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Thursday, September 30, 2010

News: Sintel movie is released!!

For best quality, download the movie from

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My Current Blender Defaults and Theme

This is the current setup and theme that I'm using with Blender 2.54. Only the default screen layout is themed. I tend to theme things as needed, so it's just a start.

I like the increased contrast and, for me, it's much easier to scan through the properties to find what I need.

To check it out, simply load the bn254_startup.blend file. You can tweak the settings as desired, and then press Ctrl-U to make the setup your new defaults.

Download the blend file.

EDIT: Previous file was an older version. Replaced with latest version that matches the screenshot.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tutorial Mashup: Understanding Blend Modes

Here's a collection of tutorials (Photoshop and GIMP) that focuses on understanding the many different blend modes that are essential in texture painting and compositing.

This information is applicable to any graphics application that has layers and blend mode features.

Examples of blend modes in Blender

Understanding Photoshop Blending Modes

Photoshop Blendmodes Explained

Submitted by martinamca: Texture Blending in Blender

Explaining Blending Modes in Photoshop and GIMP (Multiply, Divide, Overlay, Screen)
How Blending Modes Work, Part Two. (Dodge, Burn, Soft Light, and Hard Light)
Layer Modes Part Three (Difference, Addition, Subtraction, Darken, Lighten)
GIMP and Photoshop Layer Modes, Part Four (Hue, Saturation, Color and Value)

Using Blend Modes in Photoshop - Part 1 Access the other parts via the links at the end of the tutorial.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wow, Check out the Sintel Movie Poster!

Well, it kind of speaks for itself.

See the full-size version and more info on the production of the poster at the Durian Open Movie Project blog.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Real-World Insight into 3-Point Lighting and the Chiaroscuro Technique

It's easy to forget that what we do in Blender is built upon real techniques and concepts from the real world. Oftentimes, when trying to learn how to do something in Blender, the first instinct can be to look for a "Blender" tutorial on the subject. That can be fine for a quick fix, but don't forget to dig a little deeper on the subject when you have more time.

Figure out where you can get richer information about the real-world practices for the subject, and bring that knowledge back to Blender.

For lighting techniques, I think photography is a great place to start. Oil paintings (done by the Masters) are a great way to study the artistic application of the techniques. Of course, oil paintings precede photography on the timeline of history, but photography is where you'll find descriptions of lighting techniques that directly relate to what you'll be doing in Blender.

The following videos are good examples of the kind of info that's out there just waiting to illuminate your mind (sorry, couldn't resist). The three videos on 3-point lighting compliment each other with subtle, overlapping details. The fourth video is an example of a painting technique (Chiaroscuro) applied to real-world lighting.

Experiment with these techniques in Blender and watch your confidence increase as you have a new level of understanding based on real-world practices.

3-Point Lighting

Chiaroscuro Lighting Technique

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Two Simple But Helpful Changes in Blender 2.5

Here are two helpful changes the Blender developers have made to Blender 2.5.

We can now remove presets for the Render Dimensions:

And, we can remove Cloth presets:

Also, the "File Exists" popup (you know the one that was easy to miss?) is no longer a part of the workflow. When saving a new file, if the typed filename matches an existing file in the same folder the filename field is tinted red. The tooltip for the field informs you of the meaning of the red tinting. If you save under these conditions, the existing file is simply overwritten.

Since I'm keeping a close watch for these types of changes, I'll be sure to do a quick post to let you know when interesting things develop.


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Monday, September 13, 2010

DVD update: Bearsly Junior Learns a Lesson

Here's another tutorial project in development where the character is a simple hand puppet named Bearsly, Junior. Junior is a young, restless cub that learns the important lesson of "walk, don't run", maybe. The modeling and texturing of the character and scene have been kept simple to help keep the length of the tutorial under control. But, the things learned can be easily transferred to more complex projects. The Cloth simulator will provide some extra puppet-like movements.

Here's the set for the animation

Here's the first blocking stage of the animation (no real timing yet, just keys every 10 frames)

Blocking stage 2 (keys are splined, still no timing work, f-curve effects added)

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

News: Sintel Featured on the cover of 3D World's October Issue

Click image to enlarge.

More details on the Durian Open Movie Project blogsite.

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