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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Lighted Christmas Tree (Part 1 - The Floor and Mat)

NOTE: This tutorial is no longer fully-compatible with the latest versions of Blender. If you wish to follow along with the tutorial, you'll need to use Blender 2.45 or earlier. You can find earlier versions of Blender, here. A new version of this tutorial series will be created to maintain full compatibility.

This is Part 1 of 6 tutorials demonstrating the different aspects of making a lighted Christmas tree (including gift boxes). The commentary in these tutorials is minimized because my goal is to present something that will, hopefully, spark ideas of your own.

In the real world, setting up a Christmas tree is a very personal endeavor. I wanted to try and recreate that by not providing a step-by-step tutorial on exactly how to do it but, instead, simply show you ways to create the different parts that make up the tree. Part 6 will show how you can take the examples in parts 1 thru 5 and create a nice little Christmas tree of your own.

My ideas are based on an artificial Christmas tree, the kind that you would buy at the store and have to piece together on your own.

Watch the tutorial online
(SWF streaming)
Or, Download the ZIP file to view it offline (load the HTML file in your browser).

Get the Free Flash Player: Windows version or Linux version


Unknown said...

The new format for these tutorials are nice and small! I just loved the way the stand cover renders, it just looks so real.

Anonymous said...

Hip !

This tutorial seams very interesting, but I've one problem : on Blender2.42 OS.X Intel, I don't havce the SoftBody II panel !
So the stand cover dont fold in contact with the stand :/

Any lue ?

! qiH


Kernon Dillon said...

You might need to download a more recent build from I used v242.2 in the tutorial.

Also, you can still do deflections with the Softbody II panel by using the deflection settings in the Fields and Deflection panel (located in the same window as the softbody settings, at the far left). Those controls serve the same purpose as the controls on the Softbody II panel. However, the Softbody II panel has more controls that are specific to softbodies.

To get the cover to drop you need to make sure that you have created a vertex group containing all the vertices of the mesh, weight-painted the mesh blue, and set the softbody properties to use the vertex group you created.

Anonymous said...

Hip !

I found out !

In fact, watching the tutorial, and the mat moving down, I didn't understoud that the mat was folling only when steping to another frame !
I was trying to move it down by hand :P

When I hit the Baking button, "thing" happened, so...

Now (with the "modifier softbody apply"), I have a stand and a mat over it :D



Kernon Dillon said...

Also, you might want to use the Alt-A keystroke to animate the softbodies immediately. Use the Bake feature when you want to cache the softbody effects in memory. Caching the calculations in memory will allow for smoother playback of complex softbody setups because Blender is not having to calculate in real-time.

Thomas said...

What does this actually do?
Can it play a video on a plane or something???

Kernon Dillon said...

I think you are asking about the video textures tutorial? If so, the answer is yes, you can use a video as a texture in Blender. Wherever you can use an image as a texture, you may also use a video! The short tutorial shows you the simple steps to add a video as a texture.

Anonymous said...

You really need to explain more in this tutorial. I didn't get much far on the the first part due to lack of detail.

Kernon Dillon said...

Sorry about that. I have to agree that the earlier tutorials that I created are not as thorough as the more recent ones.

If you visit the BlenderNewbies Forums, you can get the help that you need.

Thanks! :)

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