US$ 400K on Kickstarter. How?

US$ 415K on Kickstarter with the help of our favorite 3D tools

Read this article if you want to learn how we’ve helped raise US$ 415K on Kickstarter. You might get inspired. Who knows. 🙂

You always need a secret weapon

For a successful Kickstarter campaign, you need a great product, amazing marketing skills, and the best possible video that your budget can allow. Of course, it’s not all about the money, but it doesn’t hurt to pay more to get better results. On top of all of that, you need a weapon (read software) that will make your life a lot easier. Blender is such software and Terrain Mixer was the right ammo.

Learn more about Terrain Mixer
Machina Arcana Kickstarter (6 days to go)
MA Cinematic

It was an amazing experience and we couldn’t have done it without Blender. Terrain Mixer was developing together with this amazing project and, even at such an early stage, it allowed us to build terrains fast. Today, it would be at least five times faster because it is a much more powerful setup.

Before I continue I just want to say that we plan to release a bunch of videos that explain how we did it, so make sure to follow us at https://youtube.com/c/BoonarStudio where it will be delivered to you for free.

Machina Arcana Cinematic (unofficial version)

Why Blender?

My studio colleague Kresimir Jelusic, also known as robob3ar, contacted me a half a year ago with the proposal for a job. His old clients needed a new cinematic that will help their game do well on Kickstarter. On top of that, we also had to do a video with narration, which was Kresimir’s job. Now you have to understand that we use many 3D modeling, sculpting and, rendering software and we love all of them, but in this particular case Blender was the only logical solution. It is full of features, light, and has two amazing rendering engines. Yes, we used both Cycles and Eevee. Beside Blender, we also used Gaea (for generating heightmaps), After Effects, and DaVinci Resolve.

The process

I had total freedom to do whatever I wanted. The only limit was time and budget. Also, I couldn’t jump on it right away because at that time the earthquake happened (Zagreb, Croatia), COVID escalated, and I had a ton of unfinished business. Because of all that we had to work fast. I admit, it was a bit hectic from time to time, but with all the freedom we had and such amazing and supportive clients, it was one of the best experiences I had. First I made some a ton of sketches, just to convince clients that my head was full of ideas. Once they confirmed that they like the concepts, we jumped right into Blender. Have in mind that the story wasn’t fully developed by then and that I decided to do things a bit backward. I had clear visuals in my head but I wanted to test Blender and see how far it will allow me to push it.

Think big – get in trouble!

Yes, as my appetite was growing so was the 3D terrain that I was building. You know, Blender is great and all but sometimes it just lacks power. I quickly realized that I can use it or almost anything except for the high-quality terrain generation. Luckily, by then I was already deep into terrain because I am a huge fan of QuadSpinner Gaea and it’s creator Dax Pandhi. With Gaea, I managed to generate a lot of heightmaps and color maps. Yay! But there was a problem. Those were 4-8K 32bit EXR and TIF maps and the process was really slow for my 5 years old i7 GTX 1080TI powered machine. Now how can I make my workflow faster? The answer was…

Terrain Mixer

Oh yes, when I summed two and two I came to this conclusion – I have to build a complex material setup that will allow me to make unlimited terrain variations, smart snow system, procedural and image-based coloring, and baking. The idea of Terrain Mixer was born. Btw, that’s not the only system that I built during this process but we’ll talk about that some other time. Now, I don’t want to waste your time explaining how I did what with the Terrain Mixer because you can find a bunch of the how-to videos on our YouTube channel, but I will tell you that it saved my life because we managed to deliver everything before the deadline.

Thanks for your patience and talk soon.

Cheers,
Marko

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