21 Posts
So you've used Scrubs' Blender template but want to spice up your renders a bit? (Please note that you do need to be at least a bit familiar with Blender).

The first thing I want to say is that I had never used Blender or similar software until I started doing renders here just over a month ago. Everything I have learned is from online tutorials and experimentation. It's not too hard and there is so much free information out there.

The Blender template has a simple studio backdrop but if you want your model to be somewhere else you ideally want a ground surface that fits the location. In my renders I replace the studio backdrop with a simple circle mesh to which I add textures to create the surface I like, such as wood or concrete. The important thing here is that your textures are high resolution because they will be seen from a short distance.

I get most of my textures and maps from http://www.texturise.club. This is the one I used for my wood: http://www.texturise.club/2014/02/tileable-wood-fine-texture.html

Here is the node setup for my ground materials:

Just set this up for your circle object and and make adjustments until it looks right. For more information just find a video tutorial online that you like.

Another alternative is to use a procedural texture. Have a look on [urlhttp://www.blendswap.com[/url] for these.

This is straightfoward. Where you choose the lighting .exr file in Scrubs' tutorial you instead add a different HDR image. These provide the lighting information and the background. Don't worry here if the resolution is a bit low, the depth of field we add later blurs them.

You can find some good HDR images at:
Awesome exteriors at http://hdrihaven.com
Great interiors at http://www.maximeroz.com/hdri-free-pack/
All sorts at http://www.hdrlabs.com/sibl/archive.html (use the reflection map .hdr file)

Here's the setup:

To get the background to show up you need to uncheck this checkbox in the render settings:

This adds the blur effect that makes your render look like macro photography. After you select the select the camera the camera settings become available as shown here:

The Focal Length setting determines the strength of the perspective effect. For a very small model 100mm is good; 70mm for something small; 56mm for anything larger. Feel free to experiment to get the look you want.

Under Depth of Field there are a few things to adjust. The Focus setting is simply the part the camera is focused on - the minifig's head for instance. The aperture controls the strength of the depth of field effect. Assuming you haven't changed the scale of your model after importing it into Blender a value in the range of 2-5m is suitable depending on the focal length. A value of 0 means everything will be in focus. Once again just experiment until your happy.

So hopefully this is helpful. I wanted to make this concise, so if you have any questions just ask. I look forward to seeing more renders making their way out of the studio and into the wider world.

27 Jul 2016, 01:54
Edited 27 Jul 2016, 02:09
20 Posts
Any way you could post a pic of how you apply overlay and displacement maps? Also sources for the maps you use?

27 Jul 2016, 04:24
21 Posts
BallisticBricks - My overlays come from http://poliigon.com/. I downloaded a bunch on their free trial. They also have great tutorials on how to use all their textures including dust and scratch overlays at http://poliigon.helpscoutdocs.com/article/29-how-to-use-poliigon-in-blender.

I have this scratches node group plugged into all of the normal inputs:

And this dust node group takes the color and roughness from the solid/transparent etc group input and outputs to the diffuse colour and glossy roughness:

Tweak the values and scales to get the look you want.
27 Jul 2016, 05:07
Edited 27 Jul 2016, 05:12
81 Posts
Woot cynaptic ! Thanks for sharing this with us ! Now I guess I'll go and give it a try with one of my models. See you soon for the results !
27 Jul 2016, 05:41
21 Posts
mathieub - sorry it took longer than I initially said, I got caught up experimenting with materials!
27 Jul 2016, 05:49
81 Posts
Hey no problem at all ! I gave it a try with the fountain http://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/QeDvVRxgvBR#0beY7b and I'm really pleased with what I see !
Now I have to understand how you set your nodes up for dust and scratches, I am not familiar at all with this group things...

PS : there is a typo at the end of your step 1 : you forgot a " ] " in the URL to blend swap.

Thanks again for this guide !
27 Jul 2016, 08:38
21 Posts
Looks great mathieub! I'd just suggest getting the camera right in there - get down to the minifig's level. That and push the aperture up further to get more depth of field.
27 Jul 2016, 08:44
81 Posts
You wasted my working day
! I have so much fun creating those renders !
27 Jul 2016, 12:11
61 Posts
Thanks for the tuto, I will try to play with it as soon as I have a render to make !

In a comment below your imperial soldier render you mentioned how you get the minifig to render with your GPU.
Could you elaborate a little more on that ?

I have no problem with converting the geometry to quad but when I add a modifier the corner of the torso disappear.

When I try the "remove double option" then I add a sub modifier and a bevel modifier the results are really not that good and I have weird geometry.

Anyway, I really can't figure out how do you make that work, do you have some tips ?

Thanks in advance !
27 Jul 2016, 13:02
20 Posts
Thanks! One more quick question. Do you use the blender script or custom materials? I am having issues integrating certain overlay maps into the setup node groups... If you are using the script could you post a screenshot of where you apply the scratches node group?

Also In reference to the render you did here - http://mecabricks.com/en/models/xGejewemaKX#gD5nab

How did you get some of the little black and white imperfections (especially noticeable on the arm) Is this just from the dust map?
27 Jul 2016, 17:46
21 Posts
SaitoGray - I'll do a separate post on the minifigs. I'll try do it later today.

BallisticBricks - I am using the script materials with a few little tweaks. But looking again I can see where the issue is because for those renders I didn't use the Round Edges (I did that manually with bevel modifiers and other things). You could try plugging the scratches group into the displacement input of the material output instead if you want to use round edges, though it may not work well.


It's mostly the dust map you can see on the arm. The scratches are quite subtle.
27 Jul 2016, 20:04
20 Posts
I'll see what I can do. Many thanks!
28 Jul 2016, 01:13
699 Posts
Hey Cynaptic, where did you get the uv map(s) you used for these renderings? http://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/L0Qa3XAW2Mo#Yb3rvD http://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/907vNpWb2Am#5bdogD I'm trying out this tutorial and am wanting to use them.
13 Aug 2016, 22:14
21 Posts
HDRi from http://www.hdrlabs.com/sibl/archive.html - Queen Mary Chimney, rotated around to see the city skyline

Ground texture is this one http://www.texturise.club/2013/09/seamless-asphalt-texture-maps_9526.html
14 Aug 2016, 03:37
699 Posts
Thank you so much! I'll post it a link to it when it's up.
15 Aug 2016, 16:15
699 Posts
Hi, I have another question for you. How do you get the lights in the background to be hexagons? Mine just turns into blurred circles, and I'd prefer hexagons.
16 Aug 2016, 20:20
21 Posts
Under the camera aperture settings - set the 'blades' to 6.
16 Aug 2016, 20:38
699 Posts
Here it is! Or rather here they are! http://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/e8xaDObwvB7#5bdvQj One's with light flares and one isn't. Thanks again Cynaptic!
18 Aug 2016, 21:36
21 Posts
Awesome! I like the flares one best.
19 Aug 2016, 01:28
699 Posts
Thanks! I'm not really sure which one I like better.
19 Aug 2016, 16:20
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