…Back to Nature (academy)


Last night I managed to submit an image to the Nature Academy end-of-season contest. I didn’t go through all the tutorials yet as I didn’t have much time lately, but I really wanted to participate in this!

I am a bit sad I didn’t have a couple more days to adjust the small detail and make better finishing touches. That is… I should have decided a couple of days earlier on my subject! I’m afraid it won’t stand closer scrutiny from the guru. And if I win the prize and then he asks for my .blend file, after one look at my compositor work he will take the prize back ๐Ÿ˜› But I like it too much and I am so amazed I could do this in Blender in relatively short time! so I will proudly put it in the gallery and.. maybe make a print for my wall ๐Ÿ™‚

I have managed to make the trees in Sapling after all. Maybe I get to write a more detailed post about this, but there is a very good tutorial about it already on Blendernerd. The tutorial covers all the process but I just want to add – the magical settings panel for adjusting your tree exists just as long as you don’t try to do something else.. like “undo” for instance. If you accidentally do, either the tree will be “complete” with no chance of editing it again so if that was not it, you will have to start from the last saved preset. Or in the “undo” mishap, everything just vanishes. This is a Blender “feature” found in spheres and other new objects, but you get a little bit sadder when you have tweaked for half an hour the perfect tree shape. It also moves a bit slow when you get more detail in, but that is to be expected – in Arbaro you can’t see a proper preview so I’d rather see a full preview and have to wait a bit. So overall it is a very promising addon and the integration in Blender is great!

The colour of the leaves comes from a forest photo from which I cut a bit of foliage, then I edited and made it seamless in Gimp. The map is applied with generated mapping to the whole tree. This was my own tricky recipe. Besides translucency, the leaves also have some emit on the colored texture to enhance the light effect.

I spent a lot of precious time on the bridge, UV unwrapping it for a wood texture – then I added so much dirt that no wood texture can be seen… and more detail was lost in the shadows and contrast editing.

The nice large rocks are just dropped in from the ready made collection available in the course.

I made the river water following an idea of my own but the reflections are not too realistic.

In the compositor I added a bit of DOF, glow, contrast and sharpness.

There is a new great improvement on the Nature Academy website – live chat! I discoveredย  it yesterday and was surprised to find several people there, exchanging information and just having a friendly talk. It kept me awake until I made the submission ๐Ÿ™‚

The contest results will be revealed on November 10th.



  • greg p

    Hey, I reckon it looks pretty good.
    It is great to hear how u love the nature academy, it makes me wanna join the next one real bad, it definitely sounds like a great learning experience.
    Keep up the posts, I enjoy Blender Mama a lot, good to see your tests and learning, as well as advice, I consider myself still a noob after 2 years of blender, but Andrew Price even took 4 years to make his first car in blender, so I’m not too fussed about it!
    Cheers, cool site.

  • Oana

    Thanks Greg! Took me a long time too to get past blender noob. When I started this blog 3 years ago I actually didn’t know to use materials and lights! I still can’t do lots of things ๐Ÿ˜›
    I was mistaken, the results for the contest will be on the 14th or 17th, I’m not sure. I saw many cool entries scattered in the forums, can’t wait to see it all in one place.

  • greg p

    No probs!
    I have just started on the Blenderella DVD from the blender e-store, now that is just blowing me away, by far the best training I’ve seen.
    The first training I bought was the blender basics series from Cartoon Smart, which is for 2.4x, that was also an excellent product.I think we are very lucky now to have all these resources, it wasn’t so great even 2 years ago.
    Good luck in the competition.

  • 7 Jul โ€™11 5:56 am by Denis Thanks Greg, but isn’t it the same as using the ‘standard’ projection patining?1. Unwrap your model ‘properly’ on the first UV layer and create an empty image to use as your texture;2. Create another layer, switch to it, load an image you want to use as the ‘original’, match up the angle, the scale, etc. (just what you did here);3. Switch back to the first layer, then switch to Texture Paint mode, select the Clone brush, and – just start patining. If everything has worked, you should see the ‘original’ image being transferred to your model as you paint, and the newly-created texture being changed as well. Oh yes, there are some quirks with Multitextrue/Textured Solids vs.GLSL mode, not sure, but I always manage to get it right at the end.

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