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Been Learning Blender 2.8/2.9

Been Learning Blender 2.8/2.9

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 13 Sep 2020, 15:40

While I've done 3D modeling for quite some time, I am fairly new to Blender. Been dabbling in it, but not taking it too seriously. Then I decided to go through a complete tutorial, treating 3D as if I were a beginner, learning and unlearning (bad habits). I'll say this - Blender has changed a lot over the years. I used to hate it back with the old UI (v2.7x days) and refused to use/learn it. But since 2.8? Wow. What a difference. I actually love working in Blender now. Gotta love the price, too. ;)

So, here's my first completed project, from modeling, to material creation, to lighting and rendering, in Blender (from a tutorial offered on FlippedNormals):

Image

Image

Image

It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot. And now I am back to being excited about working in 3D again.
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Re: Been Learning Blender 2.8/2.9

Postby SolarPortal » 13 Sep 2020, 15:56

nice work m8 :)

i was an avid blender disliker on 2.7 and earlier with its horrible interface. 2.8 has changed that entirely and yeah being free cant argue haha :P But i suppose thats what happens when you get lots of large studios investing big bucks into a package lol.

keep it up!!... perhaps you will be able to start making packs to sell on the store for the next versions :)
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Re: Been Learning Blender 2.8/2.9

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 13 Sep 2020, 16:22

Thanks! :) Yeah, I had started in 3D using 3D Studio MAX and then migrated over to MODO. But with everyone moving to subscription and the mounting costs of 3D software, I decided to revisit Blender. With the 2.8 release (and now 2.9), this software has really blossomed! I really love working in Blender now.

MODO has a nice native rendering engine, but working with its shader tree (how you work with materials) and searching through the zillions of rendering options, it was always a fight to get a great, noise-free render. I hated rendering in MODO. But Blender? Holy cow. It's dead simple and I'm surprised at how good a render you can get out of Cycles. And it's dead easy to get good results. Love it.

I'd love to make packs of game-ready objects! Once I have my hands on the beta, I can start looking into that. ;)

BTW - Speaking of making Skyline specific packs - could more than models/materials be included? For example, could game-ready assets be made/offered/sold that include working doors with triggers, etc., so people could just drop them into a level and they would just work?
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Re: Been Learning Blender 2.8/2.9

Postby SolarPortal » 13 Sep 2020, 17:27

BTW - Speaking of making Skyline specific packs - could more than models/materials be included? For example, could game-ready assets be made/offered/sold that include working doors with triggers, etc., so people could just drop them into a level and they would just work?

Certainly, this is what the preset system is all about, it allows actions and scripts to already be applied and once we have made it easy to add these presets to the game objects panel, then people will be able to click them into place. Game objects even allow us to change how assets are placed, so if its a grid based construction kit then this can be activated when the folder is clicked with the assets.
Presets can even hold more than one entity, so characters holding torches or weapons or other scripted assets can be stored in the file also. Of course, the meshes, scripts, materials, etc.. will still need to be provided with the presets so the data loads correctly, but yeah so much can be done...
And presets have been in the engine for such a long time(since the beginning) that it is the way we use things to stop doing the work twice. Create something once with all the mechanics and then save it off and reuse it... the only thing you have to ensure is that if something works with something else, then if that other thing changes the way it handles mechanics then the other game assets also need to be updated to work with it. But it is endless with possibilities.

Then on top users can make their own custom plugins which in the next version have so much scope since users can make and write their own editors with custom render surfaces...

Pretty much all aspects of things made in skyline can be offered / sold / given on the store.
The store also works with users by giving them their own store front much like other multi vendor stores and will also be included directly into the engine once we can get that side of it working.. have tried many a time and had to undo the work lol :P
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Re: Been Learning Blender 2.8/2.9

Postby StarFire » 13 Sep 2020, 17:56

Got to hand it to the blender team as they have turned that tool around, but thats what happens when somthing gets fully supported. For me its now relaxing to model in blender where as using max was very stressfull, just my personal opinion though.

Creating some Game Objects would be awesome, we need as much available contnet as possible, I will happily help you in the development of these so that all you packs will combine with the pre-existing systems.
I have been writing a set of Game object managers that will act as a frame work for adding any interactive elementrs to the GO library. This way you can ensure they will interact correctly with the characters and vehicles. this is not to say you can not write a complete system yourself but will save time if we all work from a shared framework. I will be getting back to this frame work as soon as Solar gets me his version of skyline ;)
Once back on that job I will document the managers and how to use them so yourself and others can get into developing game ready interact Game objects. :D
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Re: Been Learning Blender 2.8/2.9

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 13 Sep 2020, 18:13

Got to hand it to the blender team as they have turned that tool around, but thats what happens when somthing gets fully supported.


But i suppose thats what happens when you get lots of large studios investing big bucks into a package lol.


Interestingly enough, the funding and investment from large companies (like the Epic Mega Grant, etc.) didn't come until AFTER they had made significant changes to Blender (i.e. when Blender 2.8 was already in beta, if I remember correctly). Once they saw where the software was heading, they started to invest. So, the Blender team made some really good decisions that resulted in these companies paying attention and, ultimately, investing. The great thing is, all this investment has sped up the development of blender. It wasn't long between the release of 2.8, then 2.83, and now v2.9.

For me its now relaxing to model in blender where as using max was very stressfull, just my personal opinion though.


Absolutely. Modeling is fun again. Thank you, Blender! ;)

Creating some Game Objects would be awesome, we need as much available contnet as possible, I will happily help you in the development of these so that all you packs will combine with the pre-existing systems.


Thanks! I'll take all the help I can get. Once I can actually take a look at the new engine/editor, I can figure out how to properly get assets into Skyline so they are the proper size, have materials properly applied, etc.

The Game Object system is one of the things that really got me excited about Skyline when I first looked at the old version. The way things were set up and operated just sort of clicked with me. I didn't feel like I was fighting with the system. I'm hoping that v2 is even better in this regard.

The material system for v2 - is it a PRB metallic workflow, like Unreal (and most other PBR systems)?
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Re: Been Learning Blender 2.8/2.9

Postby SolarPortal » 13 Sep 2020, 19:41

The material system for v2 - is it a PRB metallic workflow, like Unreal (and most other PBR systems)?

yes, PBR Metallic, we did away with the specular as most materials can be created with metallic with 1 less texture at the expense of a small mostly unnoticable artefacting on edges, but truthfully, we have not encountered it.
Specular mode sort of helps for older material system predating PBR.

Interestingly enough, the funding and investment from large companies (like the Epic Mega Grant, etc.) didn't come until AFTER they had made significant changes to Blender

Considering we are releasing it free commercially, perhaps we could end up with some sort of similar investment opportunities haha :P
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Re: Been Learning Blender 2.8/2.9

Postby StarFire » 13 Sep 2020, 20:12

The Game Object system is one of the things that really got me excited about Skyline when I first looked at the old version.


Awesome, we have a lot of ideas on how to develop this system and once the main engine is stable, which has been the main goal of version 2.0 there will be a lot of focus in this area :D

When exporting from Blender, in the fbx convertor section I set the export scale to 0.01 this will give a one to one result in Skyline.
As for materials ther textures get passed through the fbx convertor but its simple to add the other channels if needed (R,M,AO,E etc)
Clipboard Image.jpg
Clipboard Image.jpg (18.17 KiB) Viewed 52 times


Once the setting are made I made an operator preset at the top of the panel, this just apeeds up workflow ;)
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Re: Been Learning Blender 2.8/2.9

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 13 Sep 2020, 20:18

Thanks. I have an Operator Preset for various things already. It makes your life easier in the end.

When I work for games, I tend to set the grid and units to match whatever engine I am creating for. Some games still use a power of two grid (eight subdivisions instead of 10) and some use real-world measurements (cm or mm). In most cases, in my initial Blender tests, I've found that setting units to none and the grid what I like, I can create using the grid and then just adjust the scale via export (as you've indicated).

BTW - You mention FBX. Will Skyline support GLTF 2.0? If not now, maybe in the future? Have you also looked into USD?
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Re: Been Learning Blender 2.8/2.9

Postby SolarPortal » 13 Sep 2020, 20:58

BTW - You mention FBX. Will Skyline support GLTF 2.0? If not now, maybe in the future? Have you also looked into USD?

GLTF is on the cards, but when we dont know... as it will take a lot of work to make the conversion to our mesh / material / skeleton system.

FBX is our primary, not heard of USD which is strange for me lol :P Must be a newer one then.

Skyline uses 1 meter = 1 unit, which keeps things much simpler :)

Edit: On the note of the formats, assimp which we have that supports many may have been updated to support these. will have to look into it at some time in the future.
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Re: Been Learning Blender 2.8/2.9

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 13 Sep 2020, 23:42

USD is a Pixar format that stands for Universal Scene Description. It is a bit new, but with Pixar behind it, most of the 3D apps, including Blender 2.9, support it. It's like GLTF, but apparently more. Here's a link:

https://graphics.pixar.com/usd/overview.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Scene_Description

AssImp already supports GLTF and should probably support USD, too. But I am not sure about the last one since I haven't looked.
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Re: Been Learning Blender 2.8/2.9

Postby SolarPortal » 14 Sep 2020, 19:04

interesting, as mentioned before, will add to the to do list, but no promises when it will be done :)
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Re: Been Learning Blender 2.8/2.9

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 14 Sep 2020, 19:06

Thanks, but not worried. FBX is quite fine. ;)
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