TUTORIAL: Using Cryptomattes in Blender!

animation, blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

And, no I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m really starting to like the compositor.

Don’t get me wrong, it ain’t no Nuke, Fusion or, perish the subscription fee, After Effects, but it’s pretty on the money for a lot of stuff.

And the cryptomatte node is awesome. Plain awesome. No scratch that, there’s nothing “plain” about cryptomattes.

And they’re a little difficult to get your head around when you try to use them for the first time, so here’s my explanation tutorial with a very basic scene – threw it together in a couple of hours so it’s nothing brilliant – showing how you implement it to change not only a mesh, but also a material.

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: Quick and simple Studio Lighting in Blender that looks Great!

animation, blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

…and it’s main shader, the Principled BSDF is really good at creating any base look, from metal to ceramics and glass then all the way to mud.

But bad lighting makes for bad looking renders. The best way to make your renders look good is to get as close to real world lighting as possible. It’s a fact. It’s why HDRI maps are so popular for lighting a scene. They’re already real. But, even though there are studio environment HDRI’s sometimes you want to simulate the lighting in a studio with what you have in Blender.

To do this you need to have a good idea about how a studio lights it’s scenes. So I thought I would show you the simple and efficient way to use Blender’s area lights to simulate a realistic lighting setup.

Studio lighting can start with a single light, which can be all you need for a beautiful portrait, to something huge and elaborate for a car shoot. A product shot, particularly of something like, say, a lamp or a food mixer, can be achieved with as little as three well placed and correctly powered lights.

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: Animating Displacements with Drivers

animation, blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

Turns out a lot of you love it to! Which is ace! And one of you lovely people, who has a channel called “Spittin’ Game” about a making a computer game from scratch, had a question about multiresolution putting multires information back onto a low res model.

Something normally done with texture maps and then they are animated in conjunction with shape keys so the shape change drives a wrinkle or a pore stretch etc.

Spittin’ – if I can call you that – said it might be easier to see what I meant. How perfect a push was that! So here is the tutorial on driving displacement maps in shaders using driven keys – I found a quick method for making these too! – from shape key controls. As usual, this is about method, not looks. I am not a character modeler, and any skills I had have been lost through the lack of using the muscle, so please forgive the model and appreciate the method.

Laters!

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: How to build a better Camera in Blender!

animation, blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

And before I loved blender I loved Maya. I still love Maya (shh, don’t tell anyone!)

But I hated it’s camera. So I made a better camera. And in order to teach you a little about drivers and properties, I’ve made you one in Blender. Here, I teach you here to do it for yourself, of course, and show some of the pitfalls, but I am also giving away the final camera FOR FREE here on gumroad:

https://gumroad.com/js/gumroad.js Buy my product

Please go get it and do some animation with it. Then do a playblast, eevee render or a cycles render and send it to me. I’d love to put it up here on the channel.

Laters!

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: Using the Lattice Modifier in Blender!

animation, blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

And sometimes it does things better than the competition, IMHO. The first time I tried to apply a lattice in Blender, I couldn’t work out how it worked at all. In every other piece of software I had used, you picked your polygon object and applied the deformer. The software worked it out.

Lattices in Blender are part of the modifier stack and, therefore, require connecting. I think there is an addon that does it automatically, but going through the motions is a good way to learn. one of those “Learn the rules to break them” situations.

Anyway, here is a simple guide top using lattices for animation and why they do more than the ones in, for example, Maya.

Sorry, Autodesk, yet again!

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: Learn The Skin Modifier in Blender

animation, blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…I’m getting predictable, aren’t I..? I know it. But I do. Plus the modifier stack is ace. Nothing new, there’s been one in 3DSMax since it was 3D Studio.

One of those modifiers is called the Skin Modifier. it’s a way of taking all on the edges of your model and forming a cage around them, at the same time turning off the underlying structure, so it’s good for cages, fences and all sorts of structures like that.

The thing is it wasn’t meant for that. It was meant for making more organic shapes, either for rigging automatically to make trees or brachiating structures that needed animating or, more importantly, for prototyping simple models quickly as a base on which to develop, so it has been amazing for making simple creatures that can be worked up in sculpt mode.

As you’ll see here, I am no means a sculptor. there are far better people out there who can each you about that.

But I can show the principles of how to start making a structure that you can sculpt later.

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 Screw Modifier in Blender

animation, blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

It rocks. Period. And when it comes to modelling I am finding more and more that I can do faster iterations of objects than in Maya.

With the modifier stack in play, I can duplicating and making a new version can be done in minutes. But what about the simple things? What about revolving a profile to make a solid object? Where is that function? I can’t see revolve? Or Lathe? Or anything that sounds like turn-me-around-to-make-a-solid…oh, Screw does that?

Yes, the Screw Modifier does exactly that. And more.

Screw thread? Yes! Animatable Spring? Yes! Watch this video to find out how.

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 – Multiresolution Modifier

animation, blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

But the one thing I know I need to spend more time on within it is Sculpting. It’s not my strongest point. However, even though a lot of people use it for sculpting, there is actually more you can do the the Multiresolution modifier than just “subdivide” and “Sculpt”

So a quick modifier One to One look over. 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.

Speedthru: Hovercar

blog, Resources, tutorials

I mentioned in the last video post that I love modeling. I do. So I thought I would set myself a speed challenge to build a 3D car in 3 hours. And I did it. Pretty Much. I did make it a bit easier for myself by removing the need for wheels, going down the hover car route, but that in and of itself brought up a couple of challenges.

Anyway, I sped up the recordings and, apart from a small section where I built the wing mirrors which was lost due to unforeseen recording naming issues, it’s all down here, from Default Cube to fully shaded.

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…ish – Follow Path

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I think, deep down inside, I am at my most happy when I am modelling. No, not me in a swimsuit and a pink boa walking up and down a catwalk to a line of adoring photographers. Although, that could be fun. Anyway…

No, I’m referring to modelling something in Maya or Blender. Sitting down at the computer, pulling around vertices, adjust the flow of a surface; getting a mesh ready for animation. The front part of this tutorial I zipped through thanks to the power of retiming in Resolve, I really wanted to go to town on. I was all about to turn on Multi-resolution, Sculpt in fins and stencil in scales, but that would be a whole other tutorial.

This, though, is about an animation step that requires a model that will need bending, and that is Follow Path. It’s a constraint, rather than a modifier, but by now, if you’ve been following along, you should be able to make a simple organism (fish here, not molecule) and then make it swim around using one command and a few options.

It also teaches you a little about shape keys in Blender too. Again, something that we will come back to and do more on in the future.

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.

It’s a very simple fish on a curve swimmin’ in a circle. Dinky!

Take care and stay safe.