Houuu houuuu!... Yeah, I know Xmas is almost over, but this post related to Santa itself and his workshop... I made this image for blenderguru's Christmas 2012 competition. I made it just before I left to the Lapland on my Christmas holiday. I do not win that nice competition, but I got nice mention from Andrew πŸ™‚

I have only 14 hours to use for this work, because I need to left to the holiday in next morning. So this 14 hours keep all things inside of it (modeling, unwrapping, texturing, lightning, compositing, all...). I'm glad that I made this even I'm not the winner of this competition. It still teach me a lot about Cycles and Blender.

After I came from my holiday I spend couple hours to finish my image, so totally this image take about 16 hours...


Sketching is always good idea before you start to make anything else. Sketches could be very simple. Mainly those are just rough guidelines for yourself to understand your work and clarify your ideas. Even you have very limited time to use like I have in this case, it's good to sketch your idea first.

Like this my very first sketch was a quite big mess of lines πŸ™‚ After I got that idea out of my head I started to make another sketch from that.

First I wanted to include Santa behind the desk, but limited time turns my head πŸ™‚

Usually I do not spend much time for drawing. I draw only what I need to clarify my idea and then I move to 3D program where I do another sketch with 3D. Maybe "blocking" is good term for that. Mainly I try to find positions with simple blocks.

Blender Part

I still think Blender is one of the greatest 3D software for my use. Somehow Blender's UI fits to my hand perfectly if I compare other 3D programs. There is good properties in every software. I think usually best option for people is what they have used to. So in reality it's really hard to say what 3D package is best one to all, because it depends who talks... And after all it's good to know how to use different programs. There is no sense to learn only one program, I think so.


So after my first sketch I started to "blocking" my scene in Blender.

After I found good composition for my scene and camera I started to model more detailed version of my models. They're still quite simple and low-poly objects.

Material Library

And when my modeling part was finished, I started to make unwrapping and material settings. I use linked "Material Library" for this scene. With this linked style it was easy to keep same scale and style in every material. It's also easier way to test out your materials because your actual scene could be too heavy for fast testing.


After I have finished my modeling and texturing part I started to make some compositing. First I have done fast setup to just see how everything works together.

I want to get more cold-warm assimilation to the image. So I decided to make to some "moonlight rays" (Volumetric Lightning) that enters to the room through window.

I also add some dust particles to the "moonlight rays".

After some minor tweaks I got my render out from Blender. Render time was 02:22:51 with 2000 samples.

This image was made 99% in Blender. Only color contrast and a little bit more vignette added in Photoshop later. Here is final image node setup in Blender.

Here is wireframe render from the scene. There's quite many presents πŸ™‚

Final Image

First version that I sent to the blenderguru's competition was rough version because I do not have enough time to finish it. After I came back to home I adjust some image colors, changed the textures of roof beams and added some light particles to the "moonrays". That's all.

And here is final image of this "Santa's Workshop" work.


This image was very fun to made. I think Christmas is too commercial in these days and that's where my idea came from πŸ˜‰ It was nice to see what I can do with very limited time and when I need to make compromises to achieve my goal.

You can see Blender Guru's Christmas 2012 competition results here.

Check out my portfolio to see full resolution image.

Thanks for reading!