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Behind the Scenes: Eddie—A Tribute to Iron Maiden’s Mascot



Hi, my name is Yiannis Athanasiadis and I’m Greek, living in Manchester in the UK.

I was always fascinated with CG and admired creations by others but having had no formal training, teaching myself to create art digitally seemed impossible. That was until I discovered Blender a few years ago; as a self-taught 3D artist, I had to follow the hard way, and though it took me a few months to learn the very basics by following tutorials, I was soon ready to create my first project. Since then, I have not stopped using Blender for a single day, and I’m learning something new.


Being a massive fan of Iron Maiden in my youth, I was always fascinated with their mascot Eddie and Derek Riggs’ creations on their albums. It’s something I wanted to do years ago but I didn’t have the knowledge to achieve the results I was after. Having completed some previous projects, I finally felt ready to start it. This particular illustration is my favourite. It’s dark, mystical, and combines Eddie with ancient Egyptian culture which I love. So, it was the perfect choice for me.


I'm using a PC with a 12 core Ryzen 9 3900 XT, 32gb of ram and 2 1080ti NVidia GPUs. My rig has started showing its age but is still keeping well.

As a principle, I’m trying to do everything inside Blender's environment so no third party software is used. I have, however, used the Tex Tools addon for rectangulating the UVs of the ribbons, as well the Sculpt Alpha Manager addon for having quick access to my alpha brushes. Finally, to pose the hands, I used Rigify.


Since the actual scene was pretty simple, I skipped the block out stage and started with Eddie’s head which was way more approachable than I originally thought. After having the basic forms of the head ready, I retopologised it using the remesh modifier (I know, I’m lazy). I subdivided the new mesh a few times and shrink-wrapped it to my original one. As a result, I was able to apply a multiresolution modifier and proceed to the finer details. The whole head took me about 6 to 7 hours to complete.

The next step was the linen ribbons around his head and body. This was the most tedious and time consuming part since I had to draw a Bezier line, extrude it, subdivide it with multiresolution, and sculpt the details around 200 times. For the details of the ribbons, I have used mainly the draw, pose, and inflate brushes, and added some fine details with a couple of alphas.

The two pillars were easy to make since a simple resized cube would be sufficient. I have used a simple granite texture alpha for the texture and hieroglyphics alphas from Marius Cilielli.

The chains were made using a simple link in an array modifier following a curve and details with a cloud texture alpha.

Finally, for the lightning, I used a geometry node from Max Edge.


For the head, I first created a few factor maps using the pointiness node so I could get the cavities, convections, and pore details, using different levels at the multiresolution modifiers each time. The next step was to combine various colours using those maps and get the complexity I wanted.

For the pillars and the ribbons, I downloaded the materials from AmbientCG and made some small modifications.

Lighting and postprocessing

For the lighting, initially I’ve used just an environmental light and a plane shaped as the body, with high light emission to give a rim light. 

The result was a bit flat but thanks to the advice of a BlenderArtists member, adding some spot lights from above and another rim light helped a lot.

Finally, at the compositor, I added a glare node to give a fog glow and a color correction node to give some atmosphere.

RENDER : Eddie—A Tribute to Iron Maiden’s Mascot

Thank you for reading my article, and I hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to ask questions on my social media. Have a great day!

About the Artist                       

Yiannis Athanasiadis is a self-taught 3D enthusiast, born in Greece and currently residing in Manchester. Despite not working in the industry, his free time is spent learning new techniques and working on projects. 

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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