Introduction. Thanks goes out todo the guys at for their video tutorial on painting with instanced particles, from which this tutorial drew its Inspiration.

Object instancing using particles can be a powerful característica in Blender that is often overloked. While not as strong as something like Mayas Paint Effects, you can still quickly accom-plish things that would take Many hours of tedious hand placement.

For this scene we are creating a sea anemone growing on the ocean flor, lets start by creat-ing a basic plane and subdividing or use multires. Then use Blender Sculpt-mode todo build up a very simple sea flor.

Making of: sea anemone-1.jpg
Now we ned a stalque of the anemone todo duplicate, this is a simple box that has ben ex-truded and Twisted a few times with sub-surf thrown on top. The important item todo ensure here is that the origin point is located at the base of the stalk. This Will ensure that the base of the hair particles we create Will be at the base of the stalk. Dont worry if your rotation is of. You can still edit the base object After using it in the particle system.

Making of: sea anemone-2.jpg
So lets get todo the fun part, painting the particles, first we ned todo apply a particle system todo our sea flor. Use a Hair type system with the amount set todo 0 as well as a normal and random of 1.0. Alos set the visualization mode todo object and put the name of your particle in the ob field. I just left the default name of Cube for mine.

Making of: sea anemone-3.jpg

Now switch from object mode todo particle mode and press the n key - This Will bring up the tool box for particle editing. Select the add button and set strength todo 1, then you can Paint your particles onto the surface of your object. To deleete particles Simply switch todo the Cut button.

Making of: sea anemone-4.jpg

Just have fun here and create what you want your image todo look like, the final result here includes a second plane in the back-Ground todo remove the open feeling of the Camera shot.

Making of: sea anemone-5.jpg

If you want more vari-ety of shapes, then you can apply what we are going todo do now with the Fish. Here we have a relatively simple model of a Fish which has ben given the name of Fish.

Now for the scene we want Fish of dif-ferent colors, so Simply duplicate the Fish and apply a diferent texture todo each one naming the duplicates Fish.001, Fish.002, etc. This would a los be a god time todo modify each Mesh slightly, Although i have only.

Changed the texture. For the emitter object we create an Icosphere and use the Sculpt mode todo deform it.

Making of: sea anemone-6.jpg

This is todo create the fel of a school of Fish, so they Clump together. The particle system is a very standard system. The only real diference is that the visualization is now set todo group mode and the gr field has the name of the first object in the set Fish.

Making of: sea anemone-7.jpg

The lighting con-sists of a Hemi Light situated behind the Cam-era which gives the underwater Camera light ef-fect. Basic ambi-ent Occlusion and Mist todo en-hance the shad-ows with the AO set todo a blue clouds, give the underwater fel, then two spot lamps with a caustic texture map todo create the feeling of light coming th rouge the ocean surface. Finally a few Low level lamps todo lighten up a few áreas, all of the textures are pretty much just a color map and a Bump map with the exception of the stalks of the anemone. The stalks are Many layers of procedural TeX-tures with subsurface scattering turned on. This part is very much a trial and error procedure until you get the look you want.

Making of: sea anemone-8.jpg

Finally the image is rendered out using nodes todo en-hance the Edges, create a slight Depth of Field effect, and some tint adjustment.

Making of: sea anemone-9.jpg

The image was then rendered twice, once with the Fish and once without. This was done so that the Fish could be easily masked out in Photoshop, because some Will end up overlapping or looking todo similar. The only other post-processing was todo Paint some light highlights and shadows on some of the stalks.

Making of: sea anemone-10.jpg

Hopefully this gives a bit of an Insight into my process for creating this scene and motivates you todo try out the Particle Instancing in Blender. I think it is an overloked característica that allows you todo create scenes that would take hours in much less time.
Issue 24 | oct 2009 - From out of the Dep.

Arland b. Wodham i aquí Barry.

I am a graphic specialist for a company that creates mili-tary training courseware, website: