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Blender is a powerful open-source tool for 2D and 3D graphics, full-on animation, compositing, and post-production. It is used to create movies and special effects, even in HD. In Blender Essential Training, Roger Wickes offers new Blender users a thorough explanation of its interface, tools, and features. He also demonstrates practical techniques and shows how to access the online and openndash;content resources of this amazing tool. Specific 3D techniques covered include navigating in 3D space, using cameras and lights, and rendering. Roger demonstrates how to rig, animate, and composite a character over live action. Exercise files accompany the course.
This chapter is on lighting. Lighting is one of the most critical aspects of CG bringing realism to the scene as well as being able to see anything when the camera actually tries to do a render. So let's select the Material Context in the Buttons window here, right-click on the Mesh and then over in the Buttons window select a New Material. Now we can mark this material Shadeless, but means that this material does not need any light in order to be rendered. And if I press F12 now, you can see I get a very flat shadeless material that isn't an exact color.
Even if I didn't have any other lights in the scene, everything else would be black except for Captain Knowledge. But if a material is not shadeless, it means it's going to react to the light that is in the scene and the color that you see is a result of the color of the material plus the color and the texture of the lights that are shining on it. Now the material for a lamp in this case, this is the Sun Lamp has a color as well. So I could make the color of this lamp let's say red, if we were inside of a volcano or something like that.
Whatever object that light hits is colored red and you can see that since it's the Sun Lamp and it shining down on Captain Knowledge, the tops of his shoulders are red. You also need lamps to cast shadows. In order to cast shadows over here in the Scene Render panel, you need to enable shadow calculation and ray tracing if you are using ray traced shadows. Now just to make things a little more complicated, there's two kinds of shadow calculations.
I'm going to go ahead and crank this up to PC. It gives us a little bigger render right here. Now when we render, the material for the Sun Lamp and this is the lamp subcontext for the Sun Lamp, I have Ray Shadows turned. So now I'm going to be using Ray Traced Shadows and not Buffer Shadows. Other lamps like this Spot Lamp, we have our choice of Ray Shadows or Buffer Shadows. Buffer Shadows are faster to calculate, but they are a little less accurate. Coming back to our colored lamps, red is obviously very angry color, yellow is a nice warm color and a blue lamp will actually make the scene appear a little colder.
Almost like he is getting frost on the top of his shoulder. Now computer graphics lamps are a perfect calculation of light and in the real world, light isn't therefore perfect. So we can texture all of these kinds of lamps with a texture here by adding the texture, creating the texture and then for the lamp, applying that texture to a color. And usually you use an off shade of the same basic color. So we'll go ahead and Sample this color and tweak it a little bit, maybe make it a little darker.
And now since we have used this Cloud Texture, the lamp won't be exactly perfect and it will have a little variation across the surface, which adds a lot to the realism. Now this Sun Lamp is designated to work on all of the objects in the scene. I can restrict this lamp to light only objects on the same layer or layer group that this lamp is on. So if I press M, I can see that this lamp is a member of this layer, Layer 10, Captain Knowledge, when I press M he is on Layer 3.
So if I restrict the Sun to light only objects on a shared layer. Now when I press Render, Captain Knowledge's shoulders aren't lit blue because the Sun Lamp is not affecting Captain Knowledge on his layer. Finally all lamps have this Preview panel in common. And in this Preview panel, I can change the kind of lamp, and the kind of lamp calculation that's used in designating this particular light source. So I can change this Sun to be a Spotlight for example or an Area light.
We are going to go over all these different kinds of lights and this Preview panel tries to show you the kind of light that is generated by this kind of lamp. So in this video, we saw the basic capabilities and the commonalities of all of the different kinds of lights and what they do and what they act on inside Blender.
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