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Behind the Scenes: Garden - Blender 2.8

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Hello everyone.

My name is Farrukh Abdur Rahman and I am a 3D artist. I have a deep love of creating 3D art. Currently, I am working as a freelancer on 3D projects with clients around the world. Most of my skills have been developed from self-learning, from online resources and tutorials. I am from Pakistan.

I am happy to share my work process of creating the Garden artwork.

This project was completely made in Blender 2.8. I have shared different steps on how I created this scene. I have tried to keep it simple and easy to understand.

Following are some of the final views of this project.

Concept Idea

The project started as the fall season was coming. I looked for different reference places and I selected Japanese-themed gardens as the main source of inspiration for my artwork.

Collecting References

The very first step was to gather different reference images of Japanese gardens and fall colors. Then, I started identifying which objects I would be including in my scene. The references helped in making the scene representation more pleasantly similar looking to a garden.

For this artwork, I was going for more stylized forms while still maintaining a Japanese theme.

Reference Sheet

Modeling

I started with one object at a time and modeled it. Most of the objects start with simple primitive shapes like cubes and cylinders that were then modified using standard poly modeling techniques like extrude, edge loops, insets, and cuts to make the desired objects, as needed.

As the final views were going to be mostly from a distance, I did not have to create too many details.

In some objects I added a subdivision modifier to make them look smoother.

There are about 25 different objects in this scene. Most are fairly simple in design.

Most objects were created following relevant reference images.

I created this character for the scene. I wanted to keep it simple.

For some objects I used Blender sculpting tools as well.

For any sculpt, I block out the basic shape with spheres or cylinders to draft a shape, then remesh them to combine together, smooth the surface joints, and start adding adjustments or details. I was mostly working with low-mid poly meshes during sculpt mode. Sculpting brushes like the grab brush, smooth brush, and pinch brush are a few common ones that I use.

The remesh panel offers two options: Voxel and Quad. First I use Voxel to combine the meshes into one and later, if needed, Quad can be used to clean the mesh topology more.

Some 3D objects, such as rocks, leaves, plants, fish, and grass patches, have been reused all over the environment. Using transform, scale, and rotation, I slightly altered the models so they didn’t look like exact copies. Most of the 3D models are low poly with a subdivision modifier applied to make them look smoother during renders.

Creating Grass

The grass was created using a particle system. I created a plane for it and applied a simple hair particle setup. For the grass material I assigned a standard BSDF material. I made 2-3 different variations of the plane sizes and placed them around the space.

The underwater plants also use a particles setup. I assigned a custom object collection over a flat plane and changed some parameters to spread it across.

Koi Fish and Material Creation

For the fish, I modeled one base mesh and then later created different color variations for it. The fish uses a procedural material which allowed me to create any sort of Koi-type pattern.

Later on, I added a bend modifier to make the fish body shapes slightly different.

Materials for the Koi Fish

For creating the Koi fish Material in Blender, I recommend a very nice tutorial by String Fairy. I have added it below for anyone interested.

Creating Rocks with Particles

The rocks that surround the base use a particle system. I created a low poly cylinder and then added a particle system using an object collection consisting of 3-4 types of rock models. It then creates a rounded wall type looking rock structure.

It was efficient and easy to create a base quickly and customize as needed. For the rocks, I created a set of low poly and some smooth, high poly rocks.

 

Creating Trees

The trees were created using a great free Modular Tree add-on by Maxime Herpin. It allows a variety of trees to be created quickly and with leaves.

Using this, I made two different tree sets, changed some parameters, and added them into the scene. Color and leaves materials were easily created with the trees.

Trees created using the Modular Tree Add-on

Almost all of the 3D objects use procedural materials. This allows for a lot of control and quick adjustments. In most cases the materials are just solid colors.

Water

I used a refraction node and a glossy node to create the water. I have attached the node view for it below. Although there was room for improvement on the water, I was happy with the results I needed.

I added a small noise displacement on the plane as well to break the reflections slightly.

This is the node setup I used.

Lighting

For the lighting of the scene, the ambient source of light comes from the HDR map that I used in the world environment setting. The HDRI map I used is from HDR Haven, which offers great quality, free HDRI maps.

With only HDRI Lighting

The other source of light is the sun. I used it to add more lighting to the scene and for better shadow control.

With sun light added and HDRI

Rendering with EEVEE and Cycles

I used EEVEE for most of the real-time views and animated 360 turntable. Later, I did some new renders in Cycles to get more refined details and for a more improved visual quality.

EEVEE Realtime Viewport

I have added a simple world node setup that I use in my work most of the time.

First thing, it hides the HDRI map but will keep the HDRI lighting to show in the scene. The other thing it does is allow you to set any background color in the render and viewport.

For EEVEE rendering, the settings I used are standard. They work mostly well. But depending on any scene, I recommend changing values as needed. Each render generated is almost instant as results are real-time.

  • Ambient Occlusion
  • Bloom
  • Screen Space Reflections/ Refractions
  • Soft Shadows
  • Color Management Look Contrast

Creating a Turntable Animation Real-time with EEVEE

To quickly create a 360 camera turnaround animation, there is a very good free add-on, Turnaround Camera, available in Blender. Simply select the camera and object and it will create a camera rotation around any specific object. I used it for my scene.

Organization of Objects in Scene

It is good to keep things organized from the start to manage any project easily. I created separate collections for different objects and it helped me a lot when working. I was able to turn off, hide, isolate, select, and perform editing on any particular area using the outliner.

Scene Collection List

It took me about 5-6 days to develop this artwork. I had a great time making it.

That is all I have to share for this project. I hope you find it useful in some way. Feel free to let me know in the comments below if you have any questions and I will be happy to reply.

I would like to thank BlenderNation for this opportunity and giving me a chance to share the details of this project.

For anyone interested, my latest artworks can be found on ArtStation and on different social media accounts listed below.

Thank you very much!

About the Author

Farrukh Abdur Rahman, I am a 3D Artist and Designer.

 

 

3 Comments

    • I absolutely love this
      I am also from Pakistan
      And I am creating a big project of my own in blender that I will publish as soon as it is done
      I love the Japanese theme
      And I appreciate your great work
      Keep it up!

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