TIPS: My personal Top 10 Blender Tips and Shortcuts!

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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!

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

TUTORIAL: Fspy and UVProject in Blender! – making photoreal scenes with little effort that look ace!

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I love Blender…

And I tell people a lot about how much it can do. Yet, People often think it doesn’t do the same sort of stuff that people can do in Maya and 3DSMax in regards to TV quality visuals.

A lot of visuals are faked by using real photographs. Guess what? Blender can do that too.

So on this tutorial, we talk about two things, Fspy and UVProject. Fspy is a free, open source software that creates a camera and it’s position from the vertical and horizontal planes in our picture and exports them into Blender via an addon that you get when you get the software. And UVProject is a modifier – see I’m still all about the modifiers – that makes the UV mapping for your shader correspond with the view from your camera.

Couple these two together, and you can quickly create scenes that would take forever to build and shade.

And Hollywood has been using this process for years to make environments seem real.

You can find out more about Fspy here:

https://fspy.io/

The photo used in this tutorial has come from unsplash

https://unsplash.com/photos/K5sjajgbTFw

And the person who photographed it is Nolan Issac:

https://unsplash.com/@nolanissac

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 and Tricks: Painting in Krita, Making Planks semi-procedurally and adding IES lights to Blender

animation, blog, Resources, tutorials

I love Blender…

I think I have made that pretty clear in the last 22 videos.

But I also love Krita, a free open source painting application that has some amazing tools in it. So today we’re starting with a very quick fix of Krita, where I show you how to use it to make a texture tile using the wrap-around feature and a clone brush. Like Photoshop, but the tools got there first in Krita!

You can download it at:

https://krita.org/en/

The photo we use in it is by Pandav Tank who supplies free photographs anyone can use at Unsplash.com. https://unsplash.com/@pandavtank

Unsplash is a free-to-use, attribution required website that allows photographers to get there photos out in the world so people can use them on projects for free. It’s superb.

https://unsplash.com/

Following this we load this into Blender and add it to the floor shader and go through the motions of making a plank shader procedurally, albeit with a texture to work with first.

Lastly we get to talk about IES lights. These are mathematical models of actual lights, giving accurate falloffs and light looks perfect for Archvis work.

For a massive amount of IES profiles, go to: https://ieslibrary.com/en/browse

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

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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.

One by One…ish – Edgesplit

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The modifier toolset in Blender is by no means the most exhaustive set of tools, but it’s not slacker either. It tops out at 53. Which is more than enough, really for most non destructive stuff jobs be they animation or modelling.

And in that pool of tools is Edgesplit. It, well, it splits the edges of polygon models so they no longer join together. Edge split splits edges; it unjoins them, if you will. Which is really, err, useful as a single, err, modif…no no I can’t do this. It’s useless on it’s own.

But coupled with a few more of its pals, it’s a veritable wonder of a tool. You can edge-split, decimate, displace and solidify an object to create some really considered graphical elements. It’s ace actually. But on it’s own, well, it’s a bit of a fixer-upper.

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.

planet shader tutorial

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!

animation, blog, Resources, tutorials

So, a while ago I added a post that I was going to put up a planet shader tutorial on the internet.

And it’s going live on Friday!

A while ago a comment came in about to the Planet Shader tutorial I did years ago in Maya, asking for a video tutorial as they found them easier to follow. Well, I “ummed” and “aahhed” about it, considered if I had enough time to do it again in Maya and then thought, you know, why not?

But I decided I was not going to do it in Maya. I decided I was going to do it, in Blender.

I go on about how good this software is all the time. I use it more and more for modelling, making provisional designs in, and then passing them up to Maya for finishing. So I thought, “I need to make more use of this and this is a great excuse.”

After doing my first pass of the video, I decided I could do a better job, so I did, then I tried again and the third time I went “Yes!”

So on this Friday at 12.00pm GMT the first of my Blender Tutorials is going live in my youTube channel “GEN VFX”

Here’s the splash screen for the video:

planet shader tutorial on GENVFX

And you’ll be able to find the tutorial by following this link:

And just to let you know, I’ll be posting a new tutorial each Friday from that point on until I run out of ideas so that should keep me going for about a hundred years.

Take care and speak to you soon.