- 1 Overview
- 2 When and Where
- 3 Don't panic
- 4 What to bring
- 5 Curriculum
- 6 Cost
- 7 Covid Policy
- 8 Animation and Design community
- 9 Online streaming support
- 10 About the instructor
- 11 Helpful resources and links
- 12 Future projects and support needed
- 13 NB RenderFarm
- 14 Class Archives
- 15 Logistics
Blender is a free and open source 3D creation suite. It is one of the great options available for new and independent artists to learn and make 3D art, 2D animation, edit videos, make vfx, build apps and even program games. With a thriving online community of contributors and plentiful tutorials available, the barrier to entry has never been low.
In this class, participants will experientially learn the basics of the Blender animation pipeline that will help them start their endlessly rewarding journey of animation and design.
When and Where
When: Weekly every Sunday from 1pm-3pm. Optionally, stay till 4pm and practice your new learned superpowers.
Where: Noisebridge (Noisebridge has moved to a new location, find out more about the new location here)
You do not need to own a fancy laptop/computer to start. Because of recent breakthroughs, any computer with a decent CPU and latest WIN/MAC/LINUX OS can render high quality images, so join in, and become a creator of your own universe.
What to bring
- Laptop (desktop) with updated OS
- Laptop charger
- Mouse that has a mouse wheel and a mouse wheel button (Preferred. Will increase your workflow speed)
- Hard drive (If laptop has limited memory. P.s. Blender is light at 200mb-500mb depending on your OS)
- Notepad to take down notes (Can be taken on any device)
- Reference photos of things you would want to make (Download PureRef to organize your reference photos)
- Download and install the latest Blender version from https://www.blender.org/ (Optional but will save precious time for the class)
Blender curriculum includes but is not limited to:
- Blender animation pipeline
- Key framing
- Rendering and Compositing
- Physics simulations
Due to the complexity of animation software, classes will be conducted thematically, exploring one or all aspects of the curriculum at different levels of expertise for the project.
This is a free class. Donations are appreciated to help support Noisebridge and the instructor.
Noisebridge is solely supported by individual donations by its users. You can donate through PayPal on our site or in the donation bins at the front of the space. If you use Noisebridge regularly, set up a regular donation. A $10-$40 monthly subscription is a great way to ensure Noisebridge stays around. You can also become a member, which means you can take part in decisions about Noisebridge -- but you don't have to be one to use our space.
Masks are mandatory indoors for this class. COVID Delta variant is spiking. To avoid another lockdown, it is preferred that visitors maintain social distance, sanitize surfaces before and after use, and are vaccinated. Please contact the instructor on Meetup in advance if special accommodations are needed.
Animation and Design community
Online streaming support
Online streaming support is currently under works and is not available for the current class. Please check again later for another class.
About the instructor
Ray (he/him/they) is a digital art enthusiast who has been working with a suite of creative softwares for more than a decade. He is new to the Blender community, with only 2 years of experience, but has a knack for teaching and helping other people learn the new media, especially during a time when it is so accessible. Support/Donate
- Blender Models
- Shaders/Textures and PBR materials
- Utility tools
Future projects and support needed
- Rendering high quality animations can take a lot of resources that the average person may not have. Setting up a render farm at NB can be an incredibly useful resource to have. Get in contact to discuss on how a render farm can be established at NB. [under works]
- Community art events for Blender and other 3D softwares once a month. Need volunteers and organizers.
- Streaming classes from NB on 3D animation and Design.
- Wish list for Animation stations at NB.
- Weekly render challenges
What is a Render Farm and why do we need it?
"A render farm is a high-performance computer system, e.g. a computer cluster, built to render computer-generated imagery (CGI)"
A render farm can allow an animator to render, what would be an unimaginably time-consuming animation in a fraction of a time, which is proportional to the number of computers on the farm. For example, a 9000 frame 4K Cycles Render @ 30fps Animation (5 minute animation), and considering each frame would take 12 minutes to render would take 75 days of non-stop rendering from a single computer. With 20 computers in parallel, this would take 18 hours each. This is a considerable upgrade and is what makes render farms really attractive.
Why at NB? Aren't there any render farms services out there?
Short answer is yes. SheepIt is a free render farm where you approx get 4 times the time you render for someone else. However, it is more effective to rack points as a team than individual contributions. As a team, your team's projects are set as priority when you want to render. There are also many paid solutions out there.
Building a render farm at NB will create the following benefits:
- Bring the animation community together
- Bring in engagement and even revenue from donations
- Allow beginners to make interesting projects that would otherwise be very difficult
- Make animation accessible to those who can't afford good rigs
- Make use of abandoned tech
Can we build it? Yes we can.
- Support is built-in: Blender is a free open-source software with a built-in add on to setup and dispatch render jobs called the "Network Renderer".
- Is not OS dependent: Any combination of MAC, Linux and Windows OS computers can be linked together using a local network to setup a render farm.
- Very simple to setup: The only requirement is that the compatible versions of Blender is installed on each machine and has the add-on enabled.
- Basic networking: The Client will send the file to the Master machine that will send the rendering machines the part that needs to be rendered. The master and the client can be the same machine. The Client then receives and automatically collects the rendered frames.
- Take note of all the machines at NB that are unused
- Check if they work
- Get necessary supplies
- Connect them together
- Install software
- Make instruction list
- Setup donation box
- Start rendering
- 1st Aug, 2021: Object mode. Add object (Shift+A). Scale (S), Move (G), Rotate (R). Axis based transformation (Tool shortcut key -> x (for x-axis) / y (for x-axis), z (for z-axis). Lock one axis (Tool shortcut key -> Shift + Axis )). Delete (X). Edit Mode (Tab). Vertices, Edges and Faces and individual transformations of such. Extrude (E). Inset (I). Adding lights. Adding Camera. Seeing through Camera lens (Camera icon on the right underneath viewport mode). Camera to view (Shortcut key (N) -> View -> Camera to View checkbox). Materials properties. Add new material. Base shader, metallicity, roughness, emission and emission strength. Assigning geometry a different material in Edit mode. Rendering image from Render drop down menu on the top. Viewport shading, wireframe view, x-ray view, rendered view. Meshes have geometry. Circles are N-gons. Triangles are circles with 3 vertices.
- 8th Aug, 2021: Revised 1st Aug class. Edit mode tools - Bevel (Ctrl+B), Loop Cut (Ctrl+R). Shade smooth (RMB in Object view). Move 3D Cursor (Shift+RMB). Magnet tool (Shift+Tab - top tool bar) and change settings to snap to vertices. Snap 3D Cursor to a vertex then go to top drown down menu "Object>Set Origin>Origin to 3D Cursor" to change pivot point for selected object. Change "Transfor Pivot Point" from top tool bar chain icon to "3D Cursor" to rotate from 3D Cursor. Active object is highlighted lighter when multiple objects are selected. Subdivide in Edit Mode [Permanent change]. Subdivision Surface in Modifiers (Wrench icon - right tool bar)[Non-destructive workflow]. Subdivide using modifiers allow you to start "blocking" your shape. "Import images as planes" add-on enabled to import jpegs from "Add>Image>Images as planes". Shape keys from Object Data Properties (Triangle with vertices icon - right tool bar). Keyframe changes by tapping the '.' icon next to properties (Yellow means change detected. Green means keyframe is set). Focus on specific object by keymapping the '.' key as "Frame selected" (Edit>Preferences>Keymap>3D View>3D View global>Frame selected>*Enter shortcut key*).
- 15th Aug, 2021: Revised basics of adding shapes. Changing and opening different panels on the interface. Opening the Timeline or Graph Editor as a panel. Change the framerate from the scene setup. 6 ways to Animate: 1) Click on white dot next to object properties to start keying. Rekey by moving to a different frame, changing the value and clicking the diamong value. 2) Using the shortcut 'i' to quickly key a property at a different frame. 3) Auto-keying individual frames. 4) Press Spacebar to start the animation and record the change in object properties. 5) Going into Graph Editor and changing the curve lines for object property. 6) Pressing 'i' on any object property to animate it, including textures. Open Shader Editor. Introduction to node based editing. Inputs on the left, outputs on the right. Principled BSDF and other shaders like Emission and Diffuse. Adding Noise textures as input to different parameters of the principled BSDF. Concept of Black = 0/Off/000 and White = 1/on/255. Controlling contrast by reducing dynamic range through a ColorRamp. Changing the colors in a ColorRamp. Plugging the textures and colorramp into Metallaic, Roughness, Emission, Emission Strength. Changing textures from 3D to 4D. Press 'i' on W parameter to start animating it. 'w' evolution parameter is sensitive to small changes. Divide whole numbers by 100 or 1000 to see slight change. Type #frame in object properties to parent value to the frame value. Divide by the number for small changes.