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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.
A neat way to change the shape of an object is through the use of a thing called lattice. A lattice is a special kind of mesh shape that acts like a squisher that squishes another shape. And so when you use press Space and Add down here the very bottom is a special kind of object you can add which is called a Lattice. Now the lattice it looks like a square, but you can edit it like you can in the other object and make any other kind of shape.
What we are going to do is tab into Edit Mode, and the shape of the lattice says how it's going to mush the other object that it's affected. So let's go ahead and press A to select all these vertices, and scale them in the Z direction. Let's say up by a 2. All right, so now we have a basic lattice shape that looks like a rectangle. Now to make this lattice affect some other object, we select that object, in this case this sphere, and we add on a Lattice Modifier.
In the Object field here, we want to say what the name of the lattice is because you can have a lot of lattices in here. The name of this lattice is up here and by default it's called Lattice. So let's go ahead and name that something a little bit better called bouncy, in lower case. So when we come over here, we want to type in the name bouncy. Now by default the lattice affects all of the vertices within the sphere here. We can restrict it to only affecting certain lattice groups like if we had a face section of this sphere, then we would enter the name face here.
But now notice what's happened to this sphere. And I'm going to press 1 here to go to front view. It has become an ovoid shape. Now the neat thing about the lattice shape is that as it changes shape, the object it influences changes shape as well. So if we tab into the Lattice Edit Mode, and let's select the bottom two vertices here, if we grab those and slide those notice what happens to the spherical shape. It is deformed according to the deformation that's occurring in the lattice.
So by changing just a few vertices here in the Lattice, and setting a very simple shape key here, we can affect all of these vertices and the shape of this overall sphere. The other neat thing about lattices is that as you move the lattice, the deformation of this shape is relative to the location of the other object. So if I move it out of the way, the object stays in the same place but change its shape.
If I jiggle this, then this is stimulating exactly what would happen like if a ball hits the ground and jiggles a little bit because it's made out of gel or it's a water balloon or something like that. The other neat thing too is then since it's relative to the object center, if I change the location of the object by pressing G, and now as I move the sphere, this sphere changes its shape as well. And as it passes through this, this is used in CG films and like that to simulate like the gravitational warp effect, or when somebody is throwing a ball, how the ball kind of change its shape, and then catches up with itself, as it accelerates and decelerates.
That's a very common use of the lattice as well. So that's how you can affect the overall shape of an object by using a thing called a lattice.
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