NOTE: This course was published in November 2013 uses Blender 2.68a, it works with current versions of Blender..
Create a superhero in Blender, from scratch! Blender is a great way to generate sprites for games. The goal of this course is to show you how to create an animated character and then render out sprites. In this course you'll model, texture, rig, animate, and render out images in an iterative fashion.
This course is taught in real-time, no accelerated video (so a 10 minute lecture really is 10 minutes of work). My intended teaching style is like sitting down with a friend. You'll see my workflow as I develop this character from scratch. When I make a mistake, you'll see how to correct it. You'll see how Blender supports iterating over the creation of a character, even when in different phases of its development.
This course is intended for folks with some Blender experience (so not complete newcomers). If you are comfortable with A Blender Quickstart, you will probably be okay (but challenged) with A Blender Game Character. If you haven't used Blender in years, you should be fine if you used the 2.4x and/or 2.5x series. #blender #b3d
Welcome to A Blender Game Character! I hope you enjoy this course. You can download the associated files if you feel like you need help. But you should be able to start right from scratch in Blender without any of the files.
Mac users, if I say "alt" translate that to "opt". "Control" does mean "control", not "command".
A number pad is great with Blender, but if you don't have one here's what you do.
You start with the torso, arms, and legs. You'll build a classic 8-head tall figure.
You add the head here. You'll continue to revise the body.
You add the hands next. You'll build them separated at first but then join them to the mesh of the body.
You'll add the feet to the hero.
Tweaking is done continuously as we add to the figure, but sometimes you've got to just dedicate some time to tweaking.
You add seams to the mesh to help Blender figure out how to cut it apart when it unwraps.
The head needs more detail, you add it here and see how to add that to the existing UV.
Wow, the interface looks different! I'm using Blender 2.78 in order to show you how to fix a change of functionaly that was introduced in later versions of Blender. This course used Blender 2.68. As Blender updated, part of the functionality changed as to how it deals with textures. This video shows you the steps to take to fix it.
You paint right on the model in 3D as well as on its associated texture.
You get into the details here. In this lecture you'll use an external editor to add some of the details. It's not necessary to do externally, but it can be easier.
More dedicated time to the figure. It can be done even once you've unwrapped it.
You bake the normals of the high resolution figure onto the normal map of the low resolution figure. Instant muscles without the overhead of a large mesh!
Here you get to decide what parts should be shiny.
You make the circles on the hero's eyes and chest glow with an ominous light.
Time for a break and try some rendering. Here you'll play with the Freestyle renderer as well.
Touching up some of the color map.
I added some mesh earlier that I know longer want. How do you remove it without messing up your uv? You'll see here.
Move your bones a little now that your hero has some! It starts giving you that feeling that this guy will come to life.
So many bones in the hand, this is an argument for mittens! In reality, for game sprites often you can get away with mittens. For this lesson you'll go the extra mile and add individual bones.
All these bones, you'll need to keep them under control. Use constraints in this lecture to help you.
Wait! More tweaks to the mesh?!? Yes, but don't worry, with Blender's Snap to Symmetry it is easy.
You'll weight paint and add a script to make it a little easier.
Reverse foot rigs are cool! See how to use forward and inverse kinematics together in this lecture.
The feet need to be weighted to the new bones.
You'll iterate on the rig just as you do with the mesh and maps.
You'll tweak the hand mesh in this lecture.
Action constraints allow you to use an action (an animation) in conjunction with your rig. You'll make the hand be able to go from being open to a fist and back.
You create the action for the right hand. It's easier the second time.
Hmmm, alway adjusting... It's a blessing and a curse, but fortunately Blender makes it possible.
Some bones can be hidden out of the way. You'll use bone layers in this lecture to organize your rig's bones.
Yeah, this is fun. You'll do a quick first animation to get the gist of the workflow, and then you'll come back to it later.
Sometimes evil must be punched. You'll create the punching action (animation) in this lecture.
Not always busy, the hero is sometime idle. You'll create an idle action for your character in this lecture.
NOTE: In the current version of Blender, you need to switch from the Blender Render to Blender Game in order from pressing "P" to play your logic bricks.
You had to know this was coming after I'd snuck a script in during the weight painting. Logic Bricks is how Blender can create logic without scripting (although you can add scripting with Logic Bricks, we keep it simple in this lecture). You'll add Logic Bricks to test your three actions interactive with the Blender's Game Engine (BGE).
You improve the run animation in this lecture. Remember, this is a hero running too danger, not from it!
You'll create sprites for each of the animations you made in the previous section.
In this lecture, you'll use a camera animation to automate the creation of all the frames of animation for the run action at 8 different angles.
Does a hero need a utility belt? If you think so, this section is for you.
You get to add a separate mesh of the belt to the hero's mesh. You'll get to use the Solidify and Array modifiers, and a cool texture technique.
Here you add the mesh to the hero's mesh, weight it, test, and deal with any issues.
Since you're not using Cycles for the sprites, why not take this as an opportunity to pose the figure. Even though this mesh was designed to be used for a game character, it still looks pretty cool posed.
Nodes might look complicated, but you build them step-by-step and its very straightforward. You'll create a node-based version of the hero's materials using shaders for the Cycles rendering.
I've been a Blender Foundation Certified Trainer (BFCT) for nine years. Need/prefer 1-on-1 training or consulting? Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for rates and to schedule a time. Visit my site, nyquist.net!