Category Archives: Editorials

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

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

 

 

animating a 2d Photo in Blender

I am always looking for interesting ways to be creative with Blender and make my projects look decent. I found one way of doing this is with animated photos. There are several ways of achieving a photo animation ranging from camera mapping to compositing animated 3D elements into a photo. Camera mapping is the most common which involves mapping 2d images to 3d geometry. I have also used the blender smoke simulator to created a moving atmosphere in a 2d photo.

Animating 2d photos can be helpful with motion graphics, creating an establishing shot for a film project or animation. It is often less expensive to go out and take a photo as opposed to shooting on location.

I ran across a great exercise for animating a 2d photo on YouTube I wanted to share with you. The exercise is pretty straight forward and it will give you the experience of using some of the modifier tools available in Blender.

I am very grateful to Sardi Pax for allowing me to share his work with you. He has a lot of helpful tips and tricks available on his you tube channel. I hope you visit him on youtube and find something that can help you become better using blender.

I ask him how he got started in blender and he shared his road to using blender with me.

His Answer

I’ve been interested in 3D art since the early days of home computing. I started by coding (in Z80 machine code) an attempt to display a rotating cube on a very old computer called a Sinclair ZX81 (my pride and joy at the time).

Much later I acquired a PC (somewhere around Windows 3.1) and simple home 3D software started to become available. It would still take hours to render something that today would take seconds.

I dabbled with 3DS Max, Cinema 4D, Bryce 3D, Poser and Lightwave and learned many of the basics with those packages.

I actually encountered blender several years ago at about version 2.4 but back then it was not such a friendly interface for the novice and stayed with 3DS Max.

About 18 months ago Blender underwent a big change at around version 2.55 (or possibly 2.6) and became much more newbie friendly.

I couldn’t get Cycles to work at all to begin with, just got the typical black screen. So I started watching Youtube tutorials (for example the excellent Andrew Price), and realised Cycles was all about Lights (eureka moment).

I then spent (far too many) hours playing with particles, juggling vertices and working out what Normals were and around a year ago, decided it might be a fun way to motivate myself to learn more by making simple tutorials. And I’ve learned a great deal along the way.

I try to post a tutorial every week, as well as find time to make images and videos for my own pleasure. Most often my subscribers want a tutorial for any new video I post so they help a lot with deciding the subjects.

This tutorial introduces the Wave modifier and shows a way you can integrate a 2D photo into a 3D scene.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and the insight of the featured artist in this post.

A Guide To Preforming Better in Blender For Begginers

Blender
Blender Default Screen

You are sitting there looking at the Blender default screen wondering what to model. You look through some photos for inspiration and the discover you have no clue where to start. You begin to search for tutorials and you discover hours have past and you have rendered nothing and worst of all  tomorrow it will be some of the same as you have gained no experience. How am I ever going to do anything with Blender. Should I just quit. The short answer is no. Believe me Blender takes a long time to learn and added to that the fast development of the ever evolving software makes it ever important to stay in tuned to the changes coming through the development pipeline.

So don’t fret when your render results don’t look like the one’s in the tutorials.  It may not be entirely on you as some tutorials are not well done, skip some steps, and face it not very well explained. so be mind of the tutorial source as their experience level as advertised.

Remember the old saying you have to “crawl before you walk“. Well it is true. Instead of your first goal being to model an epic scene with Blender. It should to learn your way around. Knowing how to navigate through the software, and how to use the available tools are a must before you can create anything. Think of carpenter who has no clue what a hammer is for or a photographer who doesn’t know what a shutter is. To master a trade you must first master the tools.

computer
hardware

Hardware

The type of computer you have isn’t the most important aspect of using Blender but being able to optimize it for what you have.  I know for a fact that performance will vary  from machines and operating systems. The key is to make Blender first work well on your machine before investing a chunk of your hard earned money on the newest and latest systems. Here is an example if you can’t model a decent scene on what you have currently why spend 750 dollars on the Nvidia 780 ti. The only thing you’ll accomplish there is bad renders faster and now your poorer.

Now let’s jump into getting better. A good place to start is here  Blender Basics – Introduction for Beginners  

This six part course covers everything from downloading and installing to rendering with cycles. This series should give you the understanding to go and conquer Blender.   Andrew Price of Blenderguru.com gives his take on becoming a better artist in  this Blog entry  7 Simple, Practical Tips to Becoming a Better Artist   I am working on applying these to my own learning experience.

sea side
sea side

Imagine, visualize what you want to do,

Learn, get all the tools to bring the scene or project together.

Create,  make your project the best you can.

That is my motto for 2014 Learn, Imagine, and Create. Now go arm yourself with knowledge, put it into practice and help someone else.

Photo credit to Nick Ares

www.flickr.com/photos/aresauburnphotos/2487801979/

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007HCCNJU/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B007HCCNJU&linkCode=as2&tag=newart2000-20

Blender Cycles: Lighting and Rendering Cookbook

If you are new to blender or looking for an alternative learning tool, well here you are.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/178216460X/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=178216460X&linkCode=as2&tag=newart2000-2

Packt Publishing has released a book by Bernardo Iraci. The book titled “Blender Cycles: lighting and rendering cookbook.” covers creating materials and lighting setups for your cycles render. Inside you will find node setups for water, glass, and  some procedural texture setups that will come in handy for your projects. It is a learning aide that I believe no new or intermediate user should be without. As you learn the tricks revealed in this book your renders will show a improved level of quality.  This book will be  nice to have, to reference back when ever needed.

keys
SAMPLE RENDER OF PROJECT FILE

A plus to purchasing this neat little learning aid is the support files provided by Packt publishing. The blend files let you follow along with the book to put into practice each technique as it is being described for the reader. This frees you up to practice at your own speed and pace without the worry of missing something as with traditional tutorials.

On the down side this book starts off a little wordy and there are a few spelling errors,But if you take your time you will get pass that and actual begin to learn to use cycles more efficiently. Which after all is the overall goal of the book.

The book will be very helpful to new and advanced user alike. It goes though each lesson step by step and has photos of each node setup.  There is also a good list of other references provided inside.  I recommend this easy self paced learning tool to any blender user wanting to learn how to create better lighting and materials for their projects.

Click the book cover for a sample chapter

About the Author
Bernardo Iraci

Bernardo Iraci was born in Livorno, Italy in 1985. He followed a standard education career until he graduated in Economics in 2009. He always had a great passion for computers, especially gaming. During the latter part of his studies, he also developed a passion for 3D graphics, and this soon became the main focus of his career. It was at this time that he came to understand that his passion was the most important thing to pursue, more important than even attending a university.

Even though Bernardo later participated in various online courses teaching the different aspects of computer graphics, he has been largely self-taught. In 2010, he moved to Warsaw, Poland, where he was finally able to start working full-time in computer graphics as a 3D generalist in the field of movies VFX and advertisment. He also started work as a freelancer.

Bernardo constantly works to improve his skills and knowledge about computer graphics and thinks that this is the only way to keep pace with this field. When he is not busy with graphics, he likes to travel, watch movies, and play the guitar.