Behind the Scenes: Reaven Rave


Hey, my title is Michael Hickman and I’m a 14-year-old residing within the US. I’m from Las Vegas, Nevada. I began utilizing Blender after I was 11 years previous, after discovering a free software that allowed me to customise the software program to my liking. Earlier than then, I used Autodesk merchandise on the age of eight for CAD modeling, which I believed appeared horrible on the time.

By utilizing Blender, I discovered similarities with polygonal modeling in different packages and was in a position to shortly get a primary understanding of the software program. I continued to study and enhance my expertise by creating one thing new in Blender each week. I swap between realism and stylization in my work, and whereas I take pleasure in each, I discover that stylized artwork has a playfulness that’s not current in some other medium. I now use Blender and Krita for all my work and infrequently use Houdini for simulation.


My work is impressed by youngsters’s ebook illustrations. I am keen on the lovable and simplistic designs of the animals with their corresponding environments. The facial options in numerous my works are a combination of various cute and kawaii arts that I discover on Pinterest, blended collectively to get my end result.


My course of principally begins with mapping out a baseline for my work. I then add extra complexity and develop a character for the characters. To do that, I ask myself questions reminiscent of: “The place are the ravens positioned?” “What season are they in?” “What’s the climate?” This helps me to ascertain a baseline for my work.


Modeling is pretty easy, utilizing a dice with a subdivision-surface to make its form spherical. This makes the article extra malleable and simpler to govern.

The shrubs and grass are manufactured from a NURBS curve with subdivided cubes as leaves. I modeled the hat and raven utilizing primary shaping in sculpt mode with the elastic deform software. I goal for a glance that’s not too sharp or too easy, however excellent to make the piece look passable.


For texturing, I make the most of a photograph of fingerprints, which I exploit at a low bump worth to create distortion on the mesh. Then, I’ve a noise node blended with a Voronoi node on the roughness to provide a wood distinction and develop physicality within the texture. This creates a pleasant sheen that seems like you may contact the mannequin itself. The grasses and shrubs use a shade ramp node with an object information node to create randomness within the number of crops out there, producing further distinction blended with complementary quantity shaders to generate ambiance.


I created a shade palette by means of utilizing saturation and distinction inside Blender’s viewport, and I ran by means of renditions of the scene to see which of them stand out and seize the viewer’s eye. That is probably the most very important a part of my work, the place I exploit the MVP (Minimal Viable Product) methodology to push out the very best work within the shortest time period. The main points are profound at this stage, the place I zoom in on particular areas to seize any doable flat areas.

Primary shade script draft with an concept of colours going by means of renditions.


For lighting, I exploit a quantity blended with a Nishita sky and at last, combine it with a key mild to create a profound point of interest for the complete piece. This grabs the viewer’s consideration and enhances the textures of the atmosphere.

Lighting and atmosphere check 1:

I made a decision to take away timber for a extra festive really feel. I eliminated the timber and adjusted the Nishita sky settings.


Thanks for studying, and be at liberty to ask me something. Have an ideal day!

Concerning the Artist

Michael Hickman, a 14-year-old 3D artist from Las Vegas, Nevada. He’s at present freelancing and doing private work.