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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.
In addition to meshes, Blender offers a lot of other kinds of objects that we're going to talk about in this video, one of which is Bezier curves. Now let's go ahead and select Layer 2, so that we are looking at a new blank layer and press Spacebar, Add > Curve. Now Blender supports two basic kinds of curved objects and surfaces, the NURBS Curves and Surfaces as well as Bezier curves. Now a Bezier Curve and Circle can be a two-dimensional or three-dimensional object, 2D makes a Flash kind of object.
So let's go ahead and select that. When we click there, it's been added into the View and already oriented towards our particular perspective. As an object, the curve is simply a line, but when we tab in to it, we see that the line instead of being connected by vertices, I'm going to turn off my little widget here. It's actually composed of handles. As I grab and move a handle, I move the curve just like a French Curve that you used in your drafting class, if you took that. If I select one of the end points of the handle and press G, I'm changing the influence or the amount of deformation that end point exercises over the rest of the curve.
Bezier curves are extruded the same way, I press E, and I extrude out another handle point. Then I can rotate the handle point by pressing R and scale the handle by pressing S and moving the mouse, just exactly the same as we do objects and faces when we're editing meshes. I can extrude a couple of more points here. Now once we have our basic shape defined, we want to close this curve by pressing C. That closes the circle and makes a constrained curve surface in two-dimensions that we can use as a mask or as an element in a composite image.
By default, curve objects are two-dimensional. If I come here to Solid view and see it's just two-dimensional. I get rid of my grid. It's just a two-dimensional object. This could be the wing of Batman or somebody like that. We can also make it a three-dimensional curve by enabling 3D here in the Editing panel under Curve and Surface panels. Now when I go into Edit mode, I have a directed path curve. When I change my handle location in 3D space, the object deforms to be a smooth surface in 3D space.
So I can use this now, for example, be the path for a roller coaster. There are other options for working with this curve in 2D and 3D space here in these panels and these controls under Curve and Surface, Curve tools and yet another set of controls in the Curve Tools1 panel. Ultimately, we want to convert this into a mesh. So that's an object function that we can access from the menu, or we can just press Alt+C to bring up the Convert Object Type. A three-dimensional curve is converted to a mesh, and now if I tab into Edit Mode, the curve is a series of points, vertices that form a mesh surface.
I can skin this surface by selecting all the vertices and pressing Shift+F. Now Blender goes through and it connects all the dots together. I find it a lot easier to work with the 3D curve, get it the shape I want, and then convert it to a mesh, and then I can do materials and textures, and shape keys, and animations on the mesh object, once I have it defined in 3D space. So curves are great tools for tracing and modeling organic objects and then converting them into 3D meshes and they are guaranteed to have nice, smooth outlines.
By setting them smooth, Blender will render them as a nice smooth object.
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