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Better, faster, stronger…

Oof! Spent my day fiddling around with tutorials. I hate tutorials, but I am wise enough to know the quickest way out of tutorials is through them.

Messiah:studio’s gamble paid off and I get my software. Turns out, though, everything I wanted to do I could do with the totally free Blender. Oh, well. More toys.

And just because this is the only thing going on in my head at the moment, here are the components of a 3D animation program, from the ground up:

Modeling — where you take spheres and cubes and planes and stick them together, cut pieces off and wiggle their bits around until they look like something. Here’s where you get to build materials, too — red or blue, shiny or knobbly — and apply them to your thingamabobs.

Shiny. I like shiny.

Then you set up the scene: lights, cameras, backgrounds, atmospherics (fog and so on). I love this part.

The renderer is the bit that makes a picture out of all this, the under-the-hood part. I suspect most modern renderers are pretty good, but this used to be the differences between the good stuff and the not-so-good stuff: whether the rendering engine could make things like glass and water look realistic and take proper reflections. If you have a lot of lights and shiny mirrors in your scene, it can make the render very, very slow — and there are thirty renders for every second of animation.

The animation module is where you make your things do stuff. This includes rigging — building skeletons inside your thingies to help them move right — and things like hair dynamics (check out this dude in the middle of the page and imagine trying to animate that without some kind of automation). Rigging and modeling the movement of soft things like falling drapery is apparently what messiah excels at.

Anyhoo, it’s a hell of a process. I’m not planning on trying to do anything for reals with it. Lord knows I wouldn’t want to run the risk of doing anything practical or lucrative with my time.

I just really, really like shiny.

February 15, 2011 — 11:47 pm
Comments: 27