Years of Blade Runners / Lack of Empathy music videos

Over the last few months I have been working on a Blade Runner fan project led by Arthur Waneukem who is a composer and friend of mine. He proposed me to join the team as a vfx artist to create an animated background for his collaborative instrumental EP Years of Blade Runner and for the soundtrack album of an aborted short film project called Lack of Empathy.


1 – Years of Blade Runners EP

It includes five tracks composed by Arthur Waneukem, Vondkreistan, Steige, LowTon and Tsewer Beta . Each song is named after a year of the time period between the events of Blade Runner 2049 and those of Lack of Empathy which take place in 2080. The idea for the visuals was to match the music with a contemplative sky view of Los Angeles, the ocean and the sea wall shown in the last movie by Denis Villeneuve.



The environment was built, animated and rendered entirely in Blender Eevee (2.93). My goal was to get as close as possible to the original art direction of Blade Runner 2049, while making it a a little gloomier. The EP was meant to somehow introduce the (quite dark) story of Lack of Empathy. The idea was to relate throughout the five tracks the city’s and civilisation’s (humans and replicants) slow social decline towards darker times until the year 2080.

I needed to render a whole city from afar and this was the occasion to experiment with geometry nodes. They turned out to be very useful to populate the scene with buildings, allowing a flexible and non-destructive workflow. However in order to keep a fluid working scene and reasonable render times I had to find a way to display only the elements within the current frame, using some vertex painting trick with a mesh that matches the camera’s frustum.

The building pieces scattered with geometry node

Shading was done entirely in blender except for the ocean’s masks and scrolling textures, made in Substance 3D Designer.

Breakdown 1
Geometry > Materials > Final Render
Geometry > Materials > Final Render


As the background material was getting polished I started working on the songs’ title and credits on a separate scene, which was then layered on top of the animated background in compositing:

Final compositing with credits and neon ring animated by sound



2 – Lack of Empathy soundtracks

I went for a slightly different format and rendered a single video for the whole soundtrack album. I started it when I came back on the project a few weeks after the release of the EP, so I had the time to reflect and make some quality improvements on the assets and the rendering. I also created new shots under different angles for more variety between the soundtrack visuals and the EP’s.



Final word

It has been a deep dive back into Blender like I haven’t done in a long time. It was an opportunity to practice geometry nodes, shaders, lighting and volumetric rendering with Eevee.

Being a fan of Blade Runner I really enjoyed my time trying to recreate its dark atmospheres. I am grateful to Arthur Waneukem for inviting me on this project we both consider as a tribute to a sci-fi universe we love.

Feel free to go and check Arthur’s Soundcloud and Youtube channel to access his discography and discover his other projects. Check also Vondkreistan, Steige, LowTon and Tsewer Beta. You can find their respective discography either on soundcloud, Youtube, Deezer or Spotify.


Years of Blade Runners full EP:


Lack of Empathy soundtrack album:

Beach Sand with Pebbles – Material Study

100% Substance designer, rendered in blender EEVEE

Artstation post

This is one of the refreshing, holiday scenes that typically inspire me (and make me nostalgic when I live far from the ocean). I first tried to process in Substance Alchemist some sand and pebble surface scans I did in Brittany a while ago, but lighting conditions on the field were not perfect and my scans were not good either, so I went for a material study in Substance Designer instead. This is what I came up with.

The material is 100% procedural, created in Substance Designer and rendered in Blender Eevee.

Full material rendering
Full material rendering
Gray diffuse rendering

Lighting turntable

Full material rendering
Gray diffuse rendering
Material breakdown (from top to bottom): Normal- Roughness – Height – Albedo – Ambient Occlusion

Material turntable.


Some reference pictures from Beg an Dorchenn, Plomeur, France:

Beg Ann Dorchenn beach, Brittany, France
Beg Ann Dorchenn beach, Brittany, France

Exploding Star / Orb

Last Edited: 06/04/2021

gif version:

Some shader and particle study I did after work for the last couple of days, playing with Shuriken particles, Amplify Shader Editor and ShaderGraph in Unity 2020.3 and URP. This is spontaneous inspiration (the effect isn’t based on any particular reference), although there might be some seismic charge influence from Star Wars.

No VFX Graph here. I wanted to make some simple game fx, to work on basic features such as dissolve effects, shockwaves, distortion, and experiment a bit more with custom vertex streams to make the most of what shaders can do and avoid using scripts to controle them.  The whole fx uses a single packed texture of noises and patterns I imported from Substance Designer.

Shader for the solid sphere:

Shader for the custom distortion effect:

I came back to it a few times to adjust the timing, bring improvements on the different parts and add some camera effect. 

From something that looked quite linear at the beginning I managed to get to more interesting and punchier results I am starting to be happy with, although it could still be improved on some aspects (optimizing shaders, removing artifacts, adjusting timing again…).

First version 25/03:

Latest iteration 06/04:


Railway Track Material

Wow, lots of dust around here ! Time to refresh the gallery just a bit !

Here is a substance material I made for a VR train simulation and published on Artstation a while ago already.

This is 90% Substance Designer. I already had the gravels modeled separately in Blender for another project, I just baked and piled them up in Designer.

Rendered in Blender Eevee.

From top to bottom: Metallic – Normal – Roughness – Displacement – Albedo – Ambient Occlusion.




First glimpse of my graduation project, a game demo running on PS4 which we worked on as a team of four people.

This is a third person adventure game featuring live combats against otherworldly creatures. The player is invited to explore an old temple from which these creatures first appeared and unveil the mystery of their origin.

Along with a team mate, my tasks focused on creating and building the environment (mostly modular). I played a part in the lighting and the visual effects, like the torches and some particle systems.

The demo had to run at 60 fps on PS4, and was made with Unity 2017.

VFX Showcase:

Garden Entrance



A personnal project inspired by some nice architectural elements I have come across last summer in Britanny.

I wanted to start using Blender again and see what I could come up with regarding sculpting and retopology.

high poly image

low poly image

The texturing was done in Substance Painter, using a granite rock material I recreated in Designer and based on a raw picture. A good occasion to deepen my knowledge of the Susbtance suite.

From left to right: Metal – Rough – Color – Normal

Texture image

I used particle systems for the grass.


Medieval Game Environment (WIP)

Here is a first overview of my second end year project: a medieval / fantasy scene made with Unity 5.
Time was running out and this is what I managed to do before submitting the work.
Specific shaders were provided to improve the performances on the target platform (GPD-Q9 with Android 4.4).

Everything is there: A landscape generated with WorldMachine, a sky, a castle, a forge, some trees, rocks and medieval props.


There are a few things that need to be reworked, like the lighting of the interior as you may have noticed. I also plan to create more foliage, improve some textures and tweak the moods, among other things, so I can bring more variety and harmony to the whole.


The Hero Asset


To be continued…

Project Revive: Bioscience Lab Modular Environnent

Finally. Here is an overview of my very first modular game environment created and rendered in Unreal Engine 4.15, for an end-of-year project.

This is a living room which is part of a space bioengineering laboratory.
The story behind tells us that some advanced alien civilisation invested an asteroid, trying to recreate a habitable biosphere after their star died and blew up their home planet (hence the project name Revive).

The scene consists of about 70 different modular units and props, created in 3ds Max.

The maximum texture resolution allowed for this project was 2048*2048. Also I could only have 1 material ID per object. For all the 3D assets (except the organic elements) I decided to use 1 texture set, which I progressively filled up throughout the process, primarily in Photoshop.

The main shader uses:
– Diffuse RGB texture,
– Normal RGB texture,
– Emissive RGB texture,
– Roughness, Metalness, AO and Opacity mask packed in one RGBA texture,
– A triplanar mapped dirt texture.

Textures used for all props and modular units.

The final render looks very new, clean and shiny, but since we are in a bioenginiering lab it makes sense, somehow.


Lighting only

More screenshots:

See this on my Artstation

Reptilian Bioscientist

Hey, this is Frank! In fact I don’t know his name. But he is a very good scientist, working at some bioengineering laboratory in… well, in space. On an asteroïd. Yes. That’s it.  I will explain everything, just later.He (we assume Frank) is part of my end-of-year project (which is coming next).
The high poly model was done entirely in Zbrush (including the high frequencies of the organic).

It was the first time I worked hard surfaces in Zbrush.

I did a retopo in 3D-Coat, then I exported to Maya to tweak the UVs, skinned the model onto an existing rig, and some other adjustments. The final low poly model counts about 30k tris.

I did some vertex painting in Zbrush to bake the colors into an ID map in xNormal, along with a first Normal map, AO and Curvature before importing everything in Substance Painter to finish the texturing.

Then I integrated Frank in Unreal, tweaked the shaders and made him use his legs a little bit.

Making a humanoid reptilian Character was part of the original request. I didn’t want to go for a feroce space tyrex in steel armor with a lasergun, I went for a … let say a peaceful scientist thinking of his own place in the universe when he raises his look towards the cosmic space the eyes full of wonders…

References for the safety suit:


See this on my ArtStation

Highlands Boulders

An arrangement of modular rocks sculpted in Zbrush and textured in 3DCoat.

The final set has 11 rock units and a polycount of about 14k tris.

Roughness, Albedo/Color and Normal map:

Rendered in UE4 (4K textures) (do not pay attention to that random ground texture):

I wanted to make them look realistic so I made my textures out of raw pictures (actually of a piece of an old rock wall) that I projected on the low poly models. The cracks and most of the details in the normals come from the baked high poly.

The set also includes 3 little clumps of moss. Timewise not very efficient for filling an entire scene or even covering a single rock with these, but, anyway… this was part of the experiment.

Sketchfab (2K textures)