#3dpreset: Great Blender tips from James Neale

Today James Neale posted a series of awesome tips on twitter under the hashtag #3dpreset. I thought I would gather them up for those of you that don’t do the whole twitter thing.

from James Neale

“A creative studio can base its reputation on the discovery of 3d “presets”. Cheaper ways to achieve what people want.” Learning how to make money in 3d is easy. Learn the software so you can do it yourself really fast, or hire the artist that knows how. If you learn the presets yourself, you will have so much more control over your own work. It becomes so much cheaper for you to produce. If you can build your own presets and sell them, that can add to your income too. We build presets on almost every job, and regularly use countless presets we’ve accumulated over the years. Faster ways to make 3d art. 3d is really about collecting and building presets and using them wisely. #clarity  Systems of presets allow teams to create consistent quality work across longer and longer sequences. setting up your studio’s reputation. Bending and creating new presets in 3d is R&D. Using them is Production.

So what are some good simple #3dpresets that help your 3d sequences? Out of the box stuff? I’ll go first…

17 Rendering. Go cloud power! So cheap, it’s almost free, On-demand grunt. Keep 3d files small and it’s perfect. @GreenButton #b3d

16 Shadows. Stop with the black shadows!! Put in colour!! You can always HSV with it later in comp, using #3dpreset 11.

15 Cheap volumetric light beams. Use a cone geo with falloff and gradient opacity, additive to scene, subtle glow in comp. Fast.

PROTIP. Don’t use USB flash drive for backup. They are only data couriers. They die and get lost daily. Don’t risk the tears.

14 Libraries. Put scene assets to seperate files, load only proxies/rigs. Makes scene files tiny, saving disk and backup space.

13 Text. Bevel edges for better highlights. Bow/bend text slightly to capture more reflection. Spellcheck before render. Sweet.

12 Magic stars. Map a cross onto a plane, multiply a radial gradient, instance across particles, Add ‘twinkle’ with world noise.

11 : Colour schemes. Use an online colour scheme picker to pick shadow, highlight and general scene lights. So effective.

10 : Loops. Use them. Animate a jumping ball in time with music, link to camera view, use it to nail scene ‘beats’ when animating.

9 : Preview greyscale with no aliasing. Invert, blur green vertical, blue horizontal, red evenly, then overlay additive. Mix it up.

#9 is merely a cheap way to add an extra layer of effect, using a fast rendering greyscale preview of the scene as a layer in comp.

8. Depth of Field. Separate fore, mid and backgrounds and blur in comp to saves render times. Near to same end result as 3d DOF.

7.  Baked AO. For static lighting only. Bake it to UV, use as a mask for grime and/or ambient shadow colour. So good for realtime.

6. Tileable maps. Beg, borrow or steal to get a library of these suckers. Map to scene scale, and matte with paint or procedurals.

5. Reflection maps. Man, if I had a dollar for every time this has saved me. Render from object centre, apply in diffuse. So fast.

4. Lens flares. Eye candy. Track light source and flare across as additive. Star bursts at bright spots, warm or cold colour. Easy

3. Camera shake. Decaying seesaw motion in direction of impact, or along the screen path of the object’s motion. So effective.

2 Glare. Guaranteed to wow. Gamma down to get highights, blur then additive over. Bokeh blur helps a treat.

1. Vignette. Radial gradient, white in the middle, shadow colour at the edge, multiply over. Too easy.

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