Why aren’t there plants in the future? Seriously, all you have to do is google “future city” or “sci fi landscape” and you are met with thousands of images of bleak, smog choked, rain-washed city streets. This might be the fault of Blade Runner, whose vision of the future was so powerfully bleak it burned dystopia into our retinas.

But I want plants in my future. And lots of them. So I thought, why not create science fiction images of my own?

Along comes Blender. Blender is a free 3D software that, with a little practice, you can do powerful things. I first tried Blender many years ago and became overwhelmed with its difficultly. But not only has it become much easier to use, there are also many, many tutorials online that teach you everything from doughnuts to cityscapes. I watched a few tutorials, and voila…

Well, not exactly. It took me a while to get the models aligned with the camera. Then I rendered the image, and brought the resulting image into Photoshop. There I ran it through an oil paint filter, to give it that “painterly” look, and used some oil and pastel brushes to simulate that painted texture.

The vines were harder. There I drew a few leaves, then made a custom brush out of them. Then I painted several layers to make them look three-dimensional. The background stars are from a Google image search, and I hand-painted the distant aircraft streaming across the sky. 

Anyway, I’m quite happy with the result! Here’s the raw render, and the final image, just so you can see the difference. What do you think? Feedback is welcome! 

Raw render:

After Photoshop: