Hello! My name is Jaimy van Kralingen, a self-taught 3D Artist from the Netherlands.
I started working in Blender back in 2016 (version 2.78), and I instantly fell in love with creating worlds and characters. After a while, I took a break from 3D and delved into film, from which I've gained valuable knowledge, but ultimately returned to Blender.
When looking for inspiration, I tend to lean more towards 2D art. It gives me a better overview of how the lighting would work and what textures I could use. Some of my favorite artists/inspirations that I used for this piece are Wiebke Rauers, Armand Bodnar, and Southern Shotty.
Most of the time, I start messing around with shapes until something nice starts forming, which is what happened here. So I can't say I got inspired to make a king; I just stumbled upon the idea.
This project actually had a bit of a weird process before I finished it. It’s a remake of a render I made earlier when I started getting back into Blender (see below). Therefore, I already had a solid foundation to work on.
One thing you should know is that my PC is pretty crap. Because of this, I need to be very aware of how much detail I want to include. Luckily, this model wasn't going to be very detailed in its topology. Still, I chose to work in a non-destructive way by using modifiers and leaving the actual topology as untouched as possible.
Here you can see what the model would look like without any modifiers:
Here, I also tried to use as many of Blender's features as possible to create all the textures. Every material you see is procedurally made. This gave me more control and allowed me to cheat a little bit here and there.
The king's clothes material includes wave textures and noise textures, attached to screen and spotlight nodes.
The steel/gold material includes ambient occlusion attached to the base color socket via a color ramp. The normal socket is filled with a normal texture attached to a normal map node and a bump map node which also connects a Musgrave texture to it.
The skin material includes ambient occlusion attached to the base color socket via a color ramp. A texture node is attached to both the roughness socket via a color ramp and the normal socket via a bump node.
These three materials are basically the only materials I need. The rest is just a principled BSDF with some tweaks, nothing too special!
Now, the lighting is where this beauty really comes to life. I always start by figuring out what kind of story I want to tell. In this case, I wanted it to have this ominous feeling but also enhance the "royale" feel.
I first set up a simple three-point light system consisting of back, fill, and key lights.
When I'm happy with the lights, I grab the color palette I made and use those colors to fill in my lights. To have all the lights blend in with each other, I use a volumetric BSDF to put around my scene.
Here are some shots of the final result!
RENDER - All Hail The King
It was a lot of fun remaking this project, and I've learned a ton. Mostly the fact that I need a new PC, but some other stuff as well, of course.
Thank you for including me on this website and allowing me to show off my process. I hope people will learn something from this. Keep on creating!
Jaimy van Kralingen, a 3D artist from the Netherlands, making some weird 3D stuff. Currently working as a freelancer and improving his skills.