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Behind the Scenes: Spooky Time



Hi there! My name’s Michelle, and I’m a WTSDA black belt and an industrial designer. A little frustrated with the work opportunities at Costa Rica after graduating, I started working on UI/UX at Fair Play Labs. During the pandemic, I decided I wanted to pursue my dream career of becoming a 3D artist, so I began my self-taught journey.

My art director challenged me with some VFX tasks and, with a lot of support, I’m now working as a technical artist as well as a teacher of digital animation.


This particular piece was tied to a little girl I knew when visiting south Costa Rica, and we became very close. She’s now a hard-working teenager, strong, with a kind spirit and a heart so sweet it melts yours entirely, helpful, and full of love and empathy. It’s super difficult to describe in words how proud I am.

Her birthday was approaching and I was practicing Adventure Time stylization, so I thought this would be the perfect moment to try “human figure.” Join me in this journey!

Happy B-day, Cori! ❤️


First, I made some super quick sketches to have an idea of what my character proportions would look like. I then gathered some references of body parts and poses.

A lot of my students' works were great sources of inspiration.


I then played around with a combination of skin, mirror and multires modifier, and stylized anatomy sculpting. The hair was created with curve profiles and A LOT of “combing.” This was my base mesh for other stylized projects, such as Into the Fishbowl-Lila, but this will be my favorite until the end of time.

The cat mesh was mostly a stretched blob based on my references.


And putting together my magical light setup, with a round wall cyclorama, three point area lights—one from above and a subtle tint for the background. I also added a Reflection Cubemap and an Irradiance Volume.


I wired up a vinyl toy shader for an old project and thought it would look pretty nice as a skin detail material.

And last but not least, the checkered and “denim” textures used SouthernShotty Crafty Asset Pack as a base.

For post processing, I doodled some cobwebs and clouds to prepare some spooky ambience.

I ended up loving all the little details. Made entirely on Blender, rendered with Cycles at 200 samples.


That’s all, I hope you've learned something new from this article!

Thank you and have a nice day!

About the Artist

Michelle Moreno, also known as Zaluli, is a self-taught digital artist from Costa Rica. She is currently working as a technical artist at Fair Play Labs, a video game studio.


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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