But how?

Since posting my Thief illustration, many people have contacted me asking about my processes and how I created the image in 3D. So to explain, I have split up the 'layers' of the completed illustration which will show how the everything was put together. Even if you have zero experience in 3D and those terms mentioned below make absolutely no sense, hopefully you can still understand the processes visually.

Thief - process
Click for larger size.

1. Diffuse render - fullbright, solid colours
2. Ambient occlusion render, original
3. Ambient occlusion render, colour adjusted
4. Diffuse render(1) * ambient occlusion(3)
5. Shadow render, original - very intense directional light & Lambert shader
6. Shadow render, cleaned up & colour adjusted
7. Diffuse render(1) * shadow render(6)
8. Diffuse render(1) * ambient occlusion render(3) * shadow render(6)
9. Final image - completed with finishing touches
(* = Layers stacked with multiply mode in Photoshop)

...and here is the full-sized final image again.

Click for larger size.


  1. I really like the looks of this, awesome image.
    I spotted a small error about the reflection tho.

    Seeing as the watersurface is technically a mirror the reflection is too far up. You have to take the distance the vertical beams of wood create to the water surface into account. I hope I am making sense.

  2. thank for sharing this process ! :)

  3. I saw this one on polycount.net, and i say "HEY!! that's kinda the style i wanna get with a piece of scene i had on my mind about two days ago... i want it I want it I want it!!!!"
    After all the emotion pass, i try to figure out which software did you use, or if that a cel-shaded lens, or something. or is just Magic! o.O.
    So, beautiful render, and thanks for sharing the process. That's maya or xsi? Cel-shaded filter?.

    Have a nice day.

  4. Wow I'm so thankful I stumbled across this blog! Amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I 'll hope it work for my project , Thank.


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