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This course provides an overview of modeling, animating, and rendering 3D graphics in the open-source software Blender 2.6. Beginning with a tour of the Blender interface, author George Maestri shows how to create and edit basic objects, work with modifiers and subdivision surfaces, and apply materials and textures. The course also demonstrates lighting 3D scenes, setting up and using cameras, animating objects, and assembling basic character rigs.
Once you've modeled an object, the next step is to add some color and shading to that object. We can do this using Blender's materials. So in this lesson, we're going to go through some of the basics of materials and how to apply them to your objects. So in this scene I have a simple sphere and a cylinder. So let's go ahead and start off with the sphere. I am going to right-click on it and go over here to the Properties panel. Now materials are applied and managed under this panel here.
It has a little circle here, and it looks like a sphere. And in this case, we have no materials in the scene, so nothing shows up. It's kind of blank. If we want, we can add in a material. If there are materials in the scene, you will find them here. And obviously, we don't have one, so we're going to have to create a new one. So I am going to hit on this plus sign here for New and all of a sudden the interface lights up. We have a material here up on our slot, and we can have multiple materials per object, and we'll get to that in just a little bit.
Then each material has a name. So when you start creating materials, it's always a good idea to have somewhat descriptive names. In this case, I am actually going to do something a little bit generic and I am going to call this Color_A. So we're just going to create a color. And under here we have some options for the material. One is to create it as a surface, which is, 9 times out of 10, what we'll be doing. But we also have options to create the material as a wireframe; a volume, which is kind of for special effects; or a halo, and notice how it changes in the viewport as well.
But I am going to go ahead and click on surface and keep it there. Now below this, we have a preview, and we can preview just the color. We can preview it on an object such as a sphere, a cube, the monkey, or we can look at it as strands or as a volume. Well, I am going to go ahead and keep it on a sphere. And then below this, we have a bunch of other options. We have Diffuse, which is the main color of the object; Specular, which is the highlights; how it shades; transparency; Mirror, which is reflecting; Subsurface Scattering, which just kind of gives you a translucent effect, strands for hairs those sorts of things; and a number of other options such as how it shadows, and so on.
Right now, we are just going to stick to some of the basics. All we're going to do is change the color of this. So I am going to click on the Diffuse option here, and when I do, you can see a color picker comes up. Now you're probably familiar with color pickers if you've used any other type of graphic software, but let's go through some of the basics. We have as our first picker an RGB slider here, and so you can slide your R, your G, or your B. And notice how these go from 0 to 1. Some packages go to 255; these go to 0 to 1, but they pretty much work the same regardless.
We also have a spectrum here, so we can change the color however we want. We have another way of picking which is Hue, Saturation, and Value. So obviously, we can change the Hue here, Saturation, and Value, which is light and dark. If we want, we can also do Hex. So, if you have a hex number for the color, you can just type that in. Or you could also eyedropper any color in the scene. So I am just going to go ahead and create kind of a nice cool color, like maybe a blue or a green or something like that, and then just click off of this.
Once we've put a color in that Diffuse channel, notice how our preview shows up, and also notice how the object itself reflects that color. So color is applied to this object and so now we can kind of see that in the viewport. Now, the color is not applied to the second object because it doesn't have any materials applied. So let's go ahead and take a look at that. We're going to go ahead and right-click on the cylinder. And again, we can add in either a new material or we can choose an existing one.
In this case, we actually do have an existing material. We have Color_A, which if we want, we can apply it. But let's go ahead and create a new material for this. So I am going to go ahead and click on that New button again. And in this case, we're going to have another material called Color_B. And let's just go straight to the Diffuse color picker, and I'm going to go ahead and just make a kind of a reddish color. So now we have two colors here. If I want, I can now change the color of the object.
So if I want to change this cylinder from Color_A to Color_B, all I have to do is just click here and now I actually have some menu options. So if I want to, I can change it to Color_ A or click again and change it to Color_B. So that's one way of adding color to an object. Now, if you want, we can also add multiple colors to an object as well. So if I click on my sphere, right now I only have one color in here. I have just one slot for color.
And if I want, I could do the same thing I just did. I can add Color_B, which then just replaces this, or Color_A. But if I want, I can create another slot for another material. So all I have to do is hit the plus sign here and it creates a whole new place to create a material. So if want, I can either select an existing material or select New and create another color. So let's go ahead and create one more color here. So now I have another material.
We can call it Color_C. So now I have Color_A and Color_B available to this sphere. But, as you can see, it's only using that first color, Color_A. If I want to apply that second color then I need to tell it where to assign that, and we can do this in Edit mode. So I am going to hit Tab, go into Edit mode, and then hit the A key to deselect everything. And then let's go in to Face mode. I am also going to go into X-ray mode here, and then just Lasso+Select that top part of the sphere.
So you can see, I have selected a bunch of faces here. Now, once I have those selected, I can then assign them to a color. Notice how once I went into Edit mode, this additional set of buttons came up. So if I want, I can assign that color to those faces. If I deselect here, you can see now my sphere has two different colors. Now, what's really cool is I can also select by material.
So if I want, I can create a material just to select things with. So if I want, I can select those faces or deselect them, and I can also assign. So let's do this one more time. Let's go ahead and hit plus. We're going to create one more slot. And in this case, we're going to choose Color_B. So now I have three colors available, but only two of those were assigned. So let's go ahead and do a Lasso+Select of the bottom of the sphere, and now I am going to select Color_B and assign it.
So now I have three colors on here. I have A, B, and C. So now when I go back out in Object mode, you can see how it's assigned. So those are some of the basics of materials. Now, we can assign materials to the entire object, or we can have multiple materials assigned to individual faces within the object.
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