Making of: Terra Blade in Blender

YouTube Terra Blade Tutorial playlist.

I really love Terraria (>400 hours logged on Steam), and I thought that in honor of its recent anniversary I would try to recreate an iconic weapon in blender - the Terra Blade.

Terra Blade item sprite


Starting from this sprite as a reference, I shaped the mesh and then added materials, lighting and effects to make this 3D version of the terra blade.

There are a few challenges when making these sorts of models, which are the sharpness of the edges and the look of the material.

There needs to be some sort of bevel for light to reflect off of for that iconic cartoony edge-sheen look, and I found an easy way to do that is to create an inner face (the top, unselected shape) and then extrude it outward and down to make the beveled edge (currently selected).

The lighting is also super important, and I really didn’t notice how important it is to light a model to highlight specific parts.

It seems obvious to say so, but when making a sword I think that the part to highlight should be the edge, and the way I do this is by adding really bright lights that create crazy reflections off the edges just to show how ‘sharp’ they are.

The material was a sort of guess, but I thought it would look like a sort of super shiny, illuminated glass. Like a sort of glowy elemental crystal.

The material setup was actually very simple. It just consists of a gradient-textured principled shader mixed with a glass shader.

Crystal Material

And doesn’t look like much without lighting:

The final effect was achieved by angled plane lights, coloured to reflect the yellow/blue sides of the sword and an HDRI map set in the world.

Lighting Setup

Finally, the outline is achieved by the Freestyle engine, which highlights edges by outlining them.

I marked some edges manually to highlight them, particularly around the sharp-bevel area, and that’s how I achieved the final effect.

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