Star Wars Fan Art — BAM #46

If you haven’t seen this yet, it was an image I did for Blender Art Magazine (issue 46). When the call for this issue came out, I had recently finished a 30 day sculpting project and was trying to think of a project to do. A couple of months before, I had been playing around with “clay” style characters (ie made of Play Dough), and was thinking about doing a scene in that style. After hearing about the call for fan art, I quickly decided to do one with my favorite movie (okay… series of movies), and quickly settled in on this particular scene.

The idea behind this scene was to show “beginners” (I’m starting to feel comfortable with myself to call myself an intermediate that’s getting close to the cusp of advanced with a little more experience) that a complex scene could be created, even with fairly simple geometry. Outside of the trees (which were created with the skin modifier and using displacement for the texturing), all the character work was primarily made up of simple geometry — cubes, spheres, cylinders, etc with some relatively simple extrusions, insets, and the like. I did use the shrink wrap on Yoda’s cloak and to start some of the work on R2, but for the most part, the only other modifiers used were subsurf and displacement for the texturing. Even the x-wing (yes, it is there, barely visible in the fog behind the characters) was made of simple geometry.

I think I did make use of what I learned in Kent Trammell’s Water Shader Forge tutorial for the water, but that was the most complex material. I believe everything else is using simple diffuse for the “clay” look.

The hardest thing to get to look right and to render within the time I had was the fog. I had 2 levels of fog, one of which was the heavier ground fog and the other was the “background” Fog. I discovered that, at least on the machine I have, it didn’t like it when the two overlapped at all, so finding that balance of where I could place each layer to get the desired result was tricky.

There’s a number of things I’m not completely happy with (couldn’t quite figure out the gradient for the muck on R2, for example), but overall, I do like how this turned out.

I know I shared the characters as I was creating them several months ago, but held off on sharing the final scene work. I probably could have gotten a lot of suggestions for improvements by posting it here, but since I was doing it specifically for BAM, I decided to keep my circle small for those I shared it with prior to it coming out in the magazine. I’d like to thank Sandra, Vicky, and Scotchtapeworm for their input in helping me to make the final result a much better piece than the one I started with!

(I’ve included a gallery here of the work in progress for those interested.)