Create The Backrooms in Blender Tutorial

By now you’ve probably seen one or two videos about The Backrooms. Those VHS-styled videos that look like they were recorded by hand in some kind of 90’s office. Some of the videos about The Backrooms get millions of views, so it’s not surprising a lot of people are searching for how to create The Backrooms in Blender, in hopes of getting the same amount of views.

You need to look no further, because I’ve compiled some of the best tutorials on The Backrooms, including some tips from myself. Here’s what I created in Blender with the help of Premiere Pro:

My “Found footage” video – Made entirely with Blender and Premiere Pro

One last thing before we start, while those yellow-tinted office spaces are what made The Backrooms famous, there are thousands of different levels. Everything from empty parking garages to elevators, like the one I made.

Breaking down the “Found Footage in Backrooms” look

What makes these videos so interesting to watch is the fact they look real. That old VHS camcorder look really gives it a realistic feel and look to it. But there’s more to it, so let’s take a look at some videos and photos and break them down bit by bit.

Liminal spaces

Might be obvious, but the setting for these found footage videos is half the work basically. A lot of people get a weird feeling when they see most of the levels. This is because all the levels are pretty much based on something called liminal space. If you were to read up on the wiki, a liminal space is a “transition between two other locations”. Think of long empty corridors, hallways, and large open spaces. For many, liminal spaces create an unsettling feeling, you recognize everything in a photo or video, but for some reason, it just feels off.

To get a better understanding of what a liminal space is, let’s take a look at some photos:

An empty mall, a recurring theme for liminal spaces and The Backrooms.
Large office space – This is what almost all Backrooms videos are based on.
An old empty library.

I suspect you are starting to see the common theme here. More often than not, we’re dealing with large open spaces that used to serve a purpose but don’t anymore. Like a large office space with no furniture or a library with no books. But unlike reality, The Backrooms are almost always never-ending, meaning you could go on and on without ever exiting them.

Handheld footage

Almost all the good videos of The Backrooms are done in a handheld video style, much like Blairwitch or Cloverfield. Not only does this create a sense of realism, but it also gives you the opportunity to skip animating characters. Since we’re trying to recreate “found footage”, it has to be handheld, I mean who would bring a tripod or Steadicam into a setting like this, especially in the 90s?

Young creator Kane Pixels have nailed this look completely, just check out one of his best videos:

The VHS look

It wouldn’t be a Backrooms video if it was done in HD, at least if you look at all the trending videos on YouTube. For some reason the majority of videos are made to look like they’re old VHS tapes, I can see one reason being you can get away with lower quality textures and 3D models this way, another one is a lot of people feel nostalgic seeing these type of spaces, hence the retro video look.

I suggest you take a look at some REAL VHS tapes, you can easily find this on YouTube. A common mistake people make when they try to emulate the VHS look is to overdo chromatic aberration (this is true for modern “real” videos as well). Coming from a video and photography background, I can safely say that chromatic aberration only occurs in high contrast areas and usually towards the outer edges of the lens.

Take a look at this video from Tom Scott, he explains the VHS look really well and goes in-depth on why and how it looks the way it does.

Otherworldly entities

Last but not least, a lot of the videos have some kind of otherworldly/unnatural being or entity. Taking a look at the Backrooms wiki, there’s a whole section about entities. A lot of them are very similar to some SCP entities. Here are some of the most popular (there are thousands of entities listed):

A faceling – A normal human except they lack facial features
Smilers – Found in dark shadows. Recognizable by their creepy smile.
A skin stealer, they’ll steal your skin and wear it.

Good tutorials for The Backrooms in Blender

So now we know what makes a great Backrooms video, let’s see what kind of tutorials we have out there for Blender.

Quick and Lazy Backrooms in Blender

Quick and lazy doesn’t have to mean it’s going to look bad. What I like about this tutorial is that it covers a super quick way to create that never-ending maze layout. It also covers how to animate the camera and add some camera shake.

How to Make Backrooms Found Footage in a Minute and a Half

If you don’t have time to wait for long tutorials, you should watch this one. It’s just a minute and a half. It goes a little more in-depth on how to create the walls and their bases. It’s in the style of Ian Hubert, meaning even though it’s just a minute and a half, you’ll have to do a lot of pausing to follow along.

Default Cube makes Backrooms found footage in an hour

If you rather watch someone create a Backrooms video in Blender from scratch, without any fast-forwarding or skipping steps, Default Cube has your back. In this 55-minute-long video, he creates everything from scratch in Blender. In my opinion, this is easily one of the best tutorials on creating Backrooms in Blender available. You really don’t need anything else.

Buy a complete Backrooms scene for Blender

If you don’t have the time for tutorials and just want to get started animating, there’s a cheap $12 Backrooms scene you can purchase from ArtStation. It’s designed for Blender 3.0 and above, it also works with both Cycles and Eevee, just remember to bake the lightning if you’re using Eevee. The hallways, floors and roof tiles are all textured too, so the only thing needed from you is the animation. There’s also a premade old school VHS filter ready in the compositor if you want to use that.

My final tips

That’s pretty much it, you now have an understanding of what makes great Backrooms video and you also got three great tutorials that will help you create your video. But before you leave, let me give you a few tips on how to stand out from the crowd.

  • There are thousands of levels in The Backrooms, try something else than the yellow office space
  • Combine real video scenes with your Blender footage
  • Don’t overdo the VHS look
  • Use an app like BlendarTrack or CamTrackAR to get realistic camera movement
  • Play around with the imagination of the viewers, you don’t need to see a scary monster for it to be scary
  • Use KanePixels videos as an inspiration instead of trying to copy him right off

That’s all! Don’t forget to share your tips in the comments.

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