Behind the Scenes: The Ranger’s Camp


Whats up once more, it is Lasse (WK042)! Not a lot has modified since my final Behind-the-Scenes article on BlenderNation (Behind the Scenes: The Look), besides that I now have a further half-year of expertise with Blender and different 3D software program, totaling 2.5 years. For the reason that final time, I’ve expanded my expertise with Substance Painter, taken my first small steps with Unreal Engine 5, and began utilizing World Creator.


The inspiration for this render got here from being caught on a bigger venture and the workflow I’ve began to make use of in that one, which concerned the creation of the panorama and texture masks with World Creator. On the identical time, I had not “printed” a render for fairly a while as a result of I had devoted numerous time to asset modeling and texturing for some freeware mods for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, so I actually needed to create one thing.

The thought for the clearing in a forest, appearing as a framing backdrop for some focal aspect, had been on my record for a very long time. So, I used it to give attention to a smaller venture for which I may nonetheless use the World Creator workflow and acquire extra expertise with it for the bigger venture that I had gotten caught on.


As at all times, the method began with gathering reference pictures for what I had in thoughts. This time, I did not go into minuscule particulars. As a substitute, I used to be on the lookout for references for the general look and feel of what I had in thoughts and to function inspiration alongside the way in which.

The reference board.


Subsequent, I proceeded to create the panorama in World Creator and exported the peak map, in addition to the feel maps for the completely different elements and options (equivalent to slope, concavity, convexity, sediments, and so forth.) of the panorama to Blender, which I used to recreate the panorama and the remainder of the venture.

The World Creator Panorama.

The World Creator Maps (heightmap on high row left).


As soon as I had arrange the panorama airplane, I made a primary block-out to find out a great digicam angle and the place to position the principle components of the scene. At this stage, the scene was deliberate as a pure nature render with none human components in it.

Easy scene block-out.


Once more, I paid numerous consideration to the texturing of the bottom airplane, despite the fact that I knew that numerous it might be coated with foliage within the remaining render. I used this venture to fine-tune my panorama mix grasp materials with strategies I’ve realized from organising grasp supplies in Unreal Engine 5, and with a view to get the shader noodle soup underneath management in addition to including extra accessible performance.

Panorama grasp materials setup.

This grasp materials is about as much as mix between 4 completely different supplies with the assistance of texture masks that I can export from World Creator. As well as, it has a slot for a custom-painted masks, however I did not want to make use of it right here. Additionally, the puddle masks was not helpful for this venture. I uncovered some frequent adjustment parameters to be accessible from exterior the node teams (i.e., coloration and brightness changes, AO energy, regular and displacement energy, and so forth.)

I am positive there are smarter methods of setting these up, however for now, it really works fairly properly. If you know the way to optimize such a setup, please let me know.

So as to add extra depth to the bottom, particularly within the foreground, I micro-displaced the bottom airplane, along with the general peak map displacement, with the assistance of an adaptive subdivision floor modifier, making use of the blended materials peak maps within the shader.

Base coloration & AO group.

Regular map group.

Masks mix group.


For the lighting setup, I used a complete of six lights. The principle mild is a reasonably sturdy highlight in a bluish coloration that I positioned proper above the clearing going through straight down. The principle highlight is complemented with two extra spotlights to brighten up the boulder and the bushes within the background. I additionally used two space lights to loosen up the trunks within the foreground, which in any other case would have been fully black. Lastly, I used a degree mild to assist the emissive fireplace shader brighten the realm round it.

Lighting setup. Entrance view on the left. Facet view on the correct.


For the vegetation, I primarily used vegetation and tree packs that I purchased from Evermotion final 12 months. The fashions are tremendous detailed, which makes them relatively performance-heavy. I needed to spend a while decimating the geometry whereas nonetheless sustaining the shapes and texture mapping. Additionally, I needed to modify the supplies to work with my lighting setup.

For the background bushes, I used easy 2D billboard bushes that I created myself from the tree pack I used. I made an orthographic entrance view render of a few of the bushes with clear background enabled and mapped that picture to the planes used within the background.


Tree billboard texture.

For the scattering of the vegetation, I closely relied on the add-on Geo-Scatter by BD3D from Blender Market. I used a dozen scatter programs for the assorted plant teams (bushes, shrubs, grass, particles) and positioned and eliminated another vegetation by hand as ending touches.


I saved the render as a multilayered exr file, which I took to Photoshop to do some coloration correction, compositing, and post-processing. For instance, I used the AO render cross to spice up the ambient occlusion in some elements of the render to higher combine some objects into the world. I additionally lightened up the path resulting in the small camp to extend its position as a watch lead.


When you have any questions or feedback, please be happy to contact me through my social media accounts. I’m at all times completely satisfied to debate and reply questions.

Thanks for studying!

Concerning the Artist

Lasse, aka. WK042, a 3D fanatic and freelance artist dwelling in Leipzig, Germany. At the moment increasing his expertise within the 3D world and dealing on his portfolio.