Iso-landscape: In the desert

A new animation of a toon-styled 3D landscape – this time, it’s a piece of desert land!

This article is also available on Medium.

These past few weeks, I’ve started a new series of iso-landscape renders. So far, I’ve made a country forest and a little Canadian landscape scene. Today, here’s a new render of a desert… with an animation of the scene at daytime and at night-time 🙂

I hope you’ll like this toon-like render looping animation, make sure to watch until the end!

About this render…

All in all, I followed the same sort of workflow for this iso-landscape as for the previous ones. First, I prepared the “tiled” ground; then, I added the rock arch and the column of rocks on the right to set the scene. Finally, I added plants and cactuses, plus the skeleton and the smaller rocks to populate the place!

For the cactuses, I used the Skin modifier to easily transform a chain of vertices into actual volumes:

This allowed me to quickly make a shape by using some extrudes on the simple vertices, and then applying the modifier to turn the segments into real polygons.

But, of course, the most important part of this render was the animation of the lighting and compositing options.

This animation relies on a system of two lights that rotate together uniformly around the middle of the scene; I’ve also changed the colour of the lights throughout the sequence so that I have pink tints at the beginning, yellow tints as the sun rises, red tints at the end of the day and blue tints during the night.

The last trick was to change the settings of the EEVEE engine to use hard shadows and have the shadows be projected onto the ground (rather than sticking with the soft shadows that are used by default):


Once again, this new render was a great way to improve my CG skills! With this iso-landscape, I learnt more on the Blender modifiers, played around with the lighting and even discovered some config options of the EEVEE engine!

I hope you like this series of iso-landscapes: don’t hesitate to tell me what you think in the comments and, as usual, if you have ideas of landscapes I could make, feel free to share them too!

And by the way – if you want to discover more of my CG stuff, feel free to check out my dedicated Instagram 🙂

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