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  • #16
    Originally posted by MadGypsy View Post
    ... I was looking at your blog (MG post) and I noticed that you have some advanced nodes going on there (definitely advanced for me, anyway). All the node tutorials I have found are pretty basic and kind of crappy.
    That was from a Cycles render-a-wireframe tutorial. I have since found a much easier and better method.

    I really don't use the node editor much, since my goal is not to render stuff in Cycles. My target is usually a game engine. I only use Cycles for intermediate renders of game assets to put on the blog or whatever.

    ... and I actually post wireframes instead of pretty renders now, which is just "Open GL render the viewport" and a matcap - no material needed.
    Scout's Journey
    Rune of Earth Magic


    • #17
      @GB - I use cycles to create procedural textures that can be baked down to a final texture. I have been experimenting and studying a lot about how the various nodes work. My goal is to be able to create very realistic textures for basically every visible thing imaginable. This is pretty necessary for me because, I am not a very good graphic artist. On a scale from 1 to 10 I'm probably a 4, which obviously isn't anywhere near good enough to be creating game textures by hand.

      I hope to isolate some node formulas that can serve as a base blueprint to work from and then teach those formulas to others using my illustration method. In other words, skin, stone, sand, etc.... but only in the most basic sense, leaving plenty of room to expand/modify the texture.

      I have watched a few videos that claim to do what I am attempting but I don't feel like their results are very good. Maybe I don't have enough vision (or something) but it seems more like just junky results. I may not be some bad ass graphic artist but I am confident that I have a pretty damn good eye.

      Anyway, when I can illustrate some real node knowledge with some concrete information, I will definitely be sharing it here. I've already made substantial progress but I have a very long way to go.

      @TM - I love katsbits and I have watched that site grow exceptionally over the years. I have been going there since the 2.49b tutorials and could easily give that site credit for a majority of my earlier blender knowledge.

      @your pdfs, I'm not really sure what Duke HRP is or how it applies but if you believe it is relevant I trust your judgment. Post away.
      Last edited by MadGypsy; 03-01-2015, 11:41 PM.


      • #18
        Originally posted by MadGypsy View Post
        @GB - @your pdfs, I'm not really sure what Duke HRP is or how it applies but if you believe it is relevant I trust your judgment. Post away.

        This is Duke HRP mate.
        I am like a stray dog, lost in between what I do and what I should do.
        But sometimes, all you need is Imagination.


        • #19

          Found this neat little program which can import obj files and export them as map files.

          This is quite useful as trenchboom supports map files for editing.
          I am like a stray dog, lost in between what I do and what I should do.
          But sometimes, all you need is Imagination.


          • #20
            I wonder did Mr Burns ever get on with the box import?
            The advice I would give is to get acquainted with the .MDL format so you understand it's limitations and go from there.Understand what Blender needs to export a viable .mdl file as well,so maybe he had an understandable workflow overview.Such as:
            1.your model must be UV unwrapped and a material assigned to it.
            2 your mesh must be triangulated.
            3 your model must be highlighted when you hit export
            4 for an animated model the last keyframe needs to be chosen when exporting ect...
            May be too intense for some viewers.
            Stress Relief Device
            ....BANG HEAD HERE....


            • #21
              Blender BVH MoCap Infotorial

              Alrighty, this was a huge pain in the ass but, it won't be too much of a pain in the ass for you because, I figured it all out for you. I will give you very accurate information but, some of it assumes that you aren't a complete noob.

              Let's start with the necessities.

              1) Download this, unzip it, and put EVERYTHING in 2.xx/scripts/addons/.

              where 2.xx = the version of blender you are using. Note: for me this is easy to find because all my blenders are portable. If you actually installed blender this is in some mysterious place like C:/Users/YOU/AppData(hidden folder)/Blender Foundation/2.xx/. It's also possible that you don't even have the scripts/addons path. You will have to create it if it doesn't exist

              2) Open blender, go to file/user preferences/add-ons find the MakeHuman MakeWalk add-on, select it's checkbox, click "save settings" and close the window.

              3) go here and download one of the daz friendly bvh directories. Unzip that somewhere that you can find it.

              At the end of this post I will provide you with a way to skip SOME of this but, the bottom line is, all models are scaled and proportioned differently so, there is no way to just give you a solution. You WILL have to do some work no matter what. The bright side is, once you do this work, if you pay attention you won't have to do most of it ever again.

              First off, you need a humanoid model. If you don't have one it totally defeats the purpose of you doing this in the first place. However, I understand that some people just want to learn. That being said, 3D Models for Professionals :: TurboSquid has plenty of free models that you can use.

              Once you have your model loaded in blender, scale and translate it to the size and position you want. Press CNTRL+A and select Location. Press CNTRL+A again and select Rotation & Scale. This locks in all the manipulations you just made as the models root state.

              Click File/Import/ one of the BVH files from the library you downloaded. Select the armature that appears. In the outliner panel - expand the armature data, right-click animation and select "clear animation data". We are making a "blank" armature.

              Turn X-Ray on for the armature.

              While in object mode rotate and scale the armature as close as you can possibly get it to your model proportions. When you are as close as you can get CNTRL+A and apply all that (the exact same way you did it to the model). You cannot apply mocap data to an armature with a bunch of manipulation data attached to it. You have to lock in those manipulations as the new "facts of itself".

              OK, are you ready? Here comes the first shitty part.

              With the armature selected switch into edit mode. Delete the entire (your) left side of the armature. Using B (box select) select where 2 joints meet and move it to where it belongs on your model. That's right! You have to do this nonsense to every damn joint. MAKE SURE you box select the joint. You don't want where tails and heads meet to become offset. Adjust ALL of the joints right now and come back

              I know you thought that sucked but you aren't done. There is an even suckier part coming.

              1) set the cursor location to the center of the armature. You can do this by selecting any one of the center bones, pressing shift+s and choosing "snap cursor to selection"

              2) change your pivot point to 3d cursor

              3) select the entire (your) right of the armature and do the following.
              SHIFT+D, left click
              R Z 180, left click
              S (whatever your depth axis is X or Y) -1, left click
              *if the green line on the grid floor is pointing at you do S Y -1 else S X -1

              What did you just do? You duplicated (SHIFT+D), (R)otated the duplication on the (Z) axis (180) degrees around the pivot point and (S)caled the bones negatively on your depth axis (ie.. you flipped it forward). All the left clicks just finalized the modifications. Like saying "yeah do this for real."

              If you did it right you should have a perfect mirror and you shouldn't have to mess with the bone roll. If you try to be smooth and use the actual mirror command, thinking you know something I don't, you will have to go back to every single bone on the left (yours) and negate the roll. Now, select your entire armature, click the "Armature" button and select "AutoName Left/Right".

              Unfortunately, now there is a big problem. When you duplicated, blender added a bunch of .001 to your bone names (lol, sucky). Go to every bone on (your) left and delete the .001 from the name. There are numerous ways you can do this but the fastest is probably to use the outliner to select each bone and rename it. Remove the decimal additive from all the bones on the left (yours) now and come back.

              Now, why did you do all of this? The answer is simple. With an .L/.R rig you don't have to ever do this shit again. Instead you can append the rig to any blend file you are working on. Then in edit mode (armature) go in the tools panel, select the options tab and check "x-axis mirror" (*next img). Now, anything you do on one side will exactly happen on the other. Meaning, if you have to adjust the armature to fit a new model you just do it on one side and you never have to do all this shit again. See how I hook you up with the good stuff?

              OK, back to work. You should have an armature that is perfectly scaled and positioned to your mesh, with right and left names. Go into object mode. Press A until everything is deselected. Select the mesh. Select the modifiers panel and add an armature modifier. Click the little orange box next to the text field and select the name of your armature.

              Shift-select the actual armature while your model is already selected. Press CNTRL+P (parent) and choose "with automatic weights". TaDaa.. you have just completed rigging and binding your model.

              Final step:

              In object mode select only the armature. In your tool panel click the MakeWalk tab. Click the button labeled "Load and Retarget" (*next img). Select a BVH file from the library that you downloaded. Switch your bottom panel to timeline. You should see a bunch of yellow lines in the timeline panel. Press the play just successfully applied mocap to your rig.

              Note: The model I used only mostly snapped to the rig and left a bunch of gear behind. It turned out that when I parented and applied automatic weights his gear was too far from the bones and didn't receive any bone influence (weight). I simply went into weight paint mode, selected the bone that most corresponded to the individual gear and gave each piece of gear some weight. If you notice that some of your model get's "left behind", this is how you fix it.

              Now as I promised. I have an armature that is already .L/.R for you. Download this. Instead of doing most of the crap above you can simply click file/append/tester.blend ~ armature/60_01.003. Do the x-mirror thing in the tool panel that I mentioned above and simply adjust one side of the armature to your mesh (by |B|ox selecting joints). The other side will automatically follow. Why didn't I just give you the file to begin with and skip 80% of this tutorial? Well, I could have done that but, then you would have 80% less knowledge than I do regarding this. You can cheat all you like. You'll never get awesome that way though.

              You can also open my .blend file the normal way and get an example of a completed model with mocap applied to it.

              Heads Up: The model in my .blend has Editorial Usage Rights ONLY. You CANNOT use that model commercially. I got it from turbosquid and that was the stipulations according to the original author.

              don't forget to rep+
              Last edited by MadGypsy; 05-18-2016, 06:27 AM. Reason: making it better all the time


              • #22
                Decimation Hint-o-torial

                This is almost useless information if you aren't pretty familiar with blender AND understand edgeflow. The purpose of these hints is to show you how to combine blenders built-in decimation modifier with manual decimation to pull a low poly character out of a fairly high poly one. The concepts are my own and I make no claim that they are the best way.

                First of all you need a fairly dense mesh with good topology.

                1) get rid of the entire left side of the mesh
                2) add a mirror modifier
                3) make sure you aren't in perspective view ~ then press (numpad) 1 and z
                4) use [b]ox select to select the head, hands and feet to the last edge loop before you can start considering it something else. ie as soon as you are at the base of the neck, ankle or wrist stop.
                5) press p and choose "selection" from the list
                6) tab out of edit mode (into object mode) select the hands, head and feet. Add a decimate modifier. Move the modifier to the top of the stack. Click the un-subdivide option. Set iterations to 2*. Apply the modifier.
                7) Press A to unselect everything. Select the body and tab into edit mode.
                In the lower left window menu click "Mesh" and check auto-merge editing

                *setting iterations to odd numbers will connect all of your verts awkwardly. If you have a really dense mesh using 4 iterations might be necessary.

                1) Using the edges on the hands, feet and head as a guide, use Alt+LMB to edge select edges on the body that fall between the edges on the hands,feet and head.
                2) Use Cntrl+E and choose "edge slide" to merge these edges into one of their neightbors. DO NOT do this willy nilly. When you select an edge, pay attention to where it goes and consider that you may need to alternately select a neighboring edge to merge and then go back to the edge you were going to merge, using edge slide to simply move it over a bit.
                3) for loops that travel in the other direction (ie not a direction that connects to the head, feet or hands) pick and choose edges that do not encompass an edge redirection. In other words if the edge ends in a pole, don't merge that one
                4) As soon as you start creating triangles consider how to get rid of them without breaking the edge flow. Often times this can be done by selecting an edge loop, deselecting the pole vert and sliding the remaining selected edge into it's neighbor

                other hints:
                *) two tris make a quad ~ x/dissolve edge to convert
                *) consider cntrl+e /rotate edge (C)CW to be a necessary function that you will use often
                *) while sliding edges that travel perpendicular to the hands,feet,head cntrl+e to edge slide the first edge and F3 to repeat last command for consecutive edges. Keep in mind that this will auto slide and merge the selected edge. If you just need to reposition an edge you will have to use cntrl+e again, and again before your next merge.

                Q: Why not use decimate modifier on the entire model?
                A: Did you see what it did to the head, hands and feet? Imagine if you had to fix all those spider webs on the entire model.

                Q: Why not just use MeshLab?
                A: Well you certainly can but, the results from mesh lab on organic models seems to be very poor. At best you could use MeshLab to very slightly decimate the model and then take it further in blender.

                Q: Why not just use a base mesh and reproportion it to the high poly proportions?
                A: Base meshes don't generally contain topology that account for extreme physical proportions. The edge flow is generally very straight and generic. The point here is to take a model that already has the flow for it's particular physique and decimate it without breaking that flow

                Q: Why don't you just remodel from the ground up, using the high poly as a static to wrap in the new mesh?
                A: How would that be any faster? Also, parsing out the proper edge flow would be tricky. IMO, much trickier than simply getting rid of the "too much" edge flow that is already there.

                Q: What about the head, hands and feet, they are kind of messed up?
                A: Fix them. Everything is mirrored, fixing this stuff is trivial. After you fix them join it all back to the body and remove doubles. Alt+m to merge any floaters.

                Q: This takes a long time, is there a way to do this faster?
                A: Yes! Learn everything the geniuses that built these high poly models know about edge flow and simply build a low poly version from scratch. Ironically, one way to learn the proper edge flow is to go through an entire model doing what I taught you here.

                Q: Can you give me any other good reason to do it this way?
                A: Yes, I am using ManuelLab 1.2.0. This means I get a highish poly model that is already rigged and weighted. As I decimate I can easily pop into pose mode from time to time and make sure I haven't made changes that cause the model to deform crappily. I feel this is superior to building a model from scratch, adding an armature, fixing the weights and then realizing that your stuff is junk.

                I have only worked on the torso and arms so, this model is not a complete example of the results. Nor will it ever be because I need little more than what I have completed as my model will be wearing overalls and no shirt

                Edit: You will get faster. You will start to see exactly the edges you need to remove. I spent about 10 minutes on his abs->back, and you can use the above image to see that I removed a substantial amount of data in that time. I just need to work my way a little bit down the legs and his body is basically done. His overalls will fit tightly in the thighs, but from the knee on the pant leg will be fairly loose so I can pretty much chop him off at the knees. I don't need the feet cause he will be wearing boots. I only have to fix one hand because the other will auto fix due to the mirror. I also only have to fix half of his head due to the mirror. Maybe 1 hour and I will have this guy basically done from a naked sense. I will then use MakeClothes to, well, make clothes.

                Last edited by MadGypsy; 05-24-2016, 11:41 AM.