Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Blender: Learning to Animate

I've had an interest in computer animation for quite a long time. When I first got really into it, my dad introduced me the free, open-source program, Blender. I haven't used it enough to know how strong or weak of a program it is, but I know that, at my current skill level, it gives me all I need.

My first ventures into Blender were simple: I made a cube move back and forth. My next accomplishment was adding color. Nothing too complicated. But then, I had an idea. I wanted to composite a Blender animation over some real footage. I thought that it would be a snap to animate the cube, then superimpose it over my video. Turns out that my idea was a lot more complicated than I thought. There was not only the objects between the viewer and the camera to consider, but the limitations of the internet. I had managed to find a video that got me started with the idea, but no matter how hard I looked, I could find anything, not on the wiki, not in my books, and not on YouTube, that specifically related to what I wanted to do.

I talked to my mentor about this problem and we decided that my efforts were best put into easier tasks. So I went to the much simpler task of animating a rig. The rig that I used was pre-built for me from 'The Essential Blender.' I am not very good at sculpting or adding armatures in Blender, yet, so this gave me a short-cut.

These are the results of my Blender excursions: http://youtu.be/OxrRLwm7PYs

1 comment:

  1. In order to successfully get your cube over the footage you shot, you would need a matchmove of your real world camera.

    Then taking that information into blender and rendering your cube from that new shot camera. The easiest thing to do is just shooting your drive way or kitchen table, and work on getting your cube to actually look like it's sitting on that table.

    Look for a demo of any matchmove software, that would allow you to at least do a rough test. You're essentially beginning the foundation of modern day visual effects, combining CG with live action footage.

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