I’ve been working on the Aftermath kit from Kitbash3D, making it more Blender friendly. I think now that the best approach would be to add an empty in each collection of the original kit to parent the contents to and make it easier to manipulate each building (composed of many objects) as a whole. The problem with appending each building collection to another file is that all the textures get duplicated and it’s a PITA to clean that up.

Anyway, here I just took the kit as a whole, added a camera and a nice HDRI, lined it up with a decent shot and rendered away. I had some issues using Optix with Cycles. Kept getting error messages after the initial OK render. A bit of experimentation suggests that if the viewport is in solid mode it renders fine, but the problems come if the viewport is in rendered mode. I must remember that in future, as I tend to work on my scene in rendered mode if it’s not too slow.

I spent a bit more time on this and here’s the result. Interesting exercise.

Blend and Paint

Having had the DVD for many years I’ve decided to finally work through David Revoy’s workshop on Blend and Paint in detail. I don’t think I need much modelling practice, so I’ve decided to start with the scene that he kindly provided and just do the paintover work. I will need to do some texturing to make a start on the surface detail, and as this DVD is about 10 years old it predates Cycles and nodes and so I may need to do some serious editing of the materials before I can render and get on with the paintover. Anyway, here’s the starting scene.

And here’s a simple render after some basic textures have been applied, using the Nishita sky.

And here I’ve rendered the scene in several layers and brought them into Krita for the paintover. I did change the lighting a bit to match David’s setup more closely.

Man by Lake

Time to add a character to my scene. Here’s the starting image (render). The light is a bit more boring than the version I did yesterday but this should be easier to paint in new elements, which is the main aim of the exercise.

So I painted some background mountains and some vegetation. All pretty rough but it’s an indication of how much a figure enhances the image.

This took me about an hour. If I spent a few hours on it I could probably do a better job. Or possibly explore different mood, composition, etc.

I’ve been thinking…

Being a misanthrope, for a long time now I’ve attempted to create art that doesn’t involve people. I did put a couple of figures in my rework of Leigh van der Byl’s workshop a while back, but that’s it. However most of the workshops and courses I’m attracted to involve some degree of storytelling, and that requires a protagonist, usually a person. So perhaps I need to change.

I’m not a good character artist, either in 2D or 3D. However there is a solution. Ten years ago David Revoy produced a course for Blender called Blend and Paint, which basically described a 3D + 2D paintover approach. His figures tended to be basic human characters which had little detail but were posable, which he then painted over to make them more interesting. I think I’ll follow this approach. I’ve recently purchased an addon for Blender that makes it easy to add characters to scenes. And now I’m about to review all my Udemy courses on digital painting. So, telling stories with Blend and Paint. Way to go.