The Lamp Post, The Wonderland and the Wardrobe

Learning to build 3D scenes in Blender can be extremely rewarding. There are a whole series of time saving tools that can speed up modeling, texturing, terrain creation and rapid placement of content into the scene. Best of all, many of these operations are “non-destructive” – not affecting your base geometry.

Blender is free, open-source and super capable but there is a learning curve along the way.

In this short course, we’re looking to lead beginners and more seasoned Blender artists to build a beautiful Winter Wonderland scene, showing how to use all of these time saving tools to create something similar to the “Lantern Waste”, from the land of Narnia – one of the first scenes in “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.”.

One of the key things we’ll introduce in the course are “Geometry nodes”, one of the most powerful aspects of Blender. Many basic 3D operations such as modeling and sculpting or even creating complex-realistic scenes can be made procedural in Blender, making modifications and tweaks much easier.

You may have heard some amazing benefits that Blender can provide 3D artists:-

On the other hand you may have heard of some challenges when learning Blender!

We’ve had many artists in our community wanting to learn Blender but have been held back by some of the hurdles above.

Build a Winter Wonderland

We’ve put together this new Blender coaching group so that you can:

1. Feel supported and guided through a robust step by step live Blender course.
2. Feel confident in creating an environmental render from start to finish.
3. Approach the learning of Blender without feeling overwhelmed.

This is for you if you are in one of these situations:

1. You’ve tried Blender in the past but you were burned by the user interface!
2. You learn more effectively in a group, rather than alone.
3. You’ve always been curious to learn Blender but have felt lost with relying on pre-recorded tutorials.
4. Need a patient and supportive coach to learn Blender at your own pace.

This is for you if you want to…

1. Learn basic and more intermediate Blender modeling and texturing techniques
2. Learn and practice building of natural scenes
3. Gain a basic understanding of Blender’s node systems. We’ll give you a few “cheats” to overcome some of the complexities!
5. Get an introduction and use cases of geometry nodes; the most powerful aspect of Blender.
6. Gain a good understanding of the render engines and lighting in Blender.

We’ll coach and support you even if you…

  • Struggle with the interface
  • Feel that Blender is just too different from what you are used to.
  • Feel overwhelmed with the basic amount of plugins (50+) that come with Blender. We’ll guide you through this maze!

Without having to…

  • Sift through countless resources and tutorials (a bunch of which are outdated) to gain a proper footing in Blender.

When will the Course be Run?

We’ll run the course from Saturday 19th November. Each live meeting will be run on Saturdays at 19:00 GMT (London) / 11:00 PST (Los Angeles) / 14:00 EST (New York)

Want to Sample a Free Session?

Join us for a free 30 minute introductory session on Saturday November 19th (we’ll create a separate event for that soon)

Proven Experience

AlanSmithee – Blender Coach and Trainer

Alan is a talented digital artist and coach, skilled at live training and supporting artists at every stage of their learning journeys.

AlanSmithee : Course Coach and Trainer

AlanSmithee is a visual artist based in Philadelphia, USA, with experience in filmmaking, photography, design, and art direction. Their day job involves project management, design for web and print, book covers, instructional design, and the creation of graphic assets. They are knowledgeable in the use of Blender, Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere, After Effects, etc.), FlowScape & many other tools.

See Alan’s creative works on YouTube  and on ArtStation.

See a sample of Alan’s teaching style here (teaching FlowScape in this example)

Paul Bussey – Course Host and Facilitator

I have been inspiring, promoting, educating and connecting digital artists since 2010. We’ve  published over 140 issues of our magazines 3D Art Direct, Digital Art Live and VISNews, with in-depth interviews of fantastic artists that inspire others with their work. I’ve hosted and organised over 220 live events to connect and educate digital artists, with many events having a focus on 3D figure based software such as DAZ Studio or Poser.

Paul Bussey : Group Host and Facilitator

Areas of Artistic Growth

Over 4 weeks of learning, we’ll look at these aspects of Blender in a structured framework.

VIP members will have access to Weeks 5 and 6. 

Week 1 : Modeling Main Objects

  • Review of the basics in Blender
  • Find and source reference materials
  • Hard Surface Modeling Basics
  • Use Modifiers to make more complex Models
  • Non-Destructive vs Destructive Modeling
  • Understand & Use Bevel Profiles
  • Create a Simple Cloth Simulation

Assignment : Model your own London lamp post. Extra credit : model a scarf

Week 2 : Texturing the Models

  • Find and resource texture materials
  • Use Shader Nodes to Create & Mix Materials
  • Use different UV projections
  • Create Surface Imperfections & Wear
  • Basic Introduction to the Power of Geometry Nodes
  • Create a GeoNode system to generate a Custom Pine Tree

Assignment : Texture your lamp. Extra credit : Make a tree!

Week 3 : Building the Environment

  • Generate a Terrain Mesh
  • Mix Materials with Mask: Texture Painting
  • Use Mesh Data to Mix Materials
  • Model & Texture Simple Trees to Fit the Environment
  • Scatter Assets: Geometry Nodes & Weight Painting

Assignment : Texture your lamp. Extra credit : Make a tree!

Week 4 : Finalise and Render Scene

  • Add & Position Lights
  • Create the Foggy look with Volumes
  • Determine composition
  • Best Practices for Render Settings
  • Review creative achievements of class members

Assignment : Render out your scene

Week 5 : VIP Week 1 – Modeling and Texturing

Assignment : Model Wardrobe & Room Interior and Texture Interior Models

Week 6 : VIP Week 2 – Combining the Scenes

  • Add and Position lights for daytime interior scene
  • Create Cutouts with Boolean Modifier
  • Strategies to combining scenes

Assignment : Combine & Render Scene

Here’s How it Works

Live Training

Each week we’ll have a live webinar meeting (up to 1.5 hours) composed of training , coaching and follow up.

The meeting will be recorded, which will be searchable and include captions (standard and VIP membership only). So if you miss a meeting, or want to go over something again then you’re covered. Basic membership level will include an MP4 recording for each meeting that will not be searchable or captioned.

The topics of these training sessions will be based on the needs of the group. We will share solutions, strategies and techniques to help you get results where you need them.

This is where everyone will share wins, goals, and challenges to get support, accountability, and feedback from the group and guidance from us.

You’ll have opportunities to get a focus just on you and have us as as a  group look over your goals and challenges to help help you leap forward in your creativity.

Private online forum to interact with the group between lessons

Any time you need some input or encouragement, you can turn to the private forum to connect with other group members, which will be inside the Digital Art Live STUDIO
This extends the benefits of the coaching group beyond the live webinar lessons. (for standard and VIP membership levels only)

VIP Add-On

If you would like additional resources, there’s a VIP add-on option that gives you the following in addition to everything above:-

  • *Two additional classes on more advanced Blender techniques (see above)
  • Alan Smithee’s previous Blender “Scene Building for Beginners” video course (12 hours of searchable video)
  • A new Blender model asset pack by AlanSmithee; includes terrains assets (heightmaps/models and textures) and uniquely designed set pieces that go along with this course.

Trouble signing up? Please Get in Touch


Blender : Winter Wonderland (Standard)
Four weeks of 1.5 hour coaching/training sessions by AlanSmithee
Searchable videos with optional subtitles for all sessions
Private forum to connect and learn between live lessons
1 payment of $177