Blender Day 18 – Misc Stuff

Blender Guru’s article on getting rid of “fireflies” looks to be useful, as I dive deeper into the Cycles render engine.

Paint Palettes addon will make texture and weight painting more simpler. Less jumping around in the menus.

Second Life has lots of Blender users, which means lots of tips on skinning/weighting.

This morning was spent reading through Oliver Villar’s Learning Blender book, on the topic of animation. Reading while talking notes. Now that I’ve got some colorized reference pages, and a character with a very simple rig all skinned up, it’s time to dive into Blender’s animation capabilities.

Blender Day 16 – Resizing UI

How I wish more software  developers put the effort in to make their user interfaces scale like this. Natural vision practitioners would be more successful. The “higher resolution equals smaller icons” way of thinking needs to shift… and it apparently has, thanks to smartphones.

Anyhow, take a look at this slick DPI setting, then grab Blender and play with it yourself.

Blender Day 13, 14 & 15 – Rig & Skins

Spent a few hour hours getting to understand building an Armature (skeleton) in Blender. So many tools available by default and soooo many more can be made available as addons. If you have a cat mesh that needs to be boned, there’s a dozen ways to skin it. (couldn’t resist)

While digging around for videos on skinning, I came across this Blender character rig that has some killer animation options. Because of the custom control bones, I forgot I was watching a demo of Blender.

This lead me on a Blender rigging adventure, which revealed the following rigging websites.

Nathan Vegdahl – Cessen (rigger on Big Buck Bunny and author of Human Rigging DVD $30)
CGCookie’s Animation Toolkit – training series for character animation – $15
CGCookie’s FlexRig (character rig used in their Toolkit series)
Brian Tindall’s “Art of Moving Points” – iBook by Pixar rigger
Gord Goodwin – Author of the embedded “Nathan Rig” video above and admin at Rigging Repo blog, which includes a nice list of rigs, scripts, Blender artist websites and rigging tutorials like this:

Blender Days 11 & 12 – Materials, Cycles & L-Systems

Initially setup the materials for Blender’s default renderer and noticed that when I switched to the new Cycles renderer, I lost the materials.  A quick Internet searching revealed a handy addon called Convert Materials to Cycles.

The materials_cycles_converter.py  script created a set of buttons at the bottom of the Properties Editor in the Materials context. You can convert the current material or convert them all.  I’m using Blender 2.69 and the script, which is written for 2.71, worked good for me (color and bump came over).


L-Systems was next up for exploration.

A question came to mind on whether or not the same beautiful branching could be created in Blender, as I had created previously in Houdini.  Searching revealed the VegGen addon, which I’m going to give a whirl (after some compositing and rigging tutorials).  Looks promising, though doesn’t have the ability to write my own turtle rules.  This doesn’t provide much control…   so probably simplest to just write an L-system engine in Python myself…  probably using the VegGen script as reference (Yay! Open source!).


other links:
Blender UI detailed breakdown
Blender.org forum
BlenderArtists.org forum

Blender – Day 9 – Cycles Render Engine

Who likes waiting?

I must confess that I was never a big fan of the rendering process. Clicking a button and then waiting minutes while an image (or portion of an image) appears, is… painful.

Perhaps it was all the years working in I.T.. I calculated it ounce, based on a few projects that I worked on. I spent over a year of my life staring at progress bars.

0%…. 10%…. 50%… 51%…. 52%…. 53%…

*passes out*


blender day 9 monkey in cycles
This brings me to Blender’s relatively new render engine, Cycles. Separate from Blender’s built-in render engine, this wonderful addition can create stunning lighting with photo real results…

… though don’t expect anything “photo real” coming from me anytime too soon, I’m still working to get there.

Blender’s Cycle render engine renders stuff on the fly, refining the render more and more, as time progresses. This is making it very simple for lighting setup.

Cycles can also utilize a GPU for faster render speeds, though installation of CUDA is required (for NVIDIA graphics cards). This isn’t something I’m going to mess with yet…   but double or tripling render speeds would be so so sweeeeeet.

Blender – Day 8 – rendering

Looking at this texture video and going to see what I can do in 2 hours. Full article is on BlenderGuru.

Later, use this to do some automatic corner shading.

And checkout the updates to this interesting point data transfer tool.

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