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BlenderArt Magazine Issue 20 Make it! Bake it! Fake it!

Mar 30, 2016



Features Articles/Tutorials on Baking normal maps from a high poly model, Big Bobby Car (Organic Surface Modeling), Normal Mapping in Blender, Lighting and Film Making Tricks: Conveying, MAKING OF: 'A Cassette Tape', MAKING OF: 'Dusting Off A Surprise', Bookreview - INTERVIEW: David Hickson - Blenducation & more…

  • Issue 20 | Feb 2009

    Blender learning made easy

    COVERART -Moth Biter - by Derek Watts

  • EDITORGaurav Nawani [email protected]

    MANAGING EDITORSandra Gilbert [email protected]

    WEBSITENam Pham [email protected]

    DESIGNERGaurav, Sandra, Alex

    PROOFERKevin BraunPhillip RyalsBruce WestfallJoshua LeungLynda SchemanskyEric PranauskNoah SummersJoshua ScottonMark WarrenWade BickPatrick O'DonnellBrian C. TreacyScott HillHenriel Veldtmann

    WRITERSKen BeyerClaas KuhnenLance FlavellDwayne FergusonBenno WagnerGiancarlo NgSandra Gilbert

    COVER ARTMothBiter - by Derek [email protected]

    CONTENTS Issue 20 | Feb 2009 - Make it! Bake it! Fake it!


    Tutorial - Baking normal maps from a high poly model.

    Tutorial - Big Bobby Car (Organic Surface Modeling)

    Tutorial - Normal Mapping in Blender

    Tutorial - Lighting and Film Making Tricks: Conveying

    MAKING OF: A Cassette Tape

    MAKING OF: Dusting Off A Surprise

    Bookreview - INTERVIEW: David Hickson - Blenducation








  • One thing I have always loved about CG artis that there is no "one right way" to dothings. For any given task, there are anumber of methods, techniques and tools to getit done.

    And while Blender has a powerful selection oftools, sometimes the "fake" or "cheat" is oftenpreferred for various reasons. Time and hard-ware limitations are generally the biggest rea-sons for using a "fake" or "cheat".

    And then sometimes the tool actually helps cre-ate the "fake", as in the case of normal maps.Once set up, a normal helps you "fake" geome-try and details that would take too long torender or cause time delay and memory issuesfor game models.

    Well enough chattering from me, after the longwait for this issue, I'm sure you want to dive inand get your Blenderart fix.

    Have fun!

    [email protected]

    Sandra GilbertManaging Editor

    EDITORIAL 3 Issue 20 | Feb 2009 - Make it! Bake it! Fake it!

  • IntroductionOver the years I have used a number of fakes, cheatsand workarounds. Some I have used because therewasn't a tool or option coded yet and some becauseit was either easier to use the fake or because itsaved render time.

    Of all the fakes I have used (or read about), my fa-vourite has always been the "Light gel", used to cre-ate interesting shadows. Almost since the beginningof traditional photography and film making the Lightgel has been used for creating interesting effects.

    So just what is a "Light gel"? In traditional photogra-phy and film making, the term applies to sheets ofacetate (or other similar clear materials) with pat-terns printed on them, such as bars, window panes,leaves etc. The light gel is then held in front of thespecified lamp or light source to create the shadowpatterns. (Light gels can also be colored to createmoods or colored shadows.)

    In Blender, this technique is easy to apply and doingso can save not only on modeling and set up time,but it can save quite a bit on your final render time.

    So just how do you go about setting thisup?

    To create light gels in Blender, you simply add tex-tures to your lamps. It's really that simple. You canuse either procedural textures or images (grayscaleseems to work best.)

    You set up Lamp textures the same way you do formaterials, (in the Texture buttons [F6]). Some fun tex-ture types to try are Wood and Clouds. Both add

    great shadow patterns. You can experiment with theother texture types to create more unusual patterns.

    To create somewhat more realistic shadow patterns,of say, tree branches and or leaves, you can use agrayscale photo. Then when applying the texture tothe Lamp, choose Image as the texture type and pickyour grayscale photo. Instant shadows.

    IZZY SPEAKS : My Favourite Fake 4

    Almost since the beginning ofthe. Traditional photography

    and film-making the light-gelhas been used for creating

    interesting effects... Issue 20 | Feb 2009 - Make it! Bake it! Fake it!

  • Blender for Dummies ArrivedBy renowned Blender artistand teacher, Jason vanGumster, Handturkey Stu-dios

    So you have heard aboutBlender, the free 3D anima-tion software. You reallywant to know more aboutthe features of Blender,where to get it and how touse it. You are in luck! It isall in Blender For Dummies,including Blender softwareon the bonus DVD.

    Because there is a lot to learn about Blender, you willbe glad this book takes it step by step. First, you willlearn to install the latest Blender release (2.48) andthink the Blender way. Then you will start creating3D objects and setting them in motion with anima-tions and rigging. Soon you will be texturing withBlender, rendering with Blender, and sharing yourcreations.

    DVD training 3:

    Character AnimationCreated by William Reynish, character animator, BigBuck Bunny

    DVDs are in stock now!

    Getting into animation has never been easier! Withthe advent of Blender, the free and open source 3Dapplication, anyone can now gain access to profes-sional animation tools.

    This DVD covers all aspectsof computer-based charac-ter animation includingworkflow, acting, posing,keyframes, weight, walks &runs and overlapping ac-tion, through a series ofvideo tutorials that are easyto follow and allow you tostop and start playbackwhenever you want.

    Each episode covers anima-tion theories as well aspractical implementationin Blender.

    This DVD includes the latest (2.48a) version ofBlender for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux, as well asseveral free to use rigged characters.

    BLENDER NEWS 5 Issue 20 | Feb 2009 - Make it! Bake it! Fake it!

  • IntroductionThere are generally regarded to betwo ways to generate normal mapsfrom 3D content; renderbump andrenderbumpflat. The following tu-torial discusses the creation of nor-mal maps in the context ofrenderbump, that is, using Blender3D's own internal ability to 'bake' the

    topology and physical characteristics of a high reso-lution, highly detailed 3D object to an image called a"normal map" (#).

    An understanding of Blender's basics is required, sobeing able to move objects, change views and ma-nipulate objects will be necessary. It's also assumedthere are assets available and ready for use - the in-formation below won't discuss how to make highresolution 3D models.

    Baking normal maps, what's needed?

    To successfully bake normal maps using Blender 3Da number of items are required before anything canbe done;

    A low poly 'game' mesh

    A high poly 'art' mesh

    The low poly 'game' mesh is the actual mesh thatwill eventually be used in game, in this instance a'tech' door shown on the left of the image belowmarked low poly, this should be 'optimised' aswell as possible (as few polygons as necessary for itstarget use), and must be UVW mapped and textured.

    The high poly 'art' mesh will be used to providethe geometric detail that's baked to the image ap-plied over the game mesh. The "high poly" version ofthe door is shown on the right of the image below.

    Design note : A third version of the model is often used,

    called the "control cage", this is optional and more todo with work practices (#).

    Preparing the models, what needs to bedone beforehand?

    Because the high resolution object is effectively be-ing baked to the low resolution one, there needs tobe a way for the baking process to understand whatit's supposed to be doing in relation to both objects.In other words, Blender needs to know where it'ssupposed to 'bake' (or 'write', 'paint') the colourednormals, what areas of the texture image shouldhave baked normals and what areas shouldn't.

    3D WORKSHOP: Baking normal maps from a high poly model.

    By K

    en B


    6 Issue 20 | Feb 2009 - Make it! Bake it! Fake it!

    Figure 1: Wire-frame view of the required assets, in this case a'tech(ish) doorway

    Normal Map Baking

  • For this to happen the low poly mesh must have afunctional UVW map with materials and textures as-signed.

    Taking the example of our tech door, shown below is itsUVW map as laid out and occupying a partial section ofthe available image space; it only uses a section be-cause other objects use the same rusty metal texturesheet; keep that in mind when UVW unwrapping, leavespace for other objects where necessary.

    Design note : keep in mind that depending on how manyassets need to be UVW unwrapped and normal mapbaked, the distribution and amount of space available foruse by any given individual object will need to be adjustedwhere appropriate (#).

    The high poly mesh does not need to be UVW mapped.

    HOW TO : Create or edit a UVW map

    Before doing any UVW unwrapping it's best to makesure the low resolution model has at least one material

    assigned to the mesh and at least one image/textureassigned to that material, this is important for the nor-mal map baking process.

    Note : Render baking is only available with Blender ver-sions 2.45 or above.

    For Blender 2.45 only;

    In the 3D view, RMB select the object to be UVWunwrapped and then press [F] to enter UV FaceSelect mode.

    Press [A] to select all the UV faces of the object(this may need to be done twice, once to de-selectalready selected faces, and again to then re-selecteverything).

    Press [U] to activate the UV Calculation pop-upmenu and select Unwrap, this will create a basicUVW map of the object.

    For Blender 2.46 or above, do the following; Press [Tab] to enter edit mode as you would nor-

    mally when editing the mesh.

    Press [A] to select all the objects faces (may need tobe done twice,

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