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View Full Version : New-ish to Blender, here's a quick render



ConfusedCartman
04-04-2009, 05:17 PM
So I started using Blender a few weeks ago when my CAD teacher allowed me to pick any of the programs available on a software package the school had purchased. I've been learning out of The Essential Blender, and I've gotten pretty far for just starting. I've dipped my toes in lots of different features - sculpting, modeling, rigging, animation, UV mapping, etc - and while I'm OK at them all, I feel I excel in still renders. So, as a test, I made a vase on a wooden plane. It's nothing spectacular, but it allowed me to practice my lighting skills with different materials.

There's a weird black strip that runs along the side of the vase; from the angle in the render, you can't see most of it, but around the rim and base you can see the ends of it. I was more than halfway through the 4 hour render when I noticed it, and I didn't want to start over for something so insignificant, especially since this is just a demo of sorts. Anyway, below is a smaller version. If you click it, I've also got an HD version to download; however, the uploading site squashed the size to under 2MB, so it is not true HD anymore, but it still looks great.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d64/ConfusedCartman/Vase_Render.png (http://www.mediafire.com/?myumzdr0dgm)

RockSauron
04-04-2009, 05:22 PM
Hm... decent. better then I could do >_< But yeah, from what I can see, rawks :O

... I remember you saying you wanted to be a video game guy or something at the start of the school year? ... I would too0, but I'm too lazy >_< CURSE MY LAZINESS!

... Awesome though :O. I mean... yeah, awesome :D.

Hamsalad
04-04-2009, 05:45 PM
That's pretty cool. So educate me a little; did you make that completely from scratch using that program? How much of it did you have to do, did you get to just import images / textures ect. But have to create the models yourself and just slap a texture on?

I'm just pretty curious as to how it works. Looks good though

Yarbone
04-04-2009, 05:55 PM
I downloaded Blender once too ... looked waaay too complicated ... but yeah i was 12 >_>

anywayzzzzzz ..... Looks really good man :)

Zwollie
04-04-2009, 05:59 PM
Very cool, CC!!

I got as far as downloading blender and reading the index of The Essential Blender. :)
I should really start this up again.

ConfusedCartman
04-04-2009, 06:46 PM
That's pretty cool. So educate me a little; did you make that completely from scratch using that program? How much of it did you have to do, did you get to just import images / textures ect. But have to create the models yourself and just slap a texture on?

I'm just pretty curious as to how it works. Looks good though
I'll do a walkthrough of every step with pics:


First comes the modeling of the vase and the floor. The floor is a plane (it is 2 dimensional), so it just had to be large enough to extend past the view of the camera. The vase was extruded from a 2D circle and scaled at each step, to give a very crude vase shape (http://screencast.com/t/e8Ge6dcw).
From there, what's called a "subsurf" modifier (http://screencast.com/t/UYKpNZ7aJ) was added. Essentially, it smooths out rough edges by dividing surfaces into subsurfaces. The vase looks much better (http://screencast.com/t/lmngznq7) with about two to three levels of subsurf added, but it still looks rough.
There's also another option, called "SetSmooth" (http://screencast.com/t/npDXlBOaihV). It is an alternate method of rendering that simulates perfectly smooth curves without adding polygons. With that enabled, the vase looks great. (http://screencast.com/t/0Asd42NUxB)

Now, as you've noticed, I'm taking screenshots from Blender itself. There are no textures on the solids, just simple shading. The textures are there, they're just toggled off as they don't look very good in-window. The settings still affect the final render, even though it doesn't look the same.


Speaking of textures, let's move on. I'm using a repository of tile-able texture images for this, but that doesn't mean that it looks good once it's added. There's a ton of settings to mess with before it starts looking realistic (both in textures (http://screencast.com/t/Pngci2axN) and materials (http://screencast.com/t/ksZvEs4eM), which is a way to manage multiple textures), and that's before Normal maps come into play. For any given material, you can have up to 10 textures affecting it's appearance. For the vase, I have 2 simple textures - one for the design (http://screencast.com/t/kt8Fd6V6), and one for the bumps and scratches (http://screencast.com/t/Pngci2axN) in the vase. The second one uses Nor mapping (http://screencast.com/t/Prsf2mv7), which tells Blender to use it's RGB settings as little "hills and valleys" in the surface. It's almost isn't noticable, but it helps give a the vase a more grainy appearance. As for the wooden plane, I just gave it one wooden texture and made it look like polished wood; it wasn't the focus, so I didn't do anything complicated.
Finally and most importantly, lighting. Lighting is a make or break for renders, and you have to re-render over and over again to get anything good. For this, I used a Hemi light and an Area light (http://screencast.com/t/mEP4udPsWD). A Hemi light fills out the shadows, giving the impression of a bright room or being outside, but it does not cast shadows. The Area light provides the contrast and shadows for the image, while also adding specularity (http://screencast.com/t/XngpNXL9) to the vase itself. Finally, to make the scene look more realistic, I added Ambient Occlusion. (http://screencast.com/t/3EwqDQHT) Ambient Occlusion simulates light bouncing from object to object, taking things like materials and roughness into account. It allows the final render to show the effect of both direct lighting and the lighting that was scattered by the objects in the scene. It also allows you to configure how many times it calculates per pixel, also known as "levels". It results in a much better render. If you want to see how helpful AO is, use this render (http://screencast.com/t/xcGVrUsuNO) to compare; it uses the same render settings minus the 10 levels of Ambient Occlusion. It is also in a much lower resolution, but that doesn't affect lighting or other settings, just the actual size of the final render.

There's also a ton of other settings to fool around with, but that's the basics for this render. I'm going to do a liquid simulation later today, and I'll post that if it comes out good.

Gondito
04-04-2009, 07:18 PM
This is really Good Cartman, The textures on the vase are incredibly well done. I've fooled around in AutoCAD and Maya And Ive found I'm very good at creating gun models, but horrible at rendering, partly because my computer can't handle the detail I put in. Its sad because I have this model of an M4 I mad from scratch and I cant do anything pretty with it.

So my point is, would you like to maybe try prettying up my M4 with a nice render? I can get the file to you somehow :/

Im the Maya file could be imported to Blender.

ConfusedCartman
04-04-2009, 07:33 PM
This is really Good Cartman, The textures on the vase are incredibly well done. I've fooled around in AutoCAD and Maya And Ive found I'm very good at creating gun models, but horrible at rendering, partly because my computer can't handle the detail I put in. Its sad because I have this model of an M4 I mad from scratch and I cant do anything pretty with it.

So my point is, would you like to maybe try prettying up my M4 with a nice render? I can get the file to you somehow :/

Im the Maya file could be imported to Blender.
Sure. Host it on the web and I'll be glad to see what I can do.

Vanemiera
04-04-2009, 08:09 PM
There's a weird black strip that runs along the side of the vase; from the angle in the render, you can't see most of it, but around the rim and base you can see the ends of it. I was more than halfway through the 4 hour render when I noticed it, and I didn't want to start over for something so insignificant, especially since this is just a demo of sorts.


Hm. I also had this problem several times. I don't remember how exctly i solved it but here are some things you could try out:

1. remove doubles. perhaps that works

2. normalize outsides. sometimes the normals do something weird. recalculating them solves this stupid black lines. very common when i'm working.

Hamsalad
04-04-2009, 08:30 PM
I'll do a walkthrough of every step with pics:


First comes the modeling of the vase and the floor. The floor is a plane (it is 2 dimensional), so it just had to be large enough to extend past the view of the camera. The vase was extruded from a 2D circle and scaled at each step, to give a very crude vase shape (http://screencast.com/t/e8Ge6dcw).
From there, what's called a "subsurf" modifier (http://screencast.com/t/UYKpNZ7aJ) was added. Essentially, it smooths out rough edges by dividing surfaces into subsurfaces. The vase looks much better (http://screencast.com/t/lmngznq7) with about two to three levels of subsurf added, but it still looks rough.
There's also another option, called "SetSmooth" (http://screencast.com/t/npDXlBOaihV). It is an alternate method of rendering that simulates perfectly smooth curves without adding polygons. With that enabled, the vase looks great. (http://screencast.com/t/0Asd42NUxB)

Now, as you've noticed, I'm taking screenshots from Blender itself. There are no textures on the solids, just simple shading. The textures are there, they're just toggled off as they don't look very good in-window. The settings still affect the final render, even though it doesn't look the same.


Speaking of textures, let's move on. I'm using a repository of tile-able texture images for this, but that doesn't mean that it looks good once it's added. There's a ton of settings to mess with before it starts looking realistic (both in textures (http://screencast.com/t/Pngci2axN) and materials (http://screencast.com/t/ksZvEs4eM), which is a way to manage multiple textures), and that's before Normal maps come into play. For any given material, you can have up to 10 textures affecting it's appearance. For the vase, I have 2 simple textures - one for the design (http://screencast.com/t/kt8Fd6V6), and one for the bumps and scratches (http://screencast.com/t/Pngci2axN) in the vase. The second one uses Nor mapping (http://screencast.com/t/Prsf2mv7), which tells Blender to use it's RGB settings as little "hills and valleys" in the surface. It's almost isn't noticable, but it helps give a the vase a more grainy appearance. As for the wooden plane, I just gave it one wooden texture and made it look like polished wood; it wasn't the focus, so I didn't do anything complicated.
Finally and most importantly, lighting. Lighting is a make or break for renders, and you have to re-render over and over again to get anything good. For this, I used a Hemi light and an Area light (http://screencast.com/t/mEP4udPsWD). A Hemi light fills out the shadows, giving the impression of a bright room or being outside, but it does not cast shadows. The Area light provides the contrast and shadows for the image, while also adding specularity (http://screencast.com/t/XngpNXL9) to the vase itself. Finally, to make the scene look more realistic, I added Ambient Occlusion. (http://screencast.com/t/3EwqDQHT) Ambient Occlusion simulates light bouncing from object to object, taking things like materials and roughness into account. It allows the final render to show the effect of both direct lighting and the lighting that was scattered by the objects in the scene. It also allows you to configure how many times it calculates per pixel, also known as "levels". It results in a much better render. If you want to see how helpful AO is, use this render (http://screencast.com/t/xcGVrUsuNO) to compare; it uses the same render settings minus the 10 levels of Ambient Occlusion. It is also in a much lower resolution, but that doesn't affect lighting or other settings, just the actual size of the final render.

There's also a ton of other settings to fool around with, but that's the basics for this render. I'm going to do a liquid simulation later today, and I'll post that if it comes out good.

Thanks for giving such a good explanation. I would like to know more of the actual model building that you did with the vase. I know you said you kind of slowly built it up. Also I know you used the subsurface tool and the Smooth one. So instead of doing a few subsurfaces first can you just go straight into smooth? Or does it have to have a decent subsurfacing?

This looks awesome dude; is this how people make video games / pixar animations with stuff like this? Looks like there are so many different settings to alter, I would really like to mess with this program

ConfusedCartman
04-04-2009, 09:00 PM
Thanks for giving such a good explanation. I would like to know more of the actual model building that you did with the vase. I know you said you kind of slowly built it up. Also I know you used the subsurface tool and the Smooth one. So instead of doing a few subsurfaces first can you just go straight into smooth? Or does it have to have a decent subsurfacing?

This looks awesome dude; is this how people make video games / pixar animations with stuff like this? Looks like there are so many different settings to alter, I would really like to mess with this program
It depends on the object. It's best to subsurf 2 times for in-blender, and then 3-4 for the final render. SetSmooth should be on only if the object is going to be smooth; you wouldn't want it for something like a rough surface.

Anyway, yeah, you can use this program to make animations like Pixar does. Here's an animation (http://bit.ly/bigbuckbunny) made in Blender called Big Buck Bunny (HD is available).

olit123
04-04-2009, 09:21 PM
Woah, that's awesome CC, are you new to 3D art or just new to blender?

ConfusedCartman
04-04-2009, 09:33 PM
Woah, that's awesome CC, are you new to 3D art or just new to blender?
I'm new to 3D art in general. I've done other 3D work - SolidWorks, AutoCad, etc - but Blender is the first 3D modeling program I've used that's aimed toward the entertainment arts.

Alex™
04-04-2009, 11:42 PM
It depends on the object. It's best to subsurf 2 times for in-blender, and then 3-4 for the final render. SetSmooth should be on only if the object is going to be smooth; you wouldn't want it for something like a rough surface.

Anyway, yeah, you can use this program to make animations like Pixar does. Here's an animation (http://bit.ly/bigbuckbunny) made in Blender called Big Buck Bunny (HD is available).

wow... that video is... really really impressive... Now tell me: Blender or whatver it is called, how much and does it run on mac?

edit: completely forgot the point of this thread: that looks great CC, especially if you have only just started, i can't wait to see what you will come up with in the future =]

ConfusedCartman
04-05-2009, 12:27 AM
wow... that video is... really really impressive... Now tell me: Blender or whatver it is called, how much and does it run on mac?

edit: completely forgot the point of this thread: that looks great CC, especially if you have only just started, i can't wait to see what you will come up with in the future =]
Blender is open source, meaning it's completely free to download and modify, source code and all. There is a Mac version - head to the Download page (http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/) and scroll down to the Mac section.

Alex™
04-05-2009, 07:41 AM
Thanks CC... now i need to work out what to do.... I have a square thing and 2 arrors on the page... *confusion* lol

alexbull_uk
04-05-2009, 09:35 PM
Awesome!

Looks really smooth. I like that, lol :)