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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.
Up until this point, we've been rendering individual images in Blender, but we can also render animation. So let's take a look at how to do this. I have a scene already set up with animation. Now we haven't really gone through animation at this point, but we're just going to render it, so let's take a look at this scene. We have a pool ball that's rolling into the scene. So, if I want to, I can left click on my timeline and scrub it or if I want to play it, I can hit this Play button down here and we can see a quick preview of the scene.
Now, I'm going to go ahead and hit Stop, and let's go ahead and render this. Now, if we want, we can just hit this button that says Render Animation, but we really don't have everything set up to render to the proper place and in the proper format. So let's go ahead and do that first. So, if we scroll down here to our Dimensions, we can see we have a number of different options. I'm going to go ahead and select HDTV 72p, and this will render a slightly smaller file so that it will render quicker for this demonstration.
Now, we also have a Frame Range that we can render. At this point, I have 30 frames on my timeline, but I'm going to go ahead and bring that down to 10. So I'm just going to type in 10. Now, if I want, I can create a frame step, which means I can render every second, every third or every fourth frame, or whatever number I type in here. We're going to leave this at 1. Now the Frame Rate is important if we render to a movie file.
Now, if we're rendering single images, it won't matter as much because the frame rate will be determined when we re-import those images into our editor or After effects or whatever we're using to finish off our animation. Now that I have these set, we can go down to the bottom and make sure we're outputting to the right place with the right name. Now, under Output we have a path as to where this will render. If we want, we can click on this folder and browse to the place where we want a render.
So, I'm going to go to my Desktop/ Exercise Files/Chapter 09/Render, hit Accept and now you can see it's at//render/. Now, this double slash in the front means it's just going to be relative to where this file is located. So, this file is already in the Chapter 09 folder. So I'm going to go ahead and also type a prefix in this. Since this is a pool table, I'm going to type Pool_ and then after that it will fill in the rest of the information.
Now under here we have a File Extensions check box, and I can either turn this on or off, and this will basically just put an extension after the file name. Typically we keep this on. And then we also have an Overwrite button. Will this overwrite an existing image with the same name, and I'm going to go ahead and keep that on as well. Now, in this case I'm going to render to a JPEG file, but we have a number of different options here. We have a bunch of different image files, including Cineon and HDR files.
We also have movie files, so you can render to an AVI, you can render to H264, MPEG, Ogg, a number of different movie codecs and files. But we're going to just keep this simple; we're going to render to JPEGs in RGB. Now that we have this all set, let's go ahead and render the animation by hitting this button or hitting Ctrl+F12. Now, I actually have a file browser open here, and you can see these images as they render and come in.
So when this renders, it takes that prefix that we had, Pool_, and then appends a four-digit number with the frame number. Now, if we were to render incremental frames, it would actually jump. So if I was rendering every second frame, it would do 1, 3, 5, and so on. But as you can see, this renders fairly quickly. Now, if were to render a movie file, it would just create one file and render that. Now typically, it's probably better to render individual images, particularly if you have long sequences.
If you're rendering a movie file and the render gets interrupted, you kind of have to go back to the beginning. Rendering individual frames gives you a much better security, because you can have that individual frame and if the render fails or if your computer gets turned off accidentally, you still have all the frames that were rendered. Now, let's just take a look at this animation. I'm just going to go ahead and open this with Windows Photo Gallery here. And we can just step through the images and see how that renders.
So those are some of the basics of rendering in Blender.
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