jobs on 3D illustrations and motion design.

I have been working in motion design for 4 years with so much passion. I love video games and I am curious about how people make characters’ movement in those games. I love to learn new things, which is why I started learning 3D illustration. I only have 6 months experience using Blender and it’s really hard to use at the beginning, so I occasionally gave up learning. It takes lots of practice; I found a way to do it better and it has become my favorite tool for now.

This project comes from an idea that I saw in the new Zelda game trailer on Nintendo Switch. I love this game so much and am looking forward to playing it. The anticipation inspired me to make this shot.

Here is the trailer:


References: I researched Zelda: Link’s Awakening on Pinterest before the modeling step and picked out elements such as the flowers, grass, fairy, etc.

Modeling: I just used basic tools to make a low-poly model.

Here is my simple trick for low-poly modeling:

Using this method will randomise your model’s polygon mesh. I used this trick for all models of my scene.

Light setup: I only worked on one light source at a time and moved on to the next light source after I was satisfied. This method really helps to improve my lighting skills a lot.

Add smoke: I just created a box and added a smoke shader for it. Here is my smoke shader:

Compositing: I added some simple nodes and played with it to tweak the color until I was happy with the result. In this case I was trying to improve my smoke effect, lighting color, glowing effect.

Final render

Here's the animated version:

And some high-res renders in 5K. Hope you enjoy it!

About the Author

Nhut Nguyen, Freelance Motion Designer




  1. Rombout Versluijs on

    WOW dude! Concragts!!!!
    You must have talent, really good one. Just 6 months and already you did something like this? Most of the times it takes a quite big amount of time more to produce something like this. I had seen this on BA, but didnt knew you were more of a beginner. Once again great job!

    PS i guess you will feel sort of at home doing character animation. You already do motion graphics so you got a good base i guess.

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad to hear that! I just wanted to make it as simple as possible. I don’t want to stick too much in technical.

  2. David Phipps on

    Hey great images! Instead of edge-split the auto smooth under the Object Data tab > Normals drop down is preferred since it doesn't split mesh for rendering or output of the mesh. I also use Blender for motion graphics for an NBA team here in the states. Keep it up!

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