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Behind the scenes: environment design in blender


Hi everyone! My name is Gil Pinheiro and i'm the founder/manager of Don Pedro Productions a small vfx/animation studio based in Luxembourg, the heart of Europe.

I've been working in film industry for more than 8 years and worked on short films, animated tv series and feature films.

I'm a huge fan of blender since first using it in 2012 and it was so much fun to learn the tool. It's also just amazing how the community is growing and blender is being used in big animation, video game or vfx studios all around the world.

So if you haven't used give it try you won't regret it.

concept art


For this personal project i started with the concept in photoshop and quickly went into blender to block out the scene with simple geo. After locking the composition of the scene i started to detail the assets.

For the rocks and vegetation i used Quixel Mega Scans which has an amazing collections of 3d scanned assets and with Quixel Bridge in a few clicks the assets are downloaded and imported into blender.

The particle system in blender is really easy to setup to scatter elements in a scene. The trees i used in the background are from "Spring" the open movie project from the blender foundation. You can download them if you have a blender cloud subscription.

ambient occlusion pass


The main tool for texturing was substance painter a tool which really makes texturing quick and easy. Quixel also has a huge tile-able texture library which i used for texturing the mountains and the ground.

raw render


Kitbashing can speed up the modelling process considerably. Another really important thing while creating your own assets is to keep your files and outliner clean no more cube.087, renaming correctly your assets will also speed up the whole process even for a personal project.

kitbash elements


After rendering the different lighting setups i brought the passes into nuke and made the final compositing. Cryptomatte is a huge time saver easy to use and create mattes for any object.

I also used the new aov channel to create a position pass for some relighting in nuke. For the skies i used images from hdrihaven they have an amazing collections of hdri images are totally free.


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