Forgotten Archway


The grass clips weirdly, I know, this isn’t really meant to be animated like this. Still looks good though :slight_smile:


Ivy generation

Note that the vines and leaves both have subdivision applied at render, which smooths out the sharp corners you see here. The basic principle is simple- duplicate the drawn curve several times. Resample it to have only 4 points. Adjust the positions of each of those points randomly. Resample those curves again to have many points (40, in this case). Adjust the positions of those points randomly. Instance leaves on those points- except the endpoints. Use the endpoints to taper the curve radius.

Ivy generator nodes


General details

100% procedural textures, including the clouds. Ivy is generated procedurally with geometry nodes. Rendered using Cycles, 64 samples + denoising. 19 seconds per frame, although I could get pretty close to real-time editing in the viewport. Rendered on a RTX 3070

Progress shots

Compositor Nodes for Painterly Displacement


Procedural Clouds


Main rock shader nodes


Ivy leaf shader nodes + closeup


Reference image

Thanks for looking!



This looks great! Good feeling to it. It was definitely a little trippy seeing it move through the grass, haha. The vines/grass really sell it. I need to play around with this kind of stylized environmental as well at some point, so it’s cool to see work and get inspired by.


You have to make compromises with heavily stylized work like this- honestly, though, it works out, this would be used as a background for animation, which obviously wouldn’t move through 3D space like that. My animation was more a stress test for the clouds than anything else :slight_smile: thanks for the kind words!

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It looks fabulous! The sculpting and texturing are really well done, and everything blends together so smoothly in the final render.

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Thanks! I’m really proud of this, it’s my best work in a long time for sure :slight_smile:

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Super cool !
Each time I see a project from you there is always a great leap in quality !
Well done !

What’s the technique behind the grass ? it’s super good for static images.

Keep up the good work !

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Thank you very much :slight_smile: leaps in quality are definitely what I’m going for, it can be hard to see myself so thanks for the reassurance!

The grass is (deceptively) simple- I painted a few clumps of grass as black and white textures, and then made a simple plane emitting those as planes as particles. They’re parented to the camera rotation with 0.1 randomization along the Normal axis (which works out to the Z in the case, as far as I can tell), which looks weird in the animation but really nice in still renders. The color is a simple Particle Info node connected to a color ramp. Getting the colors right took some tweaking- they need to be quite close to each other to not look weird. No shader- image straight to material output, the shadows are ambient occlusion (I assume)

The particle number is absurdly high- 40000, I believe, but they were lightweight to render. The biggest challenge was transparent bounces. I had to turn that up insanely high- I think I settled on 56. Still only took 19 seconds per frame to render though.


Thanks a lot for the answer !

It’s working really great ! I tried to do NPR grass for a project recently and it was super difficult to get similar shadows. The overall effect you get is super painterly and helps a lot to “sell” the whole image. Of course it looks painterly, it’s painted … but it’s super cool anyway !

I see what you mean, it’s because you’re doing a lot of things without any break, and since it’s one step after the other it’s hard to witness our own progress, especially once you’ve get out of the “low hanging fruit zone”, but it’s there for sure.

At some point try to do a retrospective from one or two years and you’ll probably see better the progression !
Needless to say that you generally go out of your comfort zone, which is why you’re making a lot of progress but also it’s a bit more unforgiving compared to doing every time the same things !

Thanks again for the tips ! it’s super interesting !


Great overview Joseph, thanks for sharing all that information! That’s a #featured #art-breakdown :slight_smile:

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Thanks Bart, I appreciate it :slight_smile: I think you have to add the featured tag to the first post for it to work, I’ll let you worry about that though so as not to mess up your system

Ah, silly me! Sorry about that :wink:

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Nice stylised look, very much like it was painted in acrylic or gouache. Be nice to see a ruined castle or monastery in this style, with fly-through animation

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Thanks! Gouache is definitely what I’m going for, still a ways off but I’ll be working on perfecting the style for sure.

I can almost promise you will at some point :wink: I’ll be exploring this further in my sketchbook, but if I end up making anything really nice, I’ll share it in Finished Projects as well :slight_smile:

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This is epic! Super cool, Joseph!


Thanks, I appreciate that!

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I featured you on BlenderNation, have a great weekend!


Super cool, @josephhansen! Thanks for your effort(s)!

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Thanks for your comment :slight_smile:

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I’m a bit late, but found your post through best of 2022.

Could you share the grass and ground shader? I’m confused as to how you used AO. If you plug an image straight to the material output it should behave like emission, therefore no shadows.

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Congratulations, this work has been nominated for the ‘Best of Blender Artists 2022’ award in the #geometry-nodes category! You can vote for it here.

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