Currently tinkering: Blender

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I take a stab at making my own 3D art. I’m still a novice but I’m learning new and I like it.

 

I tried learning 3D a few years back using Cinema4DXL. It’s not the popular software that game developers use, but it is 3D nonetheless. I tried learning it but for some reason, reading books or manuals hasn’t been my thing and video tutorials at the time was a rarity. So I eventually stopped learning that because reading the manual doesn’t make me learn on my own personally.

I heard about Blender a couple of years ago, that it’s a full 3D modeling and animation software that’s free. but I couldn’t get into it at the time and almost forgot about it. A few months ago a friend reminded me of it and thought to give it a try since the new computer I got doesn’t consume too much power as my old desktop does.

I download blender from the official site: http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/

Installed it was smooth and didn’t have any problems. Now, the screen is really overwhelming. So many functions that my mind is kinda blown away.

Now to learn. Good thing there are a lot of video tutorials now, which are great. http://www.blender.org/education-help/tutorials/

The Basics

The basics are easy enough that you get to understand how to make simple objects in just a day or more. I was inspired by the game Mechwarrior Online since I missed the old games, even signed up for beta if ever they’ll let me play. But with using just the basics, after a few days I was able to make a simple mech of my own.

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The problem with a lot of Blender video tutorials is that most them have to paid for to see them. Since I’m on a tight budget, I really have to learn free. Good thing there is a lot of other tutorials, but you just have to search to find the right one.

I wanted to take it a step further based on what I learned with adding and editing basic shapes. I added more detail, just using basic shapes and slightly editing them. I replicated the model and made a small scene with all the things I learned so far.

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As you see here, I added some wiring and details on the mech. And with just using one mech, I replicated and positioned them to make a scene.

Minecraft and Depth of Field

Now, another thing I was inspired was Minecraft. I wanted to import the world where me and my wife play on. Good thing there is a program called Mineways, which can export minecraft maps to a wavefront file which can be opened by popular 3D programs including Blender. Mineways automatically detects maps on your game, but private servers are another thing. You can load them up by selecting custom map and locate it manually. Note, look for the DAT file on your minecraft server folder.

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The program is simple to use. Once you export a section of the map you can immediately import it to Blender and it should show up like this image below.

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What’s interesting about Mineways is that it also exports the texture maps, so when you render it, all the colors and designs of the game are also there. Although there are a few problems with it like smaller objects (small plants, torches, bushes, glass or even tree leaves) don’t have the right transparency.

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I work with what I got and tried playing around if I can do the Depth of Field effect which is common when making interesting photo effects especially the one people call tilt shift which is basically Depth of Field on steroids. This took me a while to figure out because it’s kind of technical than what I’m used to. But from what I understand, this screen below is making different image post processing.

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I also played around with lighting and camera views which I originally learned from the first mech I worked on. Without modifying any object or texture, here is the result below.

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The image looks a lot better with the depth of field effect, but still needs a lot of work. Since there are no transparency with a lot of objects, some of them doesn’t look right. Will be working on this sometime later.

Getting back on the mech

Since I learned the Depth of Field filter, I wanted to apply a little of that on the scene I made earlier, and here is the result.

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The effect is so much better now. I also added color to the sky and environmental lighting. So far so good.

Obviously, I still have a lot to learn. A lot of features that I still need to understand. I’ll be posting everything that I’ve been trying to learn.

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