Gift Wrapping Blender Style

In this post I would like to show people how to wrap textures around objects in Blender. I feel like this is an interesting thing to talk about because it took me forever to learn how to do it. Then I celebrated by eating more chips. Blender is an incredibly powerful program that gets to be really exciting when you know what you’re doing, but up until that point you can feel really lost. It takes watching a lot of tutorials and working time to understand it more than anything.

So here is a video that I posted on how to wrap a texture I had previously drawn to a cylinder mesh. It’s a coin that I’m working on for our game Vikings that is still a work in progress. We’re opting to make a lot of the assets in Blender now instead of hand drawing all of them in Photoshop. Hopefully it’ll make things shine a little more than if they were drawn flatly in 2D.

If you don’t feel like watching the video you can just look at this picture of the final product here below:

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 7.19.57 PM

As you can see I’m still very fresh to texturing, and you might find that there’s a better way to do it but at least this one way works. You’ll find that you can make things smooth or bumpy, and once I get to that point I’ll share a video update of what I learned. Maybe I’ll learn how to wrap an object, 3D print it and send it to someone’s house as a gift. Just gave you a glimpse of the future. You’re welcome.

Have any thoughts or better ways of wrapping textures?

Will It Blend?

This week I found a couple of hours to learn how to build landscapes within Blender. With a couple of strokes of the mouse I was able to throw up mountains and sculpt plains. I even conjured a couple of houses and trees. I was feeling the powers of divinity course through my veins when I remembered that I was just a dude sitting in front of a computer eating chips. There was some clicking on things going on as well.

At first I was unsure of what kind of landscape I wanted to build so I set up a flat plane and started to sculpt it. As a visual learer I love being able to watch someone make something and then try it myself. For that reason I recorded myself making a simple landscape that you can watch here:

I’ve only been fumbling around with modeling for a couple hours now so please don’t judge the jumpiness too harshly. Or judge it, this is the internet after all.

After building the land I decided to plop some trees and some houses onto it. I decided that I would build them from scratch because I was bold and didn’t want to cheat by using a frame from online. I realized how hard of work this is and understand why a lot of artists opt to download textures and features that allow them to build realistic looking things more quickly. If a 3D artist spent all his or her time building everything from scratch it would take hours upon hours to get anything to look good. In a way artists are combining pieces from everywhere to make art, which in my opinion is what they were all doing in the first place before computers ever existed. Here are the results of my playing around with a sandy texture and modeling some simple objects:

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 5.25.53 PM

As you can see I’m still working on it, and I do when I get time. I’ll post some more updates on my landscape in the future as it improves. In the mean time I need to learn how to stop accidentally hitting my knee whenever I get up from my chair.

Seriously. It hurts.

How Many Animators Can You Fit in a Clown Ship?

Because we all work day jobs it’s hard sometimes to keep up with all the Binary Cocoa goodness. Like a lot of game artists and programmers, we work long hours during the day and then devote as much of our free time as possible to our latest projects. Learning Blender is both exciting and time-consuming, but I’m slowly making progress. My newly-acquired Blender skills now include coloring 3D objects and rendering objects with manipulatable movement paths.

clown car

Clown Ship.

 Our goal is to incorporate 3D objects into Vikings. A lot of games are exporting sprite sheets from Blender that they can use in 2D games. This makes the game appear to have more depth while still viewing it from one dimension. It also saves time when you only have to draw one object, which can render and animate. For Vikings I was asked to make a coin that flipped. Using the tutorial that I referred to in my previous article I was able to accomplish this quite easily, although it may look a little cheap. Hey, I’m still getting the hang of it.

My next goal is to try to add more objects, reflections and an atmosphere. Possibly animate a gorilla eating a banana in a sauna if I’m feeling ambitious. Keep in mind that that it takes a lot of animators to make a movie or a game. Next time you watch a movie stick around for the credits to see how many animators’ names pop up. The lists are usually so long you get bored, so grab a snack while you’re at it. Then go change your laundry, because it will still be going.

Drawing Tom

Joseph and Stephen attended a tech conference in Salt Lake City in 2013 and gave a presentation on developing  2D games with the Löve framework. Part of the presentation was showing a video that showed Stephen’s drawing process at a really fast speed. Here is the video that they showed: