Use Your Resources

Just because you downloaded and installed a 3D application like Blender doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch. As a matter of fact, there are many who never learn how to model. Instead, they focus on “borrowing” the work of others to realize their dream scene.

For example, in the recent short video I posted of the sailing ship, there is no actual modeling on my part other than creating the tiny blobs which contain the firelight. The rest comes from elsewhere.

Here’s what contained in my scene:

The star of the show, the ship, I found on ( I’m not exactly sure who created the model but it’s very good – probably one of the better free models I’ve found for sailing ships. It downloaded in .obj format, compatible with Blender 2.83, but I had to re-assign all the textures (a slow and painful process but needed to ensure the ship had all its textures in the right places).

The starry background is an HDRI image I downloaded some time ago from the Solar System Scope web site (

Since the ship didn’t come with fire, and I thought that would add a nice touch, I needed two things: a fire shader and something to hold the fire (I didn’t want the ship to look like IT was on fire). First I found a torch model I liked from I ended up settling on this one: It seemed to match the ship nicely.

Second, I browsed YouTube to find a tutorial on how best to model fire without using Mantaflow. Mantaflow, which can produce some very-realistic fire in Blender, is extremely slow to render on my computer. I needed a faster way. I found a tutorial by Ducky 3D ( that speaks to a procedural fire shader by Simon Thommes ( With that, I downloaded and applied to those “tiny blobs” I referred to earlier.

Viola! My scene was complete.

The only other elements included were the ocean modifier and a light (I set the sun to a strength of 1).

When all was said and done, manual labor was minimal. Instead, I relied on the resources available to create something pretty cool.

What do you think?

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