Best for Blender

Discussion in 'External Tools' started by Overlord, Nov 24, 2011.

?

How hard was it to learn Blender?

  1. Extremely easy

    6.1%
  2. Picked it up instantly

    2.0%
  3. Found it relatively easy

    40.8%
  4. I learned it eventually

    22.4%
  5. It was a painful process

    4.1%
  6. Difficult

    7.1%
  7. Extremely Hard

    3.1%
  8. I gave up

    4.1%
  9. I gave up multiple times

    10.2%
  1. WedgeBob

    WedgeBob

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    Well... If it weren't for the tutorials that Zak, Jason, and Nelson over at 3D Buzz over Blender 2.5/2.6, then I don't think I would have even attempted to model anything whatsoever in that. However, thanks to those drops of videos, I was able to get basic models done without any hesitation, but up until the most recent drops on UV mapping and texturing, I was almost ready to pick up UV Layout or UV Mapper Pro. Glad they released drops 7 and 8 just in time.

    However, my primary modeling tools have been Hexagon 2.5.1.79 and Carrara 8.1.1 Pro for the past few months, and while I am trying to make more sense of Blender's quirky interface, I still keep turning to DAZ for an easy way out. :D
  2. Screenhog

    Screenhog

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    I'd answer with multiple choices: I gave up multiple times, I learned it eventually, it was a painful process.

    Now, though, I do like it.

    As for the bevel thing, there's a bevel plugin that someone created that allows you to add bevel to individual faces rather than your whole model. It's a must-have for me.
  3. Tiles

    Tiles

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    Jedimindtrick doesn`t work here. Bevel is a must have tool. Makes life much easier ;)

    BMesh promises to bring a native working and useful Bevel solution back into Blender. BMesh promises much more too, like N-Gon support. And all with that connected tools. But we wait since years for BMesh to be finished. And it is still not in the trunk. So i wouldn`t hold my breath for it.

    I notice that most of you folks think that Blender is an either or thing. It is not. Blender has its strong sides and its weak sides. So use it where it is strong. And use something different where Blender is weak. To use Hexagon for the modeling part is a very valid workflow.
  4. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    Bevel is a must have but bevel modifier is useless.
  5. Jaimi

    Jaimi

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    The problem with Blender is that the developers didn't follow convention. Any convention. This means that if you've used any other software before, you have to unlearn the way you did things before you can learn blender.
  6. Tiles

    Tiles

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    Agreed :)

    Hm. A polygon is a polygon. What`s a bit irritating is the whole mode stuff. And that menus still resides everywhere. But you get used to that by the time.
  7. d.eisenga

    d.eisenga

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    I love the mode stuff, I really missed my separate pose mode for skeletons when trying to switch to Maya. Couldn't believe I couldn't just edit a skeleton after it's been attached to a mesh.

    Also, the bevel modifier isn't useless, but i agree a bevel operation is needed.
  8. Ambaryerno

    Ambaryerno

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    I've been having problems getting the poly reducer scripts to work with any semblance of logic. Both the Decimate modifier and the script you run from Edit mode leave me with a twisted and distorted mess rather than a clean poly reduction, which makes it useless for creating low-poly versions of models. I read the poly reducer script is supposed to allow you to tell it which polys to get rid of as it collapses the model, but I've yet to see anything actually telling you HOW.
  9. nipoco

    nipoco

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    I find Blender is pretty easy to pick up, if you are not used to AD software.
    I've tried and tested every major package and I found Blender's interface and how things work most intuitive and logical.
  10. ArcainOne

    ArcainOne

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    I started my life as a 3D modeler using 3D Studio Max 5.0 back when I was in college. I had no job at the time and all the free time in the world for nearly three straight months. I also invested 50 dollars in a book on low poly modeling for games using the software. So about 1 year later I could consider myself a decent 3D modeler, an okay abilty to texture, and very little knowledge of how to animate. My degree was Computer Science, so this was 30% my spare time (the other 70% going to playing video games).

    After college I continued to want to dabble in 3D because Art has been a passion of mine since I was very young and I am a very good drawer/sketcher (Programming paid the bills very well). However, I still had 3D Studio Max 5 and the rest of the world was using 3DS max 8 and going to 2010. I did not (at the time) have the funds to pay 3000 dollars for the newest version.

    Finally one day I decided I wanted to do 3D for a living and knew paying 3K for a program would not be acceptable (especially with new versions every two years). So I spend roughly 2 months dedicated to learning Blender 2.49 (when the started to switch over to the new interface). I did eventually spend a good amount of money, but only in the ball park of about 200 dollars total. Blender Essentials did help me considerably but I had to look up the new keyboard commands for some things while reading it, but it got me familiar with how blender works over all. I also got one of those paid subscriptions to blender cookie and even picked up one of their special training courses.

    I will tell you this because up until that point I was a die hard 3D Studio max fan, because that is what the big boy's use. Blender 3D is one of the best 3D programs period, I have surpassed the knowledge I had in 3D Studio Max and am now well versed in Modeling, Sculpting (something max did not have), Texturing models, baking images and normal maps, and even Animation. I find its texturing facilities and Animation facilities better than 3DS max (but that is my opinion) and the loop cut feature while modeling is absolutely the best thing in the world. Plus Blender is Free and packed full of features, and I will never have to pay to upgrade it to get the newest features.

    The problem with Blender is that it can be very difficult to get started as the version's have changed so much so dramatically between 2.4 to 2.6 that the documentation has not had time to catch up and google has indexed so much from 2.4 documentation, but that is slowly changing. There are a lot of keyboard short cuts and you do not always know what you want to search for in google or the built in search function (space bar). For instance I forgot how to scale a B-Bone... google searching that (currently as of 12-17-2011) will bring up the old command Alt+S, But in the newest version (2.6) it is Ctrl+Alt+S and No I do not always look at the release notes...
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  11. Wentzel

    Wentzel

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    A Subsurface and a few loop Cuts would do/add almost the same Detail.

    As for your UV Troubles UV Unwrapping

    I made a quick UV Example for you.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  12. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Here's a little pistol I did in an hour. Looking for feedback again. Hope you like it, and how I can improve (keep in mind, I did this in what I feel is a relatively short time)

    Attached Files:

  13. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Any improvements I should make (besides UV mapping)?
  14. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    You don't have to model everything from a single piece,use more stuff it will look better and detailed.
  15. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Yeah. It means more things to keep track of though, and more mesh renderers for Unity to handle, meaning more overhead. But if I did a reloading example, I would need to have a seperate clip on the bottom, or for cocking it, for example. But as a whole, what do you think of it? (I haven't been using Blender all that much since I started this thread). I'm working on UV mapping it now.

    Edit

    Unfortunately, UV mapping will be hard since I have to UV map it using a picture other than the one I used to model it from... which is proving to be a problem.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  16. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    Not really if you join them up there will be no problems.
    Take a look at this model,its made from 3 pieces that I joined together in a single mesh and UV mapped them and there is no performance lost .
    $arabic wellR.png
  17. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Technically though, it should, because having 2 mesh renderers is worse than just having one. At first the difference may not be that much, but it adds up. There are some cases where you can't really get around it.
  18. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    There is only one in here you still got a lot to learn about 3d art.;)
  19. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Really? Did you parent it? I have no idea how to make it come out as one mesh, because whenever I have several objects, it doesn't come out as one mesh, but one for each one.
  20. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Oh nevermind, I figured it out (I added a new primitive in Edit mode).
  21. Overlord

    Overlord

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    To keep it organized so that I can focus on one part of the model at a time, I selected the part I didn't need to see and hit "H" to hide it. Now that I need it visible again, I can't unhide it. I realize now, I should have added layers. How to I unhide an object hidden using "H"?
  22. ArcainOne

    ArcainOne

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    You do not need to use layer's unless you are building a big scene with lots of models. Granted you can use the layer's as you want but when you are creating a single object such as a gun simply build the entire gun in one layer. I tend to put my model in the first layer and all my lights and camera objects in the second. If you are building a unity model then you do not need the lights and camera objects at all.

    To Unhide an object in Object mode hit "Alt+H". You can also see all your object's in the Outliner window where you can click to make them visible/invisible, selectable/unselectable, and renderable/not-renderable. You can also hide and unhide faces in the same manner when you are working on your model.

    It is quite common to have a single model composed of multiple meshes. To clarify what I mean let me define the terms I am using, these may not be standard but it is how I understand them to be. A scene is a collection of models and other objects like cameras and lights. A model is a collection of meshes. A mesh is a collection of vertexes connected together by edges and faces. A model can be composed of multiple meshes like having a sphere and a cube in the same model (as in when you enter edit mode you are editing both the sphere and the cube).

    To combine two model's into a single model select both of them "Shift Click" in Object Mode. The last model you select should be the one you want to combine them into, and then press "Ctrl+J". With the two model's combined you can seperate them out again by selecting the model and going into Edit Mode. Make sure no vertices are selected, if any vertexes are highlighted just press "A". Hover your mouse over a vertex or edge of the mesh you want to seperate out again and hit "L". This will select all vertices that are connected to the vertex you are hovering over. Then hit "P" and a popup box will appear, select "Selection" and now you have two seperate model's again.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  23. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Thank you Arcain. Any suggestions on what I should model next (based off the pistol?). I obviously can't do humans yet.
  24. SaltSlasher

    SaltSlasher

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    I am a super noob to blender, and I found the style of "organizing" the program to be different and amazingly deep with tools and parameters to adjust. So getting around the things your not using has been my only hardship.

    I do think Blender is harder to learn, because it can do so much with in one program. I mean I could spend months learning just how to do one thing, when their is hundreds of things to learn.

    The one thing i dis-like is that Blender's Y and Z are opposite to Unity's Y and Z, unlike Max.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  25. ArcainOne

    ArcainOne

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    The hard part is learning blender initially, and Blender is notorious for being difficult to learn. If you read the documentation on it, blender was designed with productivity of the modeler in mind over the ease of learning. Coming from 3D Studio myself I can defiantly vouch for that difficulty but it is also true that once you have built a few models with blender and have gotten accustomed to the keyboard commands, I know I am actually much more productive than I was in 3DS Max.

    Practice Practice Practice holds true here. You are defiantly off to a good start with the gun but honestly I have found that trying to create a complicated model such as a human in some armor forces you to learn the workflow of modeling. I do highly suggest spending the $50 and picking up the Character Modeling book.

    One more thing to remember is be mindful of the topology of your creations, basically the flow of the faces. I've noticed a few odd cuts on the gun that seemed to result in a hidden or internal face along the trigger. Also some odd faces along the barrel that appear as if a loop cut was made, then was deleted, then new faces where created but did not align to that cut.
  26. ArcainOne

    ArcainOne

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    That is probably due to the Application's programmers preference for OpenGL or DirectX. In DirectX 9 I know that the the Y and Z Axies where flipped from OpenGL which has the positive Z axies pointing into the screen. Not saying this is the reason for sure but it would make since... DirectX 10 or 11 allows you to specify which Axis is Up (Z or Y).

    Not entire sure about that, while Blender is packed with more features than the average 3D application (at least thats how I feel) I do not think that is why it is difficult to learn. The Interface is so radically different from what people are used to in nearly any application. Take ctrl+W for instance, this is how you are supposed to save your file. Yes you can hit ctrl+S during certain tasks and still save but depending on what you are doing you may end up doing nothing or something completely different from saving, but ctrl+W will always, no matter what, be the save your file command. Then there is "X" which deletes an object in the 3D view, or if you are grabbing/rotating/scaling will constrain that transformation along the X axis (which that actually makes since).

    Also Blender keep changing the keyboard commands between minor releases... so Googling how to do something such as "insert an animation key at a specified keyframe" will get you the "I" key but that was blender 2.4 the "I" key is now invert selection in all versions past 2.5...
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  27. Overlord

    Overlord

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    I'm using Blender 2.6, and hitting the "I" key is how you insert a keyframe at a specific point. Alt + I, is how you delete one.
  28. Unicron

    Unicron

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  29. ArcainOne

    ArcainOne

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    Huh.. what do you know... I guess they fixed it... or maybe I was just crazy on that one... either way I ended up doing all my edits in the Action Editor where the controls made sense to me; B to highlight and select keyframes, G to move them, X to Delete them.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  30. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Just wondering, is it possible to insert a keyframe at one point, move up let's say... 20 frames, go into Edit Mode, modify the mesh, and then add another keyframe, and then have the effect on the mesh stay? I've tried that using the basic keyframes (Loc, Rot, Sca), but that doesn't work. Is there any type of keyframe that will allow me to do that?
  31. ArcainOne

    ArcainOne

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    I may be miss understanding but it sounds like you want to have the action of editing your mesh to be part of the animation. If that is correct then what you are looking for is shape keys. Many animators use this for facial animations instead of bone rigs. But last I heard shape keys in Unity where not very well supported (if at all)... that may have changed. That is why I personally have built bone based facial animations.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  32. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Yeah, that's what I meant. I'll try it out, and post my results here.
  33. niosop2

    niosop2

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    Shapekeys are not supported directly in Unity. The Megafiers plugin's Morph modifier does support it and he provides a blender exporter to get the morph data into Unity.
  34. Mr.T

    Mr.T

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    Ok this thread is 5 pages long. I'm short of time so I havent read every single post.

    So, if the website blender cookie hasnt been mentioned I am mentioning it now.

    http://cgcookie.com/blender/

    If you like video tutorials, you will like this site.

    Also the same website has started producing unity tutorials. You might learn something useful there as well

    http://cgcookie.com/unity/
  35. Overlord

    Overlord

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    It has, about 4 times. Thanks anyways though. I've looked into Unity Cookie. It's a great site and is expanding very quickly.
  36. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Okay, so I've been modeling a couple small things for my games, and I decided to go into weapons modeling. So I decided to make this fictional rifle based off the SCAR-L, and I'm having some trouble with it. It's not smooth around the body. It's kinda sharp and it's made up of many triangles, that's messing it up. Is there a way to fix this? Better, question, how should I fix this?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    For some reason the images aren't showing up on my screen. Are they for you? I'll just post the links below.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/51668473/Screenshots/Void FC31 (1).tiff
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/51668473/Screenshots/Void FC31 (2).tiff
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/51668473/Screenshots/Void FC31 (3).tiff
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/51668473/Screenshots/Void FC31 (4).tiff
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  37. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Oh and also, my models are automatically smoothed once imported to Unity. Is there a way to undo that, because I can't seem to find it after searching through the forums/Unity Answers, and Google, and the Blender sites......you would think something like this would be easy to find.
  38. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Well I found the answer to my above problem. My next problem is, I UV mapped a model, but when I imported it into Unity (not to my surprise), there was no textures on it. How should I get the UV maps on the export model?
  39. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Blender is the only 3d modelling program ive stuck with, I feel very limited in 3ds and maya but that is probably because I havent learnt the keybinds
  40. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Yeah, learning that would probably be one of the most important things about getting used to a modeling program.
  41. goat

    goat

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    Being forced to learn the keybindings is probably the thing that will make me become a serviable modeler with enough practice.

    I think had I relied on mousing over to menus all the time a decent speed workflow would constantly be interrupted.
  42. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Agreed
  43. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Agreed
  44. athomield

    athomield

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  45. MorrisDetroit

    MorrisDetroit

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    This is a truly awesome post. I've been waiting to get my hands on a game engine and a 3D tool and I believe I've finally found the two to use. Unity and Blender. This forum rocks!!!
    I actually became a citizen on the CGcookie website!!!
    Any other sites to watch as well for tutorials?
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  46. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Not that I've found that's not on here. I'm glad this helped. I mean, this is what this was for right?
  47. tontil52

    tontil52

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    Blender can be difficult,
    Personally before the 2,5 version i could not use it at all, I tried and failed to learn it, ( thought i was younger at the time)
    But if you don't keep up on the up dates you can get lost, for instance today bmesh came into the program and i am learning to re addapt my way of working my models