Behind the Scenes: Reaven Rave


Hiya, my title is Michael Hickman and I’m a 14-year-old dwelling within the US. I’m from Las Vegas, Nevada. I began utilizing Blender once I was 11 years outdated, after discovering a free instrument that allowed me to customise the software program to my liking. Earlier than then, I used Autodesk merchandise on the age of eight for CAD modeling, which I believed appeared horrible on the time.

Via utilizing Blender, I discovered similarities with polygonal modeling in different applications and was in a position to rapidly get a primary understanding of the software program. I continued to be taught and enhance my expertise by creating one thing new in Blender each week. I swap between realism and stylization in my work, and whereas I get pleasure from each, I discover that stylized artwork has a playfulness that’s not current in every other medium. I now use Blender and Krita for all my work and sometimes use Houdini for simulation.


My work is impressed by kids’s e-book illustrations. I am keen on the lovable and simplistic designs of the animals with their corresponding environments. The facial options in quite a lot of my works are a combination of various cute and kawaii arts that I discover on Pinterest, blended collectively to get my outcome.


My course of largely begins with mapping out a baseline for my work. I then add extra complexity and develop a character for the characters. To do that, I ask myself questions similar to: “The place are the ravens situated?” “What season are they in?” “What’s the climate?” This helps me to determine a baseline for my work.


Modeling is pretty easy, utilizing a dice with a subdivision-surface to make its form spherical. This makes the item extra malleable and simpler to control.

The shrubs and grass are manufactured from a NURBS curve with subdivided cubes as leaves. I modeled the hat and raven utilizing primary shaping in sculpt mode with the elastic deform instrument. I intention for a glance that’s not too sharp or too clean, however good to make the piece look passable.


For texturing, I make the most of a photograph of fingerprints, which I exploit at a low bump worth to create distortion on the mesh. Then, I’ve a noise node blended with a Voronoi node on the roughness to present a picket distinction and develop physicality within the texture. This creates a pleasant sheen that appears like you possibly can contact the mannequin itself. The grasses and shrubs use a coloration ramp node with an object information node to create randomness within the number of crops obtainable, producing extra distinction blended with complementary quantity shaders to generate ambiance.


I created a coloration palette via utilizing saturation and distinction inside Blender’s viewport, and I ran via renditions of the scene to see which of them stand out and seize the viewer’s eye. That is probably the most very important a part of my work, the place I exploit the MVP (Minimal Viable Product) methodology to push out one of the best work within the shortest time period. The small print are profound at this stage, the place I zoom in on particular areas to seize any attainable flat areas.

Fundamental coloration script draft with an thought of colours going via renditions.


For lighting, I exploit a quantity blended with a Nishita sky and at last, combine it with a key mild to create a profound focus for the whole piece. This grabs the viewer’s consideration and enhances the textures of the atmosphere.

Lighting and atmosphere take a look at 1:

I made a decision to take away timber for a extra festive really feel. I eliminated the timber and adjusted the Nishita sky settings.


Thanks for studying, and be happy to ask me something. Have an excellent day!

In regards to the Artist

Michael Hickman, a 14-year-old 3D artist from Las Vegas, Nevada. He’s at the moment freelancing and doing private work.