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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.
So a typical CG scene consists of hundreds of objects, and the old saying is that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So let's step on out and start using Blender to construct the model of a pretty complicated scene. We are going to start out simple and model is set. Our training idea is to composite our computer graphics character over a live action plate, because that's a very common request that comes through. So we are going to do that. In order to start out we need to model our set.
We have filmed a live action plate and we've taken some measurements and so now we are inside Blender to construct a virtual scene that character can walk in. That way we can remove the set, film just him and then composite him walking over the live action plate and everything will match. So to start off with in default scene we have some lights, the camera, and the cube. When you are compositing the camera pretty matches the center of the universe. So we are going to put the camera at center, X and Y is 0, and the camera was mounted on a pretty short tripod that was three feet off the ground.
Now I'm going to switch to our 4-up modeling layout, which is what I like to use when I'm modeling complicated objects and scenes. This provides me a side, front, and top view of the CG world. For right now I'm going to hide the lamps by moving them to a layer. So we press M to move them to a different layer, and are going to move them to layer 9, and then we are not going to view that layer so that they are hidden from view until we need them. When we need them we just re-enable that layer by Shift-clicking it and it will come back into the CG world, but for right now I don't want them to distract me.
First up, we know that the sidewalk was 16 feet from the camera. So our camera is facing forward, and so we are going to come out here about 16 feet, left-click with the mouse cursor and put the mouse cursor right about at ground level, and from top view press space Add > Mesh > Plane. The Mesh Plane is simply a flat surface that can be rendered and seen and textured and has some substance and we can actually see it in the CG world. Now the sidewalk in the real world is 4 feet wide and I'm using feet as my Blender units.
So I want this plane to be 4 feet wide. So as good boys do that, one is to just press S and then Y so that as I scale and move my mouse cursor away from the plane, it scales up. And if I hold down the Ctrl key, that controls the scale to be rounded units. By scaling the cube twice, it's now gone from 2 to 4 units wide. We are going to place this center 16 feet from the camera. We know the camera is at the center, so location of 16 in the Y direction puts it 16 feet from the camera.
Now the sidewalk was pretty long. So we are going to scale it in the X direction by pressing S and X and then moving our mouse cursor to stretch that sidewalk all the way up. Now at some point 35 feet down the way is where the door was. So let's scale the sidewalk to nearly down the 35 feet, then 20, 30, 35 feet. Then we had a little bit of a door. So we are going to go into Edit Mode. Now notice we have Object Mode right now we working with the plane as an object.
There are other modes that are available for Mesh Object and these are accessed by clicking the Mode selector. As I mentioned on the first video your menu and the options of what's available depend on the mode that you are in. Now in Object Mode I'm working with the object overall when I work in Edit Mode, I'm changing the shape and their construction of the object. When I work in Sculpt Mode, I'm working like a sculptor with tools to shape and transform the Mesh Object. When I get into my Paint Mode that's used for painting and we are going to cover those modes when we talk about Materials and Shading.
So for right now let's go into Edit Mode. Now that's the way you go into Edit Mode through the mouse. The way you go into Edit Mode through the keyboard is to press Tab key. So pressing the Tab key brings us in and out of Edit Mode. A plane consists of four vertices. Right now they are all selected and I can tell that they are all selected, because up here in my header I see that I have four vertices and four are selected. I have four edges, which are the outside edges to the plane, and I have one face. So vertices, edges and faces are shown up here.
The first number is how many there are selected, and then how many total. So right now I have 0 out of 4 vertices selected. To select some more vertices I can use the Bounding Box command press B and now my cursor changes to our box cursor. If I left-click and drag around those vertices and led up on the mouse cursor whatever vertices are inside that box are selected. To unselect some vertices, I press B again, but now I use the Right mouse button and hold that down and drag it over the vertices and they are deselected.
So left to select, right to deselect. To Extrude an edge, I press E to extrude and now I can extrude the vertices or their whole edge. I want to extrude the whole edge, because I'm creating that little sidewalk area for the turn area. When I'm working in Edit Mode, I have a couple of different selections and tools that I would like to discuss. One is the Shaded View. Whether I'm working in a Wireframe or Solid or a Shaded or a Textured view, it gives me a better quality feeling.
Another control is when I rotate or scale something, does it scale around the center of the Object, around my cursor, around the Median Point and like that the other is my widget, my selector widget, which we discussed earlier when we are moving objects around. Blender has a Proportional Editing that I can turn on and off here. And when I turned it on, then I have my selection of how I want my Falloffs to go, and we'll be using this tool when we get into a little more detail of high resolution sculpting.
Here is the Snap tool, if I want to snap things exactly to a grid. And then here is my selection tools. Right now I'm selecting Vertices shown by the dots. If I have hold Shift and click I can also select Edges and Faces. My last control is an OpenGL Render, which renders this viewport. It gives me a quick non-photographic quality, but a good quick reference render of the window. So back here we are going to now right-click on this edge and just work with Edges and Vertices.
So I can either select the edge or Shift- click and select those two vertices and extrude that edge out to meet the door. And the door did about a four feet turn into the building. So now we need the building. We are done with the sidewalk. So let's go back and grab that cube and we can use that cube as the basis for our building. So again we grab it G, move it over here, scale it in the X direction. Now you can start scaling and then press X and it re-constrains it to the X direction.
And I happen to test and then measure that the building was actually 9 feet high. So since my center of my building is in the center vertically, I want my building to be at four-and-a-half units high and then the bottom of building is a ground level and the top is 9 feet high. So now I have a rough approximation of our CG scene and I have covered most of the major tools that are used along the toolbar in Object Mode and then Edit Mode to change and model the shapes.
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