Category Archives: 3d art and animation

Back at it Again (learning animation)

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After a long debate with myself, I lost by the way, I decided I would share my adventure in animation over the past few week. I picked up using Makehuman 10.2 with the MHX2 Add on and blender version 2.72. I’ll explain a little more about each later. I jumped into blender with the hopes I would come up with a two minute story but my imagination was on vacation. so little by little I started just posing a make human character working on some basic movement. I have really had a problem mastering the walk cycle and I was not happy with few attempts.

So I decided to go on and work on some other poses. I got some audio from 11 second club and did some rough blocking no real polished animation. I am a new to the craft and I just wanted to establish a workflow. I looked at it and thought well okay so so.  Now do I let anyone see it ?  Sure why not. After telling someone else  “You should not have any fears. you have a least satisfied a few rules of creativity 1. you did something. 2. you shared it.”  Here are my rough animations.

So I will continue my quest to learn animation, until my next post in which I will go into the mhx2 add-on .  Take care all.

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The Quest For Photo Realism

 

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For a long time now I have attempted to render a photo realistic 3 D scenes in blender.  Until recently the formula for achieving this feat had eluded me.  I tried in blender internal and failed miserable.  Then Blender developers introduced the cycles rendering engine and getting real world results was still a daunting task even with the more accurate cycles engine.  I played around in the node editor and tried many effects.  The secret just remained well hidden from me. The more I modeled and rendered the more I failed.

I got to be pretty good at texturing objects in the process of finding photo realism. I also learned some cool modeling tricks. In the end my renders still looked fake or they just wasn’t what I was expecting out of blender.

CLINGING IVYIn the above image I textured the building facade and added ivy with the ivy generator, textured the ivy, set up my lighting, and added a environment texture to the world, yet the image lack realism to me.  The color saturation seemed to deep and even cycles seem to miss the bounced lighting. So I figured pretty much it isn’t blender,  it has to be me.

Here are a few things I picked up along the way that helped me alot that I would like to share with you. These are not the absolute holy grail of achieving photo realism and they are not in any particular order but they all should be considered.

1. Modeling

You should strive to make and accurate clean model of what your trying to replicate. Use reference images so that you have a good ideal of what your trying to show. Look at lots of pictures and work from there. your imagination is good but sometimes it can lead you astray.   Here is an old tutorial but it is a good example and it should work in current blender versions.  Always try to use good textures, Normal maps, Bump maps, Specular maps.                                                      http://www.the-blueprints.com/tutorials/blender/

2. Composition

What is you audience going to see? What is the subject of your image?  What are we looking at?  These are questions you should ask yourself when creating a 3d image in blender. What to want my eyes to focus on? The main subject of the image is important, you dont want your viewer to try and look at to many things at once, besides the human brain gets frustrated and will not make sense of any of what the eyes are showing it. Pick an object as the focal point of your image and let everything else in the image point to it.  Knowing a little about photography helps.   These thing are important in an image

Framing                    ( your main subject)

Perspective          (where am I looking from or what am I looking at)

Space                         ( create closeness or distance)

Balance                    ( how much is in frame and what is important )

Color                        ( what drives a viewer to or distracts them from your subject)

Try the rule of thirds it helps you to follow the above five principles.

http://digital-photography-school.com/rule-of-thirds/

Jonathan Lampel explains his secrets to a more interesting render.

3. Lighting

Is it day or night is it inside or outside? Light your scene and subjects based on the environment you put them in. Try to understand how lighting works in the real world. Look at the differences between hard and sof shadows. Learn how bounced lighting works and it influences othe objects.  Learn about 3 point lighting and also learn how to use HDR images in projects. Hdr images can provide the correct environment effects to your images. You can google Hdr lighting in blender and also three point lighting.

This is just a short list of helpful tips to improve your renders. I left out post processing basically because that is a subject unto itself. There are lot of things you can do in blender compositor but the key is learning what each node does. I suggest you look at painting and professional photos to get an ideal of what a good image should look like.  Also look at images on some of 3d forums to give yourself something to shoot for.

Thanks for reading. Always learning and always sharing.

Additional reading

 

http://www.blenderguru.com/articles/achieving-photorealism-in-blender/#.U_jtAHVdUgF

http://digital-photography-school.com/5-more-elements-of-composition-in-photography/

 

How to Make Towels Tutorial Results

Here are the results of yet another informative Blender Guru Tutorial.

 

Hanging towels
Click to view larger size

This tutorial is short and to the point. It was one of the easiest to follow,  you set up the cloth simulation pretty quick and then work on the textures and materials.

I rendered this image using 200 samples, 14 minutes 4 seconds on cpu. I used a bokeh blur mixed with the original image in the compositor.

If you want to give it a try follow the link below.

http://www.blenderguru.com/videos/how-to-make-towels

RENDER OF THE WEEK April 6

ONEWAY_StreetThis weeks render was a modeling exercise where I created building facades on planes and added a few small assets to complete a street scene.  I also tried a color management to achieve a photo look. As always all work done in Blender this render in 2.70.  Enjoy see you for next weeks render.

Blender Foundation Crowd Sources Project Gooseberry

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As if you didn’t know, The Blender foundation has started work on project Gooseberry. Project Gooseberry is the code name for their 5th open movie project. The project is large undertaking in which the Blender foundation wishes to produce a feature length animation using just open source software.

The Blender foundation will attempt this project with small studios worldwide. 12 independent studios who already use open source software  will contribute to the production of this feature length film. They will work with a staff of artist and developers to see if open source is ready for a feature film.

The film is about Michel the sheep, who’s longing to get an interesting life. It will be a funny, absurdist and adventurous love story, directed by Mathieu Auvray. ( Listen to Mathieu on Blenderguru podcast)

The Blender foundation plans to offer supporter full access to the whole production and all training assets that are derived from the project.  The Blender cloud will allow subscribers to access data from from previous films and also data from the Gooseberry project.

For 45 Euro or 62 U.S. Dollars you get three months access to the data from previous Open Movies and Workshop training videos. The Gooseberry team will use it to cooperate, to share data and to get you involved.


More About Project Gooseberry

Blender Development