Back in may 09 Mr. Sameer Sahasrabudhe (Project Manager at IITB*,  Center of Excellence) contacted me for his work that requires help with Blender. I landed at Mumbai on 5th July. Upon arrival, I got his call, he asked me to come over to his house to discuss few things with his students Chirag and Nitin.

Continue reading “IIT Bombay – blender walkthrough”

Blender Tutorial – Creating a vase in Blender – part 4

Creating a vase in Blender

March 2005

Part 1: First crawls
Part 2: Modeling
Part 3: Material & Textures
Part 4: Scene Lighting

Part 4: Scene Lighting

  • Step-20 For lighting the scene we will add two more lamps. You can either add new lamp from the Toolbox [Space bar] or duplicate the original lamp. To duplicate first select the lamp then press [Shift+D] and move the duplicate object to desired position. Get in front-view [Numpad1] duplicate lamp once and move it down to nearly bottom of the original lamp.
Duplicating Lamp in blender
  • Step-21 In top-view [Numpad7], duplicate from the last duplicated lamp, move it opposite but equi-distance between Camera and the Vase. Keep it slightly off the straight line with the camera, as this lamp will be used for highlighting the side of the vase. Save your work.
Duplicating Lamp in blender
  • Step-22 If you render the scene now, you will see two bright spots on the floor, caused by the two duplicate lamps. We don’t want that and here is where Blenders ‘Layers’ feature comes in. The layers button are visible on the Menu-panel of the 3dView. Two layers will be sufficient for our scene, to add a layer keep pressed [Shift] and click on the second layer.
By default, we are always in first layer. Blender includes any layer that is active or layer button pressed in the rendering, just like any 2d paint program. Neat isn’t it!.

  • Step-23 Select the floor and the original lamp then press [M](move to layer), in the layer pop-up push the second layer button as you did in last step. Why you may ask that we are using more than one layer. Well Blender allows lamps to effect either ‘local’ layer or the whole scene, using this feature we can remove those two bright spots in the render. While we want the two duplicated lamps to affect the highlights of vase.
lamp in another layer in blender
  • Step-24 Select the original lamp and in ‘Shadow & Spot’ tab enable ‘Ray shadow’ to enable shadow generation, remember shadow casting should be enabled only for original lamp. Select any duplicate lamp, press [F5], in ‘Lamp’ tab click ‘Layer’ button also click ‘No diffuse’, repeat that for other duplicated lamp. Save your work now and if you wish to do the test render.
    Lamp properties in blender
  • Step-25 If you did a test render you can see the render with nice shadow. Blender has a GI or global illumination feature called, ‘Ambient Occlusion’ this behaves much in the way natural light behaves, i.e. it also takes into account light bounces among objects, and this makes the scene more realistic. But for some reasons this make its computation intensive so if you have slower processor you might have to sit for long time as the rendering completes.
    AO or Ambient Occulsion rendering in blender vase
  • Step-26 We will now go to World buttons to enable AO. Press [F8] and in the World buttons goto ‘Amb occ’ tab and enable the ‘Ambient Occlusion’. Here enable ‘Use distances’ and increase the ‘DistF’ value to 2.000. Press ‘Both’ button. Set ‘Energy’ to .80 and ‘Bias’ to .010. Render the scene. Most probably you will see noise in the rendering when it is finished. Depending upon your system capability you can increase the ‘Samples’ in AO tab. for this scene it was set to full at 16.
AO or Ambient Occulsion settings in blender
  • Step-27 Our work is ready for rendering. We just need to tweak the rendering options to get good results. Press [F10] and in the ‘Render’ tab enable OSA and increase the value to 8. The OSA or oversampling or anti aliasing make the jagged edges in the render smooth and increase the quality of the image. If you want to increase the size of rendering then go to ‘Format’ Tab and input the values manually. Also here you can change the format for saving the rendered image. After you are done press [F12] for final render. After rendering press [F3] to save the image, and remember to input the proper extension, as Blender does not add the extension automatically.
    Render settings in blender
The scene with AO enabled. The image textures and the source blend file can be downloaded from the downloads section.
The Vase rendered in blender

Happy Blending!

Blender Tutorial – Creating a vase in Blender – part 2

Creating a vase in Blender

March 2005

Part 1: First crawls
Part 2: Modeling
Part 3: Material & Textures
Part 4: Scene Lighting

Page 2 of 4

Part 2: Modeling

  • Step-1 By default blender 3dView already have some objects, a cube a lamp and a camera, you can press [F12] to see the default scene rendered. We don’t need the cube, it is already selected(pink) so go ahead and press [Delete], confirm deletion in the pop-up. To make the vase we will use ‘circle primitive’. To add a circle press [Space-bar] to bring up the toolbox. In it go to Add>> Mesh>> Circle, confirm the circle of 32 vertices.

  • Step-2 Now we will start editing the circle. You will notice upon adding the circle is in ‘edit-mode’ by default. First we will scale down the circle about 5 major grid units. To do that first press [S](scale) then keep pressed [Ctrl](Constrained movement) and bring the mouse towards the circle pivot, the circle will get scaled down in ‘jumps’. While scaling, you can see units or coordinates change in the menu bar. Yes the menu bar gives way to coordinate readings any time you move objects in 3dView.
  • Step-3 We will use extrusion for creating the shape of the vase. Press [Numpad1] to get into front view. Keep all the vertices selected(yellow, [A] to toggle), now press [E](extrusion) select ‘Region’ from pop-up and start moving the mouse upwards(Y axis). Just like the major grid jumps you can get smaller ones by complementing [Ctrl] with [Shift]. Now move it up to 1 small grid unit.

Tip: One small unit = .1000 in blender units or coordinates and one major([Ctrl]) is 1.000.

  • Step-4 Now we will enable Subsurf on our vase mesh. Press [F9] (Edit buttons), immediately you will see the buttons-window will change in options. Now in the buttons-window go to ‘Mesh’ panel and press Subsurf button to enable Sub-Surface. SubSurf increases the virtual count of the vertices, edges or faces in order to achieve smoother angles on the surface faces. Increase the value of ‘Subdiv’ to 2 on second spinner button.
Mesh properties in blender
  • Step-5 We also need to enable smoothing for the surface itself. In the same buttons-window go to ‘Link & Materials’ panel. Press ‘Set Smooth’ button. Press [Z](3dView Shading) once to get ‘solid shading’ in 3dView. The extruded circle or vase mesh will be shown in shaded mode.
MAterial settings blender
Tip: For free form view in the 3dView, press and keep MMB while moving the mouse.

  • Step-6 In the shaded-mode if you see any artifacts on the surface then, first select all the vertices by pressing [A] then press [Ctrl+N] to recalculate surface normals. Before proceeding get back to wire frame view([Z] again). You can now save your work.

  • Step-7 I am assuming that you haven’t changed the front view [Numpad1] and 3dView is in wireframe shading. If you had to go through the step5 then first unselected all the vertices by again pressing [A]. Press [B](box selection) the cursor will change to plus, drag and create a box around the topmost vertices in order to select them. Once selected we can proceed to extrude the vase surface.

Extruding in blender

Press [E] then [Y](Y axis) to constrain movement vertically, now move it .1000 unit upwards. Scale it down to .600. To scale the selection press [S] then move the mouse, click to commit scaling.

  • Step-8 No we have to complete the vase by 13 more extrusions. I am providing the extruding and scaling measurement for each step along with directions. Follow the method of extrusion and/or scaling procedure on them. Make sure you check the coordinates in the coordinate panel on the menu bar when you are moving the vertices.
1) .1000 extrude up, scale 1.300.
2) .1000 extrude up, scale 1.200.
3) .3000 extrude up, scale 1.300.
4) .4000 extrude up.
5) extrude and move up 2 big units([Ctrl]) and then .700 scale inwards.

Vase modeling blender
The image8 shows the result of first set of extrusions for our vase model.

Step-9 Up to now we had created the bulk of the vase, and we can see the process in the shaded view, by pressing [Z]. Before proceeding get back in wire frame view.

6) .2000 extrude upwards, scale .800 inwards. Next two extrusions will shape the ‘neck’ of the vase.
7) .2000 extrude upwards, scale .600 inwards.
8) .1000 extrude upwards.
9) .1000 extrude upwards, 1.400 scale outwards.
10) .1500 extrude upwards.
11) .600 extrude inwards, and lastly
12) .3000 extrude downwards.

Before proceeding get out of edit-mode by pressing [Tab].

  • Step-10 If you followed right your work will look something like in the image-9. We will now add a floor underneath the vase. Go to top-view [Numpad7]. Press Space bar goto Add>>Mesh>>Plane. Scale it up to 12 big units. Move the plane left 5 major units and up 5 major units. The modeling work for our scene is complete and you can view your work in rendering.
  • Step-11 Now we need to adjust the camera. Select it by right-click. Press [Numpad0] to get into camera view. Grab [G] camera, keep pressed the [Ctrl] and move the mouse downwards one time, the value in the coordinated should Dz 1.0000. This will bring the vase in full view of the camera. Press [F12] to see your modeled vase get rendered.Save the file now.
    Go to Next part –
    Part 3: Material & Textures

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