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Behind the Scenes: Harmony in Nature



Hello everyone, my name is Hernan Sandres. I’m from São Paulo, Brazil, and I have worked as a 3D artist for about 10 years, mainly with ArchViz.

Now, I consider myself a Blender enthusiast.


I’m thrilled to share a glimpse into my latest creation which is a poetic ode to the beauty of the wilderness. Behold, a serene scene set in the heart of a forest, where nature’s symphony comes to life.

Embark on a journey with me as you witness the gentle flow of a crystal-clear river, winding its way through the lush greenery. Every ripple and reflection tells a story of the ever-changing dance between water and sunlight. The foliage, meticulously crafted in 3D, whispers tales of ancient secrets and the vibrant life that thrives within.


Block/ Layout

I started this project trying to create a good image composition. At this point, the main goal was to create a nice layout with a harmonious composition. For that, the best thing you can do is to start simply by making blackouts.


To bring the landscape to life, I employed  Quixel Bridge for the rocks and Blenderkit for the bear model.

Additionally, Quixel served as the source for the grass and some floating branches on the water.

The bright side to using the Quixel grass is that it has a great result and, at the same time, is a low poly model so the scene doesn’t choke. 

I created some simple leaves to float on the water.

It is just a plane, a bit deformed, with a texture in base color and alpha.

I also got these two branches from Quixel.

Environment designing

I created a “group” with these leaves and small branches to scatter along the water using Geo-Scatter, but you can use any other addon or even geometry node to scatter.

I painted some weight-paint to have these objects floating just in some specific areas. 

I also painted some maps with weight paint for the big rocks and distributed them using Geo-Scatter. I used the same grass that I mentioned before.

For the trees, I also used Geo-Scatter for distribution. 

I created two distribution systems: one for the trees and the other for the grass.
I also painted a weight-paint and turned on the camera optimization, so the add-on culling part was not in the camera.


For the water material, I created something straightforward but I liked the result a lot.
Basically, you will have two kinds of bumps. I got inspiration from one of Martin Klekner’s tutorials


Although the bear is the protagonist of this story, I didn’t spend much time with him.
Firstly, because it demands some skills that I don’t have and secondly, because he is supposed to show it against the light, with high contrast, then we wouldn’t see it a lot.

So, I just added some hair particle system and tried to brush his fur.


To create this atmosphere on top of the river, I created this particle system to simulate this kind of fog.

I used a box covering the central part that I wanted to be foggy for the environment, and applied this simple volume scatter. For the light, I just used the sky texture. 


I made two options for the camera to capture two different views: one showing the bear more and the other showing the surrounding nature and environment.

As my 3D bear was very poor, I tried to add a natural face to him using Photoshop.
So, I got some face bears on the internet and matched them with my image.

I did some color grading, added some smoke coming out his mouth, and it was done. 

RENDER : Harmony in Nature

Check this in a different color tone.

A video take:

That’s all, folks. If you have any doubt or want me to show something else, feel free to get in touch.

About the Artist                       

Hernan Sandres is a 3D artist from Brazil who is in love with the 3D world. His previous articles on BlenderNation include A Hobbit Hole, Japanese Kiss and Elephant Bee

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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