Archive for April, 2008

Learning Blender

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Wow! Blender really is a powerful tool, if you just take some time to learn the rather odd user interface. So, I have managed to produce the first 3DS model of a hover craft, as you can see from the rendered image below:

Hover Craft 1 - Render

There is still alot of work to do on the model, but I’m satisfied for now just to have a proper model in the game.

Mastering the art of meshing and texturing takes some time, at least when you’re not an artist. If you plan to use Blender yourself, here are a few hints:

  • First of all, watch some Blender tutorials on YouTube - this is generally a good idea for any program that you are new to!
  • Learn & master the camera, and a few handy shortcuts: Add (Space), Translate/Grab (G), Rotate (R) and Scale (S). The latter three can be constrained to an axis by typing the axis too (e.g. G X to translate along the X axis).
  • Lasso select is a great tool! CTRL + left mouse button
  • When doing texturing, use seams (mark edges as seams), and you will find that the unwrap tool in the UV-selection/edit mode works much better!
  • Export the UV maps for the textrures as pictures using the UVs > Scripts > Save UV Face layout function. This way you can import the UV map into a layer in GIMP or Inkscape, or whatever tool you use for texture creation.

Apart from that, I have been working with the game infrastructure, introducing a title screen (with room for a menu in the future) and a level loader screen:

TItle screen

Loading screen

Did I mention that I love Inkscape? It’s a wonderful tool for producing 2D art, especially if you’re looking for a cartoon-like style (e.g. as in the title screen above).