This seems to work better. The UVs are very dense, so painting a texture in the traditional way in GIMP with the exported UVs as a guide is quite hard. That’s what I did in the last image I posted. This time I basically texture painted a splat map in Blender, and then pasted photo elements over that in GIMP without using the UVs at all at that stage.

The process now is to use World Machine with a layout generator with a circle (broken up) as shape guide to an Advanced Perlin node (device), also with a radial gradient as a mask input. I then used a thermal weathering node, and finally an obj mesh output.

In Blender I UV mapped with Project from View (after hiding all non-visible verts), created an image for texturing (set up in the Shading layout of course) and texture painted different colours for the rocky part at the top and the soil-like skirt around the base.

Taking that into GIMP I pasted rock photo over the top part and an appropriate soil texture (from the same kind of rock formation) over the bottom part. The junction needs some work but the process is pretty straight forward.

I’m pretty pleased with this workflow. I’ve never been happy with procedural rock textures, or procedurally generated image textures such as produced in Substance Designer. Actual rock photos are the way to go I think.  At least for me.

Bit of a Mess


This is, indeed, a bit of a mess. However I’m exploring the workflow. Terrain created in World Machine (it’s just the default startup file actually), exported as a height map, imported into Blender as a displacement texture for a grid which I then rendered with a basic grey shader, lit by an HDRI. I also exported a mask for the terrain.

In Gimp I applied the mountain ‘texture’ (just a photo of a rock formation) to the rendered terrain via the mask. Maybe I should have UV’d the terrain using Project from View and applied the rock texture in Blender in the UV editor. I might be able to match the texture to the geo a bit better that way.


Had another go with a simpler terrain. Texture is hand painted in this one. Pretty simple but process worked well. Exported UV layout and painted in GIMP.

Back to Basics

I’ve been seriously lacking direction lately. Purchased a few courses on Udemy, which are all well and good, but still not leading to much. I’ve decided to go right back to basics and just let something develop organically.

So, what is/are basics? I’ve decided to spend some time improving my drawing. I do have a Udemy course on drawing fundamentals, as well as a couple of books by Scott Robertson, who’s considered something of a guru in this field. So, lots of drawing straight lines, and circles, and half circles, and tracing various random squiggly lines, etc. Maybe it will lead me somewhere, maybe it won’t. I don’t care really, just something to stay involved, develop some relevant skils, and chill out a bit.

More Compositing


I tried to add the foreground trees to an image the same way I did yesterday – with the image as an image node in the compositor, and using ObjectID to mask out the trees to layer over the top. However it didn’t work too well – the leaves of this tree are much finer than the one I used yesterday and that was giving me some problems.

So this time I imported the background as in image plane. I used an emission shader so that it wouldn’t respond to scene lighting, as it already looked the way I wanted. So I didn’t have to mask the trees as they were simply in front of the image plane in the scene.

Matching the colours was a bit of a problem. The trees in the plate are a little yellowish, whereas the Western Red Cedars (probably not appropriate for this scene) are much greener. Anyway I discovered (via YouTube of course) how to isolate the actual leaf material to colour correct it in the compositor. Very handy. I think the result is much better integrated.

I did a bit of clean up work on the plate as well. A few people and a truck didn’t quite give the feel I was after. Used GIMP for that. So I’m slowly developing my matte painting skills, although I don’t plan on doing any camera moves so a lot of the work matte painters do isn’t really relevant to me. I’d call myself a concept artist but that sounds pretty pretentious. How about just an artist. Amateur artist.

Matte Painting


I’m doing another matte painting course. Uses Maya, Photoshop and Nuke of course. Seems like it’s time I got my head around the compositor in Blender. Not quite Nuke perhaps, but at least it’s a start. In this image the foreground tree and grassy plane is geo, rest is an image rendered out of Vue some time ago.