Behind the Scenes: 3D Samurai Chess, Bishop


Hello! My identify is Aymeric Rondol, and I am a 3D generalist artist from France. I by no means had a desire between modeling, surfacing, lighting, and many others. I’ve at all times discovered all features of 3D to be very fascinating, which has allowed me to work on many various types and varieties of productions, corresponding to video games, films, and TV sequence. I have been fortunate sufficient to work for a variety of firms, and due to all these years of labor, I’ve gained stable skilled 3D artwork abilities.

I began studying Blender after a buddy informed me that some limitations with Maya might be overcome with Blender. After finishing a number of tasks with it, I can say that Blender is certainly a software program with nice potential. I have been utilizing Maya for a very long time, however Blender offers me the sensation that something is feasible. The shading system is so developed that I could make supplies like Substance Painter or Designer immediately in Blender, and the identical goes for procedural modeling, whether or not with the “Modifiers” system or the Geometry node. Blender is a good instrument for all types of procedural tasks.


I actually favored the ideas of Thaigraff Nat. This mixture of avenue artwork, mecha, and Japanese model was implausible. It has been some time because the “samurai chess” ideas caught my consideration. Nevertheless, after engaged on a number of tasks in Blender, I lastly felt able to embark on this large challenge.

I selected Bishop as a result of I used to be drawn to his tremendous protect and armor.


After making my selection, I needed to first discover ways to flip the idea right into a 3D mannequin. This concerned discovering a pose that revered the 2D idea and functioned effectively in 3D, in addition to figuring out how one can interpret the character and choosing the suitable supplies to provide it a plausible look.

To translate a 2D pose into 3D, I take advantage of the identical technique as if I have been making a prop or setting. I like to begin by blocking out my mannequin. For the armor half, I take advantage of a barely totally different technique that fits me effectively. I like to make use of the “crease” operate. The modeling stays very low-def and could be simply manipulated, permitting for complicated shapes to be created with ease.

Due to the crease operate, our 3D mannequin retains a pleasant modeling curve. The crease operate affords a quick and efficient technique for controlling and conceptualizing armor, complicated fashions, or different objects.


Rope-like edging was the largest problem of the mannequin. The trick I discovered was to use the “Screw” modifier to a easy circle, apply that to a curve, and with the proper settings, the end result labored correctly.

The Blender fabric instrument was a really good discovery for me. I did not assume it could be really easy to sculpt fabric, and it turned out to be surprisingly enjoyable.

After engaged on the fabric, I returned to the steel modeling side. I needed to attain an obscure lighting impact to provide the character a menacing and broken look, enhancing its cool and combative look.


When I’ve a mannequin that works correctly, I prefer to rapidly arrange lighting to solidify my imaginative and prescient. For this challenge, I had a transparent thought of the specified lighting from the beginning. I rendered utilizing the highly effective and environment friendly Cycles rendering engine. After organising the short-term lighting, I added procedural supplies created in Blender. This allowed me to get a common thought of the ultimate end result and helped me make colour selections in Substance 3D Painter.


With the short-term lighting and shaders arrange, I knew precisely what the principle colours can be. Now my objective was to create a plausible steel and material sensation.

In Substance 3D Painter, I started by making use of an previous steel materials to provide the character a broken look. Then, I added a layer of colour that I refined to attain a metallic look.

Substance 3D Painter has a wonderful layer, masks, and procedural technology system that enables for quick outcomes. For instance, to create the scratches, I constructed upon the previous steel shader and added a black masks with a “Fill” utilizing a grayscale Grunge Map.

By taking part in with the masks and grayscale settings in colour, roughness, and metallic, I used to be in a position to obtain the specified steel look. For the material half, I utilized a base denim materials that I modified. I did not spend an excessive amount of time on it as a result of I deliberate so as to add some fur to take care of a worn-out really feel.


In Blender, one of many instruments I like essentially the most is Geometry Nodes, which was clearly impressed by Houdini. With this instrument, you possibly can carry out many actions on meshes, curves, and many others.

It is price noting that every geometry node created could be assigned to totally different objects with customized settings and could be cheaper than precise fur. That is why I selected this answer for the furry elements. The intention was to distribute the curves I created on the entire mesh. The benefit of this technique is that I can create output parameters that may be custom-made (density, scale, colour, and many others.), which permits me to use it to different meshes and save a whole lot of time.

After conducting some checks, I spotted that some curves have been disappearing throughout the animation. After doing a little analysis, I discovered the trigger and answer due to a video by Joey Carlino titled “The Softest Fuzz You Cannot Contact: Geometry Nodes in Blender.”

The Blender neighborhood may be very energetic and useful. After additional testing and enchancment, I used to be in a position to efficiently apply the geometry node to all elements.


I’ve at all times favored images, which is why the lookdev and lighting half is commonly my favourite in my tasks. The technical half is lastly over, and I can chill out by in search of the environment and tone of the picture.

What I like about lighting is the way it guides the viewer. Though I am not an professional on this space, I make an effort to do my greatest. To realize this, I intention to not illuminate non-essential areas by adjusting the lights. As soon as that is carried out, I like so as to add a ramp colour to the roughness node, which supplies me higher management over the ultimate materials brightness within the rendering.

In my WIP picture, we are able to see that the pink areas stop us from specializing in the narrative components of the character. Within the remaining picture, the protect is significantly better highlighted, and its distinction in depth worth with the helmet permits for higher steadiness.

I at all times attempt to push my lighting as a lot as attainable.


As soon as the lighting is completed, I attempt to give a cinematic facet to my tasks, which permits me to point out what it could be like in a movie or sport. I primarily use Glare to create a bloom impact on shiny surfaces, Shade Steadiness and Shade Correction to regulate the colours and lighting of sure elements, Ellipse Masks for a vignette impact, and Lens Distortion to finalize the cinematic look. Relying on the challenge, a few of these nodes could also be used in another way, however these are those I take advantage of most regularly.


And that is it!

Thanks for studying my article. I hope you have got a fantastic day!

In regards to the Artist

Aymeric Rondol, a 3D generalist artist from France.