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Behind the Scenes: Little Hedgehog

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About

My name is Flojo (Florian Genal) and I am a 3D Artist/Generalist/Freelancer living in Karlsruhe, Germany. Before I became a 3D Artist, I was a professional dance acrobat on international stages. I've always had a passion for movement and entertainment.

I had my first contact with Blender in 2009. Back then I taught myself Blender and used it to create simple animated stage Backgrounds for theater shows.I loved Blender and the community from day one and I wanted to learn more to create my own animated short films. I bought books and watched many tutorials, for example, those by CG Cookie. In 2012 I made my first animated short film with Blender, and in 2015 a little dream of mine came true. I got the Suzanne Award for the best short at the Blender Conference in Amsterdam. I decided to take my animations to a new level and I studied character animation at Animation Mentor. It was a very hard but really amazing time.

Inspiration

A lot of people like robots, cars, and donuts :) Me too, but I prefer scenes from nature. Nature is just so infinitely detailed and is impressive every time you deal with plants and animals. When I start a project, the idea is always ready. My first step is always to collect references like photos and videos, but also texts. How do the animals live? Where is the animal's habitat? Etc. The reference search is always a big inspiration for me.

My goal was to create a cute hedgehog image rendering with a deadline of approximately six hours.
I live in Germany and when it gets colder, the trees lose their leaves, and winter comes, you used to see hedgehogs. These little cute animals are unfortunately seen less and less here. It is really sad that hedgehogs are becoming ever rarer. For me, they are one of the sweetest animals ever and very useful! They are struggling to find food because the insects are becoming fewer and they find little shelter because there are very few wild areas left and the leaves are all blown away by humans. But recently I met a little guy and I decided to create my own with Blender.

Tools

I created everything with Blender 2.80 except for the texture of the hedgehog. For the texture I used Substance Painter. The texture of the hedgehog is really a very simple texture—I could have just done it with Blender Texture Paint easily, but at some point, you have your own workflow and you use it. Especially because I set a very tight deadline.

Process

Modeling

For this little guy, I decided to create him only with box modeling. On the one hand, because it should be simple and, on the other hand, to save time since I would also have to do retopology after sculpting.

The hedgehog fur consists of 6 different particle hair settings.

For the spines, I tested different things. That was also the part that took the longest because I hadn't done anything like this before. I have created hair and fur a lot more times but I have never created spikes. First I modeled a few spikes and tried to place them with the particle system and it was okay, but I wasn't really happy with the result. The final spikes are just thick hair particles. The stripes on the spikes were created with a color ramp.

Of course, you can go into much more details and do cleaner work, but time was running out.

I created the foliage with the excellent Graswald add-on.

Rigging

I really only created the most necessary parts of the rig to give the hedgehog a simple pose.

Final Render

Thanks for reading!

About the Author

florian genal flojo 3d artFlorian Genal (flojoART), 3D Generalist Freelancer

 

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