Into Animation: Blender 3D Essentials for Animators | John Knowles | Skillshare

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Into Animation: Blender 3D Essentials for Animators

teacher avatar John Knowles, Animation Director

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

28 Lessons (3h 10m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:53
    • 2. Getting Started

      1:40
    • 3. Class Updates

      2:21
    • 4. Interface

      6:25
    • 5. Transform Tools

      5:48
    • 6. Modelling the Slide

      29:36
    • 7. Modelling the Swing

      17:32
    • 8. Adjusting the Model

      5:24
    • 9. Adding Materials

      9:35
    • 10. Applying Scale

      6:02
    • 11. Joining Objects

      3:13
    • 12. Adding a Bevel

      4:04
    • 13. Modelling the Bird

      17:35
    • 14. Adjusting the Bird

      4:47
    • 15. Rigging the Swing

      7:40
    • 16. Parenting

      4:29
    • 17. Deforming the Bird

      1:53
    • 18. Setup the Camera

      3:12
    • 19. Animating the Swing

      16:09
    • 20. Animating the Bird

      2:32
    • 21. Add the Environment

      5:28
    • 22. Lighting the Scene

      14:52
    • 23. Render a Still with EEVEE

      2:39
    • 24. Class Update: Rendering in Cycles

      1:45
    • 25. Render a Still with Cycles

      3:29
    • 26. Render Animation with EEVEE

      5:04
    • 27. Render Animation with Cycles

      3:53
    • 28. Final Thoughts

      0:53
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About This Class

Learning 3D Character Animation can be hard.

There are animation principles to be learnt alongside understanding acting and performance. This is further complicated by the fact that, before you can even start your first basic exercise, you must learn to use a complex software application.

This class is designed to teach you the software essentials that you need to get started without being overwhelming.

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Blender is a powerful application, providing everything that is required to create high quality character animation. But, with that power comes complexity. Thankfully, as an animator, you will only ever need to know a small subset of the features available in the application.

This class will teach you the absolute essentials that you need to get started and provide a solid foundation of knowledge which we will build upon in the future.

By the end of this class, you will have created your first simple animated scene in Blender, and you will be ready to start learning character animation with confidence.

 

  

What you will learn:

  • You will be introduced to the Blender interface before going on to build a simple scene. We shall then cover the essential animation tools within Blender and use them to add some simple motion before learning to light, render and export our final scene.
  • By the end of the class you will have built your first, animated, 3D scene in Blender and will have created a rendered version which you can share here on Skillshare or beyond.

 

Good to know:

  • This is an entry level class using the free 3D software application Blender. No prior knowledge of animation software or principles is required to complete the class, although, if you are already familiar with another application then this class will provide a solid introduction to Blender.
  • This class was created in Blender 2.9 and has been updated to be fully compatible with Blender 3.0
  • The Blender software application can be downloaded for free from: blender.org

 

 

Once you have finished this class, you will be ready to move on and learn character animation with my Into Animation: Character Animation Fundamentals class.

Also, don't forget to check out the other animation classes here on Skillshare.

 

Music: Bensound.com

Meet Your Teacher

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John Knowles

Animation Director

Teacher

I love animation and the feeling of bringing characters to life but, when I was first starting out, it was hard to know where to begin.

That is why I decided to create a high-quality series of classes, providing new animators with a clear path to get started in animation, based upon my many years of professional experience.

If you dream of learning character animation, I hope these classes will show you the way!

I'm really excited to see what you're able to create!

 

To discover more about me, check out my full bio below.

Also, if you’d like to be notified whenever I publish new classes, then just hit the + Follow button.

See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello. Welcome to this first class in my into animation series. If you need to 3D character animation, then it can be quite exciting, but also a little bit confusing. There are principles to learn in the acting and performance to understand. Then on top of all of that, before you can even start your first character animation exercise, you need to master a complex piece of 3D animation software. This class is designed to teach you the software essentials that you need to get started in animation and give you a solid foundation to build on for the rest of the series. My name is John Knowles. I do character animator and animation director. I've been lucky enough to work in children's television for the last 15 years. Throughout my time in animation, I've had the chance to mentor many animators. It's exciting to be here on Skillshare where I can now share my knowledge and experience with far more people than ever before. One of the first questions that most animators have is, which software application should I pick? I've used pretty much every piece of software out there throughout my term in the industry. But I always recommend that new animators start out with a 3D application called Blender. Blender is free, which is great when you're just starting out. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't lack power. In fact, it can create pretty much anything that you can imagine. But with that power does come complexity. Fortunately, as a character animator, you don't need to know every feature within a piece of software. What we're going to be doing in this class is just teaching the essentials, everything you need to know to get started in animation and give you a solid foundation to build upon throughout the rest of the series. Even if you've never opened a piece of 3D animation software in your life, by the end of this class, you have created your first 3D animated scene, you'll be ready to go on a loan character animation with confidence. Let's get started. 2. Getting Started: Hello and welcome to the class. Before we get stuck into things, I'd just like to take a couple of minutes to cover a few of the essentials that we need to get everybody prepared and ready for the rest of the class. If you haven't done so already now would be a good time to install Blender. It's a free piece of software and you can download it from the site called Blender.org. There are installers for Mac OS, Linux, as well as for Windows. So just click on the link to download the software, install it as you would any other application, and it'll be good to go. Now if you are a laptop user and you're used to using a trackpad, just be warned, that it's going to make your life very difficult when it comes to using a piece of 3D software. What I recommend is you trying to get hold of a three button mouse. It can just be a mouse with a scroll wheel as long as that central mouse button will click, and you're get to go. Alternatively, you can use a tablet with a stylus. That's what I prefer to use myself. But you really don't need to invest in anything expensive at the moment to get started. Another useful addition would be a keyboard with NUM pad on it. This can help speed up your workflow, but it's certainly not essential. If you don't happen to have a three button mouse, a graphics tablet or a NUM pad on your keyboard, don't worry about it. There are workarounds that you can use to get started straight away and still have fun learning Blender. The final thing I'd like to mention is our class project. Throughout the course, you'll be able to follow along with me as I build a 3D animated scene. But don't forget, you can always modify it and use your imagination. Change the colors, change the model, whatever you like. Upload it to the gallery when you're finished. I'd really love to see what you create. So with all that said, I think we're ready to get started with the class. 3. Class Updates: Blender is a powerful and rapidly developing piece of software. Typically, there are four main updates for the application each year, come with new features and performance improvements. This is fantastic for those of us who are using the software but can be problematic when searching for training. Rapid updates mean the training can quickly become out of date and hard to follow. To provide you with the confidence to follow my classes, I'll always check new releases of the software and update my classes when necessary. Blender's version numbering has always been somewhat unique. It stayed with version 2 numbering now for over 20 years, despite major overhauls of the software, which would only be marked for the point release. The latest major overhaul was version 2.8, which came out in July of 2019. Any training released for versions prior to that is likely to be very confusing for newcomers to the software is, therefore, best avoided. In December 2021, Blender was updated to version 3. This is actually less of a milestone in some of the previous releases, but it does mark the introduction of a more conventional version numbering to be used into the future. This class was originally made using Blender 2.9, but can be easily followed with Blender 3. One thing that you're likely to notice is a minor update to the starting of the interface. You can see here in version 2.9 that these menus hover over the viewport, whereas they've moved up slightly in version 3, swapping places with some of the other icons. You'll also notice that the Properties panel on the right here has a slightly different look and feel. Functionally, however, all of these elements remain exactly the same. One slight downside to this change to the interface is that when you have multiple viewports open, sometimes not all of the options are visible up at the top. If some of the options are missing for you, you can simply place your mouse over the top and scroll the mouse wheel to reveal the missing items. Alternatively, holding down the middle mouse button will allow you to slide it, and do exactly the same thing. The only change which has had significant impact on this training is modification to the Cycles rendering engine. I've included a lesson later in this class to cover that change in more detail. If you do find yourself struggling to follow the class for any reason, please do leave a question in the class discussion section and I'll aim to respond as quickly as possible. If you're ready, let's jump into the first lesson. 4. Interface: Right, and here we are. The first time that you load up Blender, you'll be greeted with a splash screen. Blender works in number of different ways. You can use it for both 3D animation and 2D animation, as well as video editing. We've got number of options here for creating new files. For now, all you need to do is hit the General option, and that will leave you with a default scene. The first thing we're going to do is take a little look around the interface so that you can get familiar with everything. The most obvious thing that you see right in the middle of the screen is what we call the 3D view port. This is where we will add our objects and interact with everything within 3D scene. Blender is made up of a number of different panels. Obviously, the 3D view port. Down at the bottom here, we have the timeline which will be useful for animation. On the right, we have what we call the outliner, and that's where we can see all of the different objects, cameras, lights, anything we've added to our scene and will be listed in here. Below that, we have the property editor. Say this is broken down into a number of different tabs. These different tabs allow you to locate properties of elements of your scene and anything related to the currently selected object within the scene. Up at the top, we can see a number of different tabs, and these take us to a number of predefined layouts. Blender's quite configurable so we can actually adjust the layout to suit our needs. We can split windows, we can add a new different property editors. The way you do that is you can actually drag the edges of windows round to adjust the size of anything you need. If you right-click, you can add a split, so we create a horizontal split here. That will give us two view ports to work with. We can then, in the top left, we can change the editor type that we drop in here. If we wanted to get at something like a graph editor, which is useful for animation. If you then want to split this further, again, we can right-click on a border here, add in a vertical split, and we can have a second viewport. We may be jumping to the camera view one and we have our perspective view on the other. If you want to merge these, just right-click and join areas, you get a big arrow, a pair, and you can click over the panel that you want to get rid of. We can merge that down, right-click join areas, and I can do this and we're back to our original default layout. The first thing you're going to want to learn how to do within Blender is navigate within the 3D view port. It's very simple to do. We use our middle mouse button. If you hold it down. As you move the mouse around, you can see we are actually orbiting around a central point in our scene, currently where the cube is. Now if we hold down the shift key on our keyboard and the middle mouse button together, then we can do what's called panning the viewport. Moving it around relative to our view. Finally, to zoom in and out, we have two options here, we can either hold down the control key on our keyboard and the middle mouse button together, and that will allow us to zoom in and out of the center of our screen. Or if you have a scroll wheel on your mouse, you can use that scroll wheel, equally, to zoom in and out. It's up to you which you prefer. These three actions: orbiting around, panning viewport, and zooming in and out are things that you're going to be doing all the time while you're animating. It's really worth spending a bit of time getting familiar with 3D space before continuing with the rest of the class. In addition to the shortcut keys for navigation, we have what's called a three gizmo up at the top here. It will allow us to jump into any of the orthographic views. So by that, I mean if we click on here, you can see we're on the front view, if I click on the X-axis, that will take us to a side view, and the Z-axis will take us to a top view. You can see which view we're in up in the top left here. If we click and drag on this circle, it will allow us to orbit around our scene just the same as if we were using the middle mouse button. In addition, we have these other icons down here, the magnifying glass. Clicking and holding on that would allow us to zoom in and out. The hand will allow us to pan around within our scene. There are two other buttons down here. The camera button allows us to jump into camera view and just orbiting around will take us straight out of light again. We'll look into the camera a little bit more in a later lesson. The other option that we've got here is this little grid icon, and that allows us to switch between perspective and orthographic view. It's not something that we'll be using an awful lot, we'll tend to stick in perspective view for animation. If you want to jump to any of these different orthographic views, which can be useful from time to time, instead of using this gizmo up at the top here, we can use shortcut keys. If you have a number pad on your keyboard, hitting the number one will jump you to front view, hitting number 3, and you're going to side view, and number 7 will take you into top view. If I hit nine, it will actually take us to the opposite view. It's taking us from the top down to bottom. If I'm in the front view here, by hitting one, hitting nine will take us into back view. The same for side view, obviously. Right can be switched to left with the number 9 key on a numpad. Hitting zero on the numpad will take us into the camera view. Almost everything in Blender can be achieved using menus and clicking on buttons on screen. But if you actually want to get efficient to using a piece of 3D software, you really need to start using keyboard shortcuts. Throughout the course, I'm going to be using keyboard shortcuts and I'll be highlighting the ones I'm using along the way. But if I have missed anything, then if you have looked down in the bottom right of my screen, I have an option enabled which shows you exactly which mouse buttons I'm using. It will also highlight any shortcut keys that I happen to be using as well. 5. Transform Tools: Now that you're familiar with navigating within the view-port, it's time to actually interact with some objects. The first thing you need to know is how to select things. Very simple, just left clicking on things. At the moment, the cube is selected, you can tell because it's got this orange outline around it. If I click over here, I can select the camera item, and up here I can select the light. You can see what's currently selected up here within the outliner if you're ever unsure. If I click back here, I can select the cube. If I just click or click and drag anywhere else within the view-port in empty space, you can see nothing is selected anymore. If I would like to select all of the items within my scene, I can simply hit the A key on the keyboard and that will select everything. Holding down alt and hitting A will deselect everything. Obviously you can also select items up here within the outliner as well. Just clicking on each of the items will allow you to select it. Now we know how to select something, it's time to do something with it, and start moving it around. You can see over on the left of the screen here we have a number of tool icons. If you can't see those, simply hit the T key on your keyboard, and that will show and hide that toolbar from the left hand. The currently selected icon is for selection. It's actually the box selected. If you click and hold here, you can see there are a number of different options for selection types. For now we'll just keep with the selection box. The second icon is for the 3D cursor, which you can see in the middle of the screen here, and we will talk about that a little bit more in detail later on. For now, we're going to look at these icons just here. We've got to move, rotate, and scale icons. If we hit on the Move icon, you can see this gizmo appears. If I click and hold on one of these arrows, I can move the object and it will be constrained to that one particular axis. At the moment I'm moving on y, if I click on the blue arrow, I am constrained to move on z, and clicking and holding on the red arrow, I'm now constrained to x. That allows you to quite precisely move something around within 3D space without even navigating within the view-port. You can also click and hold on this central circle, and that will allow you to freely move the object around within the 3D view. You can see here that we have these little squares that will actually constrain to two axes. If I click and hold here, you can see by the lines that appear on the view-port that we're now constrained to move in the y and the z axis. We are not moving in x at all. But equally, I can click here, and I can now move along this one plane on the y and the x axis. Having moved your objects around in the scene, we can actually view its location over here in the property panel. This is another way of interacting with your object, moving it around. If I click and drag on one of these numbers, you can see I'm actually moving around within space. I can actually type a value in here as well, which will reset its position. If I zero on all of these, it will go back to what we call the origin of the scene, which is where the axes in the scene converge when currently new objects are created. If I now relocate this object again a little bit, what we can also do if I hover over these values here and hit the backspace key, that will reset all of those values back to zero and obviously return our object back to the origin of the scene, this central point within our scene. That's how we move an object. If I go over here to the toolbar, we can click on the rotate tool and we have a similar gizmo appear. Again, we have three colored axes. If I click and hold on one of the axes, I am again constraining my rotation to just that one axis. At any point, you can hit control z to undo a particular action and that will return everything back to where it was. If I click within this white circle, but not on one of the three axes, you can see I can actually tumble this object around. It's less precise but allows you to move on multiple axes all at once. Finally, if we have a look at the scale tool, you can see that again, we've got the three axes, but in this case we've got a little box at the end of them rather than the arrows that we had on the move tool. Click and hold on one of these, it will constrain this scale effect to just that one axis. But if we click and hold somewhere else within this circle, we can scale on all axes at once. Undo that. Remember again, over here we can see our location, our rotation, and our scale. If we want to reset these values, we can roll over here and just hit the backspace key on our keyboard to reset those values. If you want to leave, either move, rotate or scale mode and return just a selection mode, simply click up here on this icon and that will return you back to selecting and the gizmos will disappear. 6. Modelling the Slide: Now that we know the basics of how to interact with an object, we're actually going to start trying to build something. Before we get started, I don't really need this light and this camera cluttering up the viewport. What we can actually do is come over here to the outliner, and you can see these little eye icons here. If I click on those for the camera and the light, you can see that we've hidden them. Just clicking them again will make them visible again. That just makes our viewport less cluttered. We can actually focus on the cube, which is what we're going to be using to start to build the rest of our scene. Now if I just hit the "One" key or my Numpad, I can jump into the front view or you can use obviously the Gizmo up at the top here. You can see this red line across the middle of the scene here. That's our x-axis. Anything above that point is going to be a positive z-value. Everything below is going to be a negative z-value. We actually want to use this red line here, is essentially our ground plane within the scene, and we're going to want to place everything above it. Now if I select this Scale Tool and I scale on the z-axis, you can see that the cube is scaling both above and below that red line. Since we want to keep everything above the red line, this isn't what we want. If I undo that, the reason why it's scaling both above and below, you see this little dot in the center of the screen? That is actually the origin of the cube and everything is going to scale or move or rotate around that point. Now what we can actually do is move the points of the cube up, was leaving the origin in place. Now that introduces us to a new mode within Blender. At the moment, we've been using the Object Mode which allows us to move the entire object around. But we also have another mode, which is called the Edit Mode. If we jump into that, you can now see that there are points at the corner of this cube. If I actually orbit around this cube, you can get a better view of things. You can see the points on the corners, these are what we call vertices. The lines between those vertices are called edges, and the four edges together here make a face. At the moment, we are in the vertex selection mode, which you can see up at the top here. We can switch to the Edge Selection Mode. Now, we can click on "Edge" to select it, or we Can go to Face Select and click on the faces. A quicker way of jumping between those three modes is to use the 1, 2, and 3 keys on your keyboard. Down these are the keys above the letters, not the keys on the Numpad of your keyboard. One, and I'm into Vertex Selection Mode, two, and I'm into Edge Selection Mode, three and I'm in Face Selection Mode. Now, as with selecting objects, if I hit the A key, I now select all of the faces on this cube. If I hit the "One" key or my Numpad, to jump back into my front view, you can see I have all of the faces selected here. If I go into my Move tool, I can now move all of that together, and you can see it leaves that little dot behind the origin, and I can move them up. Now to get this working precisely, we can actually hold down the Control key, and that will allow us to snap to the grid here. By moving it up here, I now have the origin at the very bottom. Now, I can exit Edit Mode and go back into Object Mode. Now if I select my Scale Tool again, and I try and scale this in z. I'm just going to scale this up a little bit to start with. We can obviously move around within the viewport, again, holding down Shift and the middle mouse button will allow us to pan the viewport and get a better view of our scene. Again, holding down the Control key and middle mouse, I can zoom out a little bit to see what I'm doing a bit better here. Now that's one way of sizing an object. But if I actually rotate around this object again, so we're out of the orthographic view. We can actually adjust the dimensions of this object in another way. If I hit the "N" key on my keyboard, you can see this panel opens up on the side here, so that's just the N key to show and hide it. Now lots of these values will look the same, that same transform values that we can see down here in the PropertyEditor. But additionally, we have this dimension. Now by default in Blender, each of these squares on the grid here is one-meter square. Now, this is going to be quite large for what we have in mind. We can actually select these values. You can click and drag over more than one value and release and we can edit them together. I'm going to change this value from two meters down to naught 0.2 meters, and you can see now we have a much narrower object. This is also going to be extremely tall for what we want. I'm going to reduce this down again to go for about 2.5. Now our objects are a lot smaller. Now we could go and zoom in on this object, but one extra feature within Blender that you can make use of is hitting the period key on the Numpad. That will frame your current selection. Orbit around that. That looks fairly good, I'm going to make it just slightly larger. Let's go up to 2.75. You can see, because we have the origin of the object down at the bottom, as I adjust these values here, we're actually moving up away from that origin point, which is exactly what we want. Now that we've scaled up this cube, we have one of the pillars of what will become the frame of our slide. We can actually duplicate this object now to create the other pillars of the slide. If you hit "Shift" and "D", that will duplicate the object. Now, if you move your mouse around, you're going to find that it's going to stay stuck to your mouse. If you click, it will be dropped wherever you click. Now, that's great, but it doesn't necessarily give you the control that you would like. Instead of that, I'm just going to hit "Control Z" to undo. We can actually, again, hit "Shift D", and when it starts to move, if we hit the right mouse button, that will cancel the move. But you can see up in the outline, we now have a second cube. Obviously, it's sitting right on top of our first one, but we can see that it's selected here, which means that we can now go over and select Move tool, and we can move it precisely to where we would like it to be. Obviously, again, we can, if we wish to hold down the Control key to snap it, and that will allow us to move it just one meter away. Now we can do the same thing by selecting both of these objects together. To select both together, we hold down our Shift key and click on both of them. You can see both have this outline. The lost object that you select has this lighter outline than the other one, but they are both selected. You can see that again up in the outline. We can duplicate them again. We're going to again hit the "Shift D" key, right-click to cancel the move and now our Move tool is still active. We can click on the X arrow here, hold down our Control key to snap. We can just move that out again, one unit along the x-axis, and release. Now we have all four pillars of what will become the frame of our slide. Now, this is great and we can use our Shift D key to continue duplicating cubes all day long if we like. But sometimes it's easier to start out with a fresh object. Now to do that, we can go up to this menu up at the top here, which says Add, Mesh, and then we can select one of these object types to start with. For example, I can select the cube again and we'll add a fresh cube with its original default values of two meters by two meters. Now you'll notice that it has been added at the origin of the scene. But the reason it's actually been added there is not simply because new objects are added at the origin of the scene. It is been added where these little red and white circle is. That is what we call the 3D cursor. If I just hit "Control Z" to remove that, I can move this 3D cursor around, and I can do that by hitting this button up here and clicking somewhere within the scene. If I do that and now go up to the Add Menu and add in a cube, you will see it appears at that location. That can be useful sometimes. But if you would rather things arrive at the origin of the scene, then we can reset that cursor. Again, I'm just going to hit "Control Z" to undo. To reset that cursor, what you need to do is you can right-click. You can go down to the snap options in the menu, and you want to pick Cursor to World Origin. That will reset that back, and now any new objects that are added will arrive at the center of the scene. Now going up here to this Add Menu, it's not too hard. But if you want a quick way of working, you can use the shortcut, Shift A, and that will bring up this Add Menu right where your cursor is. We're going to add in another cube here, and we are going to adjust its dimensions a little bit. We're going to make this one meter by one meter on Y, and we'll reduce its height a little bit and here as well. Let's make that a little bit smaller still. Now, what you'll find is these values jump around quite a bit here. If you want to slow things down, you can hold down the Shift key and that will. To move this into place, we're going to jump into the orthographic views. So I'm going to hit the one key again on my keyboard, slip my move tool and I can actually move this on two axes here from 1-2 but if I move this around with a central circle, you will find that it is actually constrained to both the x and z axes. Because we can't see the y-axis within this viewport, we will not be moving along that axis. Again, I can hold down my control key if I want to snap this to the grid. I'll move that up to somewhere around about here. Just into my side view by hitting the three on the numpad, you can see that we are still aligned with this post here. I'm going to want to move this across in the y-axis again, hold down the Control key and I can snap that to the grid and center it up nicely. Now again, if I just hold down my middle mouse, I can orbit around and you can see we're back into the 3D scene. This is far too big for us or obviously couldn't go in and adjust the dimensions of it more precisely. I think I'll actually adjust its dimension in y just to one meter and we won't orbit around. We can just sit down in a little bit. We definitely don't want that to be quite so wide in x and a little bit there as well. We can then, the side view. We can select the move tool but a faster way of moving things around, if I just action mode, instead of keeping going up and down here into the corner to select a new tool, we can use a shortcut key, which is the G key. As soon as you release it, you find that the object is stuck to your mouse and that will allow you to move it around freely within space. Now within the orthographic view, obviously it's going to be constrained to the y and z axes. If I just right-click, I can cancel out move. If I rotate around the scene, you'll find that if I hit the G key, it is now moving relative to my camera view. It becomes a bit more difficult if you're in the 3D view like this to position it precisely. But what we can do is still constrain it to one of our particular axes. If I have the object still moving around, still connected to my mouse, if I hit the Z key, it will now just move along the z-axis or if hit the X key, it will be constrained instead to my x-axis. Likewise, if I hit the Y key, it is now constrained to my y-axis and this can be a fast way of moving things around within the scene. Again, you can use your snapping options by holding down the control key to snap relative to the grid and if you right-click, it will cancel the action. If again I hit the numpad three-key, I can jump into my side view. If I press the G key, I can now move the object, I can hold down my control key and snap it to the grid and then move it nicely into place and then click to release. I'll just hit the one-key to check that everything is okay from this view and then I can orbit around again. Now I think this is still a little bit thick for my liking. I'm going to go in and adjust the x dimension down just a little bit, will make this 0.1. Now once again, we can select this objects and we can duplicate it to move it across to the other side. Before I do that, I'm going into my front view and into Shift D, hold down my Control key and I can just slide that across suitable place, click to release. Again, if I orbit around my view, you can see we now have the two sides in place. Now this is probably a good time to save your scene. Now we've actually started to build something. To do that, you can go to File, Save As, then you can navigate to a folder on your computer and we can give it a name. We will call this playground version 1. Just hit Save As. Now that we've saved it, we're now going to model the actual slide. First, I'm going to select this object here, and then I'm going to hit the three key to jump into the side view. I'm going to hit Shift D to duplicate the object while holding down control, I'm going to move it across to the side so that it just snaps to the grid. To make sure without hair a little bit, I'm just going to click on release. Now, I showed you before how we could use the G key to move something around freely and right-click to cancel our action. We can also scale an object with a shortcut key. The key for that is S for scale, G for grab. When we do that, that will uniformly scale the object. But again, we have the option of constraining that scale to a particular axis. In this case, we would like to scale this along the y-axis. If I hit the Y key, you can see I'm now scaling up just on the y-axis. I'm going to scale that out a little bit from there for now, click on release. If we want to rotate this, we can now hit the Alt key and that will rotate around that origin point of the object. You have seen that dots in the middle is where we're going to rotate around. I'm going to just rotate this roughly into place, hit the G key and we'll move it down. Again to rotate, maybe I actually want this a little bit shorter. Now, if I want to make this shorter, if I hit the S key to scale, and I tried to constrain this to one of the axes if I hit Y, is going to constrain it to the global y-axis. I'm not actually scaling along its length anymore. I'm scaling it out to the side as well. The same is true if I were to constrain it to the z-axis. I'm not getting the effect that I expect. If I right-click to cancel out, the reason for this is we are using the global axes. The global axes are aligned to our scene, but our object is now being rotated. If I change this here to local, when I hit S to scale and I hit Z, you can see now we are scaling just on that one axis. If I hit Y instead, we can now scale just purely along the length. Do not get roughly to the right size. I can hit G and move this down again. I'm going to want to rotate this a little bit more. Now if I select the rotation tool, you can see now that these axes are aligned perfectly to our object because we are in local mode. If I go back to global mode, you can see that the axes are oriented to the scene instead. In this case, being in local mode is quite helpful to us. Rotate that a little bit into place and just G, just that little bit more. Now if I orbit around the scene, you can see we still have this little gap here. We actually are going to want to nudge this back a little bit and I'd actually want this to be a little bit narrow as well. What I'm still hearing the perspective view, I can just hit the S key and X to scale on the x-axis and we can scale this a little bit. Fit between those posts, click to release, and aren't going to want to nudge this back a little bit. I can do that hitting the G key and then hitting the Y key to constrain it to the y-axis, but we're back in local mode, so it's not going to slide back into place, it is going to slide along its length. If I right-click to cancel out, make sure that I changed this into global mode, again, hit my G key and my Y key, I can now slide this along just that y-axis and close up that gap, and then I can just click to release when I'm happy with where it is. So far we've built everything out of cubes and that's pretty boring, so we're going to actually add in a new object type. I'm going to hit "Shift A" to bring up my Art menu. You can see here under the Mesh option, we've got a lot of different object types. We have cubes, we have cylinders, we've got spheres, and these are what we call primitive objects and are great building blocks to start out with. You can see it's coming pretty large here. Obviously we can go in, and we can adjust its dimensions. We can scale it down, adjust its size that way, but we also have another way of interacting with new objects. If you haven't looked down in the bottom-left of the screen, you can see where it says Add Cylinder. If we click on this little arrow, it will bring up a number of properties for the object that we've just added to the scene. You can see here the vertices slider, we can actually adjust that to either decrease or increase the detail. We'll leave that where it was on 32. We can also adjust its size, so I can adjust its radius down, here. Again, hold down the Shift key. That will give us a lot more granular control over that if we want to get to a specific value. We can also adjust its length here. We can snap that by sliding with the Control key down. So I can snap that to one meter, and I think we'll take this to around 12 centimeters. I'm going to tape that down just a little bit further around. That looks good. These values are only available until you do something else. If I were to go in here and start to rotate the object, you can see now this has been replaced with the last action which is a rotation. We could go in, and modify that rotation further by adjusting these sliders, but we cannot get back to those initial properties that we had when we created this cylinder. I'm just going to hit the arrow to get rid of that little pendulum. What I'm going to do now though is I'm actually going to delete this cylinder. The way you delete something in Blender is to hit the X key. You get this little menu, and you can just click "Delete". If I hit "Shift A" again and I add in another cylinder, you can see it's been created with those values that we set when we adjusted the Add Cylinder properties. We're now going to move this into place. I'm just going to jump over into my side view here. We still have our Rotate Tool active, so I'm going to make use of that. I'm going to hold down my Control key, and that will allow me to snap that in the increments. I now seem to rotate that round to 90 degrees, and I will just hit my G key for grab and move that up a little bit. I'm going to hold down "Control", so I can just snap back to the grid and click to release. I don't really want these axes appearing all the time, so I really want to change back to Selection Mode. Rather than going up and clicking on the tool bar, what I can do is hit the W key and that will change me into Selection Mode. What you'll find is, if you hit the W key more than once it will actually go through all of these different Selection Modes. You can see I'm now in a circle select mode. If I hit it again, I have this last few modes. I'm now in Tweak Mode, and hit it again I'm back into my regular box select. If you ever find the Selection Tool is not doing what you expect, then just check your settings up at the top here and make sure that you are in the right mode. So Select Box is the default. Now that I have this in here, I'm actually going to hit "Shift D" to duplicate it. I'm going hold down my Control key and move it down a little bit, click to release. You can see as I orbit around, because of the location of our origin this two ramps have been added in right on the center of this post which is exactly what we want. I'm going to select the two of them. Remember, holding "Shift" while clicking will allow us to select multiple items. I want to duplicate them and move them across, so I'm just going to hit my "Shift D" again. I'm going to hold down my "Control key" to snap them across one unit on the x-axis. Click and release, and that will jump them into place. To finish off this slide I'd like to add some extra rungs at the back here, so I'm just going to click somewhere else. To deselect, select one of these. I'm actually going to hit the 1 key to jump into the front view. I can't see the back there because there this slides in the way, so I'm actually going to click on that and I'm going to hide it. A quick way of hiding something is to hit the H key, and that will hide the selected object. You can see up here in the out liner our little eye icon has closed, so we've hidden that object. I'm just going to orbit around again, so I can select one of these rungs. I'm going go back into my front view, and I'm going to hit "Shift D". I'm going to move this across into the middle just with my Control key, and click to confirm. I'd like to rotate that around. I'd like to rotate that in Z. So I'm going to hit the R key to rotate. But obviously from here, I can only rotate relative to the view port. Before I hit the Z key, I'm now rotating on Z. I can hold down my Control key and that will allow me to snap in increments, and then when we round to 90 degrees I click to confirm. If I orbit around, you can see that's actually right in the middle which is not what I'm after. I'm going to hit the 3 key to go to the side view, then I'm going to hit the G key to move it. Again, "Control key" to snap it. We'll drop one in around here and hit my "Shift D" key to duplicate. "Control key", drag it down, click to release. Again, "Shift D", "Control key", drag it down, click to release. If I orbit around, you can see we have some steps up at the back there. Obviously our slide is missing. We could find it up in here, but because everything has the same name sometimes in a more complex scene it can be hard to find the things that have been hidden. Remember, if I select an object, and I hit "H" to hide it. If I want to unhide everything in the scene, I just have to hit "Alt and H", and everything will reappear. The downside of that is obviously, we hit our camera, and our light originally when we started work on the scene. So you can see our camera, and our light are visible again. We can simply select those two objects, and hit "H" to hide them. If I want to frame up everything within my scene, I can hit the "Home key", and that will frame this up nicely. There we have our finished slide object. Don't forget to save your scene. I "Control S" to save. 7. Modelling the Swing: We're going to continue building our scene by adding in the swing. Let's add a new object, shift A, and we're going to add in another cylinder. This is obviously coming with the values that we set previously. We can leave that as is for now. We're going to rotate this in Y so I can hit R and Y to constrain it to the y-axis. Remember if we hold down the Control key, we can snap this to 90 degrees. Now, I'm going to jump into my front view here by hitting the one key. I'm going to G to grab and move this up over here somewhere, and we want to then scale this up so I can just hit S to scale. We obviously don't want it to be scaled uniformly, but we will want it to be just a little bit faster than the cylinder that we had earlier. Somewhere around there is fine, and then we want to scale along its length. We can scale on the x-axis as to scale, followed by X to constrain it to the x-axis, and we will scale that out. If I just orbit around, you can see we've created this in line with the origin there. We're going to want to set this back a little bit. So I can actually hit three to go into my side view, G to move it, Control will allow me to snap it. I can snap it to the center line, but you can see I can't really snap it quite too the center of this object. If I click that, I can then just hit G to move it vertically and get it roughly into the middle. That will be absolutely fine. If we orbit around, again, we can see we're basically in the right place. Now I think this is perhaps just a little bit too long so I'm going to just scale this down instead. Again, just to demonstrate, we can come out here to the side panel here and we can scale that down, instead, if we want to get the right length. So somewhere around there would be sufficient. Then I'm going to hit G to move, X to constrain it to x, and I'm just going to slide this back until it's just cutting into that piece there, but not going all the way through. That will be fine. Next we are going to want to add in a couple of supports here, so I'm going to add cylinders again for that. So shift A, our new mesh and outer cylinder. Now, again, this is going to be a lot easier to work with this cylinder if we actually have the origin at the base of it. What I would like to do here is, again, move all of the vertices up. You can see by default, this is being created as one meter in length. What we want to do is get into edit mode, and I showed you earlier that we could go into edit mode up at the top here and switch between object in edit mode. But there's a quicker way of doing that. We can hit the Tab key and that will take us into the edit mode here. Now, if I just zoom in on this a little bit and see all of those faces I selected, I just deselect, just to check. Again, we can hit A and that will confirm that we've got all faces selected. I'm just going to jump into the front view here, just so I can see better what we're doing. Obviously, everything's a bit over the top of each other here. Now we could hide objects again, but there's another way that we can see through things. If you look up at the top here, this little icon here with the two squares, if we click on that, that gives us an x-ray view that allows us to see through objects. Now with all of these faces selected, I can translate these up. We have the Move Tool selected, so I can just make use of that. Hold down the Control key until we have everything up above the origin and release. If I hit the Tab key, I'll get back out of edit mode and move back into our object mode again. Now I don't want X-ray mode on all the time, so I can just click up here to turn the X-ray mode off again. I'd like this support just to be a little bit wider, so I'm going to select both of these values, X and Y. Let's increase that to 0.17 perhaps. Now I'm going to jump into the front view because then I can move this along and get it aligned with the other end. I'm going to hit G and X to move on the x-axis and get it roughly into place there. I'm going to want to scale, S, but just scale on the z-axis. We can scale it up. Now this is going to need to actually be a little bit longer because we're actually going to lean it in, so I'm going to rotate around. You can see we need to lean this into place. I'm going to hit the R key followed by the X key, and that will allow us to rotate it just on the x-axis. Just something to note, you can see this dotted line here that goes away from the origin. The further away I am from the origin here, the more granular control I've got either rotation. If I get really close to the origin here, you'll find it becomes very hard to control because just a small movement will have a big movement on the object. Just by moving your mouse a little bit further away from the object, you can actually get a far finer control over the making there. I'm going to rotate that into place. I'm going to [inaudible] just a little bit further, and we're actually going to move this out just a little bit. So I' going to hit my G key and Y just to translate this out a little bit here, a little bit further in fact, and just rotate that again, so R and X to rotate more leaner in. I'm using the shortcut keys for translate, rotate, and scale. I don't feel that you have to do that if you're far more comfortable using these tools here, which give you the gizmos to interact with, that's absolutely fine. It's a lot easier sometimes to work that way when you're just starting out. Now I'm actually going to go into the front view. I want to just nudge this up just a little bit. I'm going to go G and Z just to nudge it out vertically so it sits on top of the floor. If I rotate around here again, I just want to rotate this enough so that it's actually fully intersecting there. I'm going to hit "R" and "X". We have our one support here. We're going to want to duplicate this over to the other side. I'm going to hit "Shift D" to duplicate, right-click to cancel the move, and we want to mirror this over to the other side. The best way to do that is to actually have a look at this rotation value here. We have minus 15.8. If I click on here, I can actually remove that minus value there, and that means that we are now mirrored over to the other side. Now, all I need to do is hit "G" and "Y", and I can slide this across to the other side. That's in roughly the right place, and click to confirm. There we are. We have our two supports. Now I'm going to add a little crossbar to this. I'm just going to take one of these cylinders as a starting point. I'm going to jump into my front view, hit "Shift D". We'll move it across here. I'm hitting control just to snap it to the grid, and click to confirm that, because we weren't exact where we're moving this support into place. It's not quite aligned to the grid. I'm just going to hit "G" and "X" just so I can nudge it across to pretty much sentry up on the support and click to confirm. I rotate it round, you can see it's actually just slightly too wide here, so it's sticking through. We're going to scale this down just a little bit. I can hit S to scale, Y to constrain it to the y-axis and just scale in little bit. Click to confirm. Now we have our support. Hit "Control S" to save. Now we need to add in the swing itself. I'm going to go into front view. I'm going to hit "Shift A" to add in another cylinder. We are again going to want to make this slightly easier. We're going to adjust all of these points so that they have the origin up at the top in this case. I'm going to hit "Tab". All of our phases are selected. I'll just zoom in a little bit. I'm going to hold down my control key and drag this down and release. Now if I hit "Tab" to come back out again, our origin is up at the top there. Now we can hit "G" to move this up into place. We obviously want this to be an awful lot narrower. I can just hit "S". Scale this down somewhere about that, looks all right, and now we just want to scale this along the z-axis. If I hit "S and Z", now we can increase its length. Something like that. I'm going to scale that just slightly longer at Z. Now, because this is one of the ropes which we're going to want to animate later, we're actually going to need to add a little bit more detail to it so that it will deform correctly when animated. The way we're going to do that, I'm going to hit the period key on my numpad just to frame this up, and then I'm going to hit "Tab" to go into edit mode. I'm going to hit the "Number 2" to go into edge select. I'm actually going to deselect everything so that we can see what's going on. You can see all of these edges here going vertically, but we don't have anything going horizontally. Now, we need to increase the number of divisions here running horizontally so that we can deform it correctly. Now the way we do that is, we have a tool called the loop cut tool. If I hit "Control R", you can see this little yellow line has appeared. Now, if I move away, it disappears. If I move back over, the object here appears again. If I click, that is going to add a cut and it's going to instantly allow me to slide that to a different point in the object. If I right-click, it will just leave it at the center here. Now, I'm going to hit "Undo, Control Z" because this tool has another feature. If I hit the "Control R" key again, but without doing anything else, if I scroll the wheel on my mouse, I can add in additional cuts. I'm going to actually scroll my wheel until we've got far more divisions in here, which will give us a smooth deformation when we actually want to animate this later. That looks okay, so you can click to confirm. Again, we're going to start sliding these straightaway, which we don't want, so we're just going to right-click with our mouse and that will confirm in the original location. We can hit the "Tab" key to exit edit mode and go back into object mode again. We can now select our rope here. We can hit "Shift D" to duplicate, and can right-click to cancel the move. Then I can hit the "G" key and the "X" key and slide this across. Click to confirm. Now we're going to need a natural seat for our swing. I'm going to hit "Shift A", and we're going to add in a cube. Just going to hit the period key on the numpad to reframe back on that cube. Now this can obviously be an awful lot smaller, so I'll just continuously scale this down, scale it on the z-axis. Move this roughly into place. Scale in Y. Up until now, one being constraining things to an axis, we have been using the keyboard, either typing X, Y, or Z, two constraint to the axis. There's actually a quick way to do it. If I hit the "S" key to start scaling, I can actually then hit the middle mouse button and move along one of these axis, and that will actually constrain it now to the axis. When I release the middle mouse button, it's now only going to scale on the y-axis. I can click to confirm. Again, if I hit the "S" key to scale, middle mouse, and while the middle mouse is held down, move in one direction, it can be a little bit tricky to get used to, but you can then pick an axis, release, and you can then scale on that one axis. Turn around, S to scale, middle mouse to pick an axis, move and click to confirm. Now I'm going to jump into the front view. I just like to move these ropes out just a little bit further. I'm going to click on one rope, G. Then, as I just showed you with the scale tool, we can then hold the middle mouse button, and then that will allow us to move out on the x-axis. Click and release. Now, select the other rope, G, middle mouse button to pick our axis, move and click to confirm. As with all of the different shortcut methods, if you find something more comfortable, work with that. Now this looks great from the front, but obviously, as we rotate round in perspective, you can see that our swing is not aligned to the rest of the frame. We're going to go into the right view. Now we can't see the swing because it's posing away, so the easiest way to select is actually to rotate back out into perspective view. Select the individual parts that we want. Select one object, shift select the other objects so that we have everything selected. Then, again, hit the "3" key to jump into our side view. Now we can hit "G", "Y", and we move this back until it's in place. Click and release. There we have it. Deselect and don't forget to save. 8. Adjusting the Model: Okay. Now that we have all of the parts of our scene in place, I'd like to make a few subtle tweaks to some of the proportions to better balance things out. These rungs, I feel are just a little bit too fat for my liking, and I'd like to adjust the height of these posts a little bit as well. So I'm going to start out with that, I'm going to select all four of the posts. Then we're going to adjust their length S to scale and we're just going to constrain that to the Z axis, and I'm going to move that down a little bit to around about there. That's good. I think I'm also going to select these two parts, also scale them in Z a little bit. So not quite so tool will do. This Platform here, I'm going to actually move down slightly so G to grab it. Z, let's move that down just a little bit here, this means we're going to have to adjust this slide in a minute. No, I'm going to select all of these rungs here. Now, what you'll find if I tried to scale these objects, they'll all scale in around a single central point. Now that's not what we are after. We would like to scale each of them individually around their own centers. So I'm going to right-click to cancel that action. You can see this little icon up at the top here. If we click on that, you'll see that they currently selected mode is median point, so it's going to select around a central point. If we click on this individual origins option, when we hit S to scale, it will now scale around each of the individual origins. So we're just going to scale these down emphasis slightly. We don't want them to be too short so they're not inserting the posts. But that looks okay. Let's just zoom in a little bit so we can see, and now still inserting the posts, but that just a little bit narrower, which is what we're after. I think we should also move some of these rungs a little bit. So I grab that. With the only Z axis down a little bit to there, move this up a little bit, there very evenly spaced. I'm happy with that. Obviously, our slide is now in the wrong place as well, so we're going to have to make some adjustments to that. Now I'm going to hit three to jump into the side view. We know we're going to have to shorten this little bit. But if you remember earlier, if we tried to scale this, we need to make sure that we change our orientation for our transform to the local axis so that we can adjust its length a little bit. I can now hit S and Y and I should be able to scale along its length all at one. Click to confirm and then hit G K and I should be able to move that roughly into place. To confirm, I'm just going to move it around. See how that's fitting. So sticking up a little bit at the top here, we're going to, just hit S and Y again, just shorten it a little bit more. G, K, Y, and we're in like minded site, you want to cancel out, and I want to move this in gullible mode. So G and Y, we can nudge this back a little bit. Now, I'm going to hit my 3K to get to the side view just to check how high we are, I think we can nudge that just down slightly so G and Z. That should do this, slightly too far, G, Z. Check that in the side view again, that's very good. Finally, this crossbar here as well, I think it's just a little bit too fat. So I'm just going to adjust scale, scale it down a little bit globally and then S and Y to scale out until it inserts. There we are. I'm happier now with the overall proportions of the scene. Control S to save. 9. Adding Materials: Now that our basic modeling is complete, it's time to make us seem more interesting with a bit of color. We're going to actually jump across into the shading workspace. If you just click on the shading tab up at the top here, now you'll find that we have a very different workspace, so we still have a 3D viewport up at the top here. We can navigate around it in exactly the same way. But you'll notice that the view looks very different. Normally the scenes are seen in a shaded view like this. But you can actually, in any of the viewports, switch the display mode. We are now by default within a shading workspace using this material preview mode. Before I just jump back into the layout workspace, you can see that we have the same options up at the top here and I can enable that material preview. But you can see here whilst everything is showing up with different lighting. What we don't have in the background is that sort of colored backdrop. If I go back into the shading view, what you can see here in the shading view is default lighting and that is cast using what we call an HDRI image. We can see the reflection of that image here in this silver bowl and we can see it blurred out here in the background. We can actually change the image and with it the lighting. If you click on this little drop-down here, you can see again this little bowl. If we click on that, we can actually switch out to any one of these other options. You can see the image in the background changes. You can see the reflection of it here that's showing you a more of an interior room lighting and how that would look on your objects. Or we can switch out to have exterior scenes in different environments, different times of day. That can be useful for seeing how your materials would work when rendered in different lighting conditions. For now, I'm just going to leave it with this default exterior view. We're not going to dive into too much detail in the materials now, really we just want some simple colors on these objects. If I select one of these posts here, you can see in this viewport down at the bottom, we have what are called nodes. Each of these is a node. By connecting together different nodes, we can achieve complex materials, but that's beyond the scope of this class. All we're really interested in is creating some basic colors. Now, you can see the properties of the material here in this node. But you can also go over to the property editor on the right here and you see this little icon at the bottom here. If you click on that, you can see all of the same attributes that we see here in what's called the principled shader. It's often easier to interact with those values here, than is down here, but they are duplicated and you can adjust them in both places. You can see by default this object has gotten material on it. We can change the name of the material here. I'm actually going to go in and I'm just going to name that material yellow. Because what I'm now going to do is click on this base color and we get this little color picker up here. I'm just going to pick a color from in here. Somewhere around that will do maybe just lighting up a little bit. We can adjust its value here and we can use this wheel to adjust its hue. By sliding in and out, we adjust its saturation. Equally, we can adjust any of those values here with these sliders. That looks like K is the starting point. You can see that all of these other posts that we duplicated have all changed yellow because they all had the same material applied to them by default. In this instance, that's absolutely fine. We can leave that as it is. Now let us let this crossbar and you'll see here that the material properties are selected, but there is actually no material on this object by default. What we need to do is click on this new button and that will add the material in. I'm going to give this new name. I'm going to call this one orange and click on the base color. We will adjust its color. Something like that looks good. Then I'm going to select the slide object. Again, add a new material here, and call this magenta. And then we will pick colors, somewhere around that looks good. Now that we have a number of materials defined, we can actually make use of those materials to color other objects. For example, if I select one of these posts, you can see there is no material on it, but instead of creating a new material, I can click on this little icon here with the arrow, and we can see all of the existing materials that are in the scene. In this case, I'm going to pick the yellow and assign it there. I can then select the other [inaudible] posts and again, pick the yellow. I'll select this crossbar, and I'll pick the orange to color that. Now, that's one way of adding materials to objects. What we can also do if we have a material showing here on one particular object, we can actually drag and drop from here, over on to other objects in our scene. Then we can change that color in the same way. I'm going to do the same thing here. Just drag and drop on to each of these rungs. Then I'm going to select that object, drag and drop from there on to these rungs at the back. And maybe the same on to that and to the swing. And then maybe select this and just change them here to the orange color. Okay. I'm pretty happy with that. If we jump back into the layout view, you can see we're back to our gray view. Nothing appears to have changed. Obviously we can change to our material preview up here, and we can see our materials, which is fine. But you can see sometimes as you're moving around the viewport, you might get a little bit of artifacting as it tries to catch up and display these materials correctly. This can be slightly heavier once you've got a complex scene to work within material view all the time. There is another option though. If we switch back to our shaded view and select one of these objects, we can go down into our material properties here. Now you can see our base color is defined there. But if we actually scroll down to the bottom of this list, we have some other options and we have, this viewport display option. If I click on the little arrow and roll that down, we have a coloring here, and that is the color that will display within the shaded viewport. If we actually want to adjust the color in here, we can do that. I can click on this and I can pick a color. But trying to get that to be exactly the same might be slightly more complicated. What we can actually do if I scroll back up and roll over the top of this value here, I don't need to click it. Just hold my mouse over the top and hit Control-C. That will copy the value. If I scroll down to the bottom again, roll over my color at the bottom here and hit Control-V. It will paste that value in. Now we get a preview within all shaded mode rather than within our material preview mode. I'm going to select these other objects with different materials and I'm going to do the same for them. So roll over the yellow color, Control-C to copy it, come down to the bottom here, control-V and we'll do the same for the orange color as well. Control-C and back down here and control-V. There we are. Now you can see with the default lighting within this solid shaded view, there are colors that look quite different to the material view which has the nice default lighting in it. But it can be handy to have things colored within this solid view. That's one way to achieve it. Control-S and we can save our scene. 10. Applying Scale: Before we progress any further with our scene, there's a little bit of housekeeping that needs to be done. Up until now, we've been adding objects to our scene and we've been scaling them to size. That works well, but there is something that we need to be aware of. If I select this slide, for example, we can see it's scale values here. When we create an object, by default, it's scale will be set to one on all axes. We can see that if I hit the backspace key, while rolling over the scale value, that will take our slide and reset it back to the default cube. You can see here our scale values are one and our dimension's up to two meters on all axes. If I just hit Control+Z to undo that, you can see obviously all scale values are now not one. That's fine with a simple scene like this, but once we start to do anything more complicated, that can lead to some complications. Now to demonstrate this, I'm just going to add in a new object. I'm going to add in a cube. I've already shown you the edit mode where we can go in and we can manipulate the points on an object. We've see that just by selecting all of the vertices and moving them up and down, up to now to move them around the origin point, but we can't actually go in and select points and deform the shape of an object in edit mode. But if I get back into object mode, within blend we also have what are called modifiers. Now, over in the property panel over here, we've got this wrench icon. If I click on that, we can add a series and modifiers that are designed to do all sorts of different things. One of the modifiers that we can add is a bevel modifier. What this will do, as you can see, is it will round out the edges of an object. Now, in the properties here, we can adjust the amount value, and that will obviously adjust how much we're rounding that out, and we can adjust the number of segments to smooth out that effect and get a far more rounded shape. The benefit of modifies is that they are non-destructive. By which I mean, we can add this in, we can adjust the mesh, but we can then go on and do other things, interact with other objects, come back here, and we can further reduce this effect very quickly and easily, and we can turn off the visibility of an effect and turn it back on again and we can add in different modifies and remove them at any point in the process. This is very different to going in and editing the mesh directly. In which case, any changes that we make are destructive, they'll be committed to the mesh and we can easily adjust them afterwards. You can see the effect of this bevel modifier is to round out the edges on the object. If I now remove this cube, I'll just hit X to delete and select the slide object and try to add the same bevel modifier to it. You'll see as we increase the amount here, the effect is very different. We are actually rounding out the edges to a different degree on all sides. That is not the effect that we're going to want. The reason for that is because of that scale that we added in at the start. If we round this out, you can see we actually rounding the edges far more than we want. These scale values are modulating the effect of this bevel modifier, and so what we can do, I can just hit that little X and that will remove the modifier from the object. Now what we need to do is to reset the scale value without adjusting the shape of the object. The way to do that is if we hit the Control+A shortcut, will bring up a little menu here. This will allow us to apply certain values, and that means we can apply the scale. If I click on that, you can see our shape has not changed, but our scale has now been locked off to one. Now if I were to scale this object, and then if I were to reset the scale, it will just jump back to the size that we have defined. Not back to its default cube. The only way to get it back to that default cube would be now to adjust these dimensions back to two meters on all axes. Now if I go into the modifies tab and I add in the same bevel modifier, you can see that the effect is very different. I can now adjust this value if I hold down the Shift key to adjust in small increments. You can see I can now round out the corners here. I can increase the number of segments if I want, and now you can see I get a nice rounded corner on all of the edges, and this is really important when it comes to actually shading and rendering your scene. You can see now we're catching light on this edge. It gives us a formal natural result than having these razor sharp edges that you normally get on a default object. For now I'm going to remove that bevel modifier from the object and you'll see why a little bit later. But what we need to do is to select all of these other objects and we need to apply the scale to all of them, and it's simple enough. We can just drag select over all of our objects here. We can hit the Control+A shortcut and select scale to apply the scale, and you can see now, if we select any of these objects, the scale will be one on all axes. 11. Joining Objects: Something else that you might have noticed as we've been working is, if we closer look at these cylinder objects, just hitting the period K on the NUM pad to frame that up, you can see it looks very faceted rather than smooth and round. These other cylinders don't look so bad when we're far away, but when you zoom in on them, again you can see they have these very obvious edges to them. Just hit the home key, I can frame everything up again. Now, if we select one of these objects, we have an option if we right-click to either shade smooth or shade flat, and flat shading is on by default. If we just click on "Shade smooth," you can see we round that form out. We can do that on all of these objects at the same time, just hit "Shade smooth" and it will smooth out the look of the cylindrical objects. I'm going to do that for all of these, right-click "Shade Smooth." At the moment, if you look over in the outline up, we have a lot of different objects. Now this can be a very messy way of working, we have a lot of different objects all called cube or cylinder, and it can be very hard to select what we actually want. Also if we want to move this object around within a larger scene, it becomes very difficult because it's all in separate parts. Yes, admittedly, we can select all of those objects and we can move them together. But it's not a very easy way to work and you can easily end up leaving pieces behind. What we can do is actually join these parts together into a single mesh. What I'm going to do, I'm going to select all of these parts so you can drag, select over a number of them, you can hold down shift and drag select over more to add them to the selection. I can select the entire frame. For now, I'm going to leave the ropes and the swing seat separate and you'll see why a little bit later. Now I'm going to hit Control and J to join these together. There's also an option on the right-click menu. If I were to select these three objects and if I right-click, you can see the option Join here. We're actually going to join those three parts together as well. Now we have two separate objects, one here, which if I select that, I can now move independently. Again, if I select the swing seat, hit G, I can move that. That will be a lot harder when you have a look in the outliner. But to make things even better, I'm going to select this object, double-click on its name, and we can rename that. I'm going to call that frame and I'm going to select this object, double-click on it. We will rename that to swing. 12. Adding a Bevel: Okay. What I'm going to do now is go over into the Modifiers tab and I'm going to add a modifier to the frame. I need to add the Bevel modifier that we looked at earlier. You see this has now added this beveled edge and it's added it all across the frame. Now, if I zoom in, I see we still have these faceted edges here. If I right-click and hit "Shade Smooth", you see that makes no difference and the reason for that is we are actually applying the bevel to the edges here as well, which is not what we're after. Now, there's a way to get around that, if I go over to the Bevel modifier here, under the Limit Method, we can change that from none to Angle. You can see with this 30-degree angle is set by default, all of a sudden our cylinders are now cylindrical again and smooth and we have the bevel applied to the other objects, 90-degree angles to them. Now, having done that, you can see the effect to the bevel is far too strong, so we need to go in and adjust this amount. If I hold down the Shift key, I can slide this down to adjust it to a more sensible amount, somewhere around that, that's good. We work just enough to round out those edges, catch the light to make it look a bit more natural. We can maybe go in and add to the segments and that will round out a little bit more. Make our effect look just that little bit better. That looks pretty good. You can see over here because we've got a sharp edge. Then we've added the bevel around the end of the cylinder, even though it's not being added to the edges within the length of the cylinder and that's exactly what we're after. We can now go ahead and select a swing seat and we can do exactly the same thing there. Go to the Modifiers, add in a Bevel modifier. We'll need to do the same thing again because we have these cylinders. We need to add this Limit Method set up to angle and now we can adjust the amount, slide this right the way down, again holding the Shift key, and thus increase the number of segments. Just round this out a little bit more and we can right-click and Shade Smooth. There we go. Don't forget to hit "Control S" to save. Now that the model of our swing is complete, it can be useful to save a new version of the file. This means that it's easy to come back to this stage if we ever need to in the future. To do that, instead of hitting Control S to save, we're going to go up to the File menu and hit "Save As". As you can see, we previously saved our file as playground version one, and it's highlighted in red down at the bottom here. This means that if we hit Save As, it's going to overwrite that file. One feature that's quite useful in Blender is we have this little plus or minus icon. If we hit the plus icon, we can actually increment the number of the file and then hit "Save As". 13. Modelling the Bird: Now that our swing is complete, I thought it would be fun to add a simple character to our scene. Before we start modeling our character, we're going to hide everything else in the scene. To do that, simply hit the A key to select all and H to hide. Then hit Shift A to add a new mesh, and we're going to add a cube. The process we're going to go through now is commonly called box modeling, where we start out with a simple primitive object, a cube in this case, and we gradually add detail to it to move points around to define the shape of our model. To do that, we're going to jump into the edit mode. If we, with our cube selected, hit the Tab key, that would jump us into edit mode. Now with modeling, it can be helpful to see through the mesh and see all of the vertices. I'm going to go up and click on this icon to toggle on the X-Ray mode, and now we can actually see through the mesh. The first thing I am going to do is select these points on the back of the model and we're just going to scale them in a little bit in X. So I'm going to hit Scale and then hit X, and we'll just pull them in a little bit like this. That will do to start with. Then we can select all of the points on the top and I'm going to scale those in again, along the x-axis like so. The next thing I'd like to do is add a bit more geometry because this is obviously very low resolution at the moment. To do that, we're going to hit A to select all of the vertices. We're then going to right-click and hit Subdivide, and that will give us some more edges to work with. Now I'm going to select all of the points on the top. I'm going to scale them in a little bit, just on the y-axis. I'm just using the middle mouse in order to do that. I'm now going to select these points on the back, with our Move Tool selected so I make use of that. Just move those along the y-axis just a little bit. Just trying to create the basic shape of our character. I'm going to select these points through the middle here. We can either box-select like that, or if we switch into edge mode by hitting two, I can Alt and click on one of these edges and that will select everything. Then I can scale this out just on the x-axis. Again, just using my middle mouse to toggle between the axis. I'm going to pull that out a little bit just to round out this form. Now this edge in the middle here, again, Alt and left-click on that. Then again, I'm going to scale this out so as to scale X to constraint to the axis and we'll move that out a little bit. I'm going to now select these points in the middle so I'm going to hit one to get to vertex select. Select all of these, and we'll just move them up a bit. I'm going to state the central point, lift it a little bit higher, just trying to create a rounded form on the top and if you have a look at these polygons here, these faces, we're now twisting those a little bit. I'm going to select these two points and push them down just a little bit. It doesn't have to be exact but we're just flattening off that shape just to round it out a little bit. I'll do the same just at the back here and push those two points, down a little to help round out that form. I think I'm going to push all of these points down just a little bit more, here and here, turn around that shape out and we're just a little bit too flat on the front. So I'm going to select those points and pull them forwards. Maybe pull these all back a little bit as well. I think that will do to start with. I'm going to hit the Tab key to exit edit mode. There we go. This is obviously still very low resolution. I'm going to turn off my X-Ray mode for a moment. What we could do is subdivide this further and keep moving points around. But we can also add what's called a Subdivision Modifier. By going over into the Modifier Tab in the Properties Panel, we can select these Subdivision Surface Modifier. If we click on that, you can see it has subdivided the mesh and it's actually rounded out the shape at the same time. Now at the moment, we only have one Subdivision level here in the Viewport, and two Subdivision levels will be added at Render time. We want to increase that in the Viewport here up to two, which will match our Render level. You see this is smoothed out the form quite a bit. That's obviously still very faceted. So if we right-click on the mesh, we can change from Flat shading to Smooth shading. Just click on Shade Smooth and now we have a far smoother shape. Now, I wanted to achieve this sort of roughly triangular shape here. It's a little bit flat on the top and stretched out at the moment. So I'm going to go back into edit mode. I'm going to select my object. I'm going to hit Tab, to go into edit mode again. I think what I'm actually going to do is select all of these vertices on the front. Now, we need to toggle back into X-Ray mode, because what you'll find is if I select from this side here, I will only select the vertices that can be seen from the camera and I'm not selecting through the object. You always need to remember to toggle into X-Ray mode and then when we drag a box to select, we will actually select through the mesh. I'm just going to pull this points back a little bit. That gives us a slightly better shape. I will lift this up a little. Try to round out that top just a little bit more. Then we move these back in on y to create roughly this sort of shape that I'm after. You don't have to copy this exactly. Now, that's our basic shape. I'm actually going to subdivide this slightly further, and I'm going to do that by adding in some loop cuts. To do that, we can hit "Control" and "R." That will bring up this yellow line, which shows us exactly where we're going to add a loop cut. I'm going to just click down here to add a cut. Obviously, this will start sliding around as soon as I release, so just right-click to cancel that move. Now with these vertices selected, I'm just going to hit "S" to scale these out of so slightly, just to make sure we round out that form at the bottom. I'd like to define this lower part a little bit more, so I'm going to add another loop cut down there so hit "Control R," I'm going to add that loop cut in. I'm going to right-click to cancel. Now what I'm actually going to do is select all of the vertices on the bottom here, and just scale them in a little bit. That has just tightened up this edge down at the bottom here. Then just to make sure that we've got plenty of detail up at the top here when it comes to deforming this character, I'm going to add one more loop cut up at the top. I'm going to hit "Control R," click, and right-click. Then again, I'm just going to scale this just out over so slightly just to keep the rounded shape that we've had up to now. That looks all right, so I'm going to hit "Tab" to exit edit mode. Have a little look around. Now, I feel that slightly too flat on the front for my liking. I'm just going to round this out a little bit more, so tap back into edit mode and I will just pull some of these points back just a little bit. Just to round out the top. There we are. "Tap. " That will do us fine. Exit x-ray mode. We've got the basic shape of our character. The next thing I'd like to do is add some simple eyes. We going to hit "Shift A" to add new mesh, and we'll add a UV Sphere. Obviously very large at the moment, so we can just hit "S," and just scale this down. I'm going to run, that will do for us. Now, hit "G," and move this roughly into place. You can just move around in your perspective view to shift this into place. Obviously, if you want to be a bit more precise, you can jump into one of the orthographic views. I think this will do for now. Just moving that sphere to the point where it's intersecting into the mesh but just sticking out enough. It appears round from the front, but isn't bulging out too much. Now, we can hit "Shift D" to duplicate, by just right-click to cancel the move, and then go up into the transform properties up here, and change its X position. I'm just going to remove that minus sign, and that will mirror it over the Y-axis. Now we're going to add in a little beak for our character. To do that, I'm going to start out just with a cube again so Shift A. Add in a cube, obviously far too big. So I'm just going to scale this roughly down in size to where we want it. I'm actually going to jump into side view, and move this into the position that we're going to need. Again, we're going to define the basic shape, and add in extra detail as we need it. I'm just going to hit the period key on my Num pad just to frame this up nicely. Just back off a little bit. Hit the "Tab" key to go into edit mode, that's turned on x-ray again, so that we can see through our meshes, and see what we're actually doing. I'm going to select these points on the bottom, move them forward a bit. It gives us our basic shape for our beak. Now, we can jump into front view, and to select all of the points on the bottom, and just scale them out just a little bit in X. There we are. You can see we've got our basic shape defined here. Now, I'm going to hit "Eight," select all of our vertices, right-click, sub-divide to give us some more geometry to work with. I can now select these points on the top, move them up a little bit. I'm going to change the edge mode, out, click on this central loop here. We'll just hit "S" to scale it out a little bit. Scale that uniformly. Help define our shape little bit more. Now, looking at this from the top, obviously were very square at the front here. So I'm going to get back to slip my vertices by hitting "One." We'll just move these points right forwards. Let's move this one forward, those batch as well. That's defined our basic shape now. Again, I'm going to tab out of this. As with the body, I'm going to add a subdivision modifier. If we need modifiers, tap here. We can go in at subdivision surface, and you can see that's rounded it out quite a bit. Again, I need to up the level to two. That's given us our basic shape. Right-click to shade smooth. There we are. Now, I'm just going to get back into edit mode quickly, I'm going to select all. I think I'm going to scale this just vertically a little a bit. I'm going to hit "S," and "Z," just to give us a little bit more height to this beak. There we are. I think I'll try adding in a loop cut down at the bottom just to sharpen up this bottom edge. I'm going to hit "Control R," click. Then just slide this down just a little bit, and click again, and I'm going to hit "S" to scale that out a little. There we are. Tap, and we can see we've given it a sharp edge down at the bottom here. That looks okay. Let's go outs of x-ray mode, select these two eyes. Right-click, shade smooth. There we are. We've got our very basic little bird character here. Now we're going to add some materials to our bird. Let's jump over into the shading workspace, in we are. Again, we can select our body, and to add a new material here, pick a color for it. Somewhere around, that looks all right, and to give this a name. We've select our beak. I think I can actually make use of the existing yellow material that we defined. Select one of the eyes, add another new material. Let's make this a lot darker, and have something that's almost black here. You'll see that this is actually quite shiny by default, if I just zoom in a little bit. We've got quite a lot of reflection. We can actually change that within the properties of the material. If you look down here, we've got this roughness value that's currently set at 0.5. We slide that back. You can make it actually very reflective. If we increase it, we can get a more mat effect. I'm going to go somewhere around there. Let's just call this eye, and then I'm going to drag, and drop from here on to the other eye. Then we have both of our eyes with the black shade on them. Now obviously, if we go back into our layout tab, you can see that our colors are not showing up. Again, we can go down to our Material tab here. We can roll over the black, hit "Control C" to copy, go down to the Viewport display color, "Control V, " paste that in, and I we'll do the same here with the body. I'm just going to "Control C," and "Control V," and I will be able to see the colors within the flat shaded viewport. Hit "Control S" to save. 14. Adjusting the Bird: Before we finalize this character, there are just a couple more quick tweaks that I want to make. You can see obviously we've modeled this with the origin of the character in the middle, and I would really like that to be at the bottom. I'm going to select the body of this little character, I'm going to hit tab, hit eight, select all, and we're going to move these points vertically until we're up sitting on top of the origin there. Hit tab to go back out again. What I'm actually going to do is just squash this body down a little bit as well now. I can actually hit S to scale, constrain it to the Z-axis, and I'm just going to squash it a little bit, overall. There we go. Now obviously, we've left our eyes and our beak behind. I'm going to select all of those, and obviously we can't see them at the moment, but if I turn on the X-ray mode, can now see through the mesh. I'm going to drag select over everything and then just shift and click on the body to deselect that. I hit G to move these, I'm going to constrain that to my Z-axis and move them up, somewhere around here. I actually think I'm going to move that beak up just a little bit further. I'm going to scale it down a little bit. Little bit too large. Now with beak selected, I'm going to hit tab. Just want to make a few more little tweaks to that. I'm going to zoom in a little bit. I want to round out just a little bit more. Select these points on the top. Let's just nudge them down a little bit. For now that shape, I think is just a little bit too sharp on the bottom, so I'm going to pull these points down a little bit as well. To help maybe select these points here. I'm just going to move them up a little bit to further round out that shape. That's a bit better. Tab, X-ray. There we go. Control S to save that. Now, as with the frame of the swing, I'm going to select all of these objects, and I'm going to hit Control J to merge them into one single mesh. I'll go up here and rename that to bird. Now, if we turn back on the visibility of our frame and our swing and hit home to frame up everything. See, our character is absolutely massive at the moment. That's fine. We're going to select it and just hit S to scale it down. Now, what you'll notice here is because of the order that I joined the parts together, it's actually moved the origin up to the beak of the character, which is not what we want. I'm actually going to undo that. We need to move this origin point back down to the center of the scene. We can do that by right-clicking and choosing set origin to 3D cursor. If we do that, you can see it's jumped right back to our center again. We can now once again, hit S to scale and scale this down to a size that would fit on that swing. Now, let's hit G to move it roughly into place, and sit it on that swing there. I think we can, for it to scale this up just a little bit further, let's make it as big as we can while still fitting within these ropes. I'm going to move that across a little bit. Still have it sat on the swing there. It's pretty good. Just hit the home key again to frame everything up. There we are. Hit Control S to save. 15. Rigging the Swing: Our model is now complete, but we want to be able to animate it. I'm going to select this swing and go to rotate it. You can see we would be able to swing this and I could animate that action. But these ropes are going to appear quite stiff. In order to add some more flexibility, we're going to add what's called a "rig" to it. If I just undo that, "Ctrl+Z", we're going to add some bones that will allow us to deform the shape of this rope and give us a bit more flexibility. I'm going to jump into my front view here, and we're going to add a new object type called an armature. Before we do that, what I'd like to do is actually move this 3D cursor, which is where new objects are created. So I'm going to select the swing here, just going to hit W to get back into selection mode. I'm going to right-click into the snap menu and cursor to select it. You can see it's moved the 3D cursor to the top here. So now I can hit "Shift+A" and we're going to add an armature object. I'll click on that there. You can see it's added this bone shape in here. To actually adjust the shape of this and position of it. What we actually need to do is go into edit mode. We'll hit "Tab" to go into edit mode, and we can now move parts of this around. We have the main body of the bone. We also have this point on the end here. I can actually take that, and I can just hit "G" and I can move that around. If I just use my middle mouse to just snap it to Z, I can now drag that down to the full length of this rope and click to release. Now we still only got one bone here. To increase the number of divisions here, as with any other mesh, we can subdivide it. If I right-click on it and hit subdivide, you can see we've split it to two. I actually want three bones so I'm going to go down to this little pop-up menu at the bottom here. Roll that out and increase the number of cuts to two. We can now exit edit mode by hitting the tab key. Now with the armature object selected, I'm just going to click "G" and just constrain it to the x-axis, and move this across roughly into the middle of the swing. You can see as we rotate around this, that it's perfectly aligned to the center there. Now while we're getting the set up, I'm just going to hide the bird objects. So I'm gonna go over into the outliner, and just click on that icon. Now we need to connect the swing here up to this armature. Now in order to do that, we simply select the swing shift, select the armature object and then if we right-click, we can go to this parent menu. We need to go to armature deform with automatic weights. If we click on that. Then these two will be connected to each other. Now to test this out, we actually need to go to a new mode. When you're animating a rig created with bones within blender, we can't work within object mode. We've got a different mode called pose mode. To go into pose mode we need to select our armature object and we can go up to the top menu here. You can see the object and edit, we now have an additional mode called pose mode. If I click on that, you can see the color of the bones changes to blue. Now if I select one of these bones, I can just enable my rotation tool. You can see if I rotate it, I'm now actually deforming the shape of that rope, which is exactly what we're after. If I just undo those rotations. This is working pretty well. But the one thing that isn't quite working the way I'd like, as I rotate this bone, you can see the top of the rope is separating away from this beam at the top here. So we need to do something to fix that. I'm going to hit "Ctrl+Z" to undo, "W" to get back into selection mode. Before we start this, I'm just going to save my scene "Ctrl+S". I'm going to jump back into object mode and select my swing object, and a pair of cages to frame that up. I'm actually going to hide this frame because we don't need to worry about that at the moment. Now to deform this rope, each of the vertices within the rope is assigned a weight value which connects it to one or other of these bones. To edit that, we can actually change our mode to what is called the weight paint mode. These colors along the rope define how much influence a certain bone has. Now, we need to see which bones are affecting the weights at any particular time. To do that, you go over into this property panel and click on this little green triangle icon, you can see that we now have under the vertex groups, three bones. You can see as we click between all of these, it's showing us which areas are affected by that particular bone. Our first bone in our chain, this red area is the area that is affecting the most. As the color falls off to blue here, that's the area that's having the least effect. Within this weight paint mode, we can actually paint influence onto this mesh. You can see up at the top here, our weight is defined as one. We're going to be adding 100 percent weight with 100 percent strength. Now, the bone that we're interested in here is bone two. You can see its influence is mainly around the center here, but it does have some slight influence over the top here, which we don't really want. What we can actually do is paint in a negative weight as well. So we want a weight of zero at 100 percent strength, and we're going to paint this onto the top points here. If I just paint over here, you can see the color is changing and going slightly darker. If I just move around, just check that I've painted over all of those points on the top there. To test this effect, we need to exit weight paint mode and go back to object mode. We need to select our armature, and we need to go into our pose mode. Now with that central bone selected, I'm going to rotate. As I rotate it, you can see that those points on the top now do not move. I'll just quickly check out the other bones. That seems fine. Obviously if we rotate this one from the top, it will move everything. I exit pose mode, go back to object mode. We can re-enable our bird and our frame, to frame everything up again and save. 16. Parenting: When we parented our swing to its controls, the armature, that object was moved within the hierarchy over here in the outliner. You can see now if we roll out the armature, our swing is now underneath the armature object. Now, if I select the frame and I move it around, we leave behind our swing object, but we'd like that to follow along. What we can do is we can actually parent our armature object to our frame. To do that, we first select our armature, we can Shift Select our frame, and then we can right-click, go to our Parent menu, and in this case, we want to parent object. When we do that, you can see this little dotted line has been created. That simply shows that there's a relationship between these two objects. Now, if you have a look in the outliner underneath our frame, we have our armature and under that, we have our swing. If I select my frame object and I move it around, you can see that the swing now goes with it. Obviously, we're leaving our little bird character behind, and we want that to follow along with the swing as well. If I were select that bird, you might think we could parent it to our swing. If we try parent the object, if I select my frame and move it around, then the bird will move along with it. But if I select these bones, and if I go into Pose Mode and start rotating them, then our bird will not follow along with the swing, so we need to attach it in a different way. I'm just going to undo all of that so that our bird is no longer parented to the swing. There we are. Now, instead, I'm going to select my bird and I'm going to parent it to this armature. I'm going to right-click, "Parent", and I'm actually going to parent it to the bone rather than to the armature itself. This will mean that it follows along with the bone, but it's not being deformed by it in the way that the swing is. We now select our bird, and if we go over to the Properties panel, click on the object properties and go to Relations, we can now see that its parent is the armature, and within that, it's parented to the bone object, bone. What we need is for it to be connected to bone 1. If I select bone 1, you can see it jumps away, which is not what we want. If I undo that, we need to disconnect this from the armature, which we can do it by right-clicking, and then under the Parent menu, we can go down to clear parent and keep transformation. That will leave it where it is, and it has removed that parent relationship. What we need to remember to do when we connect an object to a specific bone is we need to select the object, select the armature, and then we need to change from object mode to pose mode. Now, we need to select the specific bone within this chain that we want to parent to. I'm going to go into x-ray mode so that I can select this bottom bone in the chain. I'm just going to hit W2, go back to selection mode so that we don't have the destruction of that gizmo over the top. Now that our bird and the correct bone is selected, we go back to object mode, right-click, and we can go to parent bone. Now, if we select that bird, you can see that now our parent bone is bone 1 and our bird is in the correct place. If I select the armature again, I go into pose mode. You can see as I now rotate these bones, our swing is deforming and our bird is following along with it, which is exactly what we want. I'm going to get back to object mode and save my scene. 17. Deforming the Bird: As we've seen, our bird will follow along with the swing when we deform it with the armature. If we want to add some animation to the bird itself, we could add some bones and that would allow us to deform the bird. But there's another way that we can apply simple deformation to the bird to give it a bit more life. To do that, we're going to jump over into the Modifiers tab. Now, here you can see that we have the subdivision modify already applied to the bird. I'm just going to hit the period key on the NUM ad just to frame our bird up a little bit more so we can see the effect of this a little bit better. Now, we're going to add in a new modifier. You can see that we have modifiers for doing all sorts of different things and we have one section devoted to deforming objects. Under that we can pick this simple deform modifier and you see it's already affected the shape of the bird by adding this twist effect. We have twist, bend, taper, and stretch. We can adjust that effect to work around one or other of the axis. If I select the z-axis and now adjust this angle, you can see that we can actually twist the bird and make it look from one side to the other. Now, if I were to add in a second simple deform modifier to the stack, we can now go in and apply a second effect. If I select bend, I can now bend this forwards and backwards along the x-axis, on top of my existing twist. Now my bird is looking up into the side. By adjusting these angle values, we can give it a little bit of life. We'll save our scene again. 18. Setup the Camera: With everything now set up, we can start adding a little bit of animation to our scene. To do that, we're going to jump over into the animation workspace. You can see now that we have a camera view, and we have our main perspective view. Before we get started, I actually want to frame up this camera correctly. If I go into this camera view and I tried to orbit around, you can see we actually jump out of that camera view. To get back into the camera view, we can hit the 0 key on our Numpad, and that will take us back into the camera. If you don't have a Numpad on your keyboard, then you'll notice that our little camera icon is missing from the side here. We can actually turn that on by enabling these overlays here. So I'm able to rotate and move out. I can hit the camera icon to jump back in again, and then we can turn these off to create a cleaner view. Now in order to be able to move this camera around, we can do it in a couple of different ways. If I'll go into the outliner and enable my camera again so that we can see it within the scene if I select it, I can hit the period key on my Numpad to frame it up. Now we can actually move this around with our standard tools. Remember, we can enable our toolbar by hitting the T key, which will then give us our move, rotate, and scale tools. I can go in here and I can move my camera around within the perspective view, and you can see that it's moving around over here. Equally, I can go in there and I can start rotating it around. But this can be a little bit awkward to frame the view exactly as we'd like. So an easier way of working is to go over into the camera view itself. If we hit the N key, and in this menu here if we go to View, we have an option here under View Lock, Camera to View. If we check that box and hit the N key to hide that again, now we can use a standard navigation controls within this viewport and we're not jumping out of the camera. I can now orbit, pan, zoom, as usual, and frame this up as I would like to be able to see my slide, my swing, and to be able to frame this up and see the animation. That looks okay. If we then hit the N key, we can uncheck that, which means that now if we orbit this view will jump out of it, but we're not at risk of ever moving our camera accidentally because we can always hit that Numpad 0 and we come back to our locked off camera view. Now if I go back into my perspective view, I'm just going to hit the Home key to frame everything up, and the period key to zoom in on my armature there, we're ready to start actually adding some some. 19. Animating the Swing: In order to animate something, we need to record its position or its rotational scale, any change in value at a particular point in time, then we'll move to a new point in time, record new values and that change will give us our animation. In order to do that, we record what is called a keyframe on an object. To do that, we're going to first select our three bones. Unfortunately, we can't see the bottom one, so we're going to go up and enable our X-ray Mode, which enables us to see all three bones. I'm going to select all three of them. Remember holding down the Shift Key as we select. We're going to record their position here on Frame 1. You can see down at the bottom, we had a timeline in our layout workspace. Now, within the animation workspace, that timeline appears to a grown. It is now the Dope Sheet. You'll see how that works in just a minute. You see with this slider, we can adjust our frame number. We're going to leave that on Frame 1 for now, and we're going to record the position of these three bones. To do that, we can hit the "I Key" for insert, we get the Insert Keyframe Menu, and you can record its location, its rotational scale or any combination of those values. In this case, because we're simply going to be rotating the bones, we can just set a keyframe on the bones rotation. If I click "Rotation", you can see down here in our Dope Sheet, we now have some lesser dots here which are recording the rotation values on frame 1. You can see we have our three bones because all three bones are selected. If I just click on one of these arrows, rose rows out and you can see that we are recording our rotation values for that bone. For now, if I just move onto another frame, we'll go to Frame 20, for example, I can now adjust the rotation of these bones. To do that, I'm going to set the rotation tool and with all of the bones selected, I'm going to rotate them. Now, you'll see we're getting this effect here, where all three bones are rotating in increasing amounts. That's actually exactly what I was after, but if you don't have that effect, it's because of this Transform Pivot option. At the moment, we have individual origins selected, so our rotation is occurring around each of these points. If I just hit "Undo". If I were to select, for example, Median Point and Rotate, you could see the entire chain will move as one. Just make sure that you have the individual origins selected when you rotate if you want to get this effect. I'm just going to swing it back a little bit like that. Now, if I were to change frame now, you can see everything pops back to its original position and our rotation has been lost. That's because we recorded this initial position back on Frame 1 but we've not recorded new keyframe here on Frame 20. To do that again, we rotate and we have to remember to hit the 'I Key" and select "Rotation". You can see now that we have added a new keyframe here. You can see at the moment, I've only been rotating around the x-axis. Down here in the Dope Sheet, these yellow bars here, show that our value has not changed. At the moment, it's showing our X value has not changed, our Y value has not changed, but our Z value has changed. Now, that's because we're actually in global Mode at the moment. If I change this to Local Rotation Mode, you'll see what we've actually been rotating around is our Z axis, and that is why Z that has been recorded down here. For now, I'm going to leave this on the Local axis so we can see exactly what we're manipulating. If I now slide the slider back to Frame 1, you can see that we have some motion in there. The computer is actually adding in all of these in-between values between the two keyframes that we've set. This can be extremely helpful. It saves us a lot of time if the computer can add in some in-betweens for us and we just set the main keyframes for the same. Unfortunately, the computer doesn't know exactly what we're thinking, and often we have to go in and define additional keyframes to make sure that the animation that is being created is exactly what we're after. For now, what I'm going to do, is I'm going to actually select this Keyframe here. You can just select this point at the top, don't need to select everything, just that point at the top will select everything underneath it, so that will select for all three selected bones. If you want to select for one bone, you can just click on that individual bone here or here. But we're going to select up at the top, and now select all keys for all bones, and then I'm going to hit the 'X Key" to delete it. We're back to just having our initial keyframe here. What I'm actually going to do, is I'm going to select just this top bone for now. I'm going to rotate this back on the Z axis to define the extreme value of our swing. To change the framework, we're actually popping back to our original position again, so we've got to remember each time as I rotate this, I have to hit the I Key to insert a keyframe on my Rotation again. Now that can get a little bit tedious to do and it's easy to forget, especially if you've got a complicated character and you're moving a lot of parts. To help with that, we have a feature called Autokey. To enable that, we have this little dot down at the bottom here on the timeline. If I click that dot and move two different frame, so we'll go over to Frame 20, if I now rotate this bone to the other side, as soon as I release, you can see it has added in a keyframe on Frame 20. Now, if I scrub back along the timeline, you can see we have that motion in place. If I ever want to go in and edit keyframe, all I need to do is go to that frame, make my adjustment. As soon as I release, its new location has been recorded. Now, because I was only rotating this top bone, if I select the next bone in the chain, you can see that no keyframe is being recorded here. If I roll that out, there are no values for bone 2. This little check mark here simply shows that something else within the armature has been keyed on this frame. The same is true if I select this bone, whereas, if I select the top bone in the chain, you can see that we have recorded rotation values here. If I select these other bones in the chain on this frame, I can hit "I" to insert a key and we'll hit "Rotation" again, and now we've recorded rotation there and back here on Frame 1. Now, in order to make this swing back to the exact same spot that it was on on frame 1, what I'm going to do, is select all three bones and then select this first keyframe. In the same way that we can duplicate objects, we can actually duplicate keyframes. If I hit "Shift D" and start moving, you can see this keyframe is now moving. We can slide the out over here to Frame 40. If I click then we now have a keyframe here on Frame 40. Now, as I scrub through the timeline, you can see our swing goes forward and back to its original position again. Now, in order to play this animation, if I go back to Frame 1, I can hit the Space bar and you can see it will start playing. But then our play had continues on along the scene all the way Frame 250 before it jumps back again to Frame 1. That's not what we're after, so we can actually adjust the length of this timeline down at the bottom here. We have a start and an end value. I'm going to adjust this end value to Frame 40. Now, we can see our start and end frame. If I play this back, you'll see that our animation now loops. Obviously, at the moment, we just have the swing looking very stiff because we are simply animating that top button in the chain. What we want to do is get a little bit of flexibility into these ropes. If we add too much, then it's going to look a bit too artificial. But we'd still want to get a little bit of a sense of drag in there. In order to do that, I'm going to go to half way point here at frame 10. I'm going to select these three bones. Again, making sure we have individual origins selected here in the transform pivot. I'm just going to rotate this slightly backwards just to make sure that we're dragging slightly. Then on frame 30, I'm going to do the opposite and drag it slightly back. Now you'll find if we play the animation through, there's just a slight drag in there, which adds a little bit more life to it. Now what you might also notice is there's a little bit of a pause when we get to frame 14 start the loop over and it doesn't look quite as smooth as it does going through frame 20. There's a reason for that, which we will now look at. At the moment we can see our key frames here in the dope sheet, but we can't see exactly how the computer is calculating the frames in between. In order to see that we can jump over into what's called the Graph Editor. To do that, we can either click up at the top here and change our editor type to graph editor or alternatively, walls where over the window we can hit Control tab and that will flip us between a dope sheet and our graph editor. What is the graph editor? The graph editor will show us a mathematical curve that represents our motion. To see that if I select the first bone in the chain, I'm going to roll this out. At the moment, we appear to have straight lines but if I hit the Home key that will frame everything up nicely and you can see this curve here. That is the curve for all z rotation. The height of any one of these points on the curve shows all auto-rotation value and as we go along the graph here, this shows up point in time. If I select a point on this curve here, I can actually move that point just by hitting G. If I move it, you can see that's affecting the rotation of the object within seen scene. If I right-click, I can cancel that move. Equally, if I go back to frame 1, I can select this point. If hit G and I can write that one and right-click to cancel. If I click over here on the z rotation that will select this curve and if I hit Shift and H, it will hide everything else within this viewport, which helps us to see that curve more clearly. We can navigate within the graph editor in same way as we navigate in any other viewport. If we hold down our middle mouse button, that's going to allow us to move around holding down our Control and middle mouse will allow us to zoom in and out, the same as our scroll wheel or a mouse will do. But if we hold down Control as we move up and in and out, that gives us a more flexible way of interacting with this graph and scanning around to get a better view of exactly what is going on here. Now at the moment, if I just step through this animation here, you can see we slowly start moving away from this value, we accelerate through this middle portion and as we get to the top of values, increasingly become closer to the value at frame 20, which is why we slowly move into frame 20 and slowly move out of it again as we approach frame 40. That all works well. If now select one of these other bones, and again, I'm going to select the Z rotation value. I'm going to hit Shift H to hide everything else and I could use my Control and middle mouse button to reframe this a little bit. Now, this is where a little slowdown is occurring because at the moment, we are slowly moving out of this point. We're slowing through this point, we're accelerating through here. We're slowing again into this point. We're slowing again into here and that's not actually what we want in this case. So for this curve to cycle correctly, we need to select this first point. We need to shift select this last point, and we need to rotate these handles by clicking on the end. That means that this curve, when it continues and it loops, will be flowing nicely. Now if I select the bottom Bone in the chain, you can see we have the same effect here. So again, I'm going to just select my Z rotation curve Shift and H to hide everything else. I just hit my first key, my last key, holding Down Shift to select, and then I can just click on this handle here, and rotate both together to allow me to adjust the shape of that curve so it is now flowing smoothly as it cycles on. Now with that done, if I hit the Spacebar, we can see there're animation will loop a bit more smoothly. The other thing to note though is that all frame 40 and our frame 1 are exactly the same. If we actually want to smooth the cycle, then we want frame 39 to be our final frame in our cycle. But we want to leave frame 40 as it is, being exactly the same as frame 1. I'm just going to change my endpoint to be frame 39, which means after frame 39 is next frame will be frame 1, which will be the next value on, and that will give us again, a smoother cycle stone. Now we have it, our animated swing. I'm just going to save my scene now. One thing to be aware of is that if we leave all Auto key turned on, then any values that we start changing within blender will also be animated. It's good practice to just go back down to the bottom here and turn off that Auto key value, so we're not adding any extra keyframes where we don't need them. 20. Animating the Bird: In the same way that we added a bit of drag to the swing, we're now going to select our little bird character and see if we're going to add a little bit of drag to the bird's head. I'm going to select my bird, but we need to make sure that we're in object mode. I'm just going to change back to selection mode. I'm now going to go over into the Modify tab. Now, we added our modifiers here to twist and bend. This bend modifier allows us to lean the bird forwards and backwards. We should be able to animate that value. To do that, we have this little check mark here. I'm on frame 1. I can actually click that and that will create a key frame here on frame one. Now in the graph editor, I'm going to hit Control tab to jump us back to the dope sheet. I'm going to select this key frame and hit shift D to duplicate it and drop that unframed 40. Then I'm going to go to frame 20, and I'm also going to add a key frame here as well. We can just again click on this check mark here to add a key frame. What we want to do, as with the swing, we're just going to add a little bit of drag in here. So I'm going to go to frame 10. Then I'm going to adjust this value, I'm to bend the bird back a little bit. You can see this value has changed from green to orange. Green shows that it is being animated, orange shows that its value has changed, but it hasn't been recorded. If I click on this little check mark here, it changes to yellow, which shows that it has a key frame on it. That's a useful reminder to see if a value has actually been recorded or not. Now we should be dragging our head a little bit here. Then on frame 30, we're going to adjust our angle, and bend in the other direction and again record a key frame there. As we animate, that would just give us a subtle little bit of rotation on the bird's head, just going to hit Control tab. That will take us into the graph editor. If I home key, I can frame everything up. You can see here we have the same issue that we had before. We need to select this first key and the last key, and then adjust these handles so that we will have a smooth flowing curve. There we are. Control S to save. 21. Add the Environment: With our scene now animated, it's going to be time to add a little bit of lighting and render out of finished result. To do that, we're going to jump over into the layout workspace. Now, by default, Blender has a light, and we can turn that back on here in the viewport so that we can see it. But see the effects of any lights, we need to change or display mode here from our shaded viewport, either to this scale, which is our rendered viewport. If I click on that, you can see now we have a very different look. We now have some shadows in our scene, which is being caused by this light up at the top here. But at the moment, everything is quite dull and dark. We also don't have an environment in here that we can cause some shadows onto. Before we go any further with actually adding lights, we can to create a simple environment. Now, to do that, for now, I'm just going to change back to my shaded display. Now, there's quick way to do that, if you hold down your Z key on your keyboard, you'll find you have this little pie menu appear. We're currently in rendered view. We have our solid, our material preview, and a wireframe view. I'm just going to change the solid view and to do that, just drag across to the side and release the Z key. To give us a simple environment to work with, I'm going to start out as we often do with a cube. I'm going to hit Shift A, auto mesh, and we're adding in a cube. Obviously, that has been added where this 3D cursor is, which I haven't reset. I'm actually going to delete that, I'm just going to hit X to delete, I'm going to now return this 3D cursor back to the origin. We can just right-click, and snap, cursor to world origin. Now, if I hit Shift A again, I can add that key back in. Again, it's back at the origin. We want to make this cube a lot bigger, so I'm going to hit S to scale it. We're just going to scale this thing up. But I'm going to select all of those values and we're going to change that to something like 20. We will move it up in Z by 10 meters, which means our ground plane is now aligned with our origin. Now, obviously, we have some sharp corners on this environment, and I want to get rid of them. What I'm actually going to do is add a bevel modifier. We have to remember that we need to reset the scale. I'm going to hit Control A and apply my scale. Now, I can adjust this amount value and increase this number of segments to round out the edge there. I'm going to increase this amount quite a bit. Somewhere around there should be good, I'm just going to increase the segments again slightly, then right-click, Shade Smooth. That just smooths out this background just a little bit more. Just these values, just a little bit more, to give us that smooth fall off. At the moment, there's no material assigned to this, so we're going to go into our shading view. We just have this default gray color. I'm going to add in a new material and we're going to give this, again, a yellowish color, slightly different to the swing. Somewhere around that is all right. That should do. Let's call this World. We'll jump back into our layout view. Now, I'm going to rename this from Cube to Environment. Now, we should be ready to add it in some lights. Again, I can turn on my render preview and you can see now we are casting shadows from this light onto the ground, but everything is rather dark at the moment. Now, as we're adding our lights, we want to really see what our final scene looks like from the camera point of view. What we're going to do is actually split this viewport. I'm going to go over to the side here, right-click, we're going to to add in a vertical split, bring it across here, and we're going to change this view to our camera view. We can just click on this little camera icon if you want. I'm going to hide my toolbar by hitting T, and hide the side panel by hitting N. We don't really want all of these extra distractions in this view, so we can actually just turn off all these overlays here but we do want to say this in rendered preview. You can see here these icons, the one is missing. We can actually drag this out to be able to see that if that viewport is too small or if you remember, we can actually hit the Z key and we can just change into the rendered view that way. Now, we've got a bit of space around the side of our camera view here. We can actually just hit the Home key when in the camera view, and that will frame it up nicely for us. 22. Lighting the Scene: We're now ready to work on the lighting in our scene. I'm just going to hit the "End key" to hide that palette at the side, and select the light object here in the outliner. In the Properties panel, you can see down at the bottom we've got this little light bulb icon. If I click on that, that will show the properties for a currently selected light. In Blender, we have a number of different light types that we can switch between. By default, we have what's called a point light and that will radiate light out in all directions. By selecting one of these options, we can switch the type of the light. If I switch from the point light to a spotlight, for example, and by clicking on this little arrow, I can adjust the angle of the spotlight. You can see, we create this focused light effect. I can also change to an area light. What that does is it gives us a shapes light that will actually cast nice soft shadows on the scene. We can adjust the shape to affect the look of the light. Finally, we have one more light type which is the sun. But you see, if I click on that, it's not really giving us the effect that we expect. The reason for that is the sunlight casts from an infinite point in the distance, rather than from this point in space here. What that means is because we created our environment as a cube, the light is shining onto the outside of the cube and is not properly illuminating the scene. You can see that if we go into the outliner and just turn off our environment, now we can see the effect of the sunlight on the rest of our scene. The effect of the light is quite strong at the moment. If I just go in here and adjust that down to 10, we can actually see the color of the scene again now. How do we get an environment in here? What we need to do is switch back on our cube. We're going to need to take the top inside out of this cube. To do that, I'm actually just going to switch this viewport back to our solid shaded view, so we can see things a bit more easily. I'm going to deselect the cube, hit the period key on the numpad to frame it up. We're going to go into edit mode. So I hit tab. I want to be in face-like mode, so for that I hit the three key on the keyboard. I deselect everything and I'm going to select these two faces and the one on the top and hit the x key to delete. Then I'm going to pick faces from the menu that pops up. You can see that's deleted these sides and the top but the sunlight's still being caught by this wall. What I'm going to do is hit tab to get back out, and I'm just going to scale this up a little bit more. Before I do that, what I'm actually going to do is move this origin point back down to the origin of the scene. To do that, right-click, pick set origin to 3D cursor. Now, we can add S to scale and we can scale this up a little bit and then I'm going to actually scale it vertically down. I'm going to hit ''S'' and ''Z'' just to drop it down, so that the walls are no longer blocking out the sunlight. If I select my sun object and rotate it, you'll see that we get a nice end result. Now I'm just going to hit the ''G'' key to move this, move it somewhere over to the side. This sunlight is going to form what we call our key light or main light within the scene. We can adjust its angle and you can see the shadows in the camera view pole on the left there. We can adjust them to a position that we're happy with, somewhere around there should be okay. Now we can then go in and we can play with the color of the lights as well. We can add a little bit of a tint to this, maybe a slightly warmer color to the light. The other value that you can see in here, this angle, if I set that back to zero, you'll see we get very sharp shadows here, as if it's very direct sunlight. If we increase this angle a little bit, we can actually create a softer shadow effect. At the moment in this preview, the effect of the soft shadow is not very clear but in our final render there'll be a lot more detail and we'll be able to see that fall off nicely. I'm going to adjust this down, maybe to around five degrees, something like that. Now, this gives us a good basic light for the scene. But you can see we have some very dark shadows underneath everything. We want to add what's called a fill light, which is going to add a little bit of extra light in, to the bottom of some of these objects. To do that, I'm going to add an extra light object. As usual, hit ''Shift A'' to add an object. This time we want to get down to light. I'm going to add in an area light. Obviously that has being created here at the origin, so I'm just going hit "G'', to move that off to the side, and up in the there a little bit. I take that until it's pointing up towards our frame. In order to properly see the effect of this, we can actually switch off all other lightening scenes. I'm going to go up to the outliner, just to make things nice and clear, I'm going to selector original light, I'm going to rename that as "Key light". Our new light that we've just created, I'm going to call that "Fill light". One feature of this outliner to help with the organization, is we can use what we call collections. To add a new collection, we can just click on this button up at the top here. We can rename our collection. I'm going to call this lights, and then we can select our key light and our fill light and we can just drag them onto that lights collection. That will allow us to enable and disable them all at once. In order to properly see the effect of our fill light, I'm going to disable my key light in the viewport. You can see now, the effect of our fill light. But what we're also seeing, is the effect of an ambient light within the scene. If I turn off my fill light as well, you can see we can still see everything. Now in order to change that, we need to go to a world settings. If I click on this little icon here, we have a number of properties here for the surface of the background, we have a color here and the strength value. If I take that strength value and dial it all the way down to zero, you can see now that we have a completely dark scene. If I re-enable my key light, you can see now that we have a nice bright light, but the shadows are even darker because they are not being filled in by that ambient light. If I turn strength back up again, you can see the effect that that has. We want to actually add some light into these shadows ourselves manually and that's what our fill light is for. I'm going to turn off this key light for a minute and re-enable my fill light. You can see now the true effect of that fill light. It's obviously not powerful enough, so we're going to select our light here and go to our light properties again. You can see here we have power of our light, which is currently set to 10 watts, I'll increase that to something like a 1,000. You see now we've got a far stronger light. We're now going to reposition that light. So I'm going to rotate it around a little bit and just move it off to the side here. Move it a little bit closer. This is angle. We're trying to add light in obviously to the underside of some these parts of the frame. I can adjust the size just by clicking on these little handles here. At the moment this is set to a square shape. We can change that over here. If I change this from square to rectangle, this now gives me a bit more control over the shape of it, so I can actually pull this out just a bit to make sure that I'm casting light from the side a little bit more. I'm going to rotate this around and just move it a little bit further across. You can see I'm now actually adding a bit more fill light in to the sides and underneath here. Now if I re-enable my key light, you can see we have a much bright to scene. We've got rid of these harsh shadows that are underneath, if I temporarily disable my fill light again, you can see the effect of that is having. So we've got a far more evenly lit seen him. I do feel like that this fill light is perhaps a little too bright, so I'm just going to come in here and dial it down a little bit. Maybe drop it down to somewhere around 500. We are going to add some light in but without overpowering our key light. Again, without fill light and with the fill light. Now because we have this yellow frame on the yellow background, what's quite nice to do with add in another light, just to get a little bit of a bright rim to this and pick it out from the background. We can do that by selecting our fill light, just hitting Shift D to duplicate it and we'll move it over behind the frame and rotate it around, so it'd be a bit further away. Make sure this is fairly broad and lift it up a little bit. Positioning the lights can take a little bit of trial and error to get the effect that you're wanting. Aim here really is to have a light that is behind the object, that's just going to cast a bright rim onto everything. If I just move this up a little bit, I'm now going to disable the fill light and the key light. I'll double-click on this and rename it to rim light and we can see its effect. We can see now we've got this little bit of a highlight on the edges. I'm actually going to increase its strength, try a 1,000 as a starting point. I'm going to rotate this up a little bit. See now we're picking out the edges quite nicely, I can actually push this bit higher. So really getting a nice, bright edge to everything now. I'm just going to rotate this around a little bit more, and maybe across. We'll see how that looks as we add in our key light and our fill lights. One thing I'm not so keen on is this edge that you can see in the background here. I'm actually going to select my environment again. I'm going to go back to the modifies tab. If you remember, we scale this object up, but we didn't apply the scaling again, so I'm going to hit Control A, apply the scale and there you go that smoothed it there out, that was a bit more. I can still adjust that amount a little bit more, get nice rounded edge here. Gives us far smoother fall off. What I'm also going to do to avoid this highlight here, is I'm going to rotate this environment around a little bit, something like that, that seems to work. This rim light still probably bit too strong on the edge here. So I'm going to knock that back again, try 1,500. I'm going to apply a color to it so it's not quite so white. I'm going to go with something a little bit more of a yellow light in here, I think. I'm also going to change the color of the fill light and we're going to make that a little bit more blue. What we intend to find is that shadow colors are a lot cooler than the main color from the sunlight. Perhaps that's too much. Let's pull it back a bit. There we are. I'm going to adjust this rim lights a little bit more, add just like a little bit more of an edge visible up here. We're going to disable those other lights again. Let's just adjust our lighter further, there we go. Let's try 2,000. I think we'll leave that there, don't forget save your scene. 23. Render a Still with EEVEE: Up to now we've been working with this low resolution preview. It's now time to actually render out an image. To do that, we first need to make sure that our settings are correct. If we go over into the properties panel, we click on this little camera icon here. This is where we have all the settings for our render engine. At the moment, this is set to the EEVEE render engine, which is a real time rendering engine, which is why we're able to see our rendered image in the viewport so quickly. Now we can enable a few extra features within this panel here. If we turn on screen space reflections, you'll see that actually gives us a much nicer result where all of the objects are interacting with each other and lights bouncing off them little bit better. We also have some other effects that we can enable. Ambient occlusion, will add sharper contact shadows underneath things which helps ground things a little bit more. Bloom side, a bloom effect if we want to around the lights, and the leave that off for now. Before we render out our finished image, we need to get to our output settings. This little printer icon, if we click on that, we can set the resolution of our final image. It's currently set to 1920 by 1080, and we'll leave it at that. We have a frame rate setting for our animation, 24 frames per second is the default, and we can believe that. Then this output area defines where we'll save out our animation falls when we render them. But for now, we don't need to worry about that. Instead, to render out an image, we simply go up to the random menu at the top, and we can click render image or we can hit F12. When we do that, this render result window opens up, and we can see our final render. Now, if we want to save this image onto a hard drive, we can go up to the Image menu, and we can click, "Save As". We can then choose a folded savings into, we can add a new folder if we want to. I'm just going to call this "Images", and we have all output settings on the side here. We can save as different formats, PNG is fine. We can change its color depth, and whether it's an RGB image or an RGB image with an alpha channel. Because we're not saving this with a transparent background, then an RGB image is absolutely fine. Then at the bottom we'll set a name for it. I'm just going to call this "Test Render 1", and save it out. 24. Class Update: Rendering in Cycles: As I mentioned at the start of the class, Blender 3 introduced a major change to the way that the Cycles render engine works. This change has led to significant speed improvements and it comes with an entirely new approach. Previously, Blender used a tower-based approach for rendering. As the [inaudible] was rendered, individual tiles will be worked on, eventually forming the final image. For Blender 3, new rendering optimizations mean that a progressive rendering approach is now applied. With this system the image will appear in its entirety, but will initially be very noisy. Gradually over time, the image will resolve and the noise level will reduce. With this new approach, we can now control the quality of our image in a number of different ways. We can set a maximum number of samples, noise threshold, or time limit for the render. Covering all of these options is beyond the scope of this course. Instead, we're going to adopt a simple sample-based approach similar to that which is available in Blender 2.9. In the following lesson made him Blender 2.9, I adjust the number of Cycles render samples to 64 and enable denoising. When using Blender 3, you can adopt the same approach to achieve the same quality of result in less time. If you're using Blender 3 or higher when you reach the relevant point in the next lesson, first we need to disable the noise threshold options. Then, you can simply change the viewport samples to 32, render samples to 64, and also just check that the render denoising has been enabled. After that, the only other difference you'll notice whilst taking the next lesson is the render will now be progressive rather than tower-based. 25. Render a Still with Cycles: Now, we rendered this with the EEVEE render engine. We have another render engine within blender called Cycles, which will actually give a more realistic lighting result. To compare the two images, we can actually load up two images within this viewer. We have what are called slots up at the top here. We are currently in slot 1. If I change the slot 2, when we render a new image, it will appear here and we'll be able to flip between the two. For now, leave it selected on slot 2 and close this viewer. What we're going to do now is we're going to go into the render properties and we're going to change this render engine from EEVEE to Cycles. When we do that, you'll be able to see that this view port changes quite a bit. We have this very noisy image which takes a little time to resolve. That's because the render engine works differently. It takes a lot longer to render something with the Cycles render engine, but you'll get far nicer end results. Obviously, this finished rendered image is still very noisy. The reason for that is, the viewport samples here are set relatively low at 32. Our default render samples are 128, which will give us a far more detailed result. But in addition to that, even at 128 samples, we may end up with a lot of noise in our shadows. To get around that, we have a feature called denoising. If I open up this little drop down here, we can enable denoising for our rendered result or for a viewport. For now, I'm going to leave the viewport as it is and just enable it in the render. I'm also going to reduce the number of render samples from 128 to just 64. That will give us more samples than our viewport, but still hopefully sufficient to get smooth result once we have the denoising enabled. Now, to see the end results, as before, we can simply pick render image from the Render menu or hit F12. Now, we can see our image rendering, and this would take a lot longer than our EEVEE render. You can see as the process goes, that we have a noisy image, and then the denoiser runs over the top and smoothens out that noisy image. Now, depending on the power of your computer, this might take quite a while to render or it might be relatively quick. I just give a couple of minutes and we'll see an end result. Then we have our finished rendered image. If you want to compare the two, we can jump between slot 1 and slot 2. To do that, you can also use the number one and 2 keys on your keyboard. I think it's fairly obvious that our EEVEE render is a lot darker and the shadows, whereas a Cycles render has lot more bounce light, which is filling in those shadows nicely, the colors are bleeding into one another, and overall creates are far more pleasing image. Obviously, we have a trade off here between an image that renders almost instantly, one that takes a lot longer, but looks a lot better. Again, we can go to our Image menu, click "Save As" and save this image out. Because we saved our lost images test render 1, we can just hit this little plus icon and save it out as test render 2, and close the viewer. 26. Render Animation with EEVEE: That's how we create a single image. If we want to render out our full animation, we can go over into the output settings again, this little printer icon, and now we need to pick a directory to save this into. I'm just going to pick the same directory that we've just saved those two individual images into, the coolest animation, and Accept. Since we're saving out an animation, we can save out a movie file. But if we do that and the render crashes partway through, we'll end up with nothing. So when rendering an animation, it's actually useful to render out a sequence of images, and then we can save those images as a final movie file at the end. In order to do that, we're going to leave the file format set to PNG. We're going to change this to RGB, and we can leave our other settings the same. Now so that we can get a quick result, I'm going to switch this over to the EEVEE render engine, and then we're going to do a test render of our animation sequence. To render our results, we go up to the render menu, we can now pick Render Animation. Now you can see up at the top here that is rendering out each of our frames. This will take few minutes to do. With the image sequence complete, we can now view our end result. Let's close down our render window, and under the render menu, we can click on View Animation. That will open up a new window, which will play through our finished animation. It's placed on this window again. Now, if you open up your file system, you'll be able to find all of the images that we've just rendered out, whereas we could view them in Blender as an animation sequence that we were able to play. If we want to save this as a video file that we were able to share with other people, we're going to need to combine these images into a final sequence. You can do that with any piece of editing software, but we can also do that within Blender. I'm going to show you the process for that now. If we go up to the top of the workspace, you can see this little plus icon, and that allows us to add in an additional workspace. On the video editing, we can pick the video editing workspace. Now we need to load in our rendered images as a sequence. We go down to the bottom here we can see the sequencer panel. If we hit the Add Menu here, we can go down to image sequence. It'll open up this file browser and we can find all images that we've just rendered out. You can see they're all listed here. If I select the first one, scroll down the list and select the final image in our sequence. Let's see, we have all of the images here, and if I click Add Image Strip, that'll be added into this sequencer. I can scrub through and I can see my animation up at the top here, all of the rendered files. Now what we can also do is we can select this image strip here, and we can duplicate that in the same way as anything else in Blender. We just hit Shift E and we drag this out. I'm going to put that at the end here, I'm going to then do the same again, and I'm going to add an extra couple of sequences there. If I script to the end of this, you can see that our final frame down at the bottom here is frame 156, but we're actually only going to be saving out frames 1-39. I need to change this end frame to 156 and hit Enter, and then we'll be able to save out this looping animation. Now, in order to output this, we use our same output settings, we can see up at the top here. But we need to change this from the PNGs that we rendered out originally, we need to change that file format and we leave the directory the same. I'm going to save it in the same place, but I'm going to change this file format from PNG to a movie file. I'm going to pick FFmpeg, then under encoding, scroll down, I'm going to change that container type to an MPEG-4, and then the other options should be fine to be left as default. With those properties set, we can now go back up to our render menu and pick render animation one more time. Again, this is going to open up our render result window, and it's going to play through the animation and render it out into a movie file. Once that render is complete, if we jump back into a file system, you can see that we have created a new movie file down at the bottom here, and if we open that, we can play it through and we have a final looping animation. 27. Render Animation with Cycles: So obviously we've rendered that out with the Eevee render engine. If you actually would like a high-quality end result, you can go ahead and repeat those last few steps using the Cycles Render engine to get an even cleaner result. So to do that, I'm just going to switch back to my layout workspace, and now I'm going to change my render engine from Eevee over to Cycles. Now I need to go my output settings, because we have to set to FFmpeg and we don't want to leave it on that because if the render crashes partway through, we will lose all of our rendered files. So we need to change that back to PNG. Again, we're going to render our sequence. If we leave this set as is, then it will overwrite our existing sequence. So I'm good to go in and I'm going to actually change that filename because we don't want to overwrite this existing sequence. I will just call this cycles animation and hit "Accept." Now before we render this out, we actually need to go back to our video editing workspace. Because if we click Render Animation, it's just going to render out the sequence here. So we actually need to select what is in our sequencer and remove it. So I just hit X to remove it. We need to change our N frame back to frame 39 and hit Enter. Now we can get back to our layout workspace, save our scene, and then hit Render Animation. Now go off and make a cup of tea and come back in a little while to see your finished animation. There we are, all of our friends now rendered and if we open up a file browser, we can see that we have our cycles animation sequence here, as well as our original animation sequence. So we can now close down our render window, jump into the video editing tab, and we can add that sequence, so add image sequence, scroll down until we find our cycles animation, select the first frame, and shift select the last frame in the sequence. So we've got a whole cycle sequence there. Click "Add Image strip" and see if we scrub through, that's our animation. Once again, we can select this shift D to duplicate, further out, and we'll add another couple of loops of the sequence there as well. Get to our final frame in our sequence. You can see its frame 156. So we need to change our end frame to 156. We then need to go up to our Output Settings and we will change our file format again to FFmpeg. Change the container to mpeg-4. Now the settings are fine. So now we can go up to our Render Animation. We'll just give this a minute to run through and it should save out our animation as a movie file. Okay. Our sequence render has now completed. I can close down this window. If we can open up a file browser, we should see that we now have our cycles animation set out as a movie file. There we have it. 28. Final Thoughts: Now we have it, your first 3D-animated scene. I really hope that you've enjoyed this class and now have a better understanding of the fundamentals of Blender. Obviously, we've only just touched on character animation in this class. but by now you should have all of the software essentials that you need to go on throughout the rest of the series and really get stuck into learning character animation. Hopefully, you've been following along with the class and now you have a class project to share, so don't forget to upload it to the class project gallery. I'd really love to see what you've managed to create. While you're at it, why don't you check out my profile page where you can find out a little bit more about me? You can follow me to be notified of any new classes as they're released. Thanks for joining me in this Skillshare class. I've really enjoyed teaching it, and I hope to see you again soon.