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Behind the Scenes: Delta Ice Storm



Hi, I’m an architect in NYC who discovered Blender a couple of years ago and have been obsessed ever since. I’m like a kid in a candy store with this thing; I have an endless backlog of stuff I want to explore with it, which of course, just keeps growing.


When I was in college, a few friends of mine and I fixed up an old camp in the woods near campus and lived in it for a couple of years.

One year, a freak ice storm hit the area. The temperatures dropped so quickly, enormous amounts of rapidly forming ice brought down trees, power lines, and even transmission towers. Several of our cabins got crushed by falling trees along with one guy's Oldsmobile as he was attempting a getaway that morning. Trees snapping and falling left and right, live power lines buzzing on the ground, total chaos.

So this is a model of how I remember that event.


This was actually an entry in a competition called “Winter Blenderland” put on by the folks at True VFX and PBR Max, and landed the 8th place spot! TrueVFX has made some incredible add-ons for Blender, make sure to check them out. I made a quick ground mist in the model using an add-on called True-Sky.


I had already built a model of the cabin itself largely following Blender Guru’s “How to make an abandoned house in Blender” tutorial, which made me go cross-eyed and is loaded with amazing tricks:

Here is the model of the cabin I built:


The Ice Storm model was, of course, done in Blender, with some minor color adjustments in Photoshop. There’s an ambient occlusion pass mixed in as well, as seen in the following section.

Ambient occlusion pass:


Otherwise, there really isn't a whole lot to say about it. A particle system was used for the snow, and a volume cube was placed around the whole thing. The tree and plant assets were from Botaniq and PBR Max, who provided a few specifically for this competition. The base model itself is actually pretty simple:

I placed each individual tree rather than relying on a scattering system.


Oh, one really cool thing I learned for this project, though, was how to add ice onto objects using Geometry Nodes, thanks to an amazing tutorial by Blender Bob. Check out his YouTube channel; it's great.

Here is an example of what the result looks like on the grill I used in the model:


And here’s the final rendering. I like how the light through the trees worked out, and the dying car headlights are a good contrast to the icy blue of the rest of the image:

Really happy to be featured here on Blender Nation, what a great resource this is!

I hope you have a nice day!

About the Artist

Fred Wallace,
an architect in NYC who’d really rather be doing stuff in Blender all the time. Feel free to reach out!


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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