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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.
As you are working through your animations and everything you are going to be doing a lot of test renders to see what it looks like and the purpose of this video is to show you very quickly how to set up different test renders of preliminary quality so that you can see your progress. There are two kinds of test renders that you can do. The first is what's called the OpenGL render that is accessed over here by clicking this little picture icon that's on the far right-hand side of your 3D View Header.
You can get to that two ways; one is because this window is wide, I just minimized the menu by clicking the little arrow there. The other way is to middle mouse- click and drag, and Apple users can do the Option button and then click-and-drag left or right to pan this Header left or right. So when you pan it over to the left then you reveal this button. When you click this, you do a very fast OpenGL shaded render of the actual 3D view, as it seems in the view.
So if I change my view, to let's say Top View or something like that and do the render, then I get that actual top view. So this is the way sort of to do like a screen-shot if you will of what your 3D view looks like. If I change into, say, Wireframe View and do a side-shot, then what I get is the side-shot and notice that the background image doesn't show in the OpenGL. If I hold Ctrl and click this button, then I'm going to render out the animation into an AVI file or a PNG sequence, and that's set up over here.
So let's talk about speeding up a normal render. To render out a test let's say, I'm working here in HD and I don't want to render out to full size. So what I want to do is come down here to these settings of 100%, down to 75, 50 or 25% so then this will take an image that is one-sixteenth the size of this HD image as far as file size goes because that's the other thing you start to run into, as you are sluing out HD images you can chew up a lot of disk space and your computer can become I/O bound as it's thrashing back and forth with the disk drive and all that kind of good stuff.
So to render out test videos, you want to use a percentage setting. So now when I click Render, it does do the photo rendering but of an image that is only one-fourth of the full HD. The other thing you can do which I have also turned off here, to speed up test renders is to disable Ray tracing, disable shadows and maybe disable SSS, if you are just trying to get out of the test render because these things chew up a lot of compute time and compute power.
The other thing to make sure that when you are doing the test renders is that you have the appropriate render layers selected that you are rendering out. This last case I was rendering out the mask layer, I can render out the Captain layer and then just have the Captain showing, and I can also overwrite all of the material. So right now I have the Captain and he is in full regalia. I could also go ahead and just select anything like here and create a temporary material. It's just a flat gray, and over here then in the Scene settings, then type-in the name of that material, make sure we've got the capitalization right.
And now when I render, I've got body in white, and this is an override of any complex material that I may have in place then they are all replaced with a generic white kind of a gray, but it's a very fast render. Make sure that in the output directory you've saved your output to a folder that you can find. Again the double-slash means the folder where the Blend file is saved, and for quick renderings of an animation, go ahead and here select AVI, JPEG and crank the quality down to let's say 40%.
Then that's a very small single file, you are not dealing with a whole bunch of frames in separate files, but it creates just one AVI file that's pretty small, pretty fast to load and view in either Blender or another Media Player to look at it. So there are some tips and guidelines on making a very fast, probably lower quality render to make test renders in Blender.
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