Subtle animation

Little animations bring a scene to life

The Blend.

Become a better low poly artist in 5 minutes each week.

By Samuel Sullins

The Blend

A while back I told you I was working on adding life to this low poly scene.

Well, I did.

(Keep scrolling and you’ll see)

It’s not done yet—but there’s progress.

I animated the trees to blow gently in the wind. (Even made a tutorial so you can too!)

There’s a little bit of animation on the water, too, simple waves. Just released a tutorial for those, too.

You should try it—make the island.

You’ll get a sweet new wallpaper, if nothing else.

1 Technique

This one’s easy.

Make stuff move. Find really, really sneaky ways to do it, though. You don’t want your scene to get overly complex.

For example, the water in my scene.

I could have used the ripples to displace the water, or even added little waves everywhere with a noise texture.

(I tried that out, too.)

Turns out it was too complex. Scenes like this demand simplicity, even in the details.

So: add movement, but keep it subtle and simple. Don’t let anything move too violently or too fast.

The whole scene needs to feel simple, even the motion.

It’s the same rules as low poly modeling—applied to animation instead of visual shape.

1 Low Poly Pick

This is another render by Mohamed Chahin.

It’s a really neat concept. Little pieces of the environment, trapped in these neat glass bubbles.

The autumn colors & the extra tall trees are a neat new style, matching the tall stylized house.

Yeah, another one by Mohamed Chahin—but this one’s mixing high & low poly.

But in this render, it’s not all low poly.

And that works, mostly. The base cylinders look very nice, and the glass bubbles too. But the round trees should be low poly, to match the clouds.

The colors in this render are nice—but I like the layout.

The way all of the yellow colors line up across the image. There’s probably a word for that.

Can't think what to blend?

Try something purple. A jewel in a staff, or a magician’s robe.

P.S. Want to get distracted with a quick bit of fiction? I wrote some for you here.

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