Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Blender

John Marine | 11:28 PM | | | |
The Blender Foundation created one of the single most powerful freeware modeling software dating back to 1995. Blender is capable of so much that novices up to professionals use Blender for modeling and movies. It has been a great alternative to 3D Studio Max, which can be quite expensive. Blender has also been quite challenging to grasp and understand for rookies. Even I can attest to not knowing the first thing to do when attempting to model something. Regardless, when you gain a general understanding of what all Blender has to offer, you will see that it is one of the single most powerful 3D modeling programs either free or commercial.

There are even tutorials online on how to use and utilize Blender 3D to your liking. For instance, I've seen a handful of videos on how to create various effects or enhance your modeling skills. I learned today about separating and merging models. If you know where to look, you can find some great tutorials. Some people do a great job teaching the ins and outs of Blender. Later in this blog post, I will share a few links you can visit to help enhance your skills in using Blender. This blog post is my "John's Creative Space" contribution to the amazing program known as Blender.

For more information on Blender, please visit Blender's official site. Even though the most recent version of Blender is Version 2.71, I am using Blender 2.69 for my own Blender work. That is the version for which I am basing my material on.





--- Blender Talking Points ---

Before I go into any detail discussing Blender, let me show you a demo reel provided by Blender to show what is possible with Blender (if you can not view embedded media, click on the link below the video to view in YouTube):


^ "Blender Demo Reel 2013"

Now for a few talking points on Blender. I won't explain everything, but I will attempt to give you a basic introduction to some of Blender's many functions. Read on...


Gaming With Blender.

You already read that Blender is a great modeling program. However, is that ALL it can do? No! Blender also has a suite designed for gaming. It is possible to make your own games from start to finish through a combination of modeling and coding with Blender 3D.


Animating With Blender.

While Blender won't exactly replace Sony Vegas (or whatever you consider a great video-making program), you can make animations and such with Blender. You can render animations after setting up various aspects of models.


Methods of Modeling.

The two main forms of rendering are with the Blender Render and the Cycles Render. The Cycles Render system can perform more complex and more impressive renders than the internal render provided by Blender. Some renders and render effects can be better accomplished with the Cycles Renderer than with the Blender Render. For example, you can make a beautiful and realistic render of a car through some rendering with the Cycles Render as opposed to the Blender Render. The Cycles Render even requires you to add some more material to scenes to make them impressive.


The Compositor.

More advanced effects require you to use Blender's awesome tool known as the Compositor. By connecting nodes and editing more options, you are able to come up with many kinds of unique effects and settings. I personally have no knowledge or experience with the Compositor except for trying to introduce myself to it.


Force Fields.

Blender won't make a shield to protect you from disaster, but you can use certain force fields to enact certain real-world features, such as wind simulation and soft body physics. These can be powerful in delivering nearly movie-quality effects for animations.


There are so many other things Blender is capable of. I'll leave it up to you to discover what all Blender has to offer and what you can actually take advantage of to make your own amazing works with Blender.



--- My Blender Experience and Ambitions ---

I hope to use Blender to try to create models and animations. On an incremental basis, I am learning various techniques as to how to use Blender. I have actually had Blender for a few years. Unfortunately, I never created anything special with Blender in my time, and it has been only recently that I decided to learn how to use Blender to make all sorts of unique effects and such. I do not intend on being any sort of professional with Blender. However, I do want to create items and assets that I can use and utilize to make all sorts of material. I may even elect to offer my assets to others through a service like TurboSquid.

Learning various editing and modeling elements were made possible through lots of YouTube video watching and even using Blender's site for manuals. Little by little, my confidence grew until I felt as if I could possibly and easily make material in Blender. There is still a lot for me to learn. However, I feel I am learning just enough to where I feel the least bit comfortable in designing material for Blender. For me, this is just the traditional baby steps before walking or running, so to speak. Again- this is the most confident I've ever felt in trying to make 3D models as well as learning to make other sorts of effects.

If I do make interesting material for you all, you will see it either in videos, maybe on some other sites (like deviantArt), or here on "John's Creative Space."



--- Blender Resources ---

If you want to enhance your skills using Blender, I have compiled this list of sites and YouTube videos for which you can visit for help in creating your own masterpieces with Blender. Have a visit to these links. If you want to suggest to me and my readers/visitors any Blender resources, please contact me online, and I will be sure to give your site a visit to see if it can benefit my readers and visitors. This section may be updated further to include more material, so check for updates.


Blender Resources: Sites.

For more information on Blender, please visit www.blender.org. Now, look at these sites for more detailed material that may help you:

Blender Cookie
Blender Artists - an online community for Blender artists


Blender Resources: YouTube.

Here are some recommended YouTube channels that provide some great YouTube insight on Blender. Many of these are channels I've visited whose videos have helped me to better understand Blender:

BornCG
ianscott888
VscorpianC
Sci Fi Animator
Andrew Price

WARNING: One important thing I want to note to you all... some of the tutorial videos offered by YouTube channels depend entirely on what version of Blender is being used. For example, a tutorial about how to make something in Blender could be with (for example) Blender 2.4x. If you have a version of Blender beyond the tutorial's version, you may need to consult other versions of Blender on how to make certain effects.


Other than that, these sites will help you get started in your Blender adventures.





I hope all of you can enjoy and use Blender to the fullest. Best of luck to you in creating any sort of masterpiece you put your mind and heart into. Model and create to your heart's content. Or if you're a gamer, use Blender to create that awesome game that people will enjoy. No matter what... use Blender and use it masterfully. Thank you for reading!

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