This week’s community story is all about someone who showed me that if you don’t have it and can’t shoot it, create your own! Warning, there might be swears in this installment. Not only did she introduce me to the world of 3D, but she is also a mad supporter of fellow artists. If you’ve been reading along with me for a while, you know how important community is to me. So it’s only fitting to talk about her.
If you follow along with her Instagram stories, you’ll see that she has real conversations about how artists can support each other. In addition to that, she frequently shares up work from the artists that follow her. I know I both appreciate it when she shares my work and have found a number of artists whose work I enjoy as a result.
I first came across this uber-talented lady when, Renee Robyn (aka My Favourite Alchemist), shared the Alchemist’s Library Spooky Season. A collection of super tutorials loved madly by us freaks and geeks themed around Halloween. She taught us to morph a person into a monster. I have gone back to that gem a few times now for all the little tricks it taught me. But she really opened my world with her intense tutorial in the Winter Collection. Seriously, I’ve lost a bit more than two full days to that one. I think I might be hooked. Let’s dig into her delightful madness.
When I saw this image, my first thought was, “That’s fucking rad.” Isn’t it? You know it is! What I love about this one is the lighting. This is a perfect example of the tenebrism used by the Italian painter Caravaggio. A technique that I’m exploring in my personal photography project creating the Tarot majors. The use of light and shadow gives depth to the image and makes the skeleton appear as if he’s popping off the page. And while the detail in the shadows is lost it builds the atmosphere of the scene. Of course, I totally dig the subject matter. Oh, Bekka, teach me how to create your own skeletons! And the rotting fruit bears a creepy but fantastic resemblance to innards spilling out. Excellent storytelling pulled together in a simple scene.
This portrait is bad-ass! Not only does it have the dark and moody light I love so much, it tells an incredible story about the character. Character building like this is something I aspire to achieve and Bekka is absolutely the example to follow. There is a hint of movement in her hair and cloak. Sculpture of her brow and her nose, along with the ear poking out from the hood and the fur on her face is reminiscent of a feline. But what really makes this image for me is the little details she includes. The earring, the hair bead and the shape of the pupil bring the story together and give you an impression of who this woman is. Not to mention the extremely subtle bokeh that could be snow providing a hint of time and place.
I really dig the vaguely World of Warcraft vibe going on in this. Man, this is another rabbit hole I’m going to be lost in! If this isn’t epic evidence that you can create your own characters, I don’t know what is!
I would be incredibly remiss if I didn’t include this awesome witch. While the witch is pretty fantastic on her own, I think it’s the scene that really makes this image work. You need to swipe to the next picture to see it in all its glory. The light is well thought out with bright lightning highlighting her hair and the soldier’s helmets. The subdued blue from her magical orb softly lights the front side and broom. Again we have a strong contrast between the light and shadows which adds drama.
Rule of thirds composition is strongly in play here as there is something interesting going on at all four intersections. Unless you are looking closely, you almost miss the small character in the distance between the soldiers. The witch’s pose is very dynamic. An almost lack of concern and an air of confidence as she looks toward the soldiers creates wonderful tension in the scene. Bekka has established, with this image, that you can, in fact, create your own world. And it can be dramatic as fuck.
I’m not going to break this one down, but I am going to tell you that this image is the reason that I lost 2+ days of my life. Ok, it wasn’t lost. It was a new adventure! Bekka doesn’t just dip your toe into the 3-D world, she throws you in giggling, “sink or swim”! I spent an entire day just on the first half of the tutorial. Stopping to listen, attempting it on my own, then rewinding to double-check and going to find the resources she used (when I could find them).
When it got to adding the trees, I lost another half a day attempting to build them myself because I didn’t know if she created her own or if she got them from somewhere. I managed to create a few high-poly trees I was happy with but adding snow was like WTF? I went and bought trees just so I could finish my image for this blog post! But I haven’t given up on making my own. I’m stubborn like that.
She named her website well! This is the affect she’s had on my work.
Following her tutorial was my first foray into Blender but it seriously opened up my world. I learned that patience is key at the start and if you stick with it, you can make your own incredible worlds. I’m a very analytical and process-oriented person so I have pages of notes on how to do what she talked about! I want to understand what all the things are and how they work together. There is a ton to learn still.
Now, I can’t talk about this marvellous human without showing you how she has impacted my own work. This means you get a sneak peek into my Tarot Project today. I know I’ve been holding back on it, but I want them to be awesome. I do think they are, but as I’ve just gone through the epicness that Bekka is, I feel I could still tweak them some more. So I’m calling this my final working copy. I’m not going to talk about all the choices I made with this because I’m saving it for when I do a blog for them but for now, meet my Empress:
The Venus shield and the World Scepter were both created in Blender. I had considered making them in real life, but that costs money and time. Blender only cost me time. Ok, it was kind of a lot of time but I can only get quicker the more I learn, right? I made about 3 shields before I finally started to get the hang of it!
The shield is all mine! I watched tutorials on creating different versions and attempted them all until I figured out how the tools worked.
I purchased the globe portion of this on Creative Market but I built and textured the sceptre handle myself. The Earth plays a significant role in tarot so I liked the idea of the globe being the gem that adorns it.
Have you used Blender? Do you use 3-D objects in your photography? Let me know! And I would appreciate it if you shared useful 3-D or Blender resources with me!