Breakfast made in Blender 2.5
I am still trying to get that look..that look.
Sometimes i don’t have the patience to set up blueprints for something i want to model, like in this case.
So i just modeled it freestyle, didn’t turn out bad!
Materials and Textures Cookbook
Colin Litser began his passion for animation, and things 3D, after studying for an Art degree with 3D in its title. He is currently a contributing editor to Essential Blender.
This book is 291 pages, 9-chapter tutorial. A tutorial cutting across through levels of animation, modeling, special effects, painting, modifying image textures and a whole lot more.
The book covers the creation of several things in chapters.
Chapter 1. Natural Materials
Natural materials like rocks. It seems quite simple doesn’t it? It goes on to teach you how to texture the rock using nodes.
For somebody new but relatively familiar with Blender, this book is for you! For each chapter, the tutorials start with simple objects moving on to a bit more complex objects.
Chapter 2. Man-made Materials
Really impressive. Being one of the most used textures or materials, learning how to make those textures is pretty important.
Colin has created different tutorials in this chapter but all of them are related and lead to one thing in the end. It’s like making different parts of something then to realize they were parts of the same thing after everything is done. In this case, a roof. A copper plated rusty roof that emphasizes age, tileable, weathering effect and what not.
It’s pretty awesome, I was getting excited myself while going through thinking I can actually achieve something that has been bugging me for a while.
What we basically get to learn here is:
- Warping a texture to disguise seams in a repeated texture.
- Combining material using nodes.
- Creating realistic copper material.
- Adding oxidization weathering to our copper material.
That and among others, you’ll get to know once you get the book.
3 is all about animation baby! Animating materials. That was new to me too, I wondered if it was possible and it is!
What’s covered in this chapter is:
- How to move texture and create animation without moving mesh.
-This can be done in a couple of ways one of them being:
Using coordinates to move texture over time.
Very interesting stuff, and once you know all that think of what you can do!
One more thing , Colin explains how to animate transparency in texture e.g. to represent a burning sheet of paper.
For you to begin creating you first need to know how to manage a Blender scene, materials.
- Setting an ideal Blender interface.
- Setting up a scene for materials creation
- Naming materials and textures
What got me excited was appending materials.
This means using materials and textures in other
Blend files. Reusing them to save on time and money of recreating them again
Blender gives you the tools to make this possible.
While appending has its advantages, sometimes we may have to work with proxy objects and materials in production. In this situation, it’s vital to have linked materials. This helps because a link is retained to all multiple blend files. Once something is changed in the source file, that it’s updated in all other multiple blend files, and that saves you time.
I learned something new as well. Packing of files, what is called archiving in 3dmax.Something that enable’s you to pack textures and materials into one file and be able to move and work with the same from a different machine.
Explores further man-made materials but gets a bit more complex. For example, Colin shows us:
-How to create rust iron-based materials.
-Varying raytracing reflections to simulate dirt and grime.
Like 5, 6 explores more complex material creation but more natural than man-made like:
- -creating a wave surface using textures (imagine that)
- -Creating imagine and bump maps with alpha channels.
Forget creating in this chapter, this chapter is all about UV Mapping and subsurface scattering.
Here we explore mapping textures directly on the faces of the mesh. An area where this is expressively used is the simulation of skin, from the leathery exterior of a dinosaur to the ultimate nirvana of the human head.
Through this chapter we work through common UV problems and their solutions in Blender.
- You learn how to create a face map from a photograph
- Learning how to extract color, bump and specularity.
- Applying UVs to create an accurate skin material
This book is all about accuracy in complexity.
Painting & Modifying Image Textures in Blender
- In this chapter we will cover:-
- Post processing rendered images from within Blender (ocean animation)
- Adding several materials to a surface.
- Adding dirt to a model &
- Creating an aged photo with simple Blender materials
We learn ways to speed up renders and animations by using special painting techniques to significantly lower render times.
All these could save you time as well as minimize the agony to tight timescales.
Chapter 9 is all about special effects. Some of the things we learn here are:
Creating smoke in blender
Adding complex FX without the render overhead.
Knowing special effects is a very crucial skill in 3d and digital media as a whole. It plays a big role in this industry and has propelled Blender to the forefront.
The difference between smoke and fire and explosions is all about textures and knowing how to even switch between those materials, knowing this will put you on top.
Bottom line, this book is crucial link between the not so beginners and the ones well versed in Blender. Each chapter as I said earlier has been broken down into tutorials that all add up to one thing.
It has important information on crucial aspects of 3d like UV Mapping and special effects.
In my opinion, a must read. I only wish it had more recipes!!
The book has 217 pages in 9 chapters.
This chapter covers an introduction to color and lighting basics.
For you to understand lighting and how to achieve it realistically you need to understand the basics of color and how they relate to each other.
From there we get to learn the different light s in blender then how to set up a lighting rig. There are of three types:
♣ 1 point light rig
♣ 2 point light rig
♣ 3 point light rig.
After understanding that, he now sets up a scene.
Chapter 2 is now about setting up different lighting scenes depending on the environment like outdoor scenes.
When lighting up a scene, there are things that must be taken into consideration before going ahead and just lighting up a scene. For example, if it’s an indoor scene than an outdoor scene.
For better understanding of what is being described, Aaron provides files to be used as practical examples hence better understanding.
Ambient light-its light reflected off of surfaces, that’s light not attributed to any specific light source.
In Blender 2.5, we have 3 ambient lighting features:
♣ Ambient Occlusion
♣ Environment Lighting
♣ Indirect Lighting
He further gets to explore and learn how to activate the different features of lighting, understanding how each feature affects a scene, how to customize each of the features for a particular scene and also how to use one rendering algorithm over the other.
After this you would be really pleased with yourself!
Adding light to a scene is only half the battle, we also have to learn and know how to add material to achieve a particular feel.
Chapter 4 goes about breaking down the process of applying material to an object. Blender 2.5 has four material types having 2 new ones in this version not available in the previous ones.
This can be very useful and saves you a lot of time. Surface mesh is the typical mesh we get normally when creating an object. Wire renders out meshes in wire frame.
The newly added ones volume, which creates a volumetric fog effect and halo which enables mesh to emit light and glow.
It covers all aspects of a material from diffuse and specular properties and shader models.
We are taken through the functions of the each feature available to meshes when adding materials and as always there we have experimental files to download and work with.
Chapter 5 explores indoor lighting. The previous chapter was about applying materials to an object depending on the scene/environment and the lighting to be used.
For this chapter we have been given a project file of an indoor scene to use in this chapter.
First, Layers. Using layers to enhance our render. To be able to light an object more than the rest. We explore this feature in this chapter. Apart from learning how to organize layers to achieve maximum render. This chapter is also about lighting an interior scene. What lights to use, how to place them and adding of ambient light.
A pretty good experience.
It was hard at first for me to actually get to start learning UV mapping. I found it tedious ,hard to understand and wondering if the effort is worth it.
But, it is. Normally when I take a look at a complex render scene. I get amazed and impressed by the detail of modeling, lighting and texturing. Which means the effort is well worth it.
Continuing with the scene from the previous chapter, we map a bottle. Unwrapping and applying custom made labels at specific parts of the bottle using Gimp to create the texture..
By the end of it all, we should have a pretty good idea of how to go about UV mapping.
Chapter 7 is a continuation in the texturing of the whole scene.
But we also get to learn about nodes and using them to create materials. In this case, glass material.
Combining Indoor and Outdoor Lighting techniques
It’s not always that we use the same lighting techniques; sometimes we combine them to achieve another level of realism.
It’s called Hybrid Lighting.
It was pretty exciting reading through it and learning a few tricks about lighting a scene freestyle. Which is probably how we start out anyway but at least now we do it with more knowledge about lighting, material and textures.
Hybrid Lighting: Materials and Textures
This chapter is continuation of building an indoor scene. We started out with light and in this chapter we continue with materials and texture side by side with reference image as a guide.