Tutorial: Ancient Hilltop Part 3 – Comping in DaVinci Resolve’s Fusion! Let’s make CGI look great!

blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender… …but I also love Resolve! Thank you DaVinci for keeping one of the world’s best compositing softwares – still used on TV and Film – alive and shoe-horning it into Resolve. Really. Not a hint of sarcasm, this is ultimately the best thing you ever did, DaVinci.

(Not a sponsor…yet!)

Anyhoo, here we are, all our scene animated, rendered and ready to make look like something, we are delving into the compositing world inside of Resolve.

In this tutorial you will see how to create a fusion clip, import footage whilst in Fusion, add colour corrections, extract AOVs from your EXRs and add them back over your shot to make it more sassy! Yes, Blurring emission passes to make glows? Heck, yeah!

Take a look at the video below to find out more. Better still, subscribe to the channel and you’ll see a new one of these every week. Sometimes a “One by One” where we talk about what each part of blender does – at the moment we are concentrating on modifiers – other times tutorials on specific things or quick tips to make your life easier.

You want to see something not here? Then let me know in the comments. I’m always keen to help out where I can.

Take care and stay safe.

TUTORIAL – Ancient Hilltop Part 2 – Making quick standing stones that look pretty good!

blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender… ..and, thankfully, it’s allowing me to do the second part of the hilltop Tutorial.

Last week we created the wavy grass, today we’re taking a simple box and messing about with it, adding and removing polygons to get something more organic than the default cube.

It’s got a little of something for everyone, this one. I even stop talking at one point! Me!

Even I didn’t think that was possible!

Take a look at the video below to find out more. Better still, subscribe to the channel and you’ll see a new one of these every week. Sometimes a “One by One” where we talk about what each part of blender does – at the moment we are concentrating on modifiers – other times tutorials on specific things or quick tips to make your life easier.

You want to see something not here? Then let me know in the comments. I’m always keen to help out where I can.

Take care and stay safe.

TUTORIAL – Ancient Hilltop – Part 1 – Blowing grass using Blender particle system!

blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

I loathe Blender… ha, got you there! No, I love it!

It’s particle system, however, could do with something of an overhaul. It’s not bad, what with the “boids” system for flocking and the ability to use it for hair which, incidentally, can then be styled.

The one thing I do like is that with the hair system, you can create fairly realistic looking grass. Especially, my favourite type of grass, the kind that blows in the wind. That ripple in the sunlight, like a sea, waves dancing over the surface of the ground just looks magical. Can’t get enough of it. It really reaches into my magic loving, fantasy adopting side.

So I decided to create a 3 part tutorial, covering the creation of a grassy patch of grass, followed by the creation of standing stones, including a displacement shader that makes them appear more than just stone – almost overgrown stones, if you like – and finished with a quick comp in Fusion within Resolve.

This is the part one – the flowing grass. I hope you like it.

Take a look at the video below to find out more. Better still, subscribe to the channel and you’ll see a new one of these every week. Sometimes a “One by One” where we talk about what each part of blender does – at the moment we are concentrating on modifiers – other times tutorials on specific things or quick tips to make your life easier.

You want to see something not here? Then let me know in the comments. I’m always keen to help out where I can.

Take care and stay safe.

ONE BY ONE: The Shrinkwrap Modifier in Blender 2.93 for retopology or surface based geometry.

blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

Yes, I know, broken record, but I do. And some of the things that have been part of it for ages have most recently been adopted by major production software.

Shrinkwrap in Maya is relatively new, but where did it get the idea from? I wonder…

Anyway, here is a short tutorial about using Shrinkwrap in Blender 2.93 to create surface geometry, such as clothing, belts, etc. as well as a slightly more in depth look at what everything does in it. Slightly more. Stay safe, peeps!

Take a look at the video below to find out more. Better still, subscribe to the channel and you’ll see a new one of these every week. Sometimes a “One by One” where we talk about what each part of blender does – at the moment we are concentrating on modifiers – other times tutorials on specific things or quick tips to make your life easier.

You want to see something not here? Then let me know in the comments. I’m always keen to help out where I can.

Take care and stay safe.

ONE BY ONE: Modifiers. Today it’s how to use the HOOK modifier in Blender!

blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

Did I mention that before? Well, it’s because I’m “hooked” on it. Hooked! Geddit!!

(Rufio! Rufio!)

Anyway, I am hooked on Blender and one of the reasons is it’s none destructive workflow that you can achieve using Modifiers.

Hooks are a big part of this, if you want to, say, add a deforming patch with falloff to a surface that you might want to edit later, or if you want to add an animating lump into a shape, or if you want to control the control points of a curve so it can be animated.

Talking of animation, you can also use them animate pin groups on soft bodies, allowing you to create capes that you can target to a character, or ropes, or even the end of a belt.

Hooks are really good. Especially if you are a one-handed Pirate.

Smee?! Smee?! I think I can hear a ticking clock! To the boats!

Take a look at the video below to find out more. Better still, subscribe to the channel and you’ll see a new one of these every week. Sometimes a “One by One” where we talk about what each part of blender does – at the moment we are concentrating on modifiers – other times tutorials on specific things or quick tips to make your life easier.

You want to see something not here? Then let me know in the comments. I’m always keen to help out where I can.

Take care and stay safe.

TIPS: My personal Top 10 Blender Tips and Shortcuts!

blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

And, I’ll be honest I really love a Top 10. Top 10 facts, Top 10 songs, Top 10 Movie quotes. They are right up my street. Love ‘em!

However, I have been avoiding doing a Top 10 of anything as I don’t want people who watch this to think I’ve “sold out” to youTube.

However, I did realise that sometimes I rush through what I’m doing and don’t properly explain how I’m building X or animating Y and so today I wanted to make a video of my favourite tools.

It just so happened I got to 10.

So here are my favourite tips, shortcuts and tools that make my modeling experience in Blender so much more fun.

Here is a simple tutorial to explain the use of it, without making it part of a much bigger thing. Nice and simple. Hope you like it.

Take a look at the video below to find out more. Better still, subscribe to the channel and you’ll see a new one of these every week. Sometimes a “One by One” where we talk about what each part of blender does – at the moment we are concentrating on modifiers – other times tutorials on specific things or quick tips to make your life easier.

You want to see something not here? Then let me know in the comments. I’m always keen to help out where I can.

Take care and stay safe.

ONE BY ONE: The vertexWeightProximity Modifier! Unsurprisingly, it’s good. Really good!

blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

And I love it’s Modifiers. Yes, it’s another One By One.

Being able to deform the shape of something its quite important when it comes to animation. The most simple rig uses deformers to simulate bending, twisting and volume changes and these are all accomplished with deformers. Some of the best facial rigging comes from a conjunction between bones, shape keys and deformers.

But using them can be a little daunting. Addressing them on a “One by One” basis makes it easier to get to grips with them.

VertexWeightProximity is a prime example of one of these modifiers.

You can create a vertex group which performs a shape change and then drive it’s power with an empty. Close to the skin, deformation, further away no deformation.

Here is a simple tutorial to explain the use of it, without making it part of a much bigger thing. Nice and simple. Hope you like it.

Take a look at the video below to find out more. Better still, subscribe to the channel and you’ll see a new one of these every week. Sometimes a “One by One” where we talk about what each part of blender does – at the moment we are concentrating on modifiers – other times tutorials on specific things or quick tips to make your life easier.

You want to see something not here? Then let me know in the comments. I’m always keen to help out where I can.

Take care and stay safe.

GENVFX youTube channel update.

blog

It’s been a fantastic 7 months.

Since deciding in the October of 2020 to create a youTube channel teaching people about Blender and open source software, I am 29 videos in, most of which are getting multiple hits now, I have 56 followers, which is a pretty good start from my perspective as I assumed I’d be lucky to get three and I am also making a podcast with a friend all about Education in Colleges and Universities and how good it is (or isn’t) around the UK for people trying to get into the VFX and games Industries.

I’m busier than I have ever been because at the same time as doing this I am still managing to hold down a full-time job with a wonderful firm, Space Digital in Manchester – although we are all remote for the time being – (www.wearespace.com) and have a family and life to fit in around all this as well.

But, do you know what? I consider myself more blessed now than ever before. However, at the start I didn’t feel that way.

I made the first video and felt drained. The recording did not take too long, but the editing did. Plus the additional things that made up the edit such as the titles and the end roll and the body and the title itself all seemed to take an age.

It was a bit long, to tell the truth, and it had a lot of content – probably too much looking back at it, I could have made it into 4 videos had I thought about it, rather than 1.

Then the next week I did another one but now a lot of the hard stuff was done from the first one, plus I found it quicker to do the edit, as I made less errors. Second time round I had been more aware of what I should and shouldn’t do.

By the six one, I found myself having fun with it, joking around and then deciding to leave some of the less irritating jokes in. I started to feel the rhythm as I cleaned the sound, pulling elements from the old ones for the start and finish as well as refining some of the titling methods.

29 videos later and here we are. I wouldn’t say I’m a well oiled machine at this, but I do feel that the engine’s not stalling as much. One a week for 29 weeks. Occasionally I miss my Friday noon deadline as work can get in the way and to be frank that does come first after the needs of my family. But 29! A total watch time of my stuff is now 95.7 hours!

It seems that hard work suits me, more so than I thought it would.

And after some consideration I realised this:

If you really want to do something, you can do it. Don’t over think whether you should do something; that way leads to mental walls and paranoia. If you want to write, get to the keyboard or grab a pen and write. If you want to paint, grab the brush, watercolours and a canvas and paint something. And then do it again. And again. And again, until it does not feel like an attempt, a difficult thing to attain, but becomes a part of who you are. Something that expresses who you are, that expands on the person you want to be, that is not only achievable but achieved.

I am now considering the content for number 30. And for 31 as well – good to be ahead of myself.

So, if you have something that you feel should be a part of your life, be it walking, or running, or singing, or dancing, or writing or blogging or indeed anything that is mentally and physically good for you, stop thinking about it and try it. If you hate it, you can stop, but if you enjoy it, if you feel enriched by it, then do it more.

Stop thinking, more doing.

Trust me, it’s worth it.

ONE BY ONE: Shading using the Geometry Input Node Random Per Island in Blender!

blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

But I didn’t use it for ages.

I used Maya then Modo and Maya, then Maya on it’s own then Blender!

For a while there were things in Modo and Maya that were not in Blender. They’re all good for certain things, but there was an option in Modo that I loved which used a gradient to add a level of difference between each separate island of geometry that had it.

It used the object’s individual ID of each object to pull a value from the gradient, making each item with the same shader slightly different. A few releases back Random Per Island was added to the Geometry Input Node that allows us to do exactly that.

Please watch the vid and you can see some of its wonderful uses.

Take a look at the video below to find out more. Better still, subscribe to the channel and you’ll see a new one of these every week. Sometimes a “One by One” where we talk about what each part of blender does – at the moment we are concentrating on modifiers – other times tutorials on specific things or quick tips to make your life easier.

You want to see something not here? Then let me know in the comments. I’m always keen to help out where I can.

Take care and stay safe.

TUTORIAL – Baking out UVProject into a UVMap in Blender!

blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

But sometimes they way it does things leads a little to the imagination.

Take converting a UV projection to a UVMap, it should be a one, maybe two click operation.

It’s not.

You need to create a UVMap for your object and then another for the original projection and then you have to make sure that the Projection UV is active, but you have to have the UVMap selected as well… It’s overly complex.

But, once you know it, it’s quick to achieve.

On occasion, this rambling 14 minutes sounds a bit off, but watch along and you’ll get the idea! Take care and speak to you soon!

Take a look at the video below to find out more. Better still, subscribe to the channel and you’ll see a new one of these every week. Sometimes a “One by One” where we talk about what each part of blender does – at the moment we are concentrating on modifiers – other times tutorials on specific things or quick tips to make your life easier.

You want to see something not here? Then let me know in the comments. I’m always keen to help out where I can.

Take care and stay safe.