[Intermediate to Advanced] How to make a professional looking GFX Advertisement in Blender

Note: This tutorial is Not for beginners, and it is expected you have at minimum a basic understanding of Blender and your editing software of choice. I can make a more beginner-oriented tutorial some other time, but there are already dozens of great tutorials on the DevForum for that.

How to make a GFX in Blender

Hey Developers, in this tutorial I will walk you through all of the required steps to make a professional-looking GFX advert. This is a complicated tutorial and I would not recommend anyone who is new to making GFX to try to follow along (If you are a beginner and choose to follow along, good luck). This is what my advertisement looked like after I finished:

Result

I will not be going very in-depth on each step of the process, since it is expected you already know how to do things like pose an avatar, export and import properly, and manage settings in the programs.

Parts of this tutorial are intentionally left vague. This is because I don’t want you to follow along exactly, but rather put your own spin on it. You could render a different type of soldier or something non-military entirely. I’d love to see what you all end up making in the replies, so get creative.

Prerequisites

  • Experience using a roblox rig in Blender
  • At least intermediate skill in Blender
  • Very comfortable using a photo manipulation software like Photoshop (Or in my case, Gimp)

Softwares

The two softwares I use are Blender and Gimp (You can use Photoshop or a different editing software for post processing, since most of the principles will be the same). Download Blender 2.9 here and Gimp here.

Assets

I don’t have all of the assets I used for this GFX saved on my computer, but the background was one I found doing a good image search of “Dark Parking Garage Background” and the overlays were from searches of “Dust Overlay”, “Photoshop textures”, and “Dust Texture Photoshop”.
All 3D models used were found in the Roblox Studio Library. (Helmet, Vest, and Rifle).
The rig I used is called the Ultimate Rig. Get it here.

Now, onto the tutorial

Step 0: Planning out your GFX

If you got commissioned by someone or already know what you want to make, skip this step.

The worst mistake that I used to make (still do sometimes embarrassingly) is not having a solid plan going into the project. This leads to me getting frustrated later on and often scrapping the entire project. This tutorial is particularly optimized for Military-Style Advertisements specifically, so here is where the process will be most different if you are planning to go a completely different route.

I chose to do a Night-Ops black uniformed soldier with a Gas-Mask helmet and an M16A3 rifle. Since it was for a skyscraper advertisement (160x600), a neutral pose without any action seemed like the best choice.

Also I think listening to music while you work is a must, but to each their own.

Step 1: Getting Clothing and Models

For clothing, find a uniform and pants that match your plan. Also make sure all assets/models you use match each other. Even slight differences like a different nation’s uniform for shirt and pants can make your advertisement look less clean or professional. I’m not saying you need to be a perfectionist (I certainly don’t have the patience to be one), but put thought into this step since it’ll have a big impact on the final product.
Put your uniform on an R6 (If you’re using an R6 rig in blender) model.
image
Export this as a .obj file. You won’t actually use the .obj file if you’re using a rig, but it exports the image as well, which you will use.
Also export any helmets/props you are using as .obj files.
image

Step 2: Importing and Setting up Blender

The first thing I always do when opening blender (After deleting the pesky default cube :wink:) is set the render engine to Cycles and the render Device to my GPU (If you have a GPU, it will make everything much faster but if you don’t, a CPU gets the job done).
image

I also set my Sample Count to 500 (In render and viewport). You can obviously do less if you have a less powerful system in the interest of time, but I’d recommend denoising in some way if you do.
Take this time to also set up your camera resolution. I rendered it at 320x1200, although that was overkill since using it as an ad will automatically scale it down to 160x600. I would recommend against using an HDRI for indoor renders like the one I’m doing, and to remove the default scene lights you can open the Shader Node Editor, switch from Object to World, and set the strength of the background node to 0 (Or delete it):


Now Import your rig. I’m not going to explain to you how to set up a rig, as I won’t do it as good as @ProvenData does in their tutorial linked here. Import your textures onto your rig. Also use this time to import your props and accessories.

I forgot to import the vest :flushed: it ended up turning out fine though.

Step 3: Lighting

Unpopular strategy here, but I like doing the lighting before I pose my character. I find it is a lot easier to find your pose when you’ve already lit your scene so you can view it as it’ll look in the final render.
I did a pretty simple lighting setup using area lights. I got great rim lighting by putting a large area light behind the avatar and then cranking the power up pretty high. Here is my setup:


And here’s how it looks in rendered view:

Be creative with your lighting. It can be the most powerful way to set the mood and emphasize certain parts of the scene.

Step 4: Posing

This is the part that took me the longest. Because of R6’s weird proportions, it can be hard to make a pose that seems natural with the props in the scene. The three biggest tips I have for this are:

  • Make sure no parts intersect or clip, as it can look bad
  • On the contrary, make sure the limbs look like they’re connected to the body. This seems simple enough but can be extremely challenging when the character is holding something or has their arms open.
  • Leave no limbs untouched. Even if the character is standing still, the legs should be bent a little bit or it looks unnatural
    I went with a simple pose for this GFX. I just made the character hold the rifle and look at the camera. In an action scene, I recommend against having the character look at the camera, but it was fitting in this case.

At this point, Render and export your render. Open it in your editing software of choice.

Step 5: Color Correction

Now that you have your render finished and imported into your editing software, you can start making changes. All I did for the raw render one was tweak the contrast and levels a little bit.


I added a background image. Make sure it matches your scene in not just theme, but also focal length and perspective. You can add a Gaussian Blur to it so it looks like there is some depth of field and also to hide the fact that it’s a 2D image, but don’t overdo it. I also added two very faint gradients, one orange and one blue, to the image. This is subtle, but really elevates your artwork with some fancy color theory magic that I’m too dumb to understand completely. (Set the blend mode on your highlights/gradients to Soft Light)

Step 6: Overlays and Texture

This is another super important step that effects the final look of your artwork. This really takes a lot of trial and error to properly figure out. I tried out 30-40 different images, textures, and overlays for this project and ended up using 3. I added a smoke overlay (visible at the bottom), and two textures for the rest of the image (excluding the text at the top). Play around with the different blend modes for this. Overlay and Screen are the two I use most often, but I’ve found really cool results by just playing around with the different modes.


At any point, if you think the texture or overlay is too visible in a certain spot, you can add a layer mask and paint out that spot lightly. You can also tweak the opacity of the layers to make a single effect more/less intense.

Step 7: The Text/Final Touches

FONT CHOICE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS STEP. If your font doesn’t match your ad, it will ruin it and make it look very unclean. I actually just used an SCP logo with the slogan under it in an image from google, but chances are you’ll have you write it yourself, so find a good font.


Now is when you should add any watermark you have. The final touch I added was throwing a texture over the text so it looked less clean and then I called it done.

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of the tutorial. Remember to be creative with your work, and try not to do exactly what I say. That’s how you develop your own style. Ask any questions you have, and let me know if I should change something about this tutorial or if something isn’t clear enough.

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What are the alternatives to Ultimate Rig? (preferably non-paid ones)

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The creator of the Ultimate Rig released a demo version which is completely free. I’m not sure if it misses some features that the paid version had, but I use the demo version and it works fine for this. I’ll see if I can get a link to it for you.
Edit: Here it is. I’ll also put this up in the tutorial. 1.41 MB file on MEGA

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As far as my knowledge from Matt, the ultimate rig paid version includes an extra santa rig and a completely re-done and advanced face rig

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