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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.
Now let's take a look at some of the properties we have with rendering. We have been playing a little bit with the Render menu as we've been working through the course, but let's go through it now in detail to understand all of our render options and properties. Now, in any scene you have, in your Properties panel, you'll have a little camera option here, and this is the same for any object that you have selected, so this is actually kind of a common property to anything in the scene. And under this, we can control everything that we need to control about rendering.
So, our first rollout here is what are we rendering, an image or an animation? Now, these two actually are duplicated here under the Render menu, and we can hit F12 or Ctrl+F12 to render, and that's the exact same thing as hitting this button. Now, when we render, how do we want to display? Do we want to display in the Image Editor? Do we want to display Full Screen, in a new window, or do we want to keep the existing UI. Well, I'm going to go ahead and render this in a new window and you can see how it creates a brand-new window that we can actually render into.
Now, this window is actually the same as an Image Editor window here, and we can actually use that if we want, but I also have an Image Editor in my current layout here, so it also will render into that as well. I'm going to go ahead and set this back to Image Editor. Now, in addition to this, we have Layers, which we'll get to in just a little bit, and that allows you to render out layers so you can composite them later. Now, the next rollout is actually very important and that's the dimensions of our scene.
We have a number of render presets here. We have a bunch of HD presets here for both 1080 and 720p, and we can select any one of those we want. And notice how when you select a preset it changes the Resolution settings, the Aspect Ratio settings, and the Frame Rate. So, if I go to, say, NTSC 4:3, notice how the Frame Rate goes to 29.97. And again, we can change this to whatever we want. Now, also notice, when we have NTSC 4:3 it's giving us that 720x486 ratio.
Now, this is a ratio originally created for D1 video, and it actually has non-square pixels, so the pixels are actually narrower in the vertical direction and so we have an aspect ratio that's not one to one. Typically, when you do NTSC- or D1-type rendering, you'll do a 0.9 ratio, and you could actually do that here as well. You can just put 1 into the Y- direction and 0.9 into the X, but 10 and 11 also do the same thing.
Now, if we scroll down on here a little bit further, you'll see Anti-Aliasing, and this is really how it smoothes out the edges of the scene as it renders. Now, we have a number of different algorithms that we can use, and you can go ahead and play with those. We also have different levels of anti- aliasing. And just know that the higher the Anti-Aliasing number, the longer it will take to render. Now, below this we have a Shading rollout, and we've played with this a little bit here. We can turn Ray Tracing on and off, as well as Shadows, and just remember that if things like shadows or ray tracing aren't coming through, go ahead and check here to make sure that it's not accidentally clicked off.
Now, below that we have Performance and this basically tells us how much of the computer it will use to render. Now, if we have it set to Auto-detect it will pick up how many processors you have in your system. This particular one has four processors, and it will render on all of them. If we want, we can also have a fixed number of threads, which means we can limit resources it's using for rendering. So, if you want to continue to work and render in the background, you can set this to a number lower than the number of processors you have in your system.
Now, finally, at the bottom here, we have an Output option, and this is where it's going to be saving files, as well as what format. So by default it's saving to your tmp directory. On Windows that will be C:/tmp, and it will save in the PNG format, or any one of these other formats, so we can do JPEG, Targa, TIFF. We can also do HDR formats. There is a lot of different formats that Blender supports.
And we can also select whether we want BW, RGB or RGB with Alpha (RGBA). And do you want to add file extensions and do you want to overwrite existing files? So, if we're going to render over something, do you want it to overwrite a file or not. So those are some of the options that we have with rendering. So, as you start to render your final scenes, just be aware of all of these properties that can help you to render more accurately and faster.
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