April 13, 2024


Hello, my identify is Sonja Christoph, and I’m a Senior 3D Generalist and a blackboxprovisions Schoolism teacher. I’m initially from Germany, however my household emigrated to the US after I was sixteen. I spent the vast majority of my life there till we determined to return to Europe a couple of years in the past.

I went to Gnomon Faculty of VFX in Los Angeles to study 3D. This was earlier than Gnomon turned a completely accredited faculty, and I used to be enrolled of their two-year certificates program, selecting the generalist observe.


We at the moment dwell in Sweden, and it’s a lovely nation, however the winters are usually lengthy, darkish, chilly, and wet. Yearly, come January (and particularly February), I begin dreaming about touring to heat, tropical areas and swimming in turquoise waters, which is the place my preliminary inspiration for this piece got here from.

I needed to create a bit that captured a way of journey and the fearlessness and carefree nature I felt as a child and teenager. Taking a look at these big cliff buildings now, my instincts inform me to maintain a secure distance. You by no means know what could possibly be hiding in these caves. However not these two youngsters in my picture. They don’t have any worries on the earth, and attempting to think about how they’d expertise the world round them is what impressed me.


The creation of this piece was moderately easy, actually. I began by blocking out my primary cliff/cave form with cubes. I scaled, rotated, and moved the cubes round till I arrived at a form I preferred. Then I joined all of the cubes collectively and remeshed them earlier than doing a little bit of sculpting on them. I solely targeted on adjusting the bigger shapes throughout my sculpting since I knew I used to be going to make use of a rock texture and displacement for the smaller particulars.

As soon as I used to be proud of the refinements I had made, I began to assemble my scene. I wish to arrange my cameras and work out my composition first.

I used a primary digicam and aligned it so my cliff mannequin took up about two-thirds of the body. Subsequent, I added a airplane to signify the water. Then I wanted so as to add extra rocks to my scene, so I duplicated my preliminary cliff mannequin, rotated, scaled, and moved it round till the shapes began to return collectively and create an attention-grabbing composition.


Now that my primary surroundings was arrange, it was time so as to add some lighting to my scene. For my lighting, I used the Nishita mannequin within the Sky texture that comes natively with Blender. I believe it offers a very nice, reasonable end result and look. It’s value noting that the Nishita mannequin solely works with Cycles, not with Eevee. I knew I needed to make use of Cycles for this piece, so this was not a problem for me.

I needed the sunshine to shine by way of the openings of the cliffs onto the water. I attempted a couple of totally different lighting instructions and eventually settled on a excessive three-quarters entrance lighting setup for this scene. To create some refined god rays, I merely used a dice with a Quantity scatter materials.


With my lighting arrange and the god rays pointing straight at my focus, I simply wanted so as to add the 2 teenagers and their boat. I used Daz3D to create and pose the 2 youngsters. I then exported them and positioned them in Blender. I downloaded the boat mannequin from Sketchfab, modeled by J.J.West.


The boat and characters already had supplies utilized, so all that was left to texture had been the cliffs and water. For the cliffs, I used rock textures from Quixel and arrange the fabric to make use of triplanar mapping, eliminating the necessity for UV mapping. I additionally used displacement within the materials so as to add smaller crevices and particulars to the rock floor.

To create the water materials, I combined a Glass BSDF materials with a Clear BSDF materials. Then, I used a noise and wave texture, multiplied every of them, and combined them collectively to drive the displacement of the water materials. Lastly, I added a light-weight sand-colored airplane beneath the water airplane to create pockets of sunshine turquoise water.

After finishing the scene, I rendered all the things and made closing changes in Photoshop. I painted in clouds, added edge breakup, and darkened the youngsters to make sure visibility from a distance.


That concludes the undertaking. I hope you loved it and thanks for studying this text.

In regards to the Artist

Sonja Christoph, a Senior 3D Generalist based mostly in Sweden. She is at the moment working as a contract artist and a Schoolism teacher the place she teaches an Introduction to Blender course.