Complete Rock Stream Beginner tutorial for Blender

Posted by Aidy Burrows on June 30th, 2016 | Comments (6)


After this quick environment project you’ll know about…

● Rock creation methods

● Procedural texturing tricks

● Procedural modeling tricks with modifiers

● Isolating ‘up’ or sky-facing polygons to treat those differently

● Isolating occluded/crevice areas to treat those differently

● Not isolating friends and family by occasionally taking a break

● How to create a quick adjustable mist pass

● A sense of completion for reading all the way this far down the bulletpoint list

● Useful addons – Node Wrangler, Auto Tile-Size.


End Blend file can be found here.

After doing a few of these beginner projects the goal is to get you to a point where you’ll not be able to consider yourself a beginner anymore.

So welcome to this complete project in blender where we’ll be creating this rocky waterfall stream environment.



blender cycles tutorail


blender cycles tutorial nodes





 blender rock stream tutorial


Try this!

In the above image i’ve tweaked 2 things, instead of the transparent shader the water plane shader is mixing between a GLOSSY shader set to a mirror-like shine. And! I added bump node for that glossy shader and plugged what we were using for the streaky parts into the height socket. I also added an extra mix shader for the gradient texture that we used so we can still have it be transparent at the edges.

If you get stuck check out the node layout below!

I’ve also set the world to ‘use nodes’ and i’ve plugged in an ‘Environment Texture’.  You can find great environment textures here…

That should give the mirror like glossy shader something more interesting to reflect and emit some more interesting light detail across the scene.


blender tutorial


blender cycles tutorial


Feel free to post images of any results you get from trying these methods, I’d honestly love to see what you folks can do! Plus any comments or if you get stuck simply post below!

Aidy. :D




Suggested Videos/Related Content >

Quick Ornamental Detail

blender tutorial align 2 faces

blender tutorial 5 blender viewport tips
















  • Gaber Abdo

    Thank you Aidy, Got very nice tips from that min project, I like the way you defined some details and make it easy for watching the creation and helping the viewer get the most out of it. Thank you again ^_^
    Here is my fast result.

    The best tricks I got from this nice project
    - A nice use of the modifiers to generate nice geometry procedurally.
    -New information about mist I had no idea before never used a mist pass.
    -Nice organization tips I got from you going from step to another.
    -I understand some nodes in cycles now in a better way like geometry node and the separation of xyz.

    Thanks Aidy, and Cgmasters.

    • Aidy Burrows

      Awesome! You’ve definitely got the basics down! :D Aidy.

  • Anthony Calderone

    Bless you, Ctrl+ Wheel for scrolling the film presets is a huge time saver.

    • Aidy Burrows

      Hey Anthony! I was sure I responded to this, but glad you checked it out and got something from it! I’ve got some interesting experimental stuff coming very soon! :D Aidy.

      • Anthony Calderone

        “interesting experimental stuff”

        You have my full attention Sir.

        • Aidy Burrows

          haha! Well the realtime PBR overview is the first experimental thing, but there is more! :) Aidy.