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Blender and CGI tools Thread yesdev 05/18/2023 (Thu) 15:59:01 No.642
There are few layers to learning Blender, but before learning, the Main Principle is to do as little as possible to get best possible result, by using tools which blender provides. You dont draw textures on everything by hand, you use procedural textures. You dont make rigs for generic humanoids(and some animals), you use rigging addon. Also, I would say that 12+16 gb ram is required for comfortable usage of blender. You can live with 4 gb, sure, but it will not be comfortable at all, and you might never be able to use sculpting(or using displacement in textures) or make proper renders. Also, nvidia cards work better, and if you have older radeon card, its not supported by newer blender, and 2.93 is the last blender version you can use. First one, is learning how to do anything, learning interface, hotkeys, etc. Most of it is very simple, and the more you use it, the faster you will do everything. At this point you should just watch a bunch of videos on youtube, I can recommend a few channels, which mention every single button press they do. And its pretty much the only way to learn it. I would say, you need to know how to do simple modelling, adding random primitives, installing generic must-have addons, such as node wrangler, basic understanding how to render something, and basic understanding of shading, aka materials in blender, how to use hdri and basic unwrapping. Additionally, for simple modelling you need to understand why you should use quad topology. At this point after watching videos, you should be able to make a simple house, or a chair, or anything similar, and make materials for it, place a camera. You dont need to understand what you are doing, just copying what you seed others do. You probably should watch a video or two on how to optimize rendering, to save your time, you dont need 256+ samples for test render, 32 will do just fine. I cant help you at this stage, because everything is just learning which buttons to press. Next is understanding how to do more advanced stuff, like using modifiers for objects, using advanced materials, or even geometry nodes. At this point you should start to understand what you are doing. You should probably start working on a stuff you want to make, however consider it practice, not something you will end up using. I think, you should understand how to make something what you want, instead of just copying some video. You should know what modelling terms mean, like subdivide, rotate, extrude, scale, cut, add object, install the "must have" addons (they ship with blender anyway). And for materials you should understand(just play around with it) what different coordinate systems do (object, generated(aka global), uv) what textures do voronoy, perlin/noise, waves, and what bump, roughness, and displacement means. I am probably forgetting something, but all of it will be adjacent anyway. At this point you should be able to make something like a snake, with proper scales, out of curves or modelled in a couple of minutes. Or maybe use an addon to add a cat rig, model cat around it, and cover it with hair, with procedural shading. (Or naked cat, if your pc cant handle fur). And maybe even animate it. You should use core principle of "do less" and use addon to get armature with premade animation, use automatic weights and make whole animation in just a minute or two. At this point you should notice parts which your pc cant handle. Mine for example cant render volumes anymore, due to "fuck radeon cards, their drivers suck", and some other stuff. There are often ways to sidestep it, but sometimes, if you dont have enough ram, for example, there is pretty much nothing you can do to sidestep it. I would say you should be able to at least render a model with 300k vertexes, a couple of materials with varied roughness, metallic parts, bump map, hdri + a couple of lamps. I would say it is the bare minimum of using blender for gamedev. You might consider translucent/transparent/glass materials, but honestly they are not important. Requirements are lower for eevee rendering engine, and it is faster, but you likely will need cycles. I would say you should be able to make "test" renders in a minute, with low sample rate, otherwise everything will take too much time. Anyway, at this point you should probably think about making something cool via tools you are provided. Probably something based on procedural textures. For example picrelated is a model for a well, and procedural texture for it, it might look complex at first glance, but in reality its quite simple, and only uses a couple of procedural textures and some math. And model is just a cylinder. And lamp uses same model as a bucket, just with a couple of modifiers. Same with orange galaxy-like splash. Its just some camera tricks, and a couple of procedural textures mixed. Doing something like this is really not necessary for gamedev, but it is fun and educational. At this point you should start thinking about making game-ready models and exporting them to your engine. Be it 2d sprites (with that I can help a lot) or 3d models with their textures (with that I can help a little). And you should look through cc0 websites with textures, models, etc, like https://polyhaven.com/ ). For example you can spend a day trying to model a tree, or you can use an addon to generate a tree in a minute. Cont...
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If anyone is interested in youtube channels, I can recommend some of them. For general basic modelling, lowpoly modelling, general cgi/artistic side, general blender guides and quite advanced stuff like geometry nodes+ procedural materials. More about basic principles and some tricks. I will repeat "do less, and make blender do everything for you". Blender is old so almost every problem was solved before you, so looking up how to do something will likely result in someone doing the work for you. Like with tree generation addon. You can model a tree, make textures, etc. Or you can get free tree model from some library. The only point of making your own tree is training, if you actually need a tree, get a premade/generated one. Next is, dont worry about small details, which no one ever will notice. You can find a free texture for a tree leaf, apply translucency, add subsurface scattering, and make most realistic tree leaves ever. But each leaf will be 2x2 pixels, so no one ever will notice its details. So dont bother trying to add details for something so small, it will be invisible anyway. In picrelated tree leaves are just perlin noise multiplied by "layer weight-fresnel" to get leaves of different colors, clustered like its intentional. Just a couple of nodes and colors. For example, I tried to make "proper" asphalt texture, and it was fucking waste of time. In general, you dont want to overload anything with details. Its very important, dont render to mp4/webm or any other video format, unless you use eevee and rendering takes less than a couple of minutes, and you dont care about quality. Output gets really fucking compressed, if anything stops rendering you will have to start from beginning again. So just render into a bunch of png and stich them later. While using procedural textures is slower, than prebaking everything, you should consider, how long it will take you to bake a texture vs how much rendering time it will save. Personally I only prebake AO, and only because my fucking radeon card cant render it normally. Baking textures in blender is difficult, in general. I know how to do it, but it is not ideal. For start, I dont think even latest versions of blender support hdri for baking, and you need to use lamps instead. If you are making something like lowpoly models for a game, with simple textures, without bump maps, its perfectly fine. But if you want to bake normal map into lowpoly mesh, from highpoly sculpt + prebake diffuse color, it might be very difficult, if not impossible without excessive trial. Personally I tried it a few times, and it seems to be very slow and very annoying process. Pics related is the stuff I consider myself t be good at, so if you have any questions about it, or in general, feel free to ask.
>>644 >If anyone is interested in youtube channels, I can recommend some of them. Please do, along with any other educational resources you think are useful.
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>>645 In general, some guides might be old, but still relevant. Dont worry if video is 10 years old, if interface looks the same as modern blender, likely nothing changed. Also, some of it is "industry standard", so its applies to a lot of other 3d software. Also a lot of them plug their commercials "here is my website where you can download all the textures and models I use", dont worry about it, man gotta eat. This guy makes guide series about blender, from the beginning. Kind of default option to start learning. He also talks about art in general, like "rules of art", "rules of animation". https://www.youtube.com/@blenderguru This guy makes lowpoly models in just a few minutes. https://www.youtube.com/@Imphenzia/videos This guy makes guides about modelling, while some of them are old, he does mention every button press, and how to do every single thing, so its a good starting point. There are a few channels similar to this, just a guy narrating every button press and what they do. https://www.youtube.com/@AlimayoArango This guy makes advanced advanced tutorials, about motion tracking, geometry nodes, shading, etc. If you want to learn how to make cool procedural materials, or procedural models, this is very good channel. Other than the very basic stuff, I mostly learned from him. https://www.youtube.com/@DefaultCube Random channels I watched, some of them are the same channel, split into a few, some of them are just professionals showing off. Worth to look at. https://www.youtube.com/@cgboost/videos https://www.youtube.com/@DECODEDVFX/videos https://www.youtube.com/@KevBinge/videos https://www.youtube.com/@cg_cookie https://www.youtube.com/@IanHubert2/videos https://www.youtube.com/@Iridesium/videos https://www.youtube.com/@TheDucky3D A shitload of cc0 models. Almost 3k scans of historically important objects. https://sketchfab.com/nebulousflynn/collections/cc0-9e9b8c5442ab4b59ba16b6fa5e43b8da Random cc0 stuff. HDRI, models, textures. https://polyhaven.com/ https://ambientcg.com/ Useful tool to pick colors for your stuff. https://paletton.com/ Also, to add to "general rules", dont use 100% saturated and 100% bright colors. They are rarely look good on a model. Like 255,0,0 red color. A lot of cheap looking models use it, and it looks bad. Also, what color you see in editor, and what color you will get in render, are often very different.
>>646 PS. Stuff about geometry nodes becomes outdated the moment you watch it. They change them a lot, since its basically experimental feature. Its more stable now, but most videos are probably outdated.
>>646 That's a handy list, thanks anon.

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