Blender Archives

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Creating a HDRI from a scene in Blender

I’ve explained how to make your own HDRIs in Unreal Engine and Daz Studio before, but of course Blender can do this as well. I keep forgetting the settings though, so I thought a little article would be beneficial for both of us. Here’s how to do it: That’s it! The resulting HDRIs can be …

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How to remove the Armature from a Rigged Object in Blender

For modelling purposes, armatures can get in the way as you make changes to an object in Blender. Thankfully there’s an easy yet somewhat unintuitive way to remove them, let me show you how to do that. It helps to understand how armatures come into existence in the first place, and knowing that it’ll make …

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How to use WASD Mouse/Keyboard Navigation in Blender

Did you know that Blender has a handy way for us to navigate larger scenes just like in video games? The standard WASD navigation can be enabled with a single click, let me show you how. Head over to View – Navigation – Walk Navigation and start using the W, A S, and D keys …

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Baking Normal Detail into a high-res mesh with Blender

I was wondering if we could bake normal detail into the 3D mesh, for either printing or further refinement during sculpting or whatnot. Turns out Blender has a relatively easy way to make it happen, although the process is not without flaws (after all, normal maps are rendering fake rather than an archival data storage …

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Exporting all textures from a Blend File

Blender can hold various image files like textures and masks, making it easy to share a single file and include everything that’s necessary to render and work with it on another system. I wanted to work with a set of texture files that came with a character, but I didn’t want to manually export every …

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How to install and use the Quixel Bridge with Blender

Quixel Megascans assets are a pure marvel of detail and flexibility. I’m having great fun using 3D meshes and surfaces in Unreal Engine 5 thanks to the fully integrated bridge. What you may not know is that the Quixel Bridge was designed as a stand-alone asset library, with true one-click export options to other running …

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Combining images in the Blender Compositor

Blender can combine images with its Compositor feature. Although I prefer to do use Photoshop for stills, the Compositor can be a great time saver for animations. Let’s see how we can combine a render with alpha channel and background image. I’ll use the cube with shadow catcher plane from my previous article, and the …

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Creating a Shadow Catcher in Blender (for Cycles and Eevee)

It used to be a major pain to setup a Shadow Catcher in older versions of Blender. Thankfully Cycles makes this a breeze today, but it’s still a little trickier in Eevee. Let’s take a look at both versions in this article. We’ll need two objects to illustrate this: a source object that casts a …

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How to scale a HDRI in Blender

Scaling a HDRI requires the same node setup as rotating a HDRI in Blender: You can scale on both other axis as well to expand the HDRI horizontally and vertically, but overall scale is achieved just with the Y axis.

How to load a .blend file without messing up your UI

Blender has this helpful/annoying feature that any user interface customisations are stored with a file. This means that any window and workspace changes are saved with the .blend file, and this also means that if someone shares such a file with you, the UI may look completely different to what you’re used to. I’ve seen …

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Automatically merging Vertices in Blender

Blender has a nice feature that allows us to merge vertices automatically when we move them into the place of an existing one. As an example, if I grab an edge of my subdivided cube and press GG to edge slide it over to the nearest one, there would be two vertices in the same …

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Changing Blender viewport cameras in Quad View

I’m notorious at forgetting shortcuts in Blender: just as I had remembered that any viewport can be switched into a quad view with CTRL+ALT+Q, I was stuck with another problem: the views I was seeing were locked, and I couldn’t change say a back view to a front view, or a top view into a …

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How to re-time animations in Blender

Blender has a very powerful yet somewhat confusing re-timing feature. This comes in handy when you want to render animations at a different frame rate than they were designed to be in. As an example, you may have setup your scene with 24fps in mind, but want to render out a 60fps version, or vice …

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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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