Following on from Teachers Without Borders on Secondlife, I met Konrad to discuss what he needed in detail. The main goal is to have a set of chairs with multiple configurations depending on how the space is being used. In simple terms you have an object that you touch which brings up a menu with options like “lecture”, “discussion” and perhaps options for the number of chairs needed. When you choose an option the chairs reposition themselves. We’ll get to that in time. In this post we look at starting to design the chair in Blender. Konrad wanted to keep the space fairly informal so for now we are going with a typical outdoor chair.
I produced a video tutorial that roughly shows the steps I’ve taken to make the chair. I hope others join in and share their progress. All of the software is free and open source and runs on all the major operating systems. Here’s the things you will need.
Stay tuned for part 2, we’ll look at baking the sculpt map and making the texture.
PRO TIP FOR MEDIA: You’ll notice on archive.org that the video is available in Ogg Video format, this is the video format used by professionals involved in OER and free learning, its a royalty free format. If it doesn’t play on your system by default then download vlc media player.
I have been experimenting with Blender again this weekend. He has produced some really nice modern sculptures. You can view the sculptures here in Second Life, or take a look at flickr. You can download Blender here. Blender is a 3D graphics application released as free software under the GNU General Public License. Blender is available for a number of operating systems, including Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. You can look at a vast array of Blender tutorials here.
Neil Hirsig has developed an online course to offer students an introduction to the world of computer generated 3-D modeling and animation.
As an introductory course, it provides a basic understanding of the skills and techniques employed by 3-D designers in a wide range of applications. In this online course we will explore basic mesh modeling, applying textures and materials to 3-D objects, lighting, animation and rendering. This course should provide a good basis for further independent study in architectural, engineering and theatrical modeling and game design.
The sequence of Learning Units are a suggested path of learning Blender but you are welcome to use this material in any way that suits your purposes.
MakeHuman is a software application that generates 3D humanoids; similar to Poser or DAZ Studio. It is written in C++ and Aqsis is necessary to produce a render. The MakeHuman team work towards correctness both in programming (using common file formats) and anatomy. MakeHuman makes extensive use of university research in accurately modelling the human form.
What I found really interesting was when you import your model to blender, I did this using the collada import plugin. I’ll try to explain a little using the screenshot below.
By default the skeleton and armature are placed inside the body, I moved them out of the body to show you. Im sure having the armature already set up will save a lot of time, armature is kind of skeletal structure used for animation. Watch Super3boy’s 20th Blender Tutorial(Using Armatures) on youtube for a good introduction to armatures. The other at the back is the human skeleton. The other thing you can’t see here is the skin, I still have a lot to learn and texturing/skinning the meshes looks difficult. On top of all the 3d stuff theres so much I’m learning about the human body.
The other thing I’m enjoying about learning Blender this time around is the community at blenderartists.org. The way the more experienced guys explain things, the terminology they use is really helping me along and of course being able to use some of their source files is incredibly useful.
You may remember project Orange’s open movie “Elephants Dream” and project Peach’s open movie “Big Buck Bunny“, they’ve continued with a new open project Apricot. This time it isn’t a movie but a 3D game! These are all projects by the Blender Foundation and the Institute for Open 3D Projects called the Blender Institute.
Elephants Dream is the world’s first open movie, made entirely with open source graphics software such as Blender, and with all production files freely available to use however you please, under a Creative Commons license.
Big Buck Bunny:
As a follow-up to the successful project Orange’s “Elephants Dream”, the Blender Foundation initiated another open movie project. Again a small team (7) of the best 3D artists and developers in the Blender community have been invited to come together to work in Amsterdam from October 2007 until April 2008 on completing a short 3D animation movie. The team members will get a great studio facility and housing in Amsterdam, all travel costs reimbursed, and a fee sufficient to cover all expenses during the period.
The creative concept of “Peach” was completely different as for “Orange”. This time it is “funny and furry”!
After Orange and Peach, Blender Institute continues with a new open project: Apricot. This time it isn’t a movie but a 3D game! Starting february 1st 2008, a small team of again the best 3D artist and developers will develop a game jointly with the on-line community. The main characters in the game are based on the short 3D animation open movie Peach
At the end of July 2008 the production ends and August is used for DVD and documentation making. Releasing the game at end of August.
Wow how awesome does that look. Recently I’ve been using Blender for doing my video sequencing. Basically putting a collection of video clips in order to some syncronised audio. I wasn’t aware it was so easy to do this with Blender 😀
That quote is what I think Master Yoda would say about being trained to use proprietary software at school. One of my young friends likes Blender and Star Wars, I think he is going to be really happy because the image above was created using a rigged model of Yoda. Rigged basically means the model has a skeleton so its easier to pose and do animation. Matt Hoecker released it as a dot blend file. How good is that. Star Wars fans would also like his short Planet Approach clip. I think you would also like to check out Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki.
For learning about modelling, rigging and animation here’s some really nice dot blends:
Sorry to copy this straight from Slashdot but its looks good.
This month has seen the internet release of the first 3D ‘Open Movie’, Elephants Dream.” From the site: “The 3D animated short ‘Elephants Dream’ will today be released as a free and public download. This is the final stage of a successfully completed Open Movie project which has been community-financed, using only Open Source tools, and opening up the movie itself as well as the entire studio database for everyone to re-use and learn from. The movie and production files are licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 2.5, which only requires a proper crediting for public screening, re-using and distribution.”