Umi No Ha (Blade of the Sea)
The final 4k version w/ refined details

The final 4k version w/ refined details

Rendered in Blender Filmic using The Cycles Engine (1080p version)

Rendered in Blender Filmic using The Cycles Engine (1080p version)

The final concept painting

The final concept painting

The final katana model (clean) - top view

The final katana model (clean) - top view

The final katana model (clean) - side view

The final katana model (clean) - side view

Final topology for hi-res sub-d katana model

Final topology for hi-res sub-d katana model

The katana w/ saya removed (WIP)

The katana w/ saya removed (WIP)

The full katana (WIP)

The full katana (WIP)

Closeup Details on the kashira (ornament) and menuki (end cap) (WIP)

Closeup Details on the kashira (ornament) and menuki (end cap) (WIP)

Closeup Details on the Tsuba (WIP)

Closeup Details on the Tsuba (WIP)

UV Unwrapping the katana (WIP)

UV Unwrapping the katana (WIP)

Tsuka-maki Cycles Shader (WIP)

Tsuka-maki Cycles Shader (WIP)

Finished Katana concept w/ detail enlargements

Finished Katana concept w/ detail enlargements

Tsuka-maki (Handle Wrap) diagram

Tsuka-maki (Handle Wrap) diagram

Me trying to figure out all the parts of a katana (it's complicated folks)

Me trying to figure out all the parts of a katana (it's complicated folks)

Tsuba Designs

Tsuba Designs

Ideas / Reference Board (The Ugly Phase)

Ideas / Reference Board (The Ugly Phase)

Umi No Ha (Blade of the Sea)

This is the story of a clan of samurai who uncovered a hidden secret rumored to be the prize of an ancient god of the sea. As they seek to uncover the relic beneath the sands of the setting sun a figure emerges from the fog on the horizon. Who will emerge victorious?

After completing the final concept art in a previous project I set out to bring the story to life in a 3d illustration. This was a massive undertaking and along the way I tackled numerous challenges that taught me a lot about how to utilize my limited system resources to achieve larger than life results.

Some big project milestones were the custom terrain sculpting, retopo work, and 8k texture bakes utilizing the tools in Substance Painter. All of the terrain was painted in Substance utilizing a metallic / rough PBR workflow which was reintroduced back into Blender using the new Filmic branch. Other techniques utilized were Blender's experimental adaptive subdivison features, and volumetric shaders from Cycles.

More artwork
Brandon hix 00 final composite