Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Using the 3D modelling software Blender3D efficiently

Blender 3D is an excellent tool for building 3D models. It is a free alternative to professional 3D modelling softwares like 3DS MAX and MAYA. I personally found it to be easier to use and more efficient than 3DS MAX. Its shortcuts are easier to remember and the workflow is much more streamlined than 3DS MAX.

There are plethora of superbly written tutorials out there on Blender3D so I am not going to go into that. People who are interested in some tutorials can look at http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Subject:Blender_3D


I would start with a list of useful keyboard shortcuts which makes the Blender3D experience all the more enjoyable. The following are not a complete list of keyboard shortcuts for Blender3D but they are most useful ones in my opinion. 



BLENDER shortcuts

Manipulate view

select -> right click 

pan : middle mouse + shift
zoom middle + ctrl

rotate view : middle click + drag

select multiple object : shift + right click

or press b -> then draw a rectangle around them.

join multiple object : ctrl + J -> merge
to injoin or unmerge : select object -> goto edit mode TAB -> P -> split by material and split by loose parts.


move object -> select . g to grab. then just move the crusor.

Objects

add objects -> space -> add -> mesh -> cube etc.

Transform

Shift+D on a selected object in object mode will duplicate it. Shift+D in edit mode will duplicate the selected verticies in the same object.

e = extrude

s = scale 

s x = scale along x -axis

e x = extrude along x-axis 

etc. e y , e z ,  s y , s z


object mode editmode switch =  tab

always extrude edges otherwise wireframe do not render to solid

editing (F9) -> set smooth , set solid to remove blockines while rendering ...

TEXTURING

add material 
F5 ->  link to object -> add new

add texture
texture -> add new 

map input -> UV

click bimage of texture after the sphere (small icons) -> texture -> add new -> image 
goto the last tab -> load image

UV unwrap -> tiling ... ]

right-click divider -> split 
set view mode of right window to UV

goto left window
select object -> editmode tab-> u -> unwrap 

goto UV window -> scale the object so that the texture wraps around it .

Useful resource

http://www.ee.oulu.fi/~kapu/cg_course/bigfiles/blender/blendman.html

And here is one simple scene that I composed in blender3D. The UV Unwrap was done in a hurry, so the checkered map did not align very well. But I focused mainly on the radiosity blend of the raytraced lighting.


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