Create a Snowy Forest River

Posted by Chris Plush on April 29th, 2014 | Comments (6)

Steven Lund shows you how to create a beautiful wintery forest scene. This tutorial was First Place in our Blender 2.7 tutorial contest. More contests will be held with each new release of Blender. Follow us on facebook to keep an eye out for these and other contests.

Created by: Steven Lund

Check out his website: Blenderfan93 on YouTube

Download the project files here:

Snow 1
Snow 2
Snow 3
Pine Branch
HDR Map (Its the Snow Machine one)
Finished Scene

  • http://Website Rodger

    Very awesome!

  • http://Website spect3r

    Quick tip when using a displacement modifier. Always apply the scale of the object you are displacing.

    thanks !

  • Joseph Brandenburg

    The snow looks even better when you use a SubSurfaceScattering shader with a pretty high scale (and a higher blue scatter radius, I think). Now that SSS is supported on GPU, it’s fast enough to be doable. Now the only thing I can’t figure out is how to get those little reflective flakes in the snow.

    • Aidy Burrows

      Thanks for the tip.

      For some little reflective flakes how about an add shader with the SSS in the first slot and a glossy in the second. Then have the color being influenced by a noise texture that goes into a color ramp to get it black and white and to crunch in the gradient to just be black and white. The scale would again have to be pretty high like a thousand.

      This could also be combined with a layerweight node too for some extra effect I reckon! 🙂 – Aidy.

      • Joseph Brandenburg

        Thanks! I will try that again! I couldn’t get it to work right the other day, maybe because I was just too impatient to let the durn thing render. I think using the noise texture as a bumpmap kinda helps the effect, but I need to experiment more.

        The snow on this page is awesome! I want to do it that well! but I can’t afford it :'(

        • Aidy Burrows

          as I was thinking about it i was trying some settings on a test scene and it was rendering pretty quickly for me but I guess it would depend on the scene. I think the key is to add in the white specs, so for that the add shader not the mix shader is the best way to blend those together. While technically physically incorrect, it should give a really nice glint effect by ‘adding’ in the gloss shader, that is to say the tiny points.

          I remember seeing an old maya tutorial on this years and years ago, I can’t remember the details now but the flecks were dependent on the camera angle and the normals of the geometry which is what I think made me think the layerweight would be a nice touch.

          In any case, I think with the right visual reference it’s possible to make a great shader. Good luck! 🙂 – Aidy.