As I’ve been learning Blender and the art of 3d Modeling (and by extension, animation using the models I’m building), some have wondered what (if anything) the master plan is. I have to admit that I don’t really have a really good answer for that. I originally started out with the goal of learning how to create an animate a small character or object that I could insert into my more traditional videos.
However, I think I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole! Every time I learn something new in Blender, the possibilities of what can be built/done with these tools stretch out a little further – and all of these other, bigger ideas come flooding into my head.
Without really giving anything away, here’s a render of an model that I roughed together later in the day yesterday…
I still have to work out some of the hair details to become more efficient (the render times on this frame with “particle hair” added and the samples turned up to 512 was around 8 minutes). I have a few ideas of how to speed up my renders but have to learn a bit more yet… But it’s a start.
I also was working on this model the other day. It started out as a picture of a pinching beetle that had landed on my RV window while I was at the Holloway Bar Place Mine and turned into this:
I rendered this out to a transparent background – and even rendered a 250 frame animation to try out a few things, but haven’t figured out how to render a short video in Vegas with a transparent background rather than my usual compositing methods, so I have to learn a bit more about the video editing end of things. It’s actually pretty amazing to think that this stuff can be cranked out in the basement rather than some big animation studio! This is an interesting time to be learning all of this stuff…
I also built this “island in the sky” that I call “floater”. Not sure how this ties into my big ideas but it was a fun exercise.
Every time I do one of these, I learn something! That’s what it’s all about…
I made a timelapse of the past few days at Lakelse Lake, as the winter ice was leaving the lake. Images were taken every 10 minutes from three cameras, which were combined in a panoramic timelapse of the process.
I had an idea to use a Northern Lights time-lapse segment from a whole-sky camera as a moving background/sky – so cranked out this short video to try it out:
It seemed to work fine – and will probably show up in other work (after a bunch of tweaking). Since I have probably more images that could be made into timelapses than anyone else anywhere (probably between 15 and 20 million) this concept and its derivations could be handy…
For those Blender people out there, this was created by importing an “image as a plane” in Blender with a short AVI file for the media file, and then subdividing the plane a bunch of times and reshaping it into a dome. Lighting and camera placement was a little tricky but that’s all part of the learning process.
Well, I added a pretty sad looking bush, turned up a few of the settings (samples and resolution mainly) and rendered out this image:
(click on the image to view full size)
So, now I’m on to the next section – a gothic castle of some sort – so buildings should be interesting! I’m hoping we get more into texture mapping and things like that.
I’m actually starting to feel a bit “conversant” with this software – although I’m still only scratching the surface. But I am having a great deal of fun doing this! It’s a great way to spend the first part of my retirement and excited to see what I will be able to build with this new “toolkit”.
On-screen render. The model is only partially done – no materials or textures applied yet, still have to do interior, undercarriage, and tons of tweaking to match my reference images. This took a couple of hours to get this far on the second attempt to model this.
I hit the mid-point of my Blender course so thought I’d take a step back and press some of my “knowledge” into action. To that end, I drafted out a one-page diagram of what I wanted to do and set out to do it – finish a model “just good enough”, build a basic low-poly landscape (with a mountain and a road), and animate the model and camera. The 180 frame render took about 2.5 hours to finish; I then imported the frames into Vegas and rendered out the animation. Here’s the result…