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Old December 1 2010, 08:57 PM   #1
Mr Silver
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Blender (Help and Suggestion)

I recently downloaded Blender after hearing some good things about the program, trouble is I don't know exactly how to use it, I'm a pretty quick study and i've seen people do some awesome things with it

I'm just wonder if anyone would be kind enough to maybe post some generic starship formulas or a quick tutorial on how to form such designs, thanks in advance for any help you can provide
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Old December 1 2010, 09:15 PM   #2
Science Officer
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Re: Blender (Help and Suggestion)

Captain M wrote: View Post
I recently downloaded Blender after hearing some good things about the program, trouble is I don't know exactly how to use it, I'm a pretty quick study and i've seen people do some awesome things with it

I'm just wonder if anyone would be kind enough to maybe post some generic starship formulas or a quick tutorial on how to form such designs, thanks in advance for any help you can provide
I've had a quick go with it and I find it nearly impossible to use. The UI is the least intuitive I've ever come across, which is the reason why I stick with my good old v8.2 of C4D and live with a few less features. I think I've just developed a nervous tick just thinking about it!

A good starting point would probably be to find some decent plans for starships and project them onto planes. A ship like the TOS Enterprise might be good project as its geometry is relatively simple.

Cheers,
S.O.
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Old December 1 2010, 09:53 PM   #3
Mr Silver
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Re: Blender (Help and Suggestion)

Science Officer wrote: View Post
A good starting point would probably be to find some decent plans for starships and project them onto planes. A ship like the TOS Enterprise might be good project as its geometry is relatively simple.
Thanks for the advice, but I don't actually know how to even do this
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Old December 1 2010, 10:20 PM   #4
Science Officer
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Re: Blender (Help and Suggestion)

Captain M wrote: View Post
Science Officer wrote: View Post
A good starting point would probably be to find some decent plans for starships and project them onto planes. A ship like the TOS Enterprise might be good project as its geometry is relatively simple.
Thanks for the advice, but I don't actually know how to even do this
What you would be aiming for is something like this...



In this case I took the bitmaps of the Foundation Imaging Enterprise (from the Drex Files site) and textured them onto three plane objects.

Create three objects and adjust the width and height to matching the aspect ratio of your bitmaps. So if you have a 1000x500 pixel bitmap, create a 1000x500m plane. Set each to the required x, y and z axes.

Create a texture and load the bitmap into the textures luminosity channel. Switch off all other channels. Then attach the texture to the object. Do this for each object. You might need to change the mapping to UVW or flat projection.

Depending on the quality of the bitmaps, you may need to tweak their positions and sizes until everything aligns correctly.

Now I can't explain how to do this in Blender for reasons of maintaining my sanity. But it would be a good start in creating basic objects, moving, rotating and scaling, and texturing them.

Time to dig out that Blender manual. Hope this helps.

S.O.
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Old December 1 2010, 10:21 PM   #5
Dac
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Re: Blender (Help and Suggestion)

Get SketchUp. Not an especially powerful program, but I find its UI much more friendly at first glance.

Plus theres a tonne of tutorials on the site.

http://sketchup.google.com/intl/en/
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Old December 2 2010, 12:06 AM   #6
Tallguy
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Re: Blender (Help and Suggestion)

Depends on what you want to do. Sketchup is a really cool program that can do some amazing stuff and its initial learning curve is very shallow. But it is (I think) strictly a modeling program.

Blender has a steeper (heh - like a wall) learning curve. But you can make movies with it.

Blender is in a serious state of change right now. 2.5 is the future but it isn't QUITE done yet (still in beta). There are a lot of tutorials for 2.4 and under and a surprising amount for 2.5. I think I'd probably suggest diving in with 2.5 since you won't know what you're missing yet.

http://blendernewbies.blogspot.com/ is a good start. blenderguru.com might not be as beginner friendly.

Jump in, that water's in 3D!
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Old December 2 2010, 12:36 AM   #7
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Re: Blender (Help and Suggestion)

Another useful site, at least for me, was

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Pro

And I tend to agree with S.O, there nothing very intuitive about Blender's interface.
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Old December 2 2010, 09:39 AM   #8
Science Officer
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Re: Blender (Help and Suggestion)

Hi CaptainM,

Of course we're not trying to put you off Blender! I'd probably be using it myself if I wasn't so lucky at buying C4D in the days when you could get it off a computer magazine CD and upgrade for a good price.

If you can master that poor excuse for a user interface, keyboard shortcuts and mouse, you should be able to do some very tidy work and render it to a high quality. You only have to look at the projects MadMan has done to see that.

If the learning curve does concern you, you could use another application for modelling, export to a common format (OBJ) and then render in Blender.

Cheers,
S.O.
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Old December 2 2010, 11:19 AM   #9
Itisnotlogical
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Re: Blender (Help and Suggestion)

Blender is about the most useful free program that I've seen. It has a lot of awesome features like particle/fluid simulation, UV mapping, and even an in-house game engine. Google Sketchup is mostly good for inanimate objects with simple geometry... in other words, totally useless in my opinion.

Also, don't listen to all these people dissing on the UI. It just takes a week or so of practice to know where most of the important stuff is. But if the learning curve is really THAT HARD, Anim8r is the second-best free program that I've seen.
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Old December 2 2010, 03:52 PM   #10
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Re: Blender (Help and Suggestion)

Captain M (and any other interested parties), go to BlenderCookie to learn almost everything you need to know about Blender 2.5+. Pay particular attention to tutorials by Jonathan Williamson or David Ward. Note that the tutorials are largely organized by date, but if you select Williamson or Ward from the tag cloud and look through the results you'll see a number of introductory videos.

Also, get yourself an account with Blender Artists and dig through their forum. The Works-in-progress section is particularly inspiring. You'll see lots of people asking questions and making dumb mistakes (seeing an artist whose work you admire make a dumb mistake is inspirational -- it reminds you that they're human too and you've got a shot at equaling or surpassing their work).

Finally, ask here. There are a number of folks that use Blender here and some of us are even willing to lend a hand guiding you to success.

Since you're new to Blender, stay away from any pre-2.5 version. Don't waste the time learning the old interface. 2.5 is nearing completion and most of the features are operational and stable. I use it for almost all of my work.
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Old December 2 2010, 05:34 PM   #11
MadMan1701A
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Re: Blender (Help and Suggestion)

Hey, I guess it's my turn.

I think I'm in the minority when it comes to the user interface in 2.5... I absolutely hate it. I've tried it every time a new build comes out, and I don't like the way they merged all of the workspaces into one by default... I know I can tweak it, but I liked it better the old way.

I've got some stuff on my page; the textbook at the bottom I thought was pretty good, when I was starting out. It's for version 2.42a, but alot of that stuff is very similar all the way through 2.49

www.madshipyard.com/tutorials.htm

And, like Psion said, ask questions. We'll always answer. Whether or not the answer is good or not, is another story.
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Old December 2 2010, 07:45 PM   #12
Mr Silver
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Re: Blender (Help and Suggestion)

Thanks for all the advice so far guys!
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Old December 2 2010, 09:02 PM   #13
Tallguy
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Re: Blender (Help and Suggestion)

Captain M wrote: View Post
Thanks for all the advice so far guys!
We'll be looking forward to seeing your first screen-accurate Enterprise (any era) no later than January.
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Old December 2 2010, 09:22 PM   #14
Patrickivan
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Re: Blender (Help and Suggestion)

As a google SU user, I will be the first to admit that there are limits. But it really depends on what you want to do. It's very fun and simple to use, and I've been able to get some decent models out of it.

Though there is much that I'd like to do, but can't. (sigh)
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Old December 3 2010, 12:12 AM   #15
BillJ
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Re: Blender (Help and Suggestion)

Blender makes me cry.
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