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Blender 3D: Characters, Machines, and Scenes for Artists

Book Description

Gain the insights and techniques you need to give life to your own custom characters, machines, and scenes in Blender 3D

About This Book

  • Learn how to establish the basic shape of a character on the basis of templates, and take it to completion using the tools available in Blender

  • Develop realistic and awesome machines for your 3D projects and animation films

  • Discover advanced techniques by adding fur to a character, creating a grass field, and fine-tuning a shot with post-processing effects to enhance your creations

  • Who This Book Is For

    This learning path is for those who know the basics of Blender and have hands-on experience with the software. We will directly dive into creating characters first. If you wish to use Blender to create games, animated films, and architecture simulations, this learning path will benefit you.

    What You Will Learn

  • Use your sculpting skills to carve the character features from the mesh

  • Find the best possible flow for your edge-loops to enhance the character features and to get the best possible range of deformation

  • Mix both the Blender Internal and Cycles rendering engines in order to render materials as quickly as possible

  • Know when and where to use various types of geometry—something that saves time in one instance will pose significant problems in another

  • Create a 3D robot toy model from start to finish using the basic modeling tools of Blender

  • Make a full alien character using the skin mesh modifier and the sculpting tools with an artistic approach

  • Use re-topology techniques to create a clean 3D version of the previously sculpted alien

  • Model a full haunted house and its environment using more advanced modeling tools and techniques such as the Array Modifier, Instance duplication, and Curves

  • In Detail

    Blender 3D is one of the top 3D animation software available. As the Blender software grows more powerful and popular, there is a demand to take your modeling skills to the next level.

    This learning path is divided into three modules that will take you on this incredible journey of creating games.

    The first module will take you on a journey to understand the workflow normally used to create characters, from the modeling to the rendering stages, using the tools of the last official release of Blender exclusively. You will be making production-quality 3D models and characters quickly and efficiently, which will be ready to be added to your very own animated feature or game.

    The second module will help you develop a comprehensive skill set that covers the key aspects of mechanical modeling. You will create many types of projects, including a pistol, spacecraft, robot, and a racer. By the end of this module, you will have mastered a workflow that you will be able to apply to your own creations.

    The final module will help you to create many types of projects using a step-by-step approach. Each project in this module will give you more practice and increase your knowledge of the Blender tools and game engine.

    This learning path combines some of the best that Packt has to offer in one complete, curated package. It includes content from the following Packt products:

  • Blender 3D Cookbook, Second Edition by Enrico Valenza

  • Blender 3D Incredible Machines, Second Edition by Christopher Kuhn

  • Blender 3D By Example by Romain Caudron and Pierre-Armand Nicq

  • Style and approach

    This easy-to-follow course will teach you how to create complex 3D characters, create incredible machines, and put them together to create a 3D scene. Each topic is explained sequentially in the process of creating various models, and includes detailed explanations of the basic and advanced features.

    Downloading the example code for this book. You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at http://www.PacktPub.com. If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit http://www.PacktPub.com/support and register to have the code file.

    Table of Contents

    1. Blender 3D: Characters, Machines, and Scenes for Artists
      1. Table of Contents
      2. Blender 3D: Characters, Machines, and Scenes for Artists
      3. Blender 3D: Characters, Machines, and Scenes for Artists
      4. Credits
      5. Preface
        1. What this learning path covers
        2. What you need for this learning path
        3. Who this learning path is for
        4. Reader feedback
        5. Customer support
          1. Downloading the example code
          2. Errata
          3. Piracy
          4. Questions
      6. 1. Module 1
        1. 1. Modeling the Character's Base Mesh
          1. Introduction
          2. Setting templates with the Images as Planes add-on
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          3. Setting templates with the Image Empties method
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          4. Setting templates with the Background Images tool
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
          5. Building the character's base mesh with the Skin modifier
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
        2. 2. Sculpting the Character's Base Mesh
          1. Introduction
          2. Using the Skin modifier's Armature option
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. There's more…
            5. See also
          3. Editing the mesh
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          4. Preparing the base mesh for sculpting
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          5. Using the Multiresolution modifier and the Dynamic topology feature
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          6. Sculpting the character's base mesh
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. There's more…
        3. 3. Polygonal Modeling of the Character's Accessories
          1. Introduction
          2. Preparing the scene for polygonal modeling
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          3. Modeling the eye
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          4. Modeling the armor plates
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. See also
          5. Using the Mesh to Curve technique to add details
            1. How to do it…
            2. How it works…
        4. 4. Re-topology of the High Resolution Sculpted Character's Mesh
          1. Introduction
          2. Using the Grease Pencil tool to plan the edge-loops flow
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. There's more…
            4. See also
          3. Using the Snap tool to re-topologize the mesh
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          4. Using the Shrinkwrap modifier to re-topologize the mesh
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
          5. Using the LoopTools add-on to re-topologize the mesh
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
          6. Concluding the re-topologized mesh
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. There's more…
            4. How it works…
        5. 5. Unwrapping the Low Resolution Mesh
          1. Introduction
          2. Preparing the low resolution mesh for unwrapping
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
          3. UV unwrapping the mesh
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
          4. Editing the UV islands
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. There's more…
          5. Using the Smart UV Project tool
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
          6. Modifying the mesh and the UV islands
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
          7. Setting up additional UV layers
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
          8. Exporting the UV Map layout
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
        6. 6. Rigging the Low Resolution Mesh
          1. Introduction
          2. Building the character's Armature from scratch
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
              1. Building the rig for the secondary parts
              2. Completing the rig
            3. How it works…
          3. Perfecting the Armature to also function as a rig for the Armor
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          4. Building the character's Armature through the Human Meta-Rig
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          5. Building the animation controls and the Inverse Kinematic
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. See also
          6. Generating the character's Armature by using the Rigify add-on
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. See also
        7. 7. Skinning the Low Resolution Mesh
          1. Introduction
          2. Parenting the Armature and Mesh using the Automatic Weights tool
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. There's more…
            5. See also
          3. Assigning Weight Groups by hand
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. See also
          4. Editing Weight Groups using the Weight Paint tool
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. See also
          5. Using the Mesh Deform modifier to skin the character
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. See also
          6. Using the Laplacian Deform modifier and Hooks
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. See also
        8. 8. Finalizing the Model
          1. Introduction
          2. Creating shape keys
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          3. Assigning drivers to the shape keys
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. There's more…
            5. See also
          4. Setting movement limit constraints
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. See also
          5. Transferring the eyeball rotation to the eyelids
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
          6. Detailing the Armor by using the Curve from Mesh tool
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. There's more…
            4. See also
        9. 9. Animating the Character
          1. Introduction
          2. Linking the character and making a proxy
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. See also
          3. Creating a simple walk cycle for the character by assigning keys to the bones
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. There's more…
            5. See also
          4. Tweaking the actions in Graph Editor
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. See also
          5. Using the Non Linear Action Editor to mix different actions
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. See also
        10. 10. Creating the Textures
          1. Introduction
          2. Making a tileable scales image in Blender Internal
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          3. Preparing the model to use the UDIM UV tiles
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          4. Baking the tileable scales texture into the UV tiles
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. There's more…
          5. Painting to fix the seams and to modify the baked scales image maps
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. There's more…
            5. See also
          6. Painting the color maps in Blender Internal
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. See also
          7. Painting the color maps in Cycles
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
        11. 11. Refining the Textures
          1. Introduction
          2. Sculpting more details on the high resolution mesh
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
          3. Baking the normals of the sculpted mesh on the low resolution one
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. There's more…
          4. The Armor textures
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. There's more…
            4. See also
          5. Adding a dirty Vertex Colors layer and baking it to an image texture
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. See also
          6. The Quick Edit tool
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
        12. 12. Creating the Materials in Cycles
          1. Introduction
          2. Building the reptile skin shaders in Cycles
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. There's more…
            5. See also
          3. Making a node group of the skin shader to reuse it
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          4. Building the eyes' shaders in Cycles
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          5. Building the armor shaders in Cycles
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. There's more…
        13. 13. Creating the Materials in Blender Internal
          1. Introduction
          2. Building the reptile skin shaders in Blender Internal
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. There's more…
            5. See also
          3. Building the eyes' shaders in Blender Internal
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
          4. Building the armor shaders in Blender Internal
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. There's more…
        14. 14. Lighting, Rendering, and a Little Bit of Compositing
          1. Introduction
          2. Setting the library and the 3D scene layout
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. See also
          3. Setting image based lighting (IBL)
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
              1. Image based lighting in Cycles
              2. Image based lighting in Blender Internal
            3. How it works…
            4. See also
          4. Setting a three-point lighting rig in Blender Internal
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. See also
          5. Rendering an OpenGL playblast of the animation
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. There's more…
            5. See also
          6. Obtaining a noise-free and faster rendering in Cycles
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. See also
          7. Compositing the render layers
            1. Getting ready
            2. How to do it…
            3. How it works…
            4. See also
      7. 2. Module 2
        1. 1. Sci-Fi Pistol - Creating the Basic Shapes
          1. A project overview
          2. Creating the barrel
            1. Modeling a handgrip and other pieces
          3. Summary
        2. 2. Sci-Fi Pistol - Adding Details
          1. Finishing the handgrip
          2. Cutting shapes into our gun
          3. Circles, angles, and edge splits
          4. Adding final details
          5. General workflow for detailing
          6. Summary
        3. 3. Texturing and Rendering Your Sci-Fi Pistol
          1. Preparing our scene
          2. Enabling GPU rendering
          3. Adding materials and textures
          4. Summary
        4. 4. Spacecraft – Creating the Basic Shapes
          1. Shaping the body
          2. Creating the accessories
          3. Summary
        5. 5. Spacecraft - Adding Details
          1. Refining our ship
          2. Adding detail with pipes
          3. Finishing our main objects
          4. Do it yourself - completing the body
          5. Building the landing gear
          6. Adding the cockpit
          7. Creating small details
          8. Working with Path objects
          9. Finishing touches
          10. Summary
        6. 6. Spacecraft – Materials, Textures, and Rendering
          1. Preparing the model and scene
          2. Creating materials
          3. Adding decals with UV maps
          4. Other possibilities
          5. Summary
        7. 7. Modeling Your Freestyle Robot
          1. Modeling for Freestyle
          2. Blocking out your robot
          3. Creating the body with Subdivision Surfacing
          4. Finishing the robot
          5. Summary
        8. 8. Robot - Freestyle Rendering
          1. Preparing the scene
          2. Marking Freestyle edges
          3. Creating materials
          4. Rendering and material options
          5. Summary
        9. 9. Low-Poly Racer – Building the Mesh
          1. Building for external applications
          2. Starting the truck model
          3. Manifold versus non-manifold meshes
          4. Adding details
          5. Summary
        10. 10. Low-Poly Racer – Materials and Textures
          1. Texturing workflow
          2. Adding materials
          3. Unwrapping and baking
          4. Adding detail in an Image Editor
          5. Checking the Texture Map
          6. Summary
        11. 1. All About Packt
          1. Thank you for buying Blender 3D Incredible Machines
            1. About Packt Publishing
            2. About Packt Open Source
            3. Writing for Packt
      8. 3. Module 3
        1. 1. Robot Toy – Modeling of an Object
          1. Let's start the modeling of our robot toy
            1. Preparing the workflow by adding an image reference
            2. Adding the head primitive
            3. The Edit Mode versus the Object Mode
          2. Using the basic modeling tools
            1. Modeling the head
            2. Modeling the antenna
            3. An introduction to the Subdivision Surface modifier
              1. Improving the head shape
            4. Modeling the thunderbolts
            5. Modeling the eyes
            6. Modeling the chest
            7. Modeling the neck
            8. Modeling the torso
            9. Modeling the buttons
            10. Modeling the fork
              1. Modeling protections for the fork
            11. Modeling the main wheel
            12. Modeling the arm
            13. Using Blender Internal to render our Robot Toy
          3. Summary
        2. 2. Alien Character – Base Mesh Creation and Sculpting
          1. Understanding the sculpting process
          2. An introduction to sculpting
          3. Choosing sculpting over poly modeling
            1. Using a pen tablet
            2. The sculpt mode
              1. Optimizing the viewport
          4. Anatomy of a brush
            1. Dyntopo versus the Multires modifier
              1. First touch with the Multires modifier
              2. First touch with Dyntopo
          5. Creating a base mesh with the Skin modifier
            1. Visual preparation
          6. An introduction to artistic anatomy
            1. Sculpting the body
              1. The head
              2. The torso
              3. The arms
              4. The legs
              5. The belt
          7. Summary
        3. 3. Alien Character – Creating a Proper Topology and Transferring the Sculpt Details
          1. Why make a retopology?
            1. Possibilities of arranging polygons
            2. Errors to avoid during the creation of retopology
            3. Density of polygons
          2. Making the retopology of the alien character
            1. Preparing the environment
              1. The head
              2. The neck and the torso
              3. The arms and the hands
              4. The legs
          3. Unwrapping UVs
          4. Understanding UVs
            1. The placement of the seams
            2. The placement and adjustment of the islands
            3. The baking of textures
              1. The baking of a normal map
              2. What is a normal map?
                1. Making of the bake
              3. Displaying the normal map in the viewport
          5. The baking of an ambient occlusion
            1. Understanding the ambient occlusion map
              1. Creation of the bake
            2. Displaying the ambient occlusion in the viewport
          6. Summary
        4. 4. Haunted House – Modeling of the Scene
          1. Blocking the house
            1. Working with a scale
          2. Blocking the bases of the house
          3. Refining the blocking
            1. Adding instantiated objects
          4. Reworking the blocking objects
          5. Breaking and ageing the elements
            1. Simulate a stack of wooden planks with physics
          6. Creation of the simulation of a stack of planks
          7. Modeling the environment (8 pages)
            1. Modeling the cliff
            2. Modeling a tree with curves
            3. Enhancing the scene with a barrier, rocks, and a cart
          8. Organizing the scene
            1. Grouping objects
            2. Working with layers
          9. Summary
        5. 5. Haunted House – Putting Colors on It
          1. Unwrapping UVs
            1. Using Project From View
            2. Unwrapping the rest of the house
            3. The tree with the Smart UV Project
            4. Unwrapping the rest of the environment
            5. Tiling UVs
              1. What is tiling for?
              2. The UV layers
          2. Adding colors
            1. Basics of the Texture Paint tool
              1. Discovering the brushes
                1. The TexDraw brush
                2. The Smear brush
                3. The Soften brush
                4. The Clone brush
                5. The Fill brush
                6. The Mask brush
              2. The Stroke option
              3. Delimiting the zones of painting according to the geometry
              4. Painting directly on the texture
            2. Painting the scene
              1. Laying down the colors
            3. Tiled textures
              1. The settings of our workspace
              2. Advice for a good tiled texture
            4. Painting the roof-tile texture
            5. Quick tips for other kinds of hand-painted tiled textures
            6. Baking our tiled textures
              1. Why bake?
              2. How to do it?
            7. Creating transparent textures
              1. The grass texture
              2. The grunge texture
          3. Doing a quick render with Blender Internal
            1. Setting lights
            2. Placing the camera
            3. Setting the environment (sky and mist)
          4. Summary
        6. 6. Haunted House – Adding Materials and Lights in Cycles
          1. Understanding the basic settings of Cycles
            1. The sampling
            2. Light path settings
            3. Performances
          2. Lighting
            1. Creating a testing material
            2. Understanding the different types of light
            3. Lighting our scene
            4. Painting and using an Image Base Lighting
          3. Creating materials with nodes
            1. Creating the materials of the house, the rocks, and the tree
            2. Adding a mask for the windows
            3. Using procedural textures
            4. Making and applying normal maps in Cycles
          4. Creating realistic grass
            1. Generating the grass with particles
            2. Creating the grass shader
          5. Baking textures in Cycles
            1. Cycles versus Blender Internal
            2. Baking the tree
          6. Compositing a mist pass
          7. Summary
        7. 7. Rat Cowboy – Learning To Rig a Character for Animation
          1. An introduction to the rigging process
          2. Rigging the Rat Cowboy
            1. Placing the deforming bones
            2. The leg and the foot
            3. The arm and the hand
            4. The hips
            5. The tail
            6. The head and the eyes
            7. Mirroring the rig
            8. Rigging the gun
            9. Rigging the holster
            10. Adding a root bone
          3. Skinning
            1. The Weight Paint tools
            2. Manually assigning weight to vertices
            3. Correcting the foot deformation
            4. Correcting the belt deformation
          4. Custom shapes
          5. The shape keys
            1. What is a shape key?
            2. Creating basic shapes
            3. Driving a shape key
          6. Summary
        8. 8. Rat Cowboy – Animate a Full Sequence
          1. Principles of animation
            1. Squash and Stretch
            2. Anticipation
            3. Staging
            4. Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose
            5. Follow Through and Overlapping Action
            6. Slow In and Slow Out
            7. Arcs
            8. Secondary Action
            9. Timing
            10. Exaggeration
            11. Solid drawing
            12. Appeal
          2. Animation tools in Blender
            1. The timeline
            2. What is a keyframe?
            3. The Dope Sheet
            4. The Graph editor
            5. The Non-Linear Action editor
          3. Preparation of the animation
            1. Writing a short script
            2. Making a storyboard
            3. Finding the final camera placements and the timing through a layout
            4. Animation references
            5. Organization
          4. Animating the scene
            1. The walk cycle
            2. Mixing actions
            3. Animation of a close shot
            4. Animation of the gunshot
            5. Animation of the trap
          5. Render a quick preview of a shot
          6. Summary
        9. 9. Rat Cowboy – Rendering, Compositing, and Editing
          1. Creating advanced materials in Cycles
            1. Skin material with Subsurface Scattering
            2. Eye material
            3. The fur of the rat
          2. The Raw rendering phase
          3. Enhance a picture with compositing
            1. Introduction to nodal compositing
            2. Depth Pass
            3. Adding effects
            4. Compositing rendering phase
          4. Editing the sequence with the VSE
          5. Introduction to the Video Sequence Editor
            1. Edit and render the final sequence
          6. Summary
        10. A. Bibliography
      9. Index