Back to the drawing board

Back to the drawing board

As you know I have been working to try and create a picture in Blender of Shade, the location of my fantasy novels. As a Blender noob, I have been referencing some absolutely brilliant YouTube videos. Problem is, I have been creating a scene that really does not match my internal vision of the place. Here is where I have go to:



It looks pretty cool – a real modern city-scape. The problem is that my original concept is of a place like Venice crossed with Jack the Ripper’s London crossed with an Indian slum. Definitely not this. Disappointingly it has taken me hours to get to this point. But one thing that I have learnt over the years is not to throw more resources at something that does not fulfil the requirements.


And there it is – I had no idea of my requirements when I started. I had merely seen this wonderful video tutorial by Gleb Alexandrov and thought “I must do that!”

So what image should I create to represent Shade?

Probably many – not just one.

Firstly I might want pictures of that strange magical city-within-a-city of Shushtar, seated within the huge stone butte called The Krak and also within the labyrinthine caves of neighbouring Splendour Cliffs. Crystal bridges connect the two far above the ground level. I imagine that this will be a challenge, because these are abandoned places of the elders – the people who lived when humans were gods. So maybe a good image might be some Gnossian mages fighting some great flying beast upon a crystal bridge?

Then there is the wealthy neighbourhood of Ironhome. This is in the valley highland between the cliffs and the lowland with its canals. In my mind it is like some of those Swiss townships with cold running streams and small medieval paths between thick stone buildings. Could the image be of some drama been unfolding in the market? I have long had in my mind a picture of a gang of child-thieves plundering a market, much to the dismay of the local merchants.

Further down towards the main canals is Ironforge, where the artisans repurpose the remains of ancient machinery – the rusting remains of ten thousand years of advanced human settlement on this planet now abandoned by the former gods. Here I can imagine images of forges and sweating blacksmiths overseen by magic wielders.

And down in the slums of Blue Anchor, the poor and forgotten strive to make a living amidst all manner of crime and vigilantism. This is where my villain Kerphulu now dwells, hunting victims and subjects. And with him the monstrous Melikor, a Golem held in thrall. Perhaps a picture of these two hunting.

All things said, it was a good experience working on this unfinished picture. I have learnt a lot about Blender and will continue to use it.

Thanks for reading :)






  1. All I can say is I’m glad it’s you wrestling with Blender and not me. I would have given up the day I opened the program.


    1. LOL I hear you :) I am just a stubborn man :)


  2. This is great! I look forwards to seeing more of your work!


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