Seriously nice look at some very useful defaults and setting!
Category Archives: Blender 3D
CGTrader has launched a new modeling challenge that looks to be a lot of fun. So here is the set-up.
Something went wrong in the parallel universe and it affected the one where we all live. There is not so much livable space left. It is the time, when the entire human race need to move in order to find new home. Of course, such disorder has its consequences – the races of the Universe had split in two sides. Members of the first one call themselves Enraged Verticians. They are willing to take control of the whole Universe and the resources needed to create livable conditions, for example: oxygen and food. They have united to become the dominant force of the Universe. There is another side – Polyguardians, who have only one intention – to re-establish the peace and order.
How did this conflict arise? Why does it involve you? Do not stress, it is not real. On the other hand, it is – it is a real offer for you to join the 3D Sci-Fi Challenge and become a king of the Universe. This time you must choose who you are – a revolutionist or a peacemaker. Remember this – it will be very important in the end. The members of the stronger side will be awarded with special prizes.
You can be the new dictator or the unifier of the Universe. First of all – choose your side, then create something that could be used in a space battle – 3D model of a spaceship, a warrior, a building, a planet or even a part of space environment. Just do not forget that models must be related to the chosen side – Enraged Verticians or Polyguardians.
Authors of the most stunning model and portfolio will get valuable prizes. Winners of each category will be awarded with full version of Mari or Modo by The Foundry. They will get some useful equipment as well – SpaceMouse from 3Dconnexion, for example.
Deadline is March 17, 2014.
So, who will you be? Choose your side.
Now does that sound like fun or what? Check out the following links for full information and prizes.
I was recently asked by Packt Publishing to review 3D Printing for Architects with MakerBot by Matthew B. Stokes. 3D printing is becoming a very popular subject, especially with the prices on 3d printers becoming more reasonable. 3d printers are expanding into many new fields, including Architectural visualization, which is course is the focus of this particular book.
So let’s talk a bit about this book and what it covers. This book covers printing of elements needed to create architectural models using a MakerBot. While modeling of the individual parts is covered briefly, it is not covered in any detail. Matthew goes over a number of various modeling programs that are suitable for use with a MakerBot. Throughout the book he uses SolidWorks for his modeling, but the modeling tasks can be completed in any of the other programs rather easily.
Matthew discusses the various aspects of 3d printing in a clear and easy to understand manner. By time you finish the book you will walk away with good understanding of how to approach your projects and set them up for a successful printing. In addition to explaining the process of 3d printing itself and all the things you need to keep in mind, he also walks you through a couple of typical architectural projects that you might be asked to create.
While I rarely do architectural modeling, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and learned a great deal about 3d printing and how to set up architectural projects.
The theme for this issue is “Cycles Circus”
This is going to be a fun issue. So just what is a Cycles Circus. Well anything related to the Cycles render engine of course. Then there is anything Cyclical in nature, such as weather, seasons, anything of that nature. And just for fun and giggles, anything related to Circuses, as in three ring big top, clowns and animals circus stuff.
So in this issue we are looking for tutorials or “making of” articles on:
- Cycles Render Engine
- materials, compositing, lighting and rendering
- Projects of a Cyclic Nature
- weather, seasons, biology etc
- Big Top Circus projects
- clowns, animals, etc.
*warning: apparently I have no fuzzy bunnies or puffy hearts, so lack of submissions could result in an entire issue of strange sculpting experiments, half completed models and a galley filled with random bad sketches by yours truly…. …… goes off to start filling sketchbook with hundreds of stick figures, just in case.
Send in your articles to sandra
Subject: “Article submission Issue # 45 [your article name]“
As usual you can also submit your best renders based on the theme of the issue. The theme of this issue is “Cycles Circus”. Please note if the entry does not match with the theme it will not be published.
Send in your entries for gallery to gaurav
Subject: “Gallery submission Issue # 45″
Note: Image size should be of 1024x (width) at max.
Last date of submissions April 5, 2014.
So first up, what is this book about. From the title you would assume that it focuses on lighting and rendering, and while those topics are discussed in detail, the primary focus is actually on creation of materials that render well in specific lighting conditions. Which on further thought, actually makes sense. Materials, lighting and rendering need to all work together for a polished look.
Now that we know what main topics are being discussed, here is a quick look at the table of contents so you can see what type of lighting situations are covered.
Chapter 1: Key Holder and Wallet Studio Shot
Chapter 2: Creating Different Glass Materials in Cycles
Chapter 3: Creating an Interior Scene
Chapter 4: Creating an Exterior Scene
Chapter 5: Creating a Cartoonish Scene
Chapter 6: Creating a Toy Movie Scene
Chapter 7: Car Rendering in Cycles
Chapter 8: Creating a Car Animation
Chapter 9: Creating an Iceberg Scene
Chapter 10: Creating Food Materials in Cycles
Purchase of this book of course comes with downloadable project files. There are two blend files for each chapter, one project blend ready for you to use as you follow along and a finished result blend that has all the materials and lights set up. The project blend contains all the models needed to complete each “recipe”. All the models are saved with any needed UV maps, Vertex Groups, etc. already set up. Leaving you to focus on the topic at hand.
The files are valuable resources both for the models and all the materials and lights. There is also a texture folder filled with all the needed texture images for each project as well as an “Additional Materials” blend that contains materials not covered in the recipes for you to use and study.
The layout of the book is Packts’ familiar “cookbook” format. Each chapter has a short introduction, the “recipes” which give a step by step breakdown and then the “How it’s Done” sections where further explanation is given.
So now we get to the part you all really want to know. How good is it?
Well, like most things in life, there are some good things and some not so good things about this book. Let’s tackle the not so good first and get it over with.
The Not So Good
Over the years I have read a great many computer/software books. When it comes to the editing of these books I am fairly tolerant of editing mistakes, because I know how easy it is to miss the occasional mistake here and there. Grammar, minor spelling and editing errors don’t get me wound up and more often than not, when reviewing these books I only mention such errors briefly if at all.
That being said, Blender Cycles: Lighting and Rendering Cookbook suffers from not just a few editing errors, but enough errors that it does make the book considerably more difficult to follow. There are awkward passages that don’t make sense on first reading (or even several readings), spelling mistakes, missing steps in the recipes, with the biggest problem being the mismatched file names for models/objects and image textures throughout the entire book.
Using Cycles is not difficult, but it can get complicated rather quickly with nodes connecting in everywhere, so having to stop and figure out what files, objects or textures are supposed to be used at any given point as well as the missing step here and there, makes a complicated subject just that much more difficult.
After reading the “not so good”, you are probably wondering what was good about this book, and there was still quite a bit of good to be found.
Bernardo is actually quite knowledgeable when it comes to how to set up materials, lighting and rendering in cycles. Something that is obvious from the finished materials themselves as well as in the “How it is Done” sections after each set of recipes. Between the individual materials, lighting set ups and rendering settings, there is an amazing amount of information to absorb.
The materials and lighting setups are not only useful as they are, but also as a jumping off point for your own experiments and exploration. I learned a great deal about what was possible in Cycles as well as how it all worked together. In fact there were a few recipes I have noted for future projects of mine that will be very useful.
One of the things I did enjoy most about the book was the variety of materials that were covered. These are not your simple “make it red and shiny” materials, these are useful and adaptable with built in controls for fine tuning the material to your needs.
So there it is, the good and the not so good. With one remaining question to be answered. Would I pick this book again knowing what I now know about it?
The answer is quite likely, and here is why.
1. I actually like a challenge, and while this book was difficult (okay some sections were more than difficult) and I wouldn’t recommend it to beginners, it was not impossible and I think I may have ultimately understood more because I did have to work at it. Yes I know, I am seriously weird that way.
2. The book covers a lot of really nice materials with good explanations of why things work. I like knowing why.
One final thought
This book contain a lot of information, but be prepared, you are going to have to work for it.