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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.
Another way to create textures for your objects is to use the Node Editor. Now this allows us to connect multiple textures together into a network of nodes that create a more complex texture. Let me show you how this works. The Node Editor is a separate window here. So I'm right now in my 3D viewport. So I am going to go ahead and size this down here, and I am going to click on my top-right corner here and create a new viewport. And under that I'm going to select the Node Editor.
Now this is just another window, but it allows us to do a number of different things. Now we have three modes here: we can use this for materials, we can use us for textures, and we can use it for images. I am going to select the middle button here for textures. Now I have my cube selected, and on that cube I have a default material. Now I want to add in a texture. Now typically, I would just go over to this Texture panel and hit New.
But when I am in the Node Editor, you can hit that same button here. So these two buttons are equivalent. So if I hit it in the Node Editor, notice how it creates a new node in my Properties panel. But I don't want to use my default node here, I want to actually use the nodes in the Node Editor. So if I click Use Nodes here, notice how some nodes pop up. And by default it just gives us a basic checkerboard pattern. So if I want, I can actually change this, and I can basically make a texture, such as a blue-and-white checkerboard. And if I want, if I hit Render, you'll see that it actually shows up on that cube.
So what we have here is we have a node here called Checker which is feeding into this output, which is what's feeding this preview. So if I disconnect this node, notice how this output and the preview go blank. If I select this color node here, you'll see that I can drag out a line and I can plug that into my color channel, and again that shows up in my preview. Now I am not limited to checkerboard. So, if I select this node and just hit the Delete key, then that goes away and I can add in any other type of node I want.
If I go here to the Add menu, you will see I have a number of different types of nodes that I can use to either add in texture or to modify them. So for example here, we have our standard textures, such as Clouds and Wood and Stucco and all of that, but we also have patterns such as the checkerboard we just used. Or we have Bricks. So let's go ahead and select Bricks and bring that up and you will see that nothing really shows up in this panel until we plug it in. So I am going to go ahead and left-click on this color, drag out this line, and plug it into the color of this output node. And you can see how it shows up in my preview.
Now, I have a number of options here that I can change. I can change the thickness of my mortar. I can change my offset of the bricks. So for example, and if I want to, I can make my mortar thicker or thinner, just by dragging this. I can change the color of the mortar. So if I want I can left click on this mortar and we can make it a lighter-colored mortar. I can also change the color of my bricks. So if I click on this yellow brick, I can change it to red. Now I am not limited to just what's in these panels here.
If you notice here, we also have inputs into all of these. Just like we had input this Output node, I can also feed into any one of these an additional color, or an additional node. So if I want to, I can add in another node. So if we go here to Textures and let's say I wanted to add in Clouds, that node will come up, and I can left-click and drag that and this cloud has an output of a color. So if I want to, I can take this color of the clouds and plug it into the mortar of my brick color. And you can see how now this cloud color is showing up as my mortar color.
Now, this is a little extreme, but I can certainly change this. So if I wanted to, I could take my black color and make it a little bit more gray, and you can see now my mortar is a more modeled type of gray. And you can see how this also shows up in my preview. Now if I hit F12 to render, you can see how this shows up on my object. So as you can see, there are a lot of possibilities here. You can certainly plug nodes into other nodes, so it's a really great way to create highly custom textures and materials.
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