How to make a character when you are an environment artist :)

  • Hi, I’m Julie and I always write “environment artist” in my about section
  • Hi Julie :clap::clap::clap:

Seriously though, I’m truly terrified of making anything softer than an armchair, especially characters! But as usual if you are bad at doing something it’s probably because you never do it in the first place. It was definitely the case for me, I’ve modeled characters probably 3 times in my life before. But I’m all about trying to learn absolutely everything that I find exciting no matter how bad I am at it, so I thought I’ll learn how to make characters, just gotta start!

Here a mushroom spirit character that I made on one of my streams. (I stream 3d modeling and gamedev on Twitch btw :eyes:) I kinda like how this little guy turned out, so I wanted to understand what helped…

1. It’s all in your imagination. My comfort zone is making scenes with soft toy looking props, so I thought “hey what’s the difference between a mushroom character and a mushroom toy?! Nothing, I can do it!”

2. Start simple. One of my favourite youtube educators Feng Zhu (founder of FZD school of design) talked about this for the entire video but TLDR: it’s much easier to see that there is something wrong with your depiction of an object that people see daily, especially if that object has a rigid structure (symmetry, sharp edges, straight corners). So it’s much harder to screw up things that are not supposed to be an accurate depiction of a real life thing. How many nature sprits have you seen this week? Exactly my point! :slight_smile:

3. Play to your strength. Who says you can’t cheat and try and hide the fact that you don’t know how to make characters by adding a forest behind you shroom spirit? You make the rules!

4. Make what brings you joy. This piece started as a sketch for Inktober 2021 “Spirit”. (Yeah, I know took me a while to write this, hehe) Since it was spooky season time I immediately started thinking about ghosts but I’m not a fan of a horror genre, so I wasn’t feeling it. But then I remembered that there is a piece of media that I adore that is full of spirits - Ghibli movies! That’s when I thought of a nature spirit character and instantly I became so excited about this idea that I completely forgot all about my fears and started modeling!


Now it’s your turn :slight_smile:


So lovely! Great work.


This is super sweet, and I love the lighting. Really lovely work! :smiley:


I featured you on BlenderNation, have a great weekend!


thank you!


A like for that a alone :wink: … oh no and now i can’t give you one for your work!


Hehe! Thanks :white_heart:

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You’re on the #featured row! :+1:


Love the scene. Cute style!

its so cute

I love watching your work on instagram and the video you did for Nvidia, great stuff! i really like the mood! That mushroom spirit looks a big high :joy: i really like the trees and trunk/moss.


Hello Everyone,

Here is the “Behind the Scenes” article of this delightful piece of art!

Do check this article written by the artist herself. It describes the process of making the artwork step by step and the inspirations that led her to achieve this result.

Alina Khan
Editor at Blender Nation

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

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