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Behind the Scenes: Summer Camp



Hi! My name is Yao Chan. I live and work in Shanghai, China. I graduated from the Digital Media Lab of Central Academy of Fine Arts with a Master's degree in Interaction Design. I initially worked as a senior UX designer in TCL Alcatel, Lenovo, Motorola, and SAIC-GM for over ten years. In 2019, I developed a strong interest in 3D art. I started to learn Blender on my own and create 3D artworks related to my personal life experiences and interests.


Due to the severe Covid-19 epidemic in Shanghai that started in March, we were quarantined at home until June, and indoor places were unsuitable for crowd gathering. As a result, camping and picnics became quite popular. It seems that everyone was enjoying the fresh air and freedom under the sun, which is the inspiration for this project.

When I was searching for pictures of camping on Pinterest, I found this one, the perfect camping that I imagined.


Usually, I like to find some references before I start creating. I use Pinterest to make a pinboard. It helps me to determine the general layout, elements, style, color, lighting, etc. (Pinboard of this project)


For the camper van, I found some front and side view images to help me in modeling.

When I finished modeling the basic shape of the camper van, I made a backup.

When adding more details to the van body, I added a shrinkwrap modifier using the previous backup as a target to ensure the perfect shape of the body.

I converted Metaball to mesh and used the Remesh modifier to create the stylized fire and smoke.


I did the texturing all in Blender. For wooden objects like tables, benches, and boxes, I used roughness maps and normal maps of the wood textures to make them more realistic.

Then, I painted the tree stump texture.

For the fire, I used a layer weight node to achieve the effect of the outer glow of the flames with an emission and translucent BSDF shaders.

I used noise texture to simulate the BBQ material.


In the lighting phase, I started with a three-point lighting and then added a sun-light for the day version. I used Gobos Light Textures to create the shade of trees. This plugin is very easy to use and works great.

In the night version, I added some point-lights to the camper van, a fill-light to the chair, and adjusted the color and intensity.


Thank you so much for reading this article. Have a nice day!

About the Artist

Yao Chan, a 3D artist and UX designer from Shanghai.



About the Author

Avatar image for Alina Khan
Alina Khan

A self taught 3d artist, who seeks to excel in the computer graphics field. Currently a freelancer and the editor for the 'Behind the Scenes' at Blender Nation.

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