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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.
The purpose of this video is to go over rendering in Blender and what your different options are. The Render section over here is in your Properties panel. I'm going to go ahead and make this a little bigger here, so we can see it. So rendering is the process of taking this CG image and/or from the Compositor or the Sequencer, and actually producing the final video. So you have your choice first here of the different kinds of renderers. Now, Blender has been integrated with what we call the Blender Internal renderer, which is a scanline renderer, as well as YafRay and now YafaRay, which is a public domain rendering system that is fairly integrated with Blender and supports all of the different particle systems and materials and the kinds of lights and the effect that those lights have.
The lighting is handled a little bit differently within YafRay. So be prepared to have to come back here and essentially make your scene pretty dark before you use YafRay to shoot all your photons. But Blender has also been integrated with RenderMan and Inkscape. A vector based 2D sort of renderer is also in the works. Indigo. There is Blendigo, there is Sunflow, Cinema 4D, V-Ray... I mean there is a lot of different ones and I apologize if I missed your favorite renderer. But the point is that Blender integrates with a lot of different renderers.
When you get into huge things, you can also use a render farm as well and have Blender installed on 10 or 20 computers, each rendering portions of the final video. So once you have those choices, then you have three main components that you need to set up. The first of course is in the world whether or not you are going to do Radiosity, which is over here, and whether or not you are going to do Ambient Occlusion, which is set up over here. Then once you start the rendering, you have your choices of the output formats.
Blender supports a whole bunch of static image formats as well as containerized formats of video. We have everything from PNGs and if you render out an animation, it creates what's called a PNG sequence. If you are using PNG or Targa and like that, you want to make sure that you set RGBA on to write out the Alpha channel. Coming back to also QuickTime, I believe supports an Alpha channel. We have AVI, JPEGs as well as a whole bunch of Codecs that are installed wherever Codecs happen to be set on your system.
If you choose AVI Codec, then you have to come over here, and then select the Codec that you want to use to encode your video. Codec is a compressor-decompressor. We have a whole bunch of presets here for the size of the video that you want to create, and we have everything from Full HD to a PC, to PAL, NTSC for US television, and for animations, you need to set your frames per second. 25 is the standard, 24 for film and 30/1.001 for US broadcast TV.
You can also just do a quick render in black and white if you want to as well. When you do set up your rendering, it's important to enable Ray tracing and Shadows as well as Subsurface Scattering if you are doing that. OSA is Oversampling. There are two kinds of Oversampling supported in Blender. One is normal Oversampling, and Anti -aliasing, the other is Full Screen Anti-aliasing, and that's enabled and very useful if you are doing a huge render with a lot of difference-depth, and when you do that, you want to enable Save Buffers, enable Full Sample.
When you do that, then this OSA becomes FSA, and that takes the full screen and does the jittering and the anti- aliasing to smooth out the edges. You also have Motion Blur fully supported in Blender. So as things are moving, Blender will automatically calculate the previous frame and the next frame, and then do a blur calculation to blur moving objects. Finally, for rendering large images on modest PCs, you can break the render up into parts, and this breaks it up into 16 parts, and then the render only has to work on 1/16th of the image at a time, and that enables you to render larger images on a more modest PC.
We also have Fields rendering, which is for interlaced fields. We support both odd and even interlacing, and of course, the all important, do we want to render with a sky, do we want to render with pre-multiplied images, or do we want to render with keyed images? Lastly, we have the Output panel, and we want to type-in the name of the file here. A Double Slash indicates the folder in which the Blend file is saved. So that's very handy. So very often, I'll do a //render\ and then that automatically creates a subdirectory for me under wherever my Blend file is called render and then all of my movies or my frames go out to that folder.
The Back Buffer is used to load up an image that I want to use as a matte background and when I specify the filename here, when I want to use that background as my render, then I just check here to enable that. Blender also supports cartoon-style edge rendering around all of your objects. Here is where you set up the edge and when you click Edge Settings, you can set the color of the edge as well as the intensity of it. When you do, do a render, usually it comes up in a separate window. You can also have it go to an Image Editor window and then you can indicate which Image Editor or which window of these four windows to use as the output.
So now when I'd click Render, what it's doing now is it goes through and it computes the motion blur, the oversampling and everything like that and puts the image over here in a window. That saves having that Render Window pop-up every time you do a render if that gets annoying. All right, that's an overview of essentially how rendering happens and what all your different options are when you go to do a render of your CG scene.
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