[COMPLETE] From Spy Time to My Time (Make a Splash in Amsterdam)

Spy My Time

I’m joining the Make a Splash in Amsterdam challenge for my first 3D challenge (:sweat_smile:) and I love the idea of this open, share-as-you-go format, so I’m gonna contribute!

My idea is to take the 2.79 splash screen by the Blender Animation Studio and give Agent 327 a much needed break by moving him from the barbershop blowout to the comfort of his home as he excitedly jumps into bed in his favorite stripped pajamas!

Later today I will update with a basic sketch and some thoughts about how I’m going to approach this and challenges I expect!

(Title is a work in progress)

Here my the initial sketch:

I’ll be playing more with the camera angle/framing in 3D. I don’t love how full in view the bed is, but I also like having the bedside table on the closer side.

Additionally, I plan on the objects being more whimsical in style/proportion, maybe a bit of an exaggerated curve to the bed and such, Otherwise the room might not mesh so well with the silly concept. However this will be my first attempt at such a style, so I’m gonna probably keep it more on the modest end.

My philosophy with this scene is going to be; “grab them with the concept and hold them with the details”. I’m a bit concerned that the concept itself is a good laugh, but it doesn’t have much staying power. So, to add some intrigue I’m going to add in extra spy-esque objects and such. This will be a good use of the 360 degree Sketchfab viewer as well!

As far as the challenges I for-see so far:

  1. Time. I’m a pretty slow 3D artist, I think, and on top of that, I’m going to a convention for 5 days in September. So I’m going to need to keep a keen eye on pacing and not let the project get too big ( I have a tendency to do this)
  2. I’ve never dealt with a professional level rig with controls and everything, hopefully that isn’t a terrible headache to figure out. It was intimidating when I opened the file yesterday :grimacing:.
  3. I don’t love having to deal with precision, I tend to get impatient, and the stripes on the pajamas are gonna demand that. But They add so much character and comedy. They must be stripped!

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Final Update:


This take is adorable. I love your paintover plan!


Just got some initial block-out done this morning.

I like the framing but I don’t care for the size of the room. It feels large and awkward right now, I imagined it being a bit more narrow. That says “practical spy” more imo. I’m also struggling a bit with how to balance the camera location and the room arrangement. Most of the spy-related objects in the room will inevitably be visible only the Sketchfab turntable, but it would be cool to have more than just what is on/in the bedside dresser in the still render/starting position in Sketchfab (which I’m assuming is tied to the camera location in the scene…this afternoon I’m going to throw this into Sketchfab to get acquainted).

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Since we’ll be able to spin around this on Sketchfab, what do you think he’s got on the TV?

Thats a gooooood question lol.

My first idea was a 007 movie. But I don’t want to lean TOO much into that bit given he has a picture above his bed. He’s inspired by Bond not obsessed! At least for now…

My second idea was the original splash screen to emphasis the remix aspect of my idea. If someone just saw this on Sketchfab they wouldn’t “get the joke”. But then I decided that was me thinking too hard and that would spoil the vibe anyway. He’d have to be watching security footage and then why would he be jumping in bed for that?

tl;dr I’m not sure yet. I’ll have to ponder that more.

I think when I’m making that face and holding the remote, it’s commercials :sweat_smile: A pox on unskippable Youtube ads!


hmmm… Mesothelioma!

That raises another question!
I keep going back and forth between angry face and relaxed face (relaxed is in the block-out render). I like both for different reasons. Angry makes it more of a direct 1-to-1 from the original and it’s silly and I like that. But also, relaxed makes more sense. I’m sure I’ll be deciding at the last moment lol.

But thats a great idea! Maybe he’s skipping an ad (or trying to skip an unskippable ad) depending on the expression.

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Rather than having a modern TV with youtube, I would suggest setting it back in the 70s when the comic was originally published. He can still be frustrated with the remote control, not being able to find his favorite channel.

It would be hilarious to have a Spy vs Spy comic on the desk.


Good point about the TV.
And I’ll definitely incorporate the comic. Good idea!

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Today I’ve been working on the 1960’s style bed:

(all materials are place holders)

I used this tutorial video to refresh myself on cloth sims since It’s been about a year since I last simmed anything

I also ran into my first batch of issues today:

  • I had the idea to hang his jacket over the headboard, but for some reason self collision is causing the jacket to go haywire in the first few frames.

  • First I thought the issue was that it had thickness, so I deleted all faces that made up the interior of the jacket. That helped, but the sim results were still unusable. Then I figured some faces somewhere were intersecting. All the pockets had intersecting faces so I deleted them and grid-filled the holes. Results were still better, but still unusable. Maybe there’s an intersecting face I’m missing, I’m not sure. I’m putting the idea down for now and ill return to fiddle with settings later since it’s a non-essential addition.

  • I’m also having trouble applying the armature to the Agent 327 mesh(s) in the original splash screen file so I can transfer a static mesh to my remix file. Some bug has been glitching the pose when I open the file sometimes, so I figured this would be better – if I can get it to work. I made all the relevant meshes and the armature local (everything was in library overrides) but I can’t apply the armature modifier still, it’s greyed out and says “modifiers can’t be applied to override data” even though I make them local. Clearly there is something I’m not understanding about library overrides. I’ll have to look into it more.
    I just figured this out. I had made the object data local but not the mesh data. Once I made both local (and deleted shape keys) I could apply the modifier!


I also often have trouble with cloth sims… perhaps the cloth sculpt brushes could be a good alternative? I use them whenever I can, and then manually edit the vertices with proportional editing enabled. Not perfect and a bit fiddly, but more predictable than the simulation :sweat_smile:

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I’ve gotten the framed picture, bedside table, and table/dresser modeled out with placeholder materials.


  • I was originally going to have something visible in the bedside table from the camera angle but that might not happen.

  • For the suitcase, I plan to have a few spy gadget type items inside – we’ll see what time I have after I get all the main props done.

  • I included the hair dryer to imply that this is the same day as the Blender Studio short. I forgot to add the cord initially. I’ll have to go back for that. Later.

  • We loved these tapered furniture legs in the 1960’s apparently. They’re everywhere in the reference images. Or maybe that’s reference image bias.

  • Originally I was planning on messing with exaggerating the proportions of the objects but as things come together I’m wondering if that’ll be necessary. The 1960’s vibe is also helping that sense of whimsy as well (recommended by @Zorro_Weaver).

  • Before I start working on the textures for real I am going to re-watch the Operation Barbershop short a few more times to get a sense of the style and level of detail/realism in the surfacing.

  • I think everything is comming along well so far!


May I repost this on BlenderNation as a WIP spotlight?

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Definitely! :smile:

Let me know when you do.

More Updates (from yesterday)!

  • I created a pillow case by duplicating the pillow and deleting the end of one side of it to make an opening. From there I sculpted it mostly using the cloth sim, crease, grab, and pinch brushes. To save on geometry I deleted most of the original pillow since it wouldn’t be visible.

  • I modeled a basic window. Something is up with how it is reflecting light though, I’ll need to google up a tutorial to remind myself how to make a proper glass material. If I have time I would like to add curtains or blinds of some kind

  • I pulled some models from Sketchfab to save time; A 1960’s style TV and Alarm Clock. The Alarm clock is a Russian brand and the TV is Polish – both picked up on his travels around the world. Just international spy things. I will include all CC0 credits at the end of the project!

  • image

  • Finally I modeled a Lamp for the bedside table fitted with a panic button should a bad guy try to break into his home >.>

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Today I started the very exciting work of creating Agent 327’s pajamas!

Luckily, most titular stripped pajamas are styled after suits (for some reason)

SO, I’m planning on keeping most of his clothing and just creating new materials. I created a custom base color image in Photoshop using the patterns tool and this tutorial. Here is the base color image:

I plan on using a CC0 fabric texture for the normal,roughness, metalness, and displacement maps.

If the clothes don’t feel like pajamas after I’ve created all the new materials I’ll do some sculpting to make them a bit more baggy and to hopefully strike that stiffer cheap fabric look. But hopefully, I won’t need to go that far. Fingers crossed that the materials will do the trick!


Hey, would you please post a link (if you haven’t already, if so sorry I missed it) to your Sketchfab acct? I’d like to follow it.

I’ve not uploaded anything yet, but here it is:carsonbarrs - Sketchfab

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Today, I got antsy about not having added any spy gadgets into the scene, so I went ahead and got started on that.

I added a stress ball teargas grenade absentmindedly left by an identical regular stressball (:grimacing:)

And a case of “pens” (cyanide, truth serum, knock-out serum, laser). He has trouble remembering whether the gold or silver pen is the laser – so he keeps gold separate to remember (it’s the gold pen)

As well as a rubber mask hanging out of his briefcase

Unfortunately it’s pretty obvious that it’s the agent’s face. I’m going to change the skin-tone in Photoshop to hopefully bury the lead a little better. I might also texture paint some face blemishes too.

I accomplished the mask with good ol’ sculpting. I duplicated the face, deleted the mouth bag, and moved it around in place with the grab brush. I tried using a cloth sim, but this ended up being faster with good enough results. Is this good enough? Should I try to add some large wrinkles?

The original pen is off of Sketchfab. I changed the colors using the hue/saturation adjustment in photoshop to change the base-color image in various ways.

Lastly, I created the Agent’s night cap and I grabbed some good slippers from Sketchfab!

… Unfortunatly, I forgot to uv unwrap it before deforming it into place so the stripes are warped
It’s very bad in the back. So I gotta re-do it :(. Should go twice as fast this time though.

Here are the slippers:

I’m rather proud of what I came up with to handle the feet. Though for a more experienced 3D artist, this solution is probably obvious. I took the mesh that was the socks and extruded and scaled them into the basic shape of a foot. Then I changed the material to the face material and dropped them somewhere uniform and non-distinct.



Actually lastly, I messed around more the blanket and carpet colors to start honing in on the 1960’s feel. It’s going… disappointingly. Color is one of my weakest area as an artist – in competition only with lighting. I never walk away feeling like I got it right… So I’ll be fiddling for some time probably.

(It would probably help if I added the rest of the walls and ceiling and made some interior light sources :grimacing:).

This is the general esthetic/color pallet I’m going for: