Creating a Nature Scene in Blender

hello everyone my name is michael mccann and welcome to this way with our company tutorial on creating a nature scene in blender in this video I’ll just be going over how I created these rocks and the trees and the ivy and also of course the grass so we’ll start with the grass by deleting the default cube and typing a shift a and adding a plane and then rotate it on X 90 degrees and move it up so the pivot point is at the 3d cursor and then I can scale it on X so that it’s about the width of a blade of grass and with control art I’m going to add three loop cuts in the middle now I’m going to select the top two vertices and type alt m and choose merge at Center and then do the same thing for the bottom two vertices then I can select these two edges and scale them in on X which gives the blade of grass a little more of a diamond to shape then I’ll tab into edit mode and unwrap this with a project from view I’m going to switch over to cycles render and I’ll give it a new material and if you have the node regular add-on enabled you can just press ctrl T which adds the texture node and mapping and coordinate node and for the texture as if you go to my YouTube channel and click on the Facebook link I’ve uploaded a few textures here which you can just click on and then you know choose options and then download to get those textures so this is the grass texture that I’m going to use and so it’s just you know several strands of different shades of grass blades so I’ll move it over to the first one and scale it up and I’m also going to scale it on X and the reason why is so that you get more of that those you know individual lines of the texture you know any in each individual blade of grass now I’m going to add a simple sky texture to the world material so I can set up the grass material and more realistic lighting okay so I’ll type shift a and add a transparent shader and mix it with this diffuse shader and then use the Alpha from the image texture as the factor of that mix shader and while that’s not really important for this individual blade of grass I do have this one little section in the middle which is supposed to I suppose simulate a you know grass that’s been you know damaged or dried at the end which you typically see and grasp those those you know many of the strands have like a damaged or dry to tip so so that’s why that’s there but you’ll need that a that transparent shader now I’m adding a translucent shader and an add shader and mixing that with the diffuse and the color of the image texture will go into the translucent shader and that will allow light to pass through the blades of grass which is really the most important part of a of a plant shader I think or the material for for grass or something like leaves is to have it interact with the light because with that it will look very flat and sort of unnatural so now we’re going to start bending the blade of grass so that it looks a little more natural and I’m going to change my pivot point to the 3d cursor and then I’m going to tab into edit mode and use shift W which is the bend tool to just sort of warp the as the blade of grass and depending on where you where you start from the the position or the 3d cursor you’ll get a little bit of a different effect so you know play with it a little so that looks pretty good so I’ll go to top view by hitting seven on the numpad and typing shift to D to duplicate it and then rotate it on Z 45 degrees and then you shift R to repeat that process until I have this of star shape and now all those UVs are over top of one another so if I go down to my UV island to select here I can just grab each individual blade of grass and just move them along the image texture and I’m just going to stay within the the green grass textures right now I’m not going to use those three dry grass textures on the end yet that will be a little later but I’ll

just divide these UVs between those a few green grass strands now in the tool bar I’m going to click on the smooth shading but you can still see this these jagged blades of grass so I’m going to give it a subsurf modifier and and give it the render of two in the viewport we can keep it at zero but I definitely want to render it at a higher resolution so this is just going to be our template we’re going to be creating several different little clumps of grass just from this this you know the one individual template like I said so I’m going to label this grass and then if i duplicate it you see that down here now it says in a grass point zero zero one so what I want to do is try to make each individual I guess group of grass a little different so I’ll just select a few random you know strands and rotate them and then duplicate all of them and and you know scale them down and bend them with Shift W and duplicate them again and basically do the same process just rotate them and bend the blades of grass so that you get this unique little clump of grass so that looks pretty good so now I’ll move this clump of grass off to the side I’ll move it back to the corner of the grid floor and I’ll duplicate the second one down and this will be grass point zero zero two and I’ll just do the same thing I’ll select a few random strands of grass and rotate them and then and also you know you can move the UV so that you know the ratio of um I guess you know the textures are a little different in each clump so maybe you know in this one I won’t have any of those with the the dried ends and instead they’ll be mostly like the the deeper green texture anything that you can do to make each individual clump of grass a little different will ultimately help in the end too to keep you from seeing a a repeating pattern in your in your particle system so I’ve gone ahead and I’ve made 36 of these individual clumps that are all unique and I promise you you know you don’t have to make this mini but the more you do make the better result took it but I’m going to press shift D to duplicate all of these and then move them over and now we’re going to be using an add-on that it isn’t in blender you have to download this and install it from a file so just do a quick google search of UV align distribute and there are several websites that have links to this particular add-on but this but this user rebellion has created this really useful add-on I use this for almost every project that I that I do in blender but essentially what it does is in the UV image editor you can select all of the UVs and then type the just click on the V + H axis and it it just places all the UVs over top of one another and now I’m just going to position some of these over these these dry grass textures although with the dry grass I tend to leave a lot of green grass strands in as well because I feel like it looks a little more natural rather than having it be all all dry but I’m pleased with the way that looks so I’m ready to start making these into groups and the way you do that is you just um I’m going to you press B to use the Box select I’m going to box select this whole side and I’m going to make sure that one is active I’m going to press ctrl G which makes it a group and then I’ll just label this group of green grass and then I’ll do the same thing for the other side I’ll just make sure that the camera of the lamp or nothing else is in the way then box select it and make sure that one is active and then ctrl G and I’ll call this one dry grass okay so I’m just going to type B to use the box select and select everything and move it to a separate layer and now type shift a and add a plane and in edit mode I’ll scale it up to about the size of

the grid floor and press W and subdivide it and take the number of cuts up to a hundred and I’m going to add a displace modifier and go to the textures and select the displace and instead of image your movie I’m going to use the cloud texture and you can just you know adjust the size and the the depth detail to whatever you prefer I’m going to do a size of one point eight zero and the depths of 24 and now I’ll type the okey and and select some areas of the mesh and just use proportional editing to sort of sculpt out just a general shape of the landscape you could also use the grab brush in the sculpting tools but just you know whatever you can do to kind of create the general the general form of the landscape that you want now in wireframe mode I’m going to box select all of these vertices that won’t be seen in the camera view and I’m going to delete those faces because we don’t need all that extra geometry now go to my weight paint and use the weight gradient selection and this will add a vertex group so that when we add our grass or our particle systems you know most of the grass will be in the front and it will sort of fade out to to fewer grass particles in the back so I’ll just real able this vertex group gradient and now I’ll tab and Teddy mode and unwrap and we’ll give it a new material and a texture and I’m just going to grab a texture off of CG textures I have plans to have all of the textures be my own but just sort of ran out of time and I will I will eventually have more textures available though now I’m just getting my sun lamp set up to get a little more of a dramatic lighting on the landscape and I’m going to plug the color of the image texture into the displacement on the material output which will help give the landscape a little more detail in case any of it shows through Z grass but now with our landscape selected we can go to our particle system and click new and change it from emitter to hair and then click advanced then I’ll scroll down and select group and then select green grass and if you notice the grass is sort of lying on its side at the moment so all you need to do to fix that is scroll up to the rotation and check that box and switch it from hair to global X and now everything should be standing upright and while I’m in the rotation I’m going to give the the random a little bit of a a a little bit of a value okay so it’s good I don’t want to give it too much but a little bit of randomness looks looks good so I’m just going to change the name of this particle system to green grass and I’m going to take the the emission number down to 500 because I’ll be giving this a sum children which I’ll just do here select the interpolated and under a vertex group I’ll select the gradient under density and then add a new texture so I’ll just I’ll go into wireframe so that you can see the the effects that the textures have create a new texture and call it green grass and then I’ll go to my texture panel and find that particle system texture and instead of image or movie I’ll select clouds and I want to deselect time and I want to select this length and now the the lighter values of the cloud texture will make the grass taller and the worthy the darker areas are the grass will be shorter so I can adjust the the size and the depth to whatever I think looks good I’m also going to check the ramp so that I can

use the the color ramp to the color ramp is especially important because we’ll be reversing it for the dry grass when we when we get there you’ll understand why so it looks a little tall to me at the moment so I can take the under velocity I can take the normal value down to make the grass a little shorter and now I’m going to go to my display setting and change it to 10% and that will make the viewport run a lot faster and I can add a second particle system and I’ll call this one dry grass and the settings are going to be exactly the same as we did for the green grass the only difference of course is for the group we’ll be selecting the dry grass and now underneath of the textures will create a new texture and call it dry grass and then underneath of the texture settings we’re going to basically do this the same as well we’re just going to adjust the size pretty pretty much the same way that we did for the the green grass texture the only difference is is underneath of the color amp we’re going to click these little two arrows which reverses the V values so now in the areas where the green grass is shorter that dry grass will be much taller and and vice-versa okay so that’s looking pretty good I think the only difference that I’m going to do between the green grass and the dry grass is um is I’m going to give the dry grass fewer particles so I’ll take the emission account down to 400 the green grass was 500 but the dry grass will be 400 and that way um it’ll look like those areas are a little patchy and maybe you’ll see some of the UH the dirt you know underneath I can take the display down to ten again will speed up the viewport and the rest of this looks pretty good you can just make some little you know adjustments to to get it the way that you you like but for the most part it should be okay one more thing I want to do for the grass material is just plug the the color of the image texture into the displacement on the material output it’s just a tiny little bit of detail but if you shine a sunlamp on it and the camera is close enough you’ll definitely notice the the difference in the in the the overall like the roughness or the texture of each individual grass blades so you know it’s just it’s a real easy way to add a little more so I want to add some large stones to my scene so I’m going to go to a different layer and I’m going to type shift a and add a cube and then from front view I’m going to tab into edit mode and then just rotate it on an angle and then select the bisect selection over here in the tool bar and drag a line through and then underneath the options I’m going to choose fill and clear outer and then I’ll just keep repeating that process until I don’t have any sharp corners on the cube anymore once I’m happy with the shape I can press n to bring up my options and and takes a mean crease all the way up to about a point nine and then go to face select and type ctrl F and choose triangulate faces and now I can add a multi resolution modifier and and the mean crease will keep all of those edges nice and sharp so I’ll just subdivide a few times so

now I want to to do some sculpting to get a little bit of detail in the into the surface of the stone so I’ll go to sculpt mode and I’ll take the symmetry off and I’ll use my clay strips brush and I’m going to hold ctrl so that it takes away and that it doesn’t you don’t want you know you don’t want it to add you want it to to subtract from the mesh so I’m just kind of a you know scratching over the surface of the of each of those flat edges and putting a little bit of detail into it and you know I’m going to use a normal map to along with the texture for for added detail but but but I find that sculpting the stone does help to make it a little more realistic okay so now I’m going to give the stone of material and I’m just using another texture from CG textures now currently I set two UV coordinates but I’m actually going to use the camera coordinates because I find whenever you use the the multi res and and you sculpt it stretches the UVs and there’s really not not a way to correct that so using the camera coordinates so really um it works best so now I’m just adding a normal map that I created with a program called crazy bump and I’m mixing the diffuse with a glossy shader and now I’m just going to plug the normal map into the normal input on the diffuse shader and type a shift a vector normal map and then plug this also into the the normal input on the glossy shader and you can start to see the the normal detail there now I’m going to add a converter RGB to black and white and plug the the stone texture into it and then into the factor of the mix shader’ I’m also going to type shift a and add a color brightness and contrast and here I can sort of simulate a specularity map just by taking the contrast up a little bit and I’ll also plug the texture into the displacement to give some finer detail so I’ll type shift a and converter math node and set it to multiply and I’ll take the number down really low and and take the normal map value down to and that will give them some some finer detail over top of the the detail from the normal map now I’m going to make some some edge scratches on the stone by duplicating the texture node and I’ll just mix these two together with a mix RGB node and create a little bit of space so I can add a not mix RGB a RGB curves I’m going to add 1/2 to both of these image textures and the one on top I’m going to bend the curve down so it’s darker and the one on the bottom I’m going to bend it up so that it’s lighter then I’ll add a input geometry node and plug the pointyness attribute into the as a mixed value and then add a color ramp now temporarily I’m going to unplug that bottom texture and just create a red color so that we can see the effect as we as we drag the color ramp values together and now you can see how the red is sort of just gathering along the tight edges of the where the sharper edges of the of the stone so I can just tweak it until I get like a nice sharp value and that looks pretty good so now when I plug that lighter texture back in it will look like the the edges of the stone have been you know worn off or they’re you know just a dry and worn so I’m pleased with the way that that looks

so now we can start adding them to the scene so I’m just going to tab into edit mode and start duplicating some and scaling them and and just sort of positioning them around so that they look like they’re in a you know like a large rock pile okay so I’m pleased with that now we can just move this back to the first layer with the degress and then position that in the spot that looks good once I have it in a good position I’m also going to duplicate it and just and move it into the back and this duplicated version that I’m going to take the the multi res preview and render down because it’s going to be further in the distance and I’ll probably use some depth of field so it doesn’t need the same amount of detail now I’m just adding a plane so that I can add a an image to the background for the time being I’m just going to use a texture of a an image of a sky although I’ll probably change it I just I find that it helps to UM to have something there when you’re creating a scene – um – to help you envision the the final result now I would like to create some moss on these stones so I’m going to select the ground and these rocks in the background and the sky I’m just going to hide them with H and so now I just have these to work with and I can just select some of these faces I’m only selecting the faces that are facing the direction of the where the sun is shining on them as you can see down here in this little test render so these are the sides that are going to have the moss and I’m going to go to my object data and create a new vertex group and add those and I’ll just call it moss now create a new particle system it’s going to be hair and under vertex groups I’ll choose moss and now click advanced and I’ll take them normal all the way down to like a point zero one all right so now it’s very small and I want to go all the way down to my cycles settings and basically I just want to reverse this so that the the root size is very small and the tip is a little a little larger and I’m exaggerating this right now but that’s just so that when I after I add some children I can you know add some effects to the the overall look of it and I’ll actually be able to see see it in the viewport but ultimately at the end I’ll want to make that a lot smaller so now I’m just creating a new material and I’m going to go to CG textures and find a moss texture and so I’ll open up that mouth texture and the reason I’m using a texture is because uh the the particle system will actually take the colors from each of the individual pixels and and sort of um you’ll see that you’ll see the variety of all the different colors in the texture in the individual hair particles so but I’m setting this material up to pretty much the same way that I did see the Grasim I’m adding a a translucent shader to the the diffuse shader and you can’t really see too much now but I’ll add the children I’ll use the interpolated children and that’s starting to look okay so here under these children settings I want to you see if I takes a clump setting all the way up the point at the tip start to meet but if you drag it in the other direction they’ll actually start to spread out kind of the way that

um like most plants do they they at the base they’re sort of tight together and and they sort of spread out towards the tip and that’s that’s kind of what we want and then I’m going to take the endpoint value up a little bit which sort of um it’s just sort of I guess fluffs out the end of the the particles and makes it just look a little more full and I want to give it a tiny bit of Brownian motion or Brownian force just to create a little bit of like I guess yeah chaotic motion and the particles so they don’t look to I guess uniform across the surface of the stone all right I want to use the generated coordinates of the Z text or not not the UV so now you can see a little bit of that color variation in there so all the way down at the bottom I’m going to switch the shape to ribbons and I’m going to give this a new texture and I’m going to use the Stuckey procedural texture but there’s you know a lot of different ones to choose from you could use a you know verow and I or you use the clouds again but I’m just trying to break up some of the shape and and you know maybe leave some patches where there’s no moss and then in other areas I want the the length to be you know varying in its you know in its size but that’s looking pretty good again for the final render I’ll take the size way down but I do think it’s a little bright so I’m going to add a a RGB kerbs I’m just going to bend the curve down a little so that it it matches a little more closely to the color of the grass and now we’re ready to add some trees to the scene so I’m going to go to a new layer and I’ll type shift a and add a cylinder and that can take the vertice countdown because I’ll be adding a subsurf modifier so I’ll just set it to 16 then I can delete the top and the bottom phases and press s and then shift Z to scale only on the X and y axis and now I just want to I want to add some edge loops with ctrl R so that they’re they’re pretty even squares all the way around the cylinder and I can now use proportional editing to give the the tree and interesting shape so that it isn’t so you know flat and boring now I want to unwrap this by just unwrapping a single face and then choosing the individual edges of the UV and pressing W and auto-align and once that straight I can select the rest of the mesh and type U and then choose follow active quads and that unwraps the texture nice and flat so I can smooth shade the cylinder and now I’m going to go to my modifiers and choose subdivision surface and take the view and the render up to about 4 and now I’ll give it a displace modifier and then go to my textures and I’ve already created a displacement texture from a tree bark texture that I got from CG textures so if you don’t know how to do that then just um you know find a tutorial on YouTube there’s you know hundreds of them so it’s pretty easy but this tree is going to be very close to the camera so I want this extra detail and now we can just work on the material which I’m just going to give it this uh this tree bark and I’ll scale the UVs down okay I think that looks pretty good I’m just adjusting the strength of the

the displacement modifier until I get something that I like and yeah I’m liking that I think that that looks pretty good so I’m going to add a glossy shader to the diffuse shader and I’m going to mix it with a mix mix shader’ and then add the normal map as well and I know that I’m going through these materials pretty quickly in this tutorial but I assume that most of you know how to add normal maps and specularity maps and do all those things if you don’t again there’s there are so many tutorials that explain how to do the simple process of adding a basic material which is just the the diffuse shader and the glossy shader and then normal maps and specularity maps too to define the extra detail although you know again without using specularity maps I just used the the RGB to black and white and the brightness and contrast to sort of create my own specularity map if I if I don’t have any already available okay so now I’m going to add some IV to this so I’m going to tab into edit mode and move it up so that the pivot point is at the bottom of the tree and I’m going to set the 3d cursor in front of it wherever I want the IV to spawn from and you need to go to your user preferences and add-ons and then just type IV and enable the ad curve IV generator and while red we might as well do the same thing for the sapling okay so now I’ll type shift a and AD curve and IV and you can see it there so I don’t want to click on anything because I’ll lose my options over here to the left so I’m just going to make this window a little bigger and I’m going to increase the IB links to about four and then update it okay so that’s nice and tall that looks good and then the random weight I’m going to take up a little bit now I’ll update that as well okay I want it to fall a little further so I’m going to increase the random weight a little more and update it okay that looks a lot better so now I’ll take the leaf size up a little bit and then the leaf probability I’ll take down which will just you know have fewer leaves because it’s a little too full right now I think in my opinion maybe take it down a little further still and update it and these options do a lot of different things really if you have an idea of what you want you know you’ll have to play with all the options until you you know get get what it is that you’re looking for but I’m pretty happy with this so I’m going to go ahead and start with my materials so first I’m just going to select the vine itself and add a texture and I’m just going to use one of the textures that I already have in here I’m going to use the soil texture so that dirt texture that we added to the landscape I’m just going to use generated and and that’ll be fine because I just I just wanted to give it some color really it’s going to be too small to actually see you know a whole lot of the detail but now we can add the texture to the leaves and the leaves are already unwrapped so now I’m going to select that other texture that I’ve provided on Facebook it’s a it’s a texture that has three different ivy leaves on it I feel like using this versus just a texture with one kind of leaf it just helps break up that repetition in the ivy so I’m just going to scale this down so that it fits over the middle leaf and

now in the material I’m going to type shift a and add a transparent shader and mix it with the diffuse shader and use the Alpha from the texture as the mix factor and again I’m going to type shift a and add a translucent shader and then mix it with the diffuse shader not with a mix adder but with an add shader and then plug the color from the texture into the translucent shader and now I want to apply some of these other leaves from this texture to some of these random phases so in edit mode I’m just going to go to select and then choose random and that chooses 50% of those leaves by default so I can just take the 50% that selected and just move it over to another leaf and just scale it so that it fits properly over that leaf and now I’m going to choose random again but this time I’m just going to choose well you could choose really whatever you want I’m going to go for a a smaller value I think something around like 25% and then move it down to the first leaf in the texture now it’s always sort of bothered me that all the leaves when the IV generator face sort of the same angle so I just changed my pivot point to the individual origins and with random faces selected I’m just pressing R R that’s R twice which just rotates the faces on individual origins so I’m just selecting random faces and then rotating them slightly on their individual origins and that’s just kind of you know creating a little bit of chaos to those leaves so that they’re all sort of facing different directions now I’ll just move it to the first layer with the the landscape and the rest of the scene and I can just position this near the camera so now we’ll use these sapling add-on I can just put the 3d cursor wherever I want the tree to spawn from and I’ll type shift day and go to add curve and then sapling and then press T to bring up my options and I’ll load a preset of black oak and then just scroll through the random seed until I find one that I like this one I like because the branches follow the curve of the landscape now just take the scale down so the tree fits better into the scene and I’ll check the bevel box to give the tree the the actual geometry now I’ll go to branch splitting and I’ll change the levels from two to three which gives the branches a little more detail and then I’ll go to branch growth and I’ll just change the length of the trunk which is this first option down and again just like the IB generator you can play with these options to you know get you know different different shapes to the branches and so on but now I’m going to add leaves and I’m going to change them from hexagonal to rectangle rectangular and I’ll take the percentage of leaves down to 210 point zero and everything else is probably okay again these trees are going to be in the background and I will be using depth of field so the really in this case the detail won’t really matter too much I’m more worried about the the overall shape of the tree and how it fits into the scene so now that I’m done with that I’m going to save my file and then I’m going to select the tree and type alt C and then convert it from a curve to a mesh and now I can just give this a quick cube project and add a new material and

I’m just going to open that a tree bark texture that I had from before and I’ll plug the image texture into the displacement – just to add a little more detail but again it’s going to be pretty far from the camera so I’m not terribly concerned about the you know adding a normal map and all all that extra detail and then for the leaves again they’re already unwrapped so I’m just adding a leaf texture that I got from CG textures and doing this the same way as before with the transparent shader and the translucent shooter but really that’s the basics of creating a scene like this really all that’s left is just positioning all of the objects around your scene until you have something that looks visually appealing but I hope you guys liked the tutorial I am planning on doing more tutorials like this and and offering more textures so like and follow me on Facebook so that you’ll have access to those as I add them and I’ll see you next time thanks again for watching