Behind the Scenes: Embracing Demons


Hello, I am Denis from Belgium. I began my journey with 3D and Blender as a youngster, and it has been pursuing me ever since. I am not a youngster…

After spending a while within the real-time world, I’ve determined to deal with the illustrative aspect of 3D and the flexibility it has given me to create disturbing photos.


In most of my work, I wish to showcase opposites and problem established views by portraying issues in a distinct gentle.

On this piece, I needed for example the battle towards one’s demons. I didn’t wish to symbolize the combat towards them, as it’s a theme that has already been nicely developed. As an alternative, I assumed that accepting these demons could be a extra delicate approach of addressing the subject, probably providing extra attention-grabbing interpretations.


On high of the interior battle towards one’s demons, I needed to ask the viewer to query this unlikely relationship, which is a theme I’ll proceed to develop and discover. Is it love, or is it revenue? Maybe a little bit of each?

General, I attempted to place the piece as an intersection of opposites.

CONCEPT – Fly Inspiration

The fly is closely impressed by the normal illustration of Baal-Zebub (or Belzebuth). Due to this fact, it embodies energy, evil, and perceived ugliness.

Belzebuth, Belzebub, or Beelzebuth, in response to the scriptures, is the prince of demons, rating first in energy and crimes after Devil. His identify means Lord of Flies, as talked about in JAS Collin de Plancy’s “Dictionary Infernal” (1863), which is within the public area.

CONCEPT – Feminine Inspiration

Quite the opposite, the lady is portrayed with components paying homage to the Holy; her golden hair resembles halos, her magnificence, comfortable posture, and the golden tones evoke angels.

But, they appear to attach, mix, and fuse collectively, blurring the strains between evil and holy, the yin and the yang, serving as a reminder that nothing is really black or white.

CONCEPT – Midjourney

Generally, I can clearly see an image in my thoughts, whereas different occasions I must suppose additional in regards to the particulars to finish the image.

On this case, I had clear concepts in regards to the digicam angle and the connection between the characters, however I used to be uncertain in regards to the colour scheme, lighting, and general composition.

I requested midjourney to generate “A lady with darkish, lengthy hair spooning a human-sized fly in darkish pajamas, with gold and emerald tones.”

The outcomes are offered above. I didn’t additional refine the ideas (as I discover it discouraging), however it was sufficient to slender down the general ambiance, colour tones, and grasp the comfortable but darkish feeling I aimed for.

MODELS – Fly improvement

I’ve developed the fly from scratch, hoping to reuse this asset a number of occasions with minimal tweaks. Your entire course of has been extensively documented here.

General, the modeling course of was pretty simple, whereas probably the most important (and gratifying) problem was the shader work, utilizing quite a lot of Fresnel nodes.

The fly is absolutely rigged with IK.

MODELS – Sketchfab Asset assortment

For components that I do not think about distinctive and important to the scene, I immediately flip to Sketchfab. The generic belongings accessible there are superior, and I had no intention of modeling a mattress and sheets.

MODELS – Human Character

I began by utilizing MakeHuman, however I spotted that the feel high quality, particularly, would constantly maintain me again. 

After conducting an investigation, I made a decision that Daz Studio could be probably the most applicable for my function, and I switched to it after acquiring their super-detailed Genesis 9 characters.

Under, you’ll be able to see a comparability shot earlier than and after changing the human mannequin from MakeHuman with Daz3D (with minor modifications all through; let me know if you happen to spot all of them!).

Truthfully, I had tousled the supplies of the MakeHuman mannequin and the lighting within the “earlier than” shot, however for my part, the standard of the Daz characters is vastly superior.


Lastly, I shortly simulated a bit of material and let it fall onto the fragile backside of the woman.

Given the rules relating to nudity on the web, I’ve made an effort to cowl something that may very well be thought-about offensive. I do not prefer it, however at the very least I can publish the items. It nonetheless appears to be like good, I believe.


The hair was created utilizing the “previous” hair system (previous to Blender 3.5) and has been manually groomed. The shader used is a principled hair BSDF.

I can not assist however consider Tina Turner in Mad Max 3.

I added hair particles to some sheets to offer them a plaid-like look, in addition to to the rug.


I’ve collected a couple of base supplies from free sources on the web and fine-tuned them to greatest match the present composition. 

All of the websites from which these supplies had been obtained are referenced on the finish of this text. They’re all solely free, and so they’re superior! The fabric supplies on high are absolutely procedural.


For this composition, I deliberate to depend on a “false” symmetry, the place the characters mirror one another whereas being solely totally different. It’s as soon as once more a approach of making an attempt to mix, embrace, or reconcile two opposites.

Round and rectangular patterns body the middle of the composition, deliberately making it considerably exhausting to learn. The 2 our bodies are oriented to comply with symmetrical strains. The focus is positioned at roughly one-third of the image, drawing inspiration from the foundations of thirds in pictures and the golden ratio.


For the lighting, I made a decision to distribute a couple of level lamps and fully eradicate the HDRI (which I have a tendency to make use of systematically as a base lighting). I positioned small discs beneath every of them in order that the direct gentle doesn’t attain the bottom and create harsh highlights that will distract the attention and disrupt the composition.


Earlier than rendering, I at all times test the false colour profile and regulate the publicity accordingly. That basically helps to acquire a “sane” picture as a base and minimizes the required corrections afterwards.

I exploit pretty typical render settings, and I deal with the denoising within the compositing cross. Nothing too particular right here.


Listed below are the earlier than and after photos, showcasing the post-processing utilizing Topaz Studio II.

On this case, there’s a delicate correction. I’ve added some painterly particulars to the “empty” areas and additional blended the colours to reinforce the dreamy ambiance. I’ve additionally barely blurred the tremendous particulars, corresponding to the lady’s hair and the fly.

Nevertheless, most of those post-edits are solely seen in excessive decision and huge format.


This piece makes use of a number of belongings that are licensed beneath Creative Commons Attribution.

The next sources have been used as nicely, and are topic to CC0 licence.

RENDER – Embracing Demons

A fast walkaround video,

Listed below are a couple of renders of the fly earlier than integrating it into this piece.

Thanks for studying. Be at liberty to ask any questions, and if you happen to like my work, comply with me on social media. Have a great day!

Concerning the Artist


Denis Gauder, a 3D artist from Belgium. He’s specializing in producing thought-invoking items, with a darkish twist.