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Behind the Scenes: Swig - Short Animation



Hello, my name is Yared Tadesse, a 3D artist from Ethiopia. I work as a freelancer. I started learning 3D modeling about 4 years ago through YouTube videos. I mainly focus on characters, and these days, I am learning about rigging and 3D character animation.


This artwork was inspired by the amazing concept artist Nikolai Lockertsen's 2D animation work on Instagram, specifically this post on "Happy New Year". I really liked the style and mood of the art, so I decided to recreate it in Blender and practice my animation skills as well.


First, I started working on the background by blocking out big shapes with cubes and cylinders. This helped me place my character accurately.

Next, I started adding small details to the buildings and walls through simple extrusions, beveling, and using curves for the wires.

Finally, I added smaller details by sculpting and using a displace modifier for effects like snow. As for the snow, I sculpted it onto a sphere using a sneak hook and grab brush.

For the character, I used spheres as a base to block out the body, and then sculpted the details.


I used PolyHaven for most of my textures, including the snow, buildings, and walls. For the rest, I turned to Substance Painter. For the snow effect on textures, I painted a black and white mask in Blender's texture painter to blend the rock texture with the snow texture. 

Here is the painted mask:

Below is the shader node:


I used three-point lighting, with a fire in front of him serving as the key light. Additionally, I added a noise modifier to the intensity keyframe of the point light to imitate the fire's lighting, which I imported as an image.

For fill light, I used an HDRI from Poly Haven with low intensity. As for my rim light, I used a large area light. I also included some spotlights in the background to light specific areas, aiming to achieve lighting similar to the concept art.

Below is the modeled, textured and lighted environment:


To rig my character, I used auto-rig pro. For animating, I used the pose-to-pose method since I had the animation in 2D, which made the process smoother. Also, I used Marvelous Designer for the cloth simulation.


For the composition, I used a group input attached to a lens distortion which was again attached to the glare node. The Glare node was plugged to a Mix Color(Multiply) node via a Color Balance. A Box Mask node plugged to a Invert Color was also attached to the above mentioned, Mix Color node.

And that was it! Below are the renders and the animation video.

RENDER - Swig - Short Animation

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I hope you liked my artwork and found some useful insights within the article. Have a wonderful day!

About the Artist                       

Yared Tadesse is a 3D character artist based in Ethiopia. Currently he is working as a freelancer.                                                                                                          

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 student, freelancer and the editor for the 'Behind the Scenes' at Blender Nation.

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