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While the tools don’t make the (blender) artist, they sure can help unlock creativity and new workflows by removing any friction with the content creation process, as well as giving access to next gen tools to push the barrier of what is possible as an individual or a small team. And when talking about the right tools for a 3D job, NVIDIA is the first name that comes to mind, not the least thanks to their NVIDIA Studio Platform and NVIDIA Omniverse. The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity, and NVIDIA is committed to helping artists everywhere reach new heights with their craft.
One such artists aiming squarely for the metaphorical and digital skies is Kosei Wano, a talented 3D artist who has created sensational animation called "Moon Hawk." Kosei leans heavily into his RTX GPU to leverage a real-time and interactive workflow in building his photorealistic ship, as well as his real-time procedural FX lightning and blazing-fast rendering speeds.
I've personally been a fan of Kosei for a while now, and his passion for aviation transpires through his incredible work. His latest project, Moon Hawk, is a stunning example of his skill and creativity, featuring an imagined "mass-produced" futuristic jet fighter that can be powered by both traditional fuel and electrical energy. Using Blender and DaVinci Resolve, Wano was able to bring his vision to life in spectacular fashion.
Join us as we take cover interesting aspects of his creative workflow and see how NVIDIA Studio technology has helped him unlock new levels of artistic achievement. For a complete deep dive visit the NVIDIA Studio YouTube channel to browse the playlist Designing & Modeling a Sci-Fi Ship in Blender w/ Wanoco4D and view each stage: Modeling, Materials, Geometry Nodes & Lightning Effect, Setting Animation and Lights & Rendering.
Blender and NVIDIA: Wano's Trusty Wingmen
Wano finds inspiration in the diversity of flora and fauna in the real world, particularly birds - which comes as no surprise for the jet expert. For this project, he wanted to create a mass-produced jet fighter that could be powered by electricity, so he took on the challenge of evolving the traditional fuel-based model.
To bring his vision to life, Wano turned to Blender, where he leaned heavily into the procedural strength of the software to build his hero asset more efficiently. Using designs he'd previously made for the jet, he started by roughly sketching the model in 3D space. Then, he used a modifier-based detailing workflow to have a non-destructive and generative approach to shape formation and basic detailing, one prone to "happy accidents". One specificity of his workflow is working using the real-time render engine Eevee throughout the whole process: It plays right into Blender's strong points of interactivity and immediate visual feedback, both of which are supported of course by the power of his RTX card.
The Eevee - RTX GPU duo is the centerpiece of the next step: shading. Wano builds his materials with the same philosophy as his mesh: He prefers a procedural approach wherever possible, to preserve the non-destructive and ever-evolving nature of his ship, with a helping hand from greeble texture generator JSPlacement.
Next up, Blender's rising star makes an entrance: Geometry Nodes. Wano uses geometry nodes to build an organic lattice around his ship's hull as well as further detailing, in keeping with the semi-organic design he had in mind. He also used it to create and animate the characteristic lightning strikes. Geometry nodes allowed Wano to create incredibly detailed scenes using small amounts of data, with non-linear and non-destructive workflows. With all his building blocks now in place, Wano moves into the layout and animation.
Creating at the Speed of Thought with Eevee and NVIDIA RTX
Animation, once again, is a treat in Blender when completely leveraging Blender-centric workflows. Namely, the ability to work in a beautiful real-time viewport, with powerful animation and procedural tools. Wano builds out his long shot right in the viewport, taking great care to reference popular fighter jet scenes in cinema, both in jet and camera movements.
The final render time is a mind-boggling 5 seconds per frame, laying bare the power and speed of Eevee with the right hardware and software support. This speed, interactivity, and non-destructability throughout his workflow, allowed for quick iterations and huge creative freedom, with the ability to create at the speed of thought.
The sky is the limit
Kosei Wano's Moon Hawk is a fantastic example of what's possible when creativity meets technology. The result is a stunning animation that showcases Wano's skill and creativity, powered by the latest NVIDIA Studio technology.
To see more of Kosei Wano's work and learn more about how he used NVIDIA Studio technology to create "Moonhawk", check out the NVIDIA Studio blog and his tutorial series on this piece. View more of Kosei Wano’s impressive portfolio on Instagram.