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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.
Specularity basically shows the highlights or the shininess of a surface. Specularity can also be used to show the character of a surface, such as the roughness. If you can imagine a service that's fairly rough, it would have kind of modeled or diffuse type of specular highlights. It also can be used to show the shape of an object. So specularity can be very important in the way that we create materials. So in Blender we have a number of options for specularity.
As we've seen before, we can change the color of our specular highlights, so if I were to click here and basically make it a color, somewhat like teal, we could see how that shows up. If I hit F12 to render, you can see that on my actual object. Now I'm going to go ahead and turn my specularity back to white, and let's take a look at some of the specular shaders that we have. Now we have a whole list of specular shaders here, and this is actually pretty cool because Blender allows us to mix and match our diffuse and specular shaders. A lot of software doesn't allow us to do that.
So this actually gives us maximum flexibility in the way that we construct our materials. Now, in this case the default material is called CookTorr or Cook Torrance, and this is a good overall shader. It can be used for a lot effects. It's pretty good at doing plastic or kind of shiny-type surfaces, and it has two options. As with all specular shaders, we have an Intensity. As we have seen before, if we turn the Intensity down to 0, it goes away.
If I turn the Intensity up, you can see how it gets very intense here. And we also have a Hardness control. So this basically controls this soft edge between the center of specular highlight and how much it falls off. So if I turn the Hardness down all the way, you can see how it basically can consume the entire object. If I make it very, very hard and I turn it way high up, say to around 200 or so, you can see how you get a very, very hard highlight, and you can see that in the rendering as well.
Now by default, this is set to 50, and so let's go ahead and set it back there. And let's go ahead and set our intensity back to 0.5. Now the next one is called Phong and again, it's very similar to Cook Torrance. Phong is actually used a lot in glass. It actually is a little bit softer. So if I increase the intensity, you'll notice I don't get as much of a hard circle in the center. But it's basically about the same as Cook Torrance in that it has a Hardness control as well as an Intensity.
The next one is Blinn. If you've used other 3D software, this is a very popular one there, and it's actually probably one of the more natural ones. You can use it for a lot of different options here. So in addition to Intensity and Hardness, we have another one called IOR, which is Index of Refraction. Now Index of Refraction is just another way of doing Hardness. If I bring this up fairly high to, say, 10 and I'll also bring my Hardness up, you can see how I can get a very, very tight highlight here, and that's almost like kind of a glassy ceramic-y type surface. But I can go the other direction too.
I can bring my Hardness down and drop my Index of Refraction down, and you can see I can get kind of nice dull kind of shine type of surface. So this actually is just another way to create custom types of specularity. Now, the next one is Toon. Now this is pretty straightforward. It's very similar to the Toon diffuse, and basically it has the same controls. It has a Size as well as a Smooth, so the Size will basically just control how big that is.
In other words, where does it fall off from the specular highlight to nothing? And then the smoothness, we can go from hard edge here all the way down to a softer type of highlight. Now, one of the cooler things about the Toon specularity is that you can use it on other diffuse shaders, so you don't have to use it on the Toon shader. Obviously if you use with a Toon shader you can use it together, but you don't have to.
You can use it with the Lambert or an OrenNayar, really any one. This is a good example of where you can mix and match specularity and diffuse shaders. Now the last one is called Wardlso and again, it hasn't Intensity control and it also has a Slope control. So if I turn up the intensity a little bit here, this Slope control is kind of a cross between feathering the Hardness control and the Index of Refraction. And again, it just gets a little bit of a different effect.
You can see how I have that, so if I turn it way up, let's say I turn it up to 0.4, you can see how I can get a very nice diffuse one. And if I turn all the way down, let's say to almost 0 or just above 0, say 0.05, you can see how I can get a very, very hard highlight. So I find this one to be a very flexible one, but really, they all have their own characteristics and their own benefits. Probably the best thing to do is just to play with them and experiment with them to see what works for you.
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