Blender Archives

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How to change the Texture Stencil in Blender

Blender can do projection painting with textures that can be used as stencils. It’s super handy when it comes to transferring 2D images onto 3D objects. All we need to do is load in a texture, then rub it onto our objects in either Vertex or Texture Paint mode, as well as the new Sculpt …

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Creating Fluid Simulations in Blender

A while ago I watched a nice video by CG Cookie about pouring some coffee into a cup in Blender. It’s a great starter video, even though I found it really tough to follow when I tried it for the first time. I thought I had made some notes on the process back then, but …

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How to import Morph Targets into Blender

Blender has this habit of being a little different then perhaps any other 3D app. While it can deal with morph targets, they’re called something different and it’s entirely un-obvious how to bring them in (hint: it’s NOT the import option, nor in Edit Mode). I’ve just figured out how to do it and thought …

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Creating something like “decals” in Blender

Many render engines have the concept of decals. Those are texture projections that can be thrown onto existing objects without having to amend the actual texture files. Footsteps and bullet holes in video games are examples of decals. I’m not sure if Cycles or Eevee have this concept natively, but there’s a relatively easy way …

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How to export multiple objects from Blender as OBJ or FBX

Blender has a handy script built-in that lets us export multiple selected objects in our scene as separate objects. I remember mentioning this principle in a beefy article focussing on Unreal Engine workflow, but thought it would be neat to turn it into its own article. Here it is! Let’s assume we have several objects …

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Combining Texture Maps with Blender and SimpleBake

In this article I’ll show you how to combine various UV islands that are spread across multiple UDIMs onto a single texture set. Blender has this capability built-in, but an add-on called SimpleBake makes our job even easier. For this example I’m using the the base Character Creator model. Many thanks to Brian for showing …

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Turning Material Zones into Vertex Colour in Blender and ID Maps in Substance Painter

I was wondering if I could use Blender to make my Substance Painter selections a little easier. I wanted to avoid importing the material zones into Substance, while retaining this information at the same time. Turns out there is a way to do this, but it needs a little manual labour. Josh explains it in …

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Stencil Painting in Blender

Texturing 3D objects is surprisingly easy in Blender. Essentially we’re using a 2D image that will be gently rubbed onto the surface of a 3D object, thereby creating a texture. Let me show you how to do it. Let’s use Blender’s default cube and any image of your choice. If you no longer have him …

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Projection Painting in Blender: The Basics

Blender allows us to project regular images onto 3D objects from any angle onto a temporary UV space, from which we can then transfer such projections onto the “real” UV space. If this sounds like science fiction, bear with me – it’s a tad complicated and I thought I’d take some notes while the process …

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Importing a whole Synty Level from Unreal Engine into DAZ Studio

The other day I thought it would be a hoot to bring in some of the wonderfully modelled low-res Synty Assets and use them together with the high-res characters in DAZ Studio. With access to the source OBJ files this worked out rather well, but it’s a time consuming process importing, shading and saving each …

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Pixel Crab: Creating a Voxel Effect in Blender

Voxels have become a popular way to show off pixelated 3D shapes. For years we’ve been trying to make things look smooth and natural, but with retro being a thing right now, voxels can do the same for your pristine 3D objects that Lomo filters can to pristine photographs: make them look a little weird …

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Installing the DAZ to Blender Bridge

I have to be brutally honest with you: last time I’ve tried the official DAZ to Blender bridge I didn’t have a great time. But, a lot of time has passed and several updates have been released, so I thought perhaps I should try again with version 2.3.9. The first hurdle was of course to …

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How to point a light source at an object in Blender

DAZ Studio has a helpful constraints function called Point At. With it we can point eyes at the camera, point a light at an object and do all kinds of other things. Blender also has this concept, but it’s called something else: Track To. Let me show you (and my future self) how to set …

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Checking out Cycles X

I’ve spent some time this week putting Blender’s new Cycles X engine through its paces. The team have written about their plans, I’m excited about it and I appreciate the efforts it takes to make this work. I’m already very happy with the current implementation of Cycles, and with a bit of time on my …

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What’s a good configuration for a 3D/Rendering/DAZ Studio computer

I’ve had various requests and discussions with supporters recently about what might be a good configuration for a DAZ Studio and/or rendering computer. It’s a good question, and with so many systems and components on the market, I thought I’d compile this article as a starting point. Feel free to ask specific questions in the …

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How to change any Blender viewport to full screen

I always forget how to do this: most viewports can be changed into full screen mode by hovering over a window and selecting CTRL + SPACE BAR. This works great for 3D and node views, less so for things like the timeline or the outliner.

Importing animations from Marvelous Designer into Blender

I’ve been able to import Marvelous Designer animations into Blender for rendering! Here’s a short video I’ve tweeted showing my inflatable boat in action: This is how we make it happen in principle. In Marvelous Designer: animate your garment export an OBJ from the first frame export the animation as MDD using the same settings …

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How to setup Normal Maps in Blender

Normal Maps contain data rather than colour. Even though we can see something like an image, and it’s technically a picture, the RGB values of each pixel are not treated as visuals by the render engine. To use a Normal Map in Blender’s node editor, do the following: create a texture node and open the …

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How to break or remove a Node Connection in Blender

Unreal Engine has a nice feature that allows us to break a connect between nodes. Blender does too, I just never knew it existed. I had always assumed that deleting a node and re-creating it would be the only way. Turns out there’ a better way: To delete a connection between nodes, CTRL + Right-Click …

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How to extract a UV Template in Blender

When you’re done with UV Mapping in Blender, you may need to save out a template of your hard work so that you or someone else in your team can get to work on some fabulous textures. In case you ever need to save out such a UV Template, head over to the UV Editing …

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How to create animated dust particles in Blender

In this episode I’ll show you the complex process of setting up animated particles in Blender. I’m doing this for an Eevee render, but the principle will work in Cycles just as well. They can be used to give atmosphere and depth to your renders, or to create other exciting effects like bokeh. There’s a lot going on in this video, so I thought I’d provide some written instructions in this article too. Here’s what’s coming up:

For this whole project I’ve used Blender 2.83.1. You can see an example of the effect in action on my Sad Robot animation. My wonderful Patreon Supporters have access to the scene file I’m building for dissection, study, amendment and commercial use.

Enjoy!

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How to rotate a HDRI in Blender

I always forget how to rotate HDRIs in Blender. It’s really not that difficult, but somehow this information doesn’t seem to save in my brain. I’ve given up trying understand why, so I thought I’d write it down for a future visit. At least I know where to look now 🙂 In the Shading Tab, …

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How to use TeleBlender 4 by mCasual / Jaques

Getting characters and scenes from DAZ Studio into Blender is one of the toughest things to get right. It’s an endlessly time consuming, confusion and generally un-fun process. Several scripts exist to make this happen, yet many of them fail to make it a one-click solution. Jacques aka mCasual has been working for years on something called TeleBlender. Steve aka Backdoor 3D recently did a live stream on the process, and I finally had a chance to try it out myself.

In this article I’ll show you the workflow that I found worked best for me. You may know a better way, and perhaps it’s not the intended way of working, but it thought it might come in handy (since usage instructions on the download page of TeleBlender are literally non-existent).

I’m using the following versions, which will probably no longer exist by the time you read this article:

  • Blender 2.83.1 LTS
  • DAZ Studio 4.12.1
  • TeleBlender 4 (Beta 06252020)

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Importing Genesis into Blender via Mixamo

I’ve just been experimenting with uploading a Genesis 1 figure to Mixamo, and importing the animated figure into Blender. There are several trillion options what with the combinations of tick-boxes and values. Thankfully, nothing is documented, just the way I like it. I thought I’d quickly post a screenshot of what actually works – for …

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Using Non-Linear Animation (NLA Features) in Blender 2.8

Many animation apps have an exciting feature that lets us re-use a group of keyframes in a more convenient way to build larger and more complex animations. They’re commonly referred to as non-linear editing. A popular example includes setting up an action as keyframes once, and then looping it using an NLA bock of sorts (like a walk cycle). Better yet, animations can be combined and transitioned without interruptions or ugly pops. We can even overlay several actions, such as a walk cycle, an eye blink and a waving hand gesture.

Blender has these features, and while difficult to grasp at first, they’re surprisingly simple to use once you grasp the concept:

  • setup an animation using regular keyframes, or import it from a service like Mixamo
  • turn this group into an Action Strip (that’s what Blender calls an NLA block)
  • add this Action Strip onto an NLA track, repeat it or combine it with other strips
  • add transitions in between blocks to seamless motion
  • add tracks to combine animations

Here’s how it works for me. This might not be 100% accurate, but it’s good enough to build seriously cool animations with ease. I’m using Blender 2.82 for this example, and I’m expanding on principles I’ve briefly touched on in my previous article about looping walk animations.

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