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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.
When we're modeling an object, very often it's very helpful to have some sort of a reference image to go by, and there is just a ton of different reference images. When we're modeling something precise, we want what's called orthographic views, and kind of a blueprint view of the object we're going to model. So let's go ahead into Model 4-up view. I'm going to go ahead and hide all of these default stuff, because we'll eventually want the camera and the lights and everything to render our CG object. But for right now, I want to just start on a new object, on Layer 2.
I'm just starting conventions now on how I'm using my layers, which is something you're going to have to do in your project. So to bring in a background image as a reference into a 3D view, all we need to do is come over here to View > Background Image. Tell Blender we want to use a background image and load one up. We have three LearningMan PNG images from the front, the left and the rear. Now if you recall, this window is the Side view, so we want to choose left here. Click Select Image and then click anywhere in the view to activate the background image for that particular windowpane.
Each windowpane can have a separate and different background image. So we're going to come over here and for this view, we'll use the Front view. We'll put these away and now we can see that we have our background images, however, now there is a debate, and it's totally up to you. Some people like to model their object with the center of mass as the center of the object, other people like to model with their feet on the ground, namely the feet at zero and the object at zero, which is what I like to do.
So what we need to do is we need to shift these background images up a little bit. To shift the background image, we use these X and Y offsets. Now I can see that his feet are down here, which is 1, 2, 3, 4 units, too low, so I want to bump him up by 4 units, maybe a little bit more, as we zoom in on his feet to make sure his feet are firmly planted on the ground. Then over here in the side, we need to do the same thing.
If you're using images that are orthogonally correct and they are blueprints from the same perspective, you need to offset them in corresponding views by the same amount. Now as I zoom in on this guy, I can see this image is not exactly centered. It's a little bit off. So to move him left and right, we use the X offset. So by clicking once here on the little arrow, I change the offset by a tenth of the Blender unit and now it's all perfectly lined up and perfectly symmetrical. Hopefully, when you heard that word symmetrical that warped you back to the Mirror Modifier.
So you already know some of the tricks I'm going to use to be able to rapidly model this computer character. I don't have a Top view, so there is nothing I can use here. I don't have a Right view. So I'm going to have to do a little bit of work to make sure that when I'm modeling, my object is the same in all perspectives. But now, I'm all set up to use reference images. I can also, I should note, scale the image by changing the size here. I can also use as a background image, movies and image sequences. So that's how you use reference images as background images in your 3D space to make sure that when you're modeling, you model something accurately and according to however the blueprints are.
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