So being interested in all things 3d, I finally sat down and started learning Blender. The inability of me to make acceptable looking 3d models has long been a hole in my 3d graphics knowledge, but no more! I am now fairly confident in my ability to make models in blender, and am starting to learn how to do animation and rigging and more advanced topics like that.
Basically, there are 3 steps in making a 3d animation. Step one is to make the model. You use tools to specify where each vertex in the model is positioned in 3d space. After you have a model, you move onto the third step, rigging. Rigging is associating vertexes with each other in such a way that they all move smoothly with each other. This is done by putting “bones” in your model, and tying the vertexes to their respective bones. This lets you position the model. It might sound easy, but rigging is a pretty intricate and important part of modeling. The next step is animation, where you position the bones in each frame to make something that looks like its walking, or moving, or whatever else you want your model to do. Tie these things all together, and you have a movie.
I’m not going to go over the basics of 3d animation right now, but I will show you my little toy humanoid character I made! I’m pretty proud of him, he only took me 8+ hours to make (including learning time). Here’s a video of the result, a guy walking around…
(Planet users click here)
Let me tell you, doing this has increased my respect for 3d animators at least five fold. From looking at the credits, it looks like whole animation teams are devoted to each step in the creation of the animation. Its a meticulous, long process to make even short professional 3d movies, like Big Buck Bunny or Elephant’s Dream. I don’t really want to know how many man-hours it takes to make a 2 hour movie like Monsters Inc….