How to make 3D images in Blender

how to create 3d image in blender and how to draw 3d images on paper step by step and how to draw 3d images for beginners
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Dr.MohitBansal,Canada,Teacher
Published Date:26-10-2017
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Modeling the Character's Base Mesh In this chapter, we will cover the following recipes: f Setting templates with the Images as Planes add-on f Setting templates with the Image Empties method f Setting templates with the Background Images tool f Building the character's base mesh with the Skin modifier Introduction In this chapter, we are going to do two things: set up templates to be used as a reference for the modeling, and build up a base mesh for the sculpting of the character. To set up templates in a Blender scene, we have at least three different methods to choose from: the Images as Planes add-on, the Image Empties method, and the Background Images tool. A base mesh is usually a very low poly and simple mesh roughly shaped to resemble the final character's look. There are several ways to obtain a base mesh: we can use a ready, freely downloadable mesh to be adjusted to our goals, or we can model it from scratch, one polygon at a time. What's quite important is that it should be made from all quad faces. To build the base mesh for our character, we are going to use one of the more handy and useful modie fi rs added to Blender: the Skin modifier. However, first, let us add our templates. 1Modeling the Character's Base Mesh Setting templates with the Images as Planes add-on In this recipe, we'll set the character's templates by using the Images as Planes add-on. Getting ready The first thing to do is to be sure that all the required add-ons are enabled in the preferences; in this first recipe, we need the Images as Planes and Copy Attributes Menu add-ons. When starting Blender with the factory settings, they appear gray in the User Preferences panel's Add-ons list, meaning that they are not enabled yet. So, we'll do the following: 1. Call the User Preferences panel (Ctrl + Alt + U) and go to the Add-ons tab. 2. Under the Categories item on the left-hand side of the panel, click on 3D View. 3. Check the empty little checkbox on the right-hand side of the 3D View: Copy Attributes Menu add-on to enable it. 4. Go back to the Categories item on the left-hand side of the panel and click on Import-Export. 5. Scroll down the add-ons list to the right-hand side to find the Import-Export: Import Images as Planes add-on (usually, towards the middle of the long list). 6. Enable it, and then click on the Save User Settings button to the left-bottom of the panel and close it. The User Preferences panel with the Categories list and the Addons tab to enable the several add-ons 2Chapter 1 There are still a few things we should do to prepare the 3D scene and make our life easier: 7. Delete the already selected Cube primitive. 8. Select the Lamp and the Camera and move them on to a different layer; I usually have them on the sixth layer (M key), in order to keep free and empty both the first and second rows of the left layer's block. 9. The Outliner can be found in the top-right corner of the default workspace. It shows a list view of the scene. Set Display Mode of the Outliner to Visible Layers. 10. Lastly, save the file as Gidiosaurus_base_mesh.blend. How to do it… Although not strictly necessary, it would be better to have the three (at least in the case of a biped character, the Front, Side, and Back view) templates as separated images. This will allow us to load a specific one for each view, if necessary. Also, to facilitate the process, all these images should be the same height in pixels. In our case, the required three views are provided for you in the files that accompany this book. You will find them in the templates folder. The Import Images as Planes add-on will take care of loading them into the scene: 1. Left-click on File Import Images as Planes in the top-left menu on the main header of the Blender UI. 3Modeling the Character's Base Mesh 2. On the page that just opened, go to the Material Settings column on the left-hand side (under the Import Images as Planes options) and enable the Shadeless item. Then, browse to the location where you placed yourtemplates folder and load the gidiosaurus_front.png image: The Import pop-up menu and the material settings subpanel of the Import Images as Planes add-on 3. Rotate 90 degrees on the x axis (R X 90 Enter) of the Plane that just appeared at the center of the scene (at the 3D Cursor location, actually; to reset the position of the 3D Cursor at the center of the scene, press the Shift + C keys). 4. Press N to call the Properties sidepanel on the right-hand side of the active 3D window, and then go to the Shading subpanel and enable the Textured Solid item. 4Chapter 1 5. Press 1 on the numpad to go to the Front view: The imported plane with the relative UV-mapped image Now, we know that our Gidiosaurus is a 2.5 meters tall beast. So, assuming that 1 Blender Unit is equal to 1 meter, we must scale the plane to make the character's front template two and a half Blender Units tall (Note that it is not the plane that must be 2.5 units tall, it's the character's shape inside the plane). 6. Add an Empty to the scene (Shift + A Empty Plain Axes). 7. Duplicate it and move it 2.5 units up on the z axis (Shift + D Z 2.5 Enter). 8. Go to the Outliner and click on the arrows on the side of the names of the two Empties (Empty and Empty.001), in order to make them gray and the Empties not selectable. 9. Select the Plane and move it to align the bottom (feet) guideline to the horizontal arm of the first Empty (you actually have to move it on the z axis by 0.4470, but note that by pressing the Ctrl key, you can restrict movements to the grid and with Ctrl + Shift, you can have even finer control). 5Modeling the Character's Base Mesh 10. Be sure that the 3D Cursor is at the object origin, and press the period key to switch Pivot center for rotation/scaling to the 3D Cursor. 11. Press S to scale the Plane bigger and align the top-head guideline to the horizontal arm of the second Empty (you have to scale it to a value of 2.8300): The properly scaled plane in the 3D scene 12. Left-click again on File Import Images as Planes in the top-left menu on the main header of the Blender UI. 13. Browse to the location where you placed yourtemplates folder and this time load thegidiosaurus_side.png image. 14. Shift + right-click on the first Plane (gidiosaurus_front.png) to select it and make it the active one. Then, press Ctrl + C and from the Copy Attributes pop-up menu, select Copy Location. 15. Press Ctrl + C again and this time select Copy Rotation; press Ctrl + C one more time and select Copy Scale. 16. Right-click to select the second Plane (gidiosaurus_side.png) in the 3D view, or click on its name in the Outliner, and rotate it 90 degrees on the z axis (R Z 90 Enter). 17. Optionally, you can move the second Plane to the second layer (M second button on the Move to Layer panel). 18. Again, left-click on File Import Images as Planes, browse to thetemplates folder, and load thegidiosaurus_back.png image. 19. Repeat from step 12 to step 15 and move the third Plane on a different layer. 20. Save the file. 6Chapter 1 How it works… We used a Python script, which is an add-on, to import planes into our scene that are automatically UV-mapped with the selected image, and inherit the images' height/width aspect ratio. To have the textures/templates clearly visible from any angle in the 3D view, we have enabled the Shadeless option for the Planes materials; we did this directly in the importer preferences. We can also set each material to shadeless later in the Material window. We then used another add-on to copy the attributes from a selected object, in order to quickly match common parameters such as location, scale, and rotation: The template planes aligned to the x and y axis (Front and Side views) The imported Planes can be placed on different layers for practicality; they can also be on a single layer and their visibility can be toggled on and off by clicking on the eye icon in the Outliner. 7 www.allitebooks.comModeling the Character's Base Mesh Setting templates with the Image Empties method In this recipe, we'll set the character's templates by using Image Empties. Getting ready For this and the following recipes, there is no need for any particular preparations. Anyway, it is handy to prepare the two Empties to have markers in the 3D view for the 2.5 meters height of the character; so we'll do the following: 1. Start a brand new Blender session and delete the already selected Cube primitive. 2. Select the Lamp and Camera and move them on a different layer; I usually have them on the sixth layer, in order to keep free and empty both the first and second rows of the left layer's block. 3. Add an Empty to the scene (Shift + A Empty Plain Axes). 4. Duplicate it and move it 2.5 units up on the z axis (Shift + D Z 2.5 Enter). 5. Go to the Outliner and click on the arrows on the side of the names of the two Empties (Empty and Empty.001), in order to make them gray and the Empties not selectable. 6. Save the file as Gidiosaurus_base_mesh.blend. How to do it… So, now we are going to place the first Image Empty in the scene: 1. Add an Empty to the scene (Shift + A Empty Image; it's the last item in the list). 2. Go to the Object Data window in the main Properties panel on the right-hand side of the Blender UI; under the Empty subpanel, click on the Open button. 3. Browse to thetemplates folder and load thegidiosaurus_front.png image. 8Chapter 1 The Add pop-up menu and the Image Empty added to the 3D scene, with the settings to load and set the image 4. Set the Offset X value to -0.50 and Offset Y to -0.05. Set the Size value to 2.830: The Offset and Size settings 9Modeling the Character's Base Mesh 5. Rotate the Empty 90 degrees on the x axis (R X 90 Enter). 6. Go to the Outliner and rename itEmpty_gidiosaurus_front. 7. Duplicate it (Shift + D), rotate it 90 degrees on the z axis, and in the Outliner, rename it asEmpty_gidiosaurus_side. 8. In the Empty subpanel under the Object Data window, click on the little icon (showing 3 users for that data block) on the right-hand side of the image name under Display, in order to make it a single user. Then, click on the little folder icon on the right-hand side of the image path to go inside thetemplates folder again, and load thegidiosaurus_side.png image. 9. Reselect Empty_gidiosaurus_front and press Shift + D to duplicate it. 10. Go to the Empty subpanel under the Object Data window, click on the little icon (showing 3 users for that datablock) on the right-hand side of the image name under Display, in order to make it a single user. Then, click on the little folder icon on the right-hand side of the image path to go inside thetemplates folder again, and this time load thegidiosaurus_back.png image. 11. Go to the Outliner and rename itEmpty_gidiosaurus_back. How it works… We have used one of the most underrated (well, in my opinion) tools in Blender: Empties, which can show images Compared to the Images as Planes add-on, this has some advantages: these are not 3D geometry and the images are also visible in the 3D view without the Textured Solid option enabled (under Shading) and in Wireframe mode. The Image Empties appear as textured also in Wireframe viewport shading mode 10Chapter 1 Exactly, as for the imported Planes of the former recipe, the visibility in the 3D view of the Image Empties can be toggled on and off by clicking on the eye icon in the Outliner. Setting templates with the Background Images tool In this recipe, we'll set the character's templates by using the Background Images tool. Getting ready As in the former recipe, no need for any particular preparations; just carry out the preparatory steps as mentioned in the Getting ready section of the previous recipe. How to do it… So let's start by adding the templates as background images; that is, as reference images only visible in the background in Ortho view mode and, differently from the previous recipes, not as 3D objects actually present in the middle of the scene: 1. Press 1 on the numpad to switch to the orthographic Front view and press Alt + Home to center the view on the 3D Cursor. 2. If not already present, press N to bring up the Properties sidepanel to the right-hand side of the 3D window; scroll down to reach the Background Images subpanel and enable it with the checkbox. Then click on the little arrow to expand it. 3. Click on the Add Image button; in the new option panel that appears, click on the Open button and browse to thetemplates folder to load the gidiosaurus_front.png image. 4. Click on the little window to the side of the Axis item and switch from All Views to Front, and then set the Opacity slider to 1.000. 5. Increase the Y offset value to make the bottom/feet guideline of the reference image aligned to the horizontal arm of the first Empty (you have to set it to 0.780). 11Modeling the Character's Base Mesh 6. Scale Size smaller, using both the Empties that we set as references for the 2.5 meters height of the creature (you actually have to set the Scale value to 0.875). The background image scaled and positioned through the settings in the N sidepanel 7. Click on the little white arrow on the top-left side of thegidiosaurus_front.png subwindow to collapse it. 8. Click on the Add Image button again; then, in the new option panel, click on the Open button, browse to thetemplates folder, and load thegidiosaurus_side. png image. Then, set the Axis item to Right, Opacity to 1.000, Scale to 0.875, and Y to 0.780. 9. Repeat the operation for thegidiosaurus_back.png image, set Axis to Back, and so on. Press 3 on the numpad to switch to the Side view, 1 to switch to the Front view, and Ctrl + 1 to switch to the Back view, but remember that you must be in the Ortho mode (5 key on the numpad) to see the background templates: 12Chapter 1 The N sidepanel settings to assign the background image to a view Building the character's base mesh with the Skin modifier In the previous recipes, we saw three different ways to set up the template images; just remember that one method doesn't exclude the others, so in my opinion, the best setup you can have is: Image Empties on one layer (visibility toggled using the eye icons in the Outliner) together with Background Images. This way you can not only have templates visible in the three orthographic views, but also in the perspective view (and this can sometimes be really handy). However, whatever the method you choose, now it's time to start to build the character's base mesh. To do this, we are going to use the Skin modifier. 13Modeling the Character's Base Mesh Getting ready First, let's prepare the scene: 1. In case it's needed, reopen theGidiosaurus_base_mesh.blend file. 2. Click on an empty scene layer to activate it; for example, the 11th. The starting empty scene and the scene layer's buttons on the 3D window toolbar 3. Be sure that the 3D Cursor is at the center of the scene (Shift + C). 4. Add a Plane (press Shift + A and go to Mesh Plane). If you are working with the Factory Settings, you must now press Tab to go in to Edit Mode, and then Shift + right-click to deselect just one vertex. 5. Press X and delete the three vertices that are still selected. 6. Right-click to select the remaining vertex and put it at the cursor location in the center of the scene (Shift + S, and then select Selection to Cursor). 7. Go to the Object Modifiers window on the main Properties panel, to the right-hand side, and assign a Skin modifier; a cube appears around the vertex. Uncheck X under Symmetry Axes in the modifier's panel: 14Chapter 1 The cube geometry created by just one vertex and the Skin modifier 8. Assign a Mirror modier fi and check Clipping. 9. Assign a Subdivision Surface modifier and check Optimal Display. 10. Go to the toolbar of the 3D view to click on the Limit selection to visible icon and disable it; the icon appears only in Edit Mode and in all the viewport shading modes, except for Wireframe and Bounding Box, and has the appearance of a cube with the vertices selected: The “Limit selection to visible” button on the 3D viewport toolbar and the cube geometry subdivided through the Subdivision Surface modifier 15Modeling the Character's Base Mesh 11. Press 3 on the numpad to go in the Side view: The created geometry and the side-view template reference How to do it… We are now going to move and extrude the vertex according to our template images, working as guides, and therefore generating a 3D geometry (thanks to the Skin modifier): 1. Press G and move the vertex to the pelvis area. Then, press Ctrl + A and move the mouse cursor towards the vertex to lower the weight/influence of the vertex itself on the generated mesh; scaling it smaller to fit the hip size showing on the template: 16Chapter 1 Moving the geometry to the character's pelvis area 2. Press E and extrude the vertex by moving it up on the z axis; place it at the bottom of the rib cage. 3. Go on extruding the vertex by following the lateral shape of the character in the template. Don't be worried about the volumes; for the moment, just build a stick- figure going up the torso: Extruding the vertices to create a new geometry 17 www.allitebooks.comModeling the Character's Base Mesh 4. Proceed to the neck and stop at the attachment of the head location. 5. Select the last two vertices you extruded; press Ctrl + A and move the mouse cursor towards them to scale down their influence in order to provide a slim-looking neck: Scaling down the influence of the vertices 6. Press 1 on the numpad to switch to the Front view, and then select the bottom vertex and extrude it down to cover the base of the creature's pelvis. Press Ctrl + A X to scale it only on the x axis: Adjusting the weight of the vertices in the Front view 18Chapter 1 7. Go to the Mirror modier fi and uncheck the Clipping item. 8. Select the middle thorax vertex and extrude it to the right-hand side to build the shoulder. Press Ctrl + A to scale it smaller: Creating the shoulders 9. Extrude the shoulder vertex, following the arm shape, and stop at the wrist; select the just-extruded arms' vertices and use Ctrl + A to scale them smaller. 10. Reselect the shoulder vertex, and use Shift + V to slide it along the shoulder's edge in order to adjust the location and fix the area shape: Creating the arms 19Modeling the Character's Base Mesh 11. Select the middle thorax vertex we extruded the shoulder from and go to the Skin modier; c fi lick on the Mark Loose button: Making a more natural transition from the thorax to the arms 12. Select the second vertex from the bottom and extrude it to the right-hand side to build the hip, and then extrude again and stop at the knee. Use Ctrl + A on the vertex to make it smaller: Extruding the thighs 20