Complete - 3.1 Secret Deer Splash Remix

Edit: Updating with the final thumbnail from sketchfab

Previous grease pencil render:


I’d thought to show how I went about making this rendered scene here with the piece by Lorenzo Aiello I’ve chosen to remix / recreate here in blender. My initial plans were to make a grease pencil / 3D mix and add a person taking the picture of the magnificent forest creature in the foreground. Since I am relatively new to grease pencil I wanted to try my hand at using it as a tool to create bigger 2d pieces within 3d space. Given my inexperience I did go through trial and error along the way.

Currently, I’ve hit a bit of a snag since my initial plans now that I’ve learned you can’t export that out to Sketchfab in the way that it appears within blender which is a little frustrating since I didn’t realize this till really late into my progress but my fault for not initially doing my research.

As a note, I’ve tried known methods to convert the lines into meshes but the results have been less than stellar to be frank and that may be in part to the way I drew everything with too many overlapping lines, points, and vertices. I’m aware of the convert to mesh option in blender but again the results have not been great, which also again my fault for not being conscious of the steps I would have to take to convert this.

However, even if I don’t end up submitting to the contest by the end because I haven’t found a way to export it, I still thought to share the progress I’ve made so far. Eventually I might upload a semi turnaround video on artstation if that’s allowed and not violating any rules or licenses, and of course giving the proper credits.

So I started by creating a base mesh of the deer using deer references and mballs before remeshing and then fixing it up in sculpt mode. The initial deer on the right and then the end result on the left.

Once I finished sculpting I then added a horse rigify rig to be able to pose the deer’s head a little better to my liking.

All in all, the actual reference sculpt for the deer was the easiest step

Next I started the rough sketch of him in grease pencil and mapped lines around the surface to get a 3d effect. Occasionally the lines would end up all over the place or in weird spaces but I just made sure to clean it up from time to time and catch an loose geometry

From there I started to build out what would be his “fur”

Learning that I could use gradients in my fills, I made a sort of leaf effect that I came to really like.
Though this is also where I started to encounter issues clipping through the holdout material, even with the solidify on negate having to work with too much offset on the surface.

Tried displacement modifier instead by simply shrinking the mesh by -.1, which not ideal but it worked well enough that I went with that method instead.

I also had the initial problem of the lineart being seen even through the mesh. I actually found in a blender forum (either blender stack exchange or here on blender artists I really can’t recall) but I needed to have Z checked in the render passes which solved that issue nicely.


Once I got done with the coat of leaves, I moved onto the legs. Here I wanted to give them a wood like texture. I also utilized the mask modifier to help the fills not get pulled into different directions or be influenced by the other legs.

Once done with the legs, I kind of went crazy on the little vine details for the antlers and the tails.
I did have a lot of issues for the antlers’ fill colors as they often stuck to the different parts of the mesh and were causing breakage and just genuinely didn’t look very good. But I worked around it using one of the textured leaf brushes you can download from blender directly using the grease pencil addon. So that really helped a lot so that it didn’t look like I painted it drunk plus it gave it a nice texture so I think it worked out ok.

I really had a lot of fun putting in the leaf and flower details, def went overboard but idk I liked the result of it.

Next I built the surrounding area. I made four trees using vertices and the skin modifier, which I put into their own collection.

After I applied the modifiers I converted them into grease pencil objects, marking only the seams of the objects that I wanted to be translated into lines.

However, I found that I had to undo that as I came to realize that I wouldn’t be able to use the grease pencil version of the tree to have other foliage objects be distributed onto it.

Which I thought ok makes sense in that case so I kept the trees as meshes and continued to make the other foliage elements with grease pencil. These I distributed within the scene manually.

For the leaves of the willow tree I made about twenty different grease pencil variants in a separate collection that I then used geometry nodes to distribute them among the trees.

Once that was done I got to posing the super basic human model I made into a position. I tried several poses and different camera angles until I found the one I was satisfied with.

Using the model and the girl from blender splash screen 2.91 made by Robin Tran as inspiration I drew a flat grease pencil object of the photographer.

After that I added in the background starry night sky, mainly using a voronoi texture to get the effect instead of using an external texture. I also did the same for the ground but used a musgrave to give me the illusion of ripples.

Def skimmed over some stuff but this was the general gist of my progress with it. Again I hope I can find a way to get this uploaded, but if nothing else, this was a good learning experience of what grease pencil can and can’t do. I’m looking forward to how blender continues to develop the tool moving forward.

Sorry for the long post, but thank you to those who stuck through my ramblings until the end.


This is looking awesome! Thanks so much for all the awesome process pics :open_mouth:


Having to go back to the drawing board after not being able to upload the original idea onto sketchfab (which a bit of wishful thinking here but I do hope that more support for grease pencil will be made possible in the future on their end ), I decided to take my converted grease pencil objects into a different direction. The converting from grease pencil to mesh took the longest as I had to sit down and convert every piece I drew while trying to (and I’m not proud of this) decimate the models as much as I could get away with so that my computer wouldn’t blow up into a fiery ball of scrap and pain.

Not wanting to delete all the work I’ve done prior, instead while brainstorming for ideas the thought came to me while playing around in the viewport, to instead make a little art terrarium out of the objects I had. (And that really is what I Iove about Blender; it is beautiful in its flexibility.)

A terrarium for those who aren’t familiar.

I scaled down the size of the scene to make it a little more intimate. I wanted to convey the idea of this little terrarium hiding out in the corner of a house or a cafe.

I kept the textures of the converted grease pencil objects pretty simple for the sake of my sanity, and usually stayed with emissions or simple diffuse. The exceptions being those of the ground and base which I kept the same from the original idea.

So with all that out of the way, I started by taking a sphere and cutting a little less than half of it off, then using Looptools to cut open a hole in the center. I then added a hole at the top to place a curve through it and that would then be the rope hanging it from the top.

Using alt +s I made the rope look thicker and not look like a piece of string too weak to actually be able to hold the terrarium up. I converted it to a mesh and decided to use the combo of a wave texture node and color ramp to give me a more rope-like appearance to the curve.

Next I went ahead and UV unwrapped the sphere that would be the glass terrarium (also shoutout to UV packmaster 3 and simplebake both are such helpful tools and saved me in my times of need) and I made a quick and dirty texture painting in clip studio paint as I wanted to have the sphere have a texture that would be easy to export into sketchfab. I also added a bump node as I liked having the grooves of paint visible onto the model, though not that you can see it too well in the photo.

I also created a bokeh texture to slap onto the face of a basic plane as I wanted to have this for the background.

I added a volume bsdf to a cube’s material and set it down to a very low density. I paired the volume with a window that I poked holes into on some of the faces to give this checkered lighting effect.

Once I had those in place I positioned that camera, and aimed to render it as is, but I felt like I was missing something in the foreground to accentuate the terrarium, so I added three more grease pencil to mesh leaves to frame around the deer.

I also added an empty and placed it within the terrarium and used it to mark where I wanted to add some depth of field to the camera. I finished this up by adding a fog glow in compositing and then proceeding to render in cycles.

And here is the final render for it.

This is also now up on sketchfab for those who would like to take a look (Minus some objects like the window or the volumetric fog because sketchfab fought me all the way in trying to import so I got what I got on there).

Honestly for as much as I struggled in this project, I learned a lot and I did enjoy the process of getting to delve back into Blender like this as it has been a long time since I took the time to sit down with a project and mind and come away calling it complete.

Thank you to those who read all my ramblings here, and I wish everyone the best in this contest! I look forward to seeing everyone’s completed pieces :grin:


Hey! As we’re entering the final days of the challenge, I’d like to give you some helpful tips to make sure you can successfully complete your entry. Please see my new post on the FAQ topic.

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Thanks for the tips, I do want to note though that I can’t seem to update or edit my original post. Is this because I am a “new” user?

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I just checked this out on Sketchfab and it’s looking very cool! Are you planning any final changes as we get toward the deadline?

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Unfortunately I’m currently swamped with work stuff, so I don’t think I’ll be able to add any major changes at the end. But thank you so much for taking the time to check it out!

Hey! Just a quick reminder that there’s now less than 12 hours remaining to wrap up your challenge entry - submissions close at 2022-09-15T21:59:00Z, GMT+1 (click on the link for some international times).

If you haven’t done so already, please review this post which contains some essential information for preparing your submission.

At the very least, upload your work to Sketchfab as soon as possible and add the #bcon22challenge tag.

It’s also a good idea to add a link to your WIP topic in the description of your Sketchfab model so we can easily find it.

I’ll also keep a close eye on the FAQ topic today, so if you have any issues or questions please post it there as soon as possible.

Good luck!

Nice work :clap:t5: :clap:t5:

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Thank you!

It’s really cool that you used the grease pencil :blush:

Thanks! Even with the learning curve I had to tackle, I did find myself enjoying the tool a lot. It was a fun challenge :smile:

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