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Behind the Scenes: Law and Order Toy World Style


My first computer was a TRS 80 purchased way back in 1978. In 1999 I bought a Voodoo graphics card by 3dfx. Bundled with the graphics card was a program called Web 3D. It was a very basic program but it gave me my first taste of creating a 3D image and I was instantly hooked. Since then I have moved from program to program, learning everything I could as the software developed. By the early 2000’s I had developed my 3D modelling skills far enough that I thought I would try selling my models online. I had enough success at this that it motivated me to continue on this path. I moved to Blender 2.49 in 2009 and haven’t looked back.

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I run an online business called “Virtual Furnishings”. I use Blender and Photoshop to composite 3D models of furniture and furnishings into photos of vacant properties for real estate agents. The majority of this work is on interiors but, on occasion, it also involves exterior photos that require the addition of grass, trees and other vegetation. I purchased the Blender add-ons Graswald and Botaniq for this purpose but had not had much cause to use them until recently. So I thought I would try them out in a test scene. This featured image started off as that test, but took on a life of its own as it progressed.


I started with a plane and added some grass and plants for some ground coverage using Graswald. I then added the feature tree and background trees using Botaniq.

So far so good. Everything was integrating really well. I had some photogrammetry models of logs and rocks that I hadn’t used before, so I added them to the scene as well. As soon as I added a late afternoon HDR image for the lighting, the image now had a sense of “mood” to it. It was at this point that a story started to form in my mind. I then added the Rabbit and Elephant characters, which were toys from an Evermotion props pack, to the scene. Up until this point, the creation of the image was very much a kitbashing exercise. Once the characters were in the scene, I then posed them to go with the story of the clueless passer-by who stumbles on the scene of a grisly murder. To complete the scene, I modelled an axe for the murder weapon.

The final image was rendered in Blender Cycles. The only post work done to the image was adding the stuffing coming out of the elephant’s head and refining the expressions on the characters’ faces in Photoshop.

What was new to me while putting this picture together was the particle system for the vegetation. I found the Graswald addon a great help with this. The manual is very well put together and the system very straightforward. Seeing how well this worked out inspired me to look deeper into Blender’s particle system. It has helped greatly in my virtual furnishing endeavours with regards to fluffy pillows and shag pile carpets and rugs.

About the Author

Shane Keppel, freelance graphic artist living in country Victoria, Australia.



About the Author

Abby Crawford

I've been a part of the BlenderNation team since 2018, producing Behind the Scenes and Meet the Artist features that highlight Blender artists and their work.

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