Art Spotlight: Nap in the Woods

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In Art Spotlight, we invite Sketchfab artists to talk about one of their designs.

Hi, I’m Adan! I studied 3D modeling, animation and game design in college and was into graphic design before that, and recently finished a two-year post-Bach internship where I researched and modeled historical and archeological sites. I’m always looking to improve and learn new things and will hopefully continue to work in this field. I’ve used Maya before but found it too limiting and turned to Blender which is much more flexible to my needs.

The project started with an idea and a drawing of a robot. I imagined a robot out in the middle of nowhere, how did it get there? So I created an environment in which to place the robot.

I based the trees on the background art by Scott Wills from Samurai Jack. I started with the with a simple cylinder. I then modeled variations of branches, afterward I grouped them together with Ctrl+G, you can also access this from the objects window.

I made use of Blender’s hair particles emitter. Under the render tab, there is an option to use groups just like the one I made with the branches; you’ll get something like this at first.

To fix this I: 1) Under the render settings check the rotation box, this will orient the branches along the tree’s faces normals. 2) Under the emissions tab, lower the number of particles on the tree. 3) Checking the advanced options box will reveal some new tabs. 4) Check the rotation box adjust the phase slider; this will allow you to rotate the branches to the right orientation.    

I then duplicated the trees and changed the seed number to make each tree unique, which in hindsight probably wasn’t necessary.

For the tree texture, I used a simple diffuse and specular map with a normal map made from the noise cloud generator in Gimp and then generated the normal map image through crazybump.

I made the ground plane with a few subdivisions; I did this to have better control over the grass particles that would come later. The diffuse map was also created with layers of noise cloud and an alpha map.

For the plants, I drew a couple of plants on a layer in Gimp and created an alpha mask. I created a vertex group for the ground plane this to assure that the particle does not go beyond the edges of the ground texture alpha map.

And added hair particles to the ground plane using the plants the same that I did the branches for the trees.

I modeled the robot off of a series of rough sketches I did, diverging slightly to make the robot appear more sympathetic.

After I had completed the modeling, I duplicated the model and added a subdivision modifier for the sole purpose of using the dirty vertex colors option in the Vertex Paint window and baked it to an image map along with an AO map to be used later.

I created a brush using a png image a white image with a transparent background. I painted a flat copper brown as the base and using the brush I made with an anchored selected in the setting to selectively paint areas where the metal would be worn out.

Using Gimp, I combined the AO, vertex color map, and painted texture and added some extra details to make the final diffuse map. With a few adjustments, I made a specular map and with crazybump created a normal map.

I rigged the robot, and posed it sitting among the trees.  

I uploaded the file using the Blender Sketchfab add-on which can use the material setting in Blender placing the texture maps into their Sketchfab equivalent there will be a few misses, but all the texture images should have already be uploaded.

Thanks! Here’s how to contact me:


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Seori Sachs

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