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 How to: work with Blender

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Hamilton

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Game username : Hamilton
Server : Myatar Legends // Dragon's Den
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Join date : 2011-10-20
Age : 31
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PostSubject: How to: work with Blender   Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:09 pm

This is an old old OOLLLLDDDD tutorial that I originally had posted to the FeralHeart site (and later moved a copy to a personal forum).

This tutorial contains:

-links for downloading old versions of necessary files
-a shit-tun of text
-a large informative screen-grab

It teaches you:

-all the basic ONSCREEN buttons
-a few hot keys
-how to build a mesh from scratch
-how to create a simple UV and materials link
-exporting a static mesh

It does NOT teach you:

-importing
-rigging
-animating
-exporting a dynamic mesh


Your first task to procure the following programs and scripts:
Blender
A working Python (no, not a big snake in a hardhat. well....actually...the icon does kinda look...oh never mind!)
The Ogre mesh exporter compatible with your version of Blender.
OgreCommandLine Tools (exactly the way it looks)


Blender: without this, you simply cannot mesh. It's be like trying to make a flash video without flash. It has all the tools you need to make spiffy meshes, set armatures, animate, record, render, and even build a video game! Wow.

Python: while you don't need this if you plan on meshing and never using your mesh for anything than to look nice in blender, you do need it for running all your scripts. You know, like the ones that let you import and export your work. Python is just cool that way.

Ogre mesh exporter: simply put, it's a script that will allow you to export your mesh into a .xml format.

OgreCommandLine Tools: these are the magic makers. take any .xml mesh, and they will automatically convert them to .mesh format. That's the format we need for FH!


You can get these by following the links provided:

Blender version 2.49a (OMG, it's the one IT prefers!)
The exporter for lower versions of Blender (hay! that's what hammy uses!)
XML converter (it's at the bottom of the page)


Installation.

Run the blender install as you would any other program.

You can run it to test it/play with it if you like.

If I remember (it has been a few years) Python should install fairly normally to. (ok ya, just install normally, it'll make it's own folder).

Make sure the exporter script finds it's way to the scripts folder. You can find this here:

my computer->local drive->documents and settings->your data file (should have your name)->application data->blender foundation->blender->.blender->scripts

Lastly, install/open OgreCommandLine tools. I let mine make a new folder like the python did, to make it easier to find. But again, you can install this anywhere.


OKAY
you should now be ready to get to work!

Let's take a moment to make sure everything is in it's place. Run blender. A black window should open with the dialog "Compiled with python version #.##.##         Checking for python..........got it!".

If it doesn't "get it", Python didn't install properly.

The black window will remain, but the Blender program should now be up and running.

Blender needs a prompt to locate newly installed scripts. To do this, find the little square on your screen that currently is filled with a small grid pattern.

Click on it to open a narrow drop menu. There will be an option near the end that says "scripts". it's icon is a snake.....

Click on it. your screen should change to be nearly blank. This is okay! Really!

On the header where you found that grid button, it should have a new button called "scripts".

Click on it to get another drop menu. The very last thing on the menu is "update menus".

Click on it to update your scripts.


To test that this was successful (and that you installed the exporter right) click on the "scripts" button again.

From the list, highlight "Export" and from there select "OGRE meshes".

This should cause the window to be filled with some text boxes and big buttons. (some blue, others yellow).



Chances are, you screen looks something like this when you start up Blender.


In the center, we see the current mesh. A preloaded Cube. Our view is currently aligned to look down on the mesh from the top. The little arrows in the center of the mesh are your transform widget. This little tool only shows up in object mode and edit mode. It is a very handy little guy. If you pull on one of his branches, your selection will be dragged along that branches axis. (x, y, or z)

Hotkeys to replace the widget are "G" for "grab" and "x, y, z" for the axis you want to drag along. If you only hit "G", your selection will move on all the axis' at once! Not always bad but it's much easier to make sure you hit an axis key before you start dragging things around. (that's hitting "g" and then hitting either "x, y, or z" right away)


Find the red heart. The button it highlights is the windows button. This changes which window you are viewing. Currently it is on 3D view. Displayed as a grid.

Next to that is a blue heart. This is the view button. You can change the view of your camera here. Your middle mouse button, or wheel button, can also swivel the camera freely. Holding "shift" while using the middle wheel button will drag the camera around without changing the perspective. Scrolling the mouse wheel will zoom the camera in and out. And holding the "shift" key while you scroll will make the camera move on the z axis only. Your number pad also controls some camera functions. 5 swaps between perspective mode and orthographic mode. 8 and 2 swivel the came around the mesh from top to bottom. 4 and 6 swivel the camera around the mesh from side to side. 1 will set the camera to view the front of the mesh. 3 will view the side of the mesh. 7 will view the top of the mesh. and...9 does nothing...apparently.

The purple heart (or pink?) shows the select menu. Here you can find a bunch of different methods of selecting meshes/vertices/etc.

The orange heart has the mode menu. Currently, it's set to object mode. so we have a menu with options for making changes to the mesh that effects the entire mesh or multiple meshes. In edit mode, the menu has options for making changes to only the parts of a mesh you want it to.

The teal heat shows you what view mode you are in. Currently, it's in solid mode. Meaning we can only see the mesh as gray. We can't see anything that might be effected by texture. Switching to shaded mode allows you to see some of the areas effected by texture but not the texture itself. Texture mode ...well...lets you see the mesh as it will look in it's completed form. Wireframe shows the edges and polyshapes that make up your mesh but not any of the faces or gray areas. and bounding box just shows the area your mesh takes up.

At the top, in yellow, is the add menu. from here you can add new shapes to a mesh (in edit mode) or add new objects to a project (object mode).

At the very bottom are our links buttons. the first is a sphere shape. this is for our materials links so we can set up a texture for our mesh. The second...I don't use much. But the third! this is the editing button. Here you can change the name of your mesh and set modifiers tot he mesh to do some cool things.

Those little X's? those show where there is a divide between windows. Yes, you are currently looking at 3 windows on one screen. If you hover your mouse on them, you'll find you can drag them up and down to make them bigger or smaller. If you right-click on them, you can make two windows become one (deletes the window you hover into). You can also split your screen for even more windows! (I usually have at least 4 for various reasons).


Now...in object mode, you can't do much. You can move a object around but it will otherwise come out the same. You need to either use edit mode or sculpt mode to build your mesh.

If you're going for sculpt mode, here's a step to help you out:

See that long yellowish button that says "add multiers"? click on it. You may have to do this a second time, but not to many! This modifier will subdivide your mesh, automatically giving it an even amount of new vertices. Modifiers can only be done in object mode, so if you want to do this, do it now~.

You can also sub-divide your mesh by hand with the hotkey combo of "ctrl +r". this only works in edit mode. Every-time you hit this combo, a purple line will appear dividing an area of your mesh where your mouse cursor is located. Click the mouse if that is the direction you wish to make a cut. The link is now green and follows your mouse. When you have it to where you want, click the mouse again to set the seam. Your mesh will now have a few more vertices than it once did.

Repeat this until you have a good number of vertices to work with (anywhere between 10-50). you can check your vertices count at the very top right of the program. it'll say something like "ve:#-# ed:#-# fa:#-#" ve is your vertices, ed is edges, and fa is faces/polys. the first number is how many you have currently selected. the second is the total amount the mesh contains.

Now go to sculpt mode. Remember that mode menu that changes? it is now a sculpt menu! magic! Click on it for a drop menu. See where it says "sculpt properties"? click on it. (hotkey "N" does the same thing). this will open a small floating window where you can make changes to your sculpting brush.



You have my permission to now go crazy with your sculpt tool. It's okay. I use it often too :3

I accidentally omitted a key bit of information. How to select ANYTHING.

See, as default, Blender doesn't selected objects or vertices using the left mouse button. That button is used for clicking buttons and stuff.

To select anything in the 3d view (object, vertices, edge, or face) use the right mouse button. I know this can feel odd at first. I still occasional confuse the two.

You can swap the buttons in user preferences, but if you've already learned the keys and buttons to use by default, messing with the layout kinda looses it's necessity. Also, I never changed my settings, making discussing their functions much easier when you think about it.


More useful hotkeys:

"s". this will scale your selection. drag the mouse away from the selection to go bigger. Drag it closer to go smaller. It's better to have the mouse a little away from the center of the selection before you hit "s", otherwise you can quickly end up with an inside-out mesh! hitting an axis key "x, y, or z" will scale the selection only along that axis.

"r". This will rotate your selection. It works similar to scaling. Drag your mouse away to rotate in one direction, push toward to rotate the opposite. "x, y, and z" limit the rotation to one axis.

"ctrl+r" we covered this before, but I'll say it again: this will divide your mesh at whichever point your mouse is at. Click once to set the cut, click again to set the cut.

"shift +d" this duplicates any selection. it works immediately and the new object will be linked to your mouse (meaning it will follow where-ever the mouse moves to). The movement is free of axis constraints and can sometimes flub up a little (new object ends up way off to the y axis and deep under the z). Click the left mouse button to confirm the new location. You can prevent this by confining the movement to an axis. (our old friends the "x, y and z" keys!).

"f" will create a new face from 3-4 selected vertices. It comes most in handy when you are building a mesh from the ground up, a few vertices or edges at a time. It also helps link two sets of faces together.

"ctrl + a" this only works in object mode and is best left to when the mesh is completed. It opens a small floating window where you can set the scale and rotation of your new mesh to remain in the object data. This helps to prevent meshes from loading as teeny tiny things when you put them in the game.


About sculpting:

While it's not a bad way to mesh, it does have a few downsides.  If you use the inflate/deflate option too much, you can cause portions of the mesh to become inverted. While a good code can hide this in the game, it makes texture-wrapping a lot more difficult. The smooth option can fix this but at a cost. Smooth can also be used to much and completely flatten your mesh.

Sculpting is also very confining and usually only has good results when the vert count is excessively high. And high vert counts lead to massive lag.


It's a good place to start if your just toying with Blender.

To make the really dramatically cool stuff, you need to go it one vert group/edge at a time.

So, lets get started.

First, what are you going to make?  Can I make a suggestion? Try a rock. I know, I know, it's not that cool but listen for a moment. You are reading this to learn how to use Blender. And jumping in with say....a horse, it's just asking for trouble. You never want to start out with complex shapes. Work up to them. Otherwise, you'll burn yourself out, get super mad....maybe throw your mouse at your monitor a few times, and then give up. Or worse, my inbox will be full of complaints! lol

So, let's just make a rock for now. Hey, don't be sad. It can be any shape you want. Make an arch even! That'd be cool and still be simple!


My rock is going to be symmetrical. This means that the left and right sides will look exactly the same. While I could try this by hand, I'm not that good. So I'm going to use a mirror.

But first, lets set up the screen. I want my mesh to load already in the right angle so users don't need to rotate it. In views, select "front view". Now we can align the mesh to the ground. Next, that cube is in the way. We don't need it. Select it and hit the hotkey "x". you will be prompted to confirm a deletion request. Accept.

Good, a blank "canvas" so to speak.

Next, we need to fix how meshes are added in. Currently, if we added anything, it will be facing up. We want it to face us. That top window divider? drag it down to access the user preferences.

A lot of cool stuff in here to fiddle with, but later! For now, see the row of long purple buttons at the bottom? See the one labeled "edit methods"? Click on it!

Oh boy, more options! resist the temptation to play! We are here on a mission. On the far left-hand side are the following set of buttons: "ObData" "Object" "Switch to edit mode" and "Align to view".

That last one, "align to view" is the one we want. click on it. Now drag the divider back up to hide those functions. We're done with them.

Now, we need to add a mesh. Oh but hammy, we just deleted one! Too bad! We need a new one! From the add menu, hover over "mesh" to get a list of options. The very first one will be "plane". Click on it.

The 3d window will now display a square. It is flat and gray and has 4 sides. It is very un-rock like.

The drop menu that says "object mode", click on it. select "edit mode". The square changed. You can now see it's vertices, highlighted in yellow. All the verts are selected, meaning the entire mesh is selected. Take your widget and grab it by the y axis arrow (the green one). Drag the mesh to the far right. not so far you can't see it.

Switch back to "object mode".

In the window at the bottom, on the far right side is some modifiers. These do a variety of cool stuff. And wee need that Very Happy

Clicking "add modifier" will open a long drop menu. The  text may be small. Find the word "mirror" and select it.

A lot of new buttons. x, y, and z change where the mirror is set up. And selecting more than one puts up more mirrors (ex x and y can mirror or only z can mirror. etc etc). For now, leave it on x. Next is the "do clipping" button. This will make sure none of your changes on the edit side will cross over into the mirrors side. It also links the two side together. We want this. Click on it to activate it.

By now, you have surely noticed you have two planes on your 3d view instead of 1. That is the mirror at work. There are no other buttons we need right now, so go back to edit mode.

Now, I can't tell you EXACTLY what to do, since for all I know, you skipped my warning and went right into making a bunny rabbit. Fine, whatever.

Start by dragging your plane back to the center. not too far, just till the two left hand verts catch on the mirror.

You can re-size anything you want. Rotate, w/e.

Ta add more verts without cutting, extrude them instead! Extrude is like....well it's hard to explain exactly. What it does is it duplicates the verts you have selected but there are still linked to their older parts. So you can drag the new verts out and a face will fill in the area between them. It's sort of like...drawing but with vertices lol.

"e" is the extruding hotkey. In vert and edge mode, it will ask if you want to extrude the verts or the edges. both will work fine. in face mode, you'll get a new option "region" this will extrude entire selected areas and can quickly lead to high-poly counts.

When you need to fill in between the mesh and mirror, drag a vert over. With do clipping set up, it will automatically connect the two. If you're ambitious, you can form the whole rock with just extrusions and grab/dragging singular vertices.

Or you can just touch it up in little amounts with the sculpt brushes. To each their own really.

when you are satisfied with the look of your rock (or whatever else you made, you daredevil), go back to object mode. In the same location as we set up the mirror, there is a nifty little button labeled "apply". Click on it to turn the mirrored side into real mesh! Making your rock one solid piece! How awesome!


Now, currently, you mesh has gone through it's birth as being called "plane" or maybe "plane.01". Oy, what a lame name.

Back to the bottom window!

In the left hand box called "links and materials" are two text boxes. one says "ME:Plane" and the other "OB: Plane". Change them both to whatever you want your mesh to be called. something unique perhaps. not just "rock", that will cause problems with the game after all. how about "myrock" or "first rock".

Hit enter each time to confirm the change. In the 3d window, your mesh will now be renamed. Pretty cool.

While we're here, lets set up the texture name too.

This will come in handy as we continue.

The sphere shaped button in the bottom window, click on it.

Of the new buttons this opened, select "add new". Suddenly, arse-load of buttons! Don't panic!

Near the center is a list of options labeled "links and pipelines". The very first thing in it is a text box that reads "MA: material". Change this to set a texture name. make it unique or at least the same as your mesh. Hit enter to confirm the change.


You can test-export this now if you wish but it won't come out pretty. In the very least, you can see how the export screen is set up :3


Now we apply a simple texture! This will 1)set a unique texture to your mesh or 2)make the mesh able to display existing textures.

See, even if you only plan on using rockMat4 from the game, you still need to teach the mesh how it's supposed to display that texture. Otherwise, you can (and will!) end up with a very drab colored mesh that doesn't display any texture. OakMat/Bark, rockMat2, PalmBark. They'll all display as one color and no texture.  Hardly phenomenal, so clearly we must set the mesh to know how it should display these things.

We are going to need a new window for this.

At the top dividing line, hover your mouse over till you get the double arrows. Hit the right mouse button to open the small drop menu. Select "split screen" from the list. There will now be a vertical line following your mouse. We don't need the window right away, so click at any size then drag the new window till it is hidden off to the side.

If you didn't follow the steps in "renaming your mesh", and the only function you have is "add new", then go back and follow those steps. Very important.

All the way to the right hand side is a list of functions labeled "texture". It's got some blank slots you can click, and a "add new" button.

with the first slot selected, hit the "add new" button. It will change to a text box that reads "TE:tex.001"

replace the text with something relevant to your mesh/texture area.

I want to draw your attention back to the sphere buttons. Yes, plural. If you didn't notice before, you now have 2 of them. One is gray, the other is red.

We want to focus on the red one now. To the right of the red sphere is a orangey square with black spots in it. Click on that button!

some cool new stuff came up. One is a preview of your image. it's blank right now, because we haven't gotten that far.

Next is where we need for setting the image. You have the name of the current material you are working on, a list of selectable icons (the top most with the name of your texture in it),  and a drop drown menu for your texture type. Currently set on "none".

Click on the word "non" to open the drop menu. At the very bottom of the list is the word "image". Select it to get more functions to open!

We don't need the middle functions. Draw your attention to the far right. There is but one button. "load"

Click on it to open a browse window. On the left hand side at the top are two buttons. "P" will browse back by one folder (ei, go to "p"arent folder). the double arrows opens a list of frequently used and relevant file locations.

Use these to get to the location of an image you want to use as a texture. (if you thought ahead, you save a new one in "my_objects". you can borrow one from "rocks" for this mesh as it should be a simple one lol)

when you find the file you want, click on it to select it. Then, back at the top and on the right hand side, hit the big button that says "SELECT IMAGE" to set the file. Your window will return to 3d view and at the bottom, the preview square will display the image you chose.

We don't need this window anymore. But if you need to make changes, simply drag it's dividing line down till the window is no longer visible. This way, you can come back to it if you need to.

Now, remember that new window we created? drag it open. I don't recommend going any further than half way. You should still be able to view your mesh in the left hand window.

You'll notice both windows are set to 3d view. Hardly useful. In the right hand window, click on the 3d view button (the grid pattern) to open the list of window views. Select the one that reads "UV/Image Editor". It's icon is a face. Creepy.

If your mesh is in object mode, switch it to Edit mode. Also, switch out of "solid" view and instead view in "textured" mode. Your mesh will be either white or black. this is normal.

Select everything. the entire mesh should be selected.

Hit the "u" key to open a menu of options. The only ones that are of use right now are "cube projection" "cylinder from view" "sphere from view" "project from view" and "project from view (bounds)".

Select any of those for now. It should make a grid like pattern appear on the right hand window (cube projection) or a flattened/warped version of you mesh (all others).

In the right hand window is a button that is just double arrows. click on it. This list is the current images you have loaded. There should be only 1 right now and an option for a new image. Click on the image we loaded previously. This will make it appear under the grid we just made.

Go look at your mesh, it now has texture! Holy mother of god!

Of the options I showed you earlier, test them and pick the one that you think looks best on your mesh.

You mesh now has texture. If you exported it right now, it would look pretty dang awesome.

There are other texture options you could also employ. Maybe you need more than one texture? Maybe you have a thing against texture stretch-marks. Seams can come in pretty hand here!

Of course, for some meshes, simply doing a double texture is the way to go. like when you need bark and leaves for a tree. For this, two different images are best. Which also means two different texture codes.

To go about this, remember those selectable areas when we named our texture? select a second one and give it a new name. Follow the steps for setting up the image file.

Now comes the tricky part. only select the parts of your mesh that are going to have the new texture. This way, when you use the 'u' key to set it to the uv window, it will only take the info from the new texture.

Follow the steps from setting the image into the uv/image editor window and, by default, onto your selected mesh area.

And, done. Unless you are uber picky and there's something off. Honestly, if you are making leaves to go on a tree, it's better to start with only one plane of leaves. set a texture to it, then just duplicate it till your tree is well foliated.


Another way of doing more than one texture but without the hassle of multiple images, is to have all the data in one image. For instance: you could have a different image for the flower, a different image for the stem, and a different image for the leaves of your plant. Or you could have one image with those three components set up nicely on the canvas.

But hammy, if I just do a wrap with something like that, it'll look ugly and not very flower-like!

Seams! Seams make it awesome!

With a couple seams, you can use the "unwrap" function when you go to the "u" menu. Before, if we selected this, the program made it's own seams (or sometimes, just fails to do anything at all). Often very clumsily and not very useful. If you put in your own seams, you can get that unwrapped mesh to look perfect!

To create a seam, select only the verts needed to form a line at were you would like the seam to be. For example: all the verts in a line up the left side of a cylinder.

To set the seam, go to your edit menu. Near about the topish-middleish area are 4 cool sub menus. "Normals" "faces" "edges" "vertices". You want "edges". hover over it to see all the cool functions it has to offer.

The function we need is "set seam". This will turn the edges connection your selected verts to an orange color. this means that there is now a seam there. when you unwrap your uvs, this seam is where the cut will be made.

After you are satisfied with your seams, test them by using the "unwrap" function from the "u" key menu. In your uv window, you'll see shapes made from your seams, instead of a blob of grid stuffs. You can select sets of linked uvs and drag them ("g" key) till they are positioned over the image data you want them to read. ("r" rotate and "s" scale also work here but only on x and y axis. uv has no z).


Yet another way to do the same thing, is to make each part of your mesh a new plane. Stem for the flower? new plane, create shape, set texture, done. Need leaves? new plane, create shape, set texture, duplicate and position, done. Need a flower or two? new plane, create shape, set texture, done. Etc etc.

It's a little slower, but much cleaner than just using seams.

All that talk about exporting. How about we cover it for reals this time?

You can access this in any window you like, but the bigger ones are better for seeing everything.

In your window of choice, find the window menu button. (remember, it's the one that displays a grid in 3d view and a person in uv/image editor view)

Open the menu and select the one hat says "scripts". It's shaped like a snake....

Your window will be blank, that's okay.

There is only one option on our header. "scripts". click on it for the drop menu.

Find the word "export" and hover over it for more options.

From here, choose "OGRE mesh". click on it to make the script run.

One of your windows should look something like this:



In the red, we have your current mesh by name. This is what will be exported. there is a drop menu for selecting other meshes, if you have more than one you have been working on. If you make any changes to your mesh now, hit the "update" button.

In green is our material name. It says "scene" by default. Change it to something that matches your mesh and is unique so it won't overwrite anything. the first two blue buttons are unnecessary. Moving on.

"Rendering materials" is the option that works best for newbie users who are exporting a mesh with only one texture image set to it.

"Game engine materials" works best for the newbie users who are exporting a mesh with multiple texture images/codes.

"path:" is where your mesh will be deposited when it is exported. hit "select" to browse locations. Pick someplace easy to remember. I like depositing new exports into my ogrecommandline tools folder for easy access to the converter. The selection process works the same as when we selected an image earlier. Except instead of picking a file, you are picking a folder location.

"Fix up axis to "y" is important! always make sure it is selected (in my screenshot, it is not selected). This will make sure your mesh will load right-side up when you load it in the game.

"Skeleton name follow mesh" renames a skeleton to match the meshes current name. You don't need this unless you have an animated skeleton to export. Which you should not. you can leave it alone or deselect it.

"ogreXML converter" is optional. I don't use it. It's supposed to automatically convert your exported mesh but...meh, It's not that time consuming to do it by hand.

"Export" is the money maker. This activates the script and exports your mesh and material files and sends them to the location you picked earlier. Of course, it exports as XML format so you need to convert the mesh afterwords to get it to work in the game.


A handy tool to remember is "crtl +a". Use it in a window that is in 3d view and object mode. It will open a list of options. The very first of which is "scale and rotation to ob data". It really helps to keep your mesh from loading microscopic in the game. (scaling the whole mesh up also helps).

If you made these changes while you had a window with the exporter open, remember to hit the update button.



To convert the mesh, it's very easy. Find you newly exported mesh. If it's not in the ogrecommanline tools folder, make a copy of it and the material file (conversely, you can drag and drop it if you are in two different windows) and paste the copy into the commandlines tools folder.

See the file named "OgreXmlConverter"? This is the one you want. Select your .xml file and drag it till it is ontop of the converter. Release.

The xml file should return to it's former position. If it was a larger file, you might catch a glimpse of the converter opening and doing it's thang.

A new file will appear at the end of the list of files. it is your mesh but...it's a .mesh file! OMG magic!

you can now take the .mesh file and .material file and place them into your "my_objects" folder in feralheart. (or, you know, the 'models' or 'trees' folder because we're KITO! lololol)


You should open your material file now. You'll notice, if you exported using the "rendering materials" option, that the code is very...incomplete.

That's okay.

Just open any other existing material file and swipe a code form there (minus the code header [material            randomwords]). Paste it over your broken code so it replaces completely (minus the code header).

Put your image file back into the code and save.


Now, go load your mesh in object maker plug that shit into a map and load up the game to check it out. It's glorious, ain't it? I'll give you a moment to let it all sink in~


Last edited by Hamilton on Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:12 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : whoops, broken image tags)
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Hamilton

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Game username : Hamilton
Server : Myatar Legends // Dragon's Den
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Join date : 2011-10-20
Age : 31
Location : everywhere

PostSubject: Re: How to: work with Blender   Sun May 22, 2016 3:57 am

First, I'm sorry to be bumping this up but I just wanted to say I am sorry this thread no-longer has images. It really was a million times more helpful with them. I don't know where they went (and imgur server change ate a lot of my older things) and I no longer even have them on my computer.

But I still want this thread to have some usefulness to it, which is why I'm not just scrapping it completely. Instead, I want to take a moment to give you something much more helpful. It is a link to a pdf file from many many years ago. It is an old Blender character animating tutorial. It takes you through all the steps. From building the mesh all the way to finishing off the animations. It also covers a lot of the relevant hotkeys. This is, simply, the tutorial that taught me almost everything I currently know about Blender and rigging/animation. (and greatly improved my modeling technique even though we all know how shitty that still is XD)

I wasn't sure if it was good to post it by itself in a thread. Which is why I'm using this space for it. If someone says otherwise, then I'll move it post-haste.

You can view the file directly in our browser or you can download it to your computer for later. It's a pdf after all :3

Introduction to Character Animation

Please remember, it is a VERY old document that has many links in it which are no longer functioning. (but really, following the tutorial doesn't really require them so....)

Enjoy~
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