Hi, first of all, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Miroslav Fek, alias Mifekron. I've had a connection to art and 3D modeling since I was a kid when I had a dream to become a game developer one day. I graduated from art high school and then I studied design in college. I achieved my dream of becoming a game developer, so I worked as a 3D artist in the game industry for a few years. Later on, I went freelance and currently work at an art high school where I teach subjects like 3D modeling, animation, and drawing.
It was because of my school work that I was forced to convert my experience into Blender. Oh and how I have fallen in love with it. And it was during the pandemic, when the whole world came to a standstill, that I had the opportunity to fully immerse myself in Blender and completely forget about the industry standard. I remember trying out the possibilities of the bevel feature when I modeled an abstract shape and that's when it came. The idea of creating eyes for it. To complete the mouth. And that's how the first monster was created. It was sad to see it there all alone, and what's more beautiful than the sight of a mother guarding her young in the animal kingdom? I liked the idea so much that I did nothing else for the next few days. I found myself creating them, and I knew that I would do them as long as I could. As I write these words, I have just completed my monster number 106.
Let's take a closer look at where these creatures come from and the process of making them.
Where ideas come from
The first monsters were born on their own. I improvised directly in Blender. It was mostly basic and simple shapes. It was only when those ran out that I had to start thinking harder about the next creatures. Some days I was inspired by real animals from our world or inanimate objects from my surroundings, like the windsock from the nearby heliport.
Nowadays most of the monsters are created on paper. This method is also the most ideal. Quick sketches can be made whenever I find the time. I can quickly and efficiently test different options, which saves me time, and in the end I have monsters just waiting in line to be sculpted.
The making process
I always enjoy modeling a new monster. From the very beginning, I can't wait to see how it turns out. I use the classic modeling functions when modeling and the only way I save myself work is by using the same teeth and eyes, which I sometimes modify, if necessary.
After modeling comes the consideration of color combinations. I rarely have a colour combination thought out in advance and oftentimes I change it completely at the last minute. For me it's a matter of pure feeling that I get from the composition and the situation. When creating the material, it is certain that I will use subsurface scattering, then roughnes or metallic, depending on what looks best.
Another very important part of the work for me is getting the lighting and composition right. You could say that I enjoy this stage very much, and have even forced myself to re-render and re-finish a finished piece more than once because of it. As light sources, I use the classic lights offered by Blender. I like to use the sun or point light the most. As for the number of light sources, it is in the range of 1–3 light sources. When composing, I often change the perspective, whether it's perspective or orthographic, and I consider how the shadows will look and how they will complement the composition, and whether or not I'll use depth of field.
The render is the penultimate step to the finished piece. I always render the final render and ambient occlusion separately. Each render then goes through a post-process in Photoshop, where I add the aforementioned ambient occlusion. Mostly I edit and fine tune the coloring of the image. Also in this process I sometimes decide to change the colors so much that they have nothing to do with the original ones. Again, I'm very much thinking about feelings and looking for the exact combination where I feel like everything fits together exactly. The situation, the shapes, the composition, and the emotion.
It takes me only a couple of hours to create a single monster if I'm lucky. I've been stuck on some creatures for days to a month—this happens when I can’t find the right path and get it to click.
Thanks to everyone who reads these lines. Now just enjoy looking at a selection of a few of my favorites renders.
About the author