Before start create anything, it’s really important to have several references or a solid concept art. So I get some images to help me make this fox more believable.
The modeling of the fox was done poly-by-poly and refined with the sculpt tools. I used most the brushes Grab, Inflate, Flatten to tweak until I get satisfied with the look.
For the scenario I created a plane and subdivided a few times, just enough to add some variation on the ground. So using the sculpting tools I started to create some variation to break the flatness in the ground. I also modeled two kind of plants, really low poly, and distributes this plants in the ground with particle system.
To create the diffuse texture of the Fox I used the Texture Paint tools in Blender, projecting images to create the look I wanted. You just need to create two UV channels, the first one you will unwrap a good layout, in an optimized way and trying to avoid distortions. In the UV/Image window you can see the distortion of you UV by checking the Strech option in the Display painel (hotkey N to open this painel). The second UV you will use to project the images in the first UV, so unwrap freely in this channel using specific parts of the your images. And for the ground, I used a tile texture from the site CGTextures and the trees in the background are also from the same site. The rest of the scene I just used procedural textures.
Here is the link of the main image I used to create the diffuse texture of the fox, from the site Free Nature Wallpaper;
Both for the fur and the grass I used the particle system (hair) to create them. I used two layers of particles to active the look on the fur, on to create an overall fur and the second layers to break the uniformity. The color of the fur is genereate the our diffuse texture created before, but I also used a color ramp (black and white) to create a fake shadow on the fur, just use the Strand/Particle mapping and changing the blending mode of this texture to multiply. In the grass I used two color ramp, one for the small grass and the other for the high grass.
To make the lighting of the scene I used 3 lights. One main Area light coming from above with an yellowish color that represents the sun. The other two lights I used to create some fake GI, one Hemi Light with a bluish color to simulate the sky and another Hemi Light with a greenish to simulate the bounce light coming from the grass.
For the post-production I separated four render layers, the fox in one layer, the grass in another, the background in another and the Zmask.
In the compositor I put all layers together, used some color correction and created some effects like, fog, depth of field, vignette and lens effects.