Rigging (aka adding bones)

I spent yesterday rigging my moose.  Once the rig (think of it like connected bones) is joined to the mesh that the makes the body of the moose, the bones can be moved and animated – and as the body now follows along, the moose can come to life…

I started working on a walk cycle but ran into a few troubles with my reference images but it’s a great start!  I thought I’d be a little further along after yesterday but this stuff all takes at least twice as long as I think and multiple attempt to get it right.  Thank goodness I have worked saving multiple iterations of the files into my workflow as I can always go back a couple of steps and try again (and I usually have to)!

Birds…

I have a raven on the go as well – but the wings/feathers are a little problematic…

Once these models are roughed out, they still need to be rigged for animation (tricky process as I’m still sorting this stuff out)…

Painted Otter

I put some colour on the Otter and made a 500 frame animation (just under 20 seconds) using a slightly different picture technique for the background (three layers).  Here’s a single frame as an example:

I discovered a couple of problems with the animation (mainly to do with shadows) but may or may not fix them as I’m just trying stuff out.

Happy Easter!

I used the Fluffy Bunny from the course and a couple of trees I created in Blender for other projects/ideas in my “Happy Easter” wish for 2017:

I had no idea when I started this Blender process that it could be used for still images as well as the animations that (are still) my main goal…

Happy Easter, everyone!!!

The Big Idea… (or is it?)

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…

Fluffy Bunny project is done!

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”.