The Old General Store. A Painterly WIP

This is the result of a lot of trial and error over the last few months. There’s even some blood, sweat, and tears involved, since I accidentally cut my arm on the corner of my desk while working on this. It was pretty tragic.

…and here’s the end result. The painterly, graphic novel style I’ve been trying so long to achieve. Right now, I’m just building my props, making sure everything gels well together. Eventually, I plan on having a nice complete general store scene, located right out in the middle of nowhere.

The end results, touched up in Krita.

And the Blender shot, rendered in Eevee.

More will be incoming.


That’s a pretty neat effect. I would be interested in learning how you did it.

It’s fairly simple stuff, basically a tweak on Lightning Boy Studio’s Ghibli style trees, and some Comics Shader nodes with a very light halftone and stippling effect applied. I’ve also got a thin volume applied to the world for some color tweaking and atmospherics.

For the more solid objects, I only use diffuse textures to keep things nice and smooth looking, but add lots of bits and bobs in the geometry so that they’ll pick up the light in interesting ways.

Overall, it’s nothing too difficult to achieve.


Thanks. I really like the effect.

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Look nice.

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I’ve spent most of my time doing a lot of trimming and tweaking, seeing if I could get the Ghibli style trees down to a more manageable polycount without sacrificing TOO much detail.

…and I did it! It took me over 6 hours of just screwing around with stuff, but it’s been done! My four trees and one bush previously took up 1.3 million tris, which was ridiculous. Now, they take up around 250,000 altogether, which is, well…better. Still not absolutely wonderful, but my computer’s no longer getting punched in the face when I start stacking the instances around.

Also, I stole Jim Whitcher’s grass shader that popped up on Blendernation today.

So, opinion time. Do you think things look better with the heavier halftone effect, or worse?


hey I love the halftone effect, I just thought it’s a little too strong and it overpowers the texture you had on the trees before. I would keep the old grungy texture, and then maybe add just a faint touch of the halftone. it should be there as a barely visible effect imo. love the scene!

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I toned the tone back a bit, and used the high poly trees, and yeah, it does look a lot better. I think I’ll use the lower poly set for middle distance stuff, and save the dense trees for use near the camera.

…it’s just scary hearing my GPU fans spin up when I use them. :stuck_out_tongue:


Okay, this will be my last post for awhile, cuz posting every little incremental change I make makes me feel kinda dirty after awhile.

So anyway, I’ve spent most of my Blender time doing what I’ve usually been doing these last couple of days: screwing around with my trees. Once again, I think I’ve found my happy medium. What I did before was take my trees, remesh them in sculpt mode, then decimate a bit more to get the polycount down. The end result was mushy trees.

My current method is about the same, except when I go to remesh, I set it to a very, very fine resolution so it keeps all the drops and drips. The end result gives me a mesh that’s about 3 million polys, but it decimates cleaner. I now have trees that are 1/3rd the polycount, but still look about the same. I do lose a little bit of fine detail, but it still maintains that brush splatter look I like so much.

All this endless experimentation has been an absolute blast, let me tell you. Kick. In. The. Pants.

So anyway, I decided I now have enough to really build out a beauty shot, so that’s what I did. It’s rendered in Eevee, touched up and fancified in Krita. I finally achieved that handpainted storybook feel I’ve been wanting to do for so long.

Also, I made a fence. It’s a really nice fence. Has a normalmap on it and everything.


I’ve added a few extra bits and pieces here and there, but right now, my major focus has been on atmospherics.

I like the fog effect, but the rain looks like, well, the stretched out square polygons that they are. It’s missing something to make it look truly rainy. What would you all recommend I do to make it look better?


Got my atmospherics down flat, and enough props and plantlife to fill up at least a good chunk of the actual final product, of which all this is but a part. Plus, I’m now officially tired of staring at these damn gas pumps, which is a good sign it’s time to move on.

The only thing I wish I could do was add a rain splash effect on the tops of my objects. I watched a couple of tutorials, and tried a few various tweaks on what I picked up from them, but couldn’t pull off anything worth keeping. It just made it too noisy.

So anyway, here’s some fog, and some slightly improved rain.

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I’m still working on this. I’ve just been working on stuff that’s probably boring to most people, but since I’m super easily impressed, it’s exciting to me.

Like, for instance, Substance Designer and parallax maps. Since I recently discovered how big of a difference they can make to a scene, I’ve been spending more time with the former, trying to get as many heightmaps out as I can to do my work.

Instead of having to worry about futzing around with geometry to make what would otherwise be a plain old wood wall look good, all I have to do is lay down a parallax map, and BOOM, sweet depth!

It amazes me just how big of a difference it can make. Here’s a good example of a texture set I’m working on…

…which took forever, since I had to learn how to make them in SD…

…with the parallax map on and off. It’s just three cylinders stacked on top of each other. With it off, it looks exactly like that. With it on though? Oh, man. It’s so rad.



And there you go. The radness. It’s like a whole new world has opened up to me.


Did you use an already existing parallax shader (from gumroad or smth) or did you build a completely new one by yourself?
Also, your work looks super rad!

Why, thank you. :smile:

I bought Super Parallax over at Blender Market after doing a bit of research on the topic.

One of the reasons why I always took to Substance Designer so halfheartedly for so long was because I always ended up being disappointed by how flat my textures looked in Eevee compared to what I’d see there. It was when I started designing my building, wondering how I’d texture it, that I started looking into other options. I thought I could either model each board individually, which would look nice, but would take a minute to do, and be a pain in the ass to texture, or I could use parallax maps, and only have to contend with a flat surface.

After that, I came across Super Parallax, thought it’d be worth risking the $30 on, and tried it out.


Thanks for your response! Im actually struugling with the same issues with eevee, and Super Parallax looks awesome!

It can be a little finicky sometimes, but it’s a nice tool to have in your arsenal.

Though if you’re a bit reticent about spending the dough, it looks like POM might be getting native support at some point.

Havent heard of this one yet, thank you.

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Okay, so after goofing around with a bunch of extraneous stuff, I’ve finally started back on my scene. I’m making the old general store itself. And since this is a work in progress thread, I’ll go ahead and post an in-blender screenshot to show off my work in progress.

Yeah, I know. I made this big deal about using parallax maps to keep from having to texture a bunch of little boards, only to turn around and model a bunch of little boards I’m going to end up having to texture.

…that’s how I roll, yo. I’m flaky.


Day 2 on the store. Morale is high, but foodstuffs are running dangerously low.

The basics are now done. All that’s left are the details. Those Christmas lights? The rest of my building is only 24,000 tris. Those lights double it. Pretty expensive for a spur of the moment detail, but they’re just too cool to take out.

Plus, it’s not like I have any real polygon budget to speak of. Throw a few of my lumpy trees into the mix, and suddenly I’m up closing in on a million tris. I guess all I have to really worry about is my computer choking.

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The store. It is done.

…I should’ve just used a texture for the walls. Things don’t look THAT much better, and I wouldn’t have had to use a 4096x ,png so I could have enough resolution for everything.

On to the next bit!