Animate a 3D Photo Collage in Blender: Fly Through and 360° Experience | Lucas Ridley | Skillshare
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Animate a 3D Photo Collage in Blender: Fly Through and 360° Experience

teacher avatar Lucas Ridley, Professional Animator

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

    • 1.

      Course Introduction

      1:38

    • 2.

      Install Blender

      0:51

    • 3.

      Navigation

      3:06

    • 4.

      Import Images

      10:59

    • 5.

      Particle System

      11:49

    • 6.

      Animate Camera

      13:26

    • 7.

      Transparent Shader

      12:42

    • 8.

      Clean up

      4:01

    • 9.

      Depth of Field

      4:31

    • 10.

      Render Image Sequence

      10:40

    • 11.

      Render Movie File

      6:55

    • 12.

      Intro 360 Section

      2:50

    • 13.

      Particle Sphere

      12:05

    • 14.

      360 Render

      11:05

    • 15.

      Animated 360 Slideshow

      16:39

    • 16.

      Seamless Loop 360 Render

      5:55

    • 17.

      Next Steps

      3:21

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About This Class

Create an immersive slideshow experience with these two techniques we'll learn:

  • 3D Fly-Through Photo Collage
  • 360° Interactive Experience for YouTube & Facebook

We'll use a free 3D software called Blender to create these animated renders. The course is taught for people who have never opened 3D software. We start at the basics of navigation and with on-screen prompts and keystrokes recorded I walk you through every step of creating these 3D scenes.

This is a great way to impress your audience and cap off a great slideshow video.

Meet Your Teacher

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Lucas Ridley

Professional Animator

Teacher
Level: Beginner

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Transcripts

1. Course Introduction: Hi, my name is Lucas and I'm excited to share with you this really interesting technique to create a 3D fly through effect for your photos. We're going to do this in two ways. The first way is going to be a render that you can use in your slideshow videos and then the second way is going to be basically a 3D experience where you can upload it to Facebook or YouTube and take advantage of the 360 degree video features on Facebook and YouTube so that your audience can be immersed in the slideshow that we create. We're going to learn some Blender as well. It's a free software, so you don't have to buy anything special to do this. You can just download a free software and get started. This course is for anyone who's never opened Blender or 3D, but they've maybe made slideshows before and they want to do something different and new. Adding 3D to simple slideshow will blow everyone away and this is a pretty simple way to do it. That's why I made this course so that we can share our memories together in a more immersive way by seeing them fly at our faces. I hope you join me in this class. I had a lot of fun making it and I think it's a really cool technique that will really amp up all of your slide shows in the future. Thanks for watching. 2. Install Blender: First things first, we need to download Blender. Let's go to blender.org and download. Let me jump over to blender.org, and the current version is 2.93. The next version they're going to come out after this is 3.0. But all of the features we're going to use in Blender for this course are pretty basic and shouldn't change much from version to version. I'm going to click "Download" and then you can choose depending on what operating system you're on, which one to download. Once that's downloaded, then you can just double-click on it and go through the installation process to get it installed on your computer. Again, this is a free software, so don't be concerned about having to pay at any point in this process. I'll see you in the next lesson. Thanks. 3. Navigation: Let's open Blender for the first time. I have it pinned to my taskbar here, I can just click it and it'll open up to a splash screen which just give us shortcuts to recently opened files. If this is truly the first time you've opened Blender, you might actually have some more options here for the first time, let's say, do you want to change the mouse buttons or something like that, just leave them at their defaults. We can click anywhere in the viewport, which is this big screen here, the camera view, and that will get rid of the splash screen as soon as we left-click out of that. I am going to hit n, and then just turn on my shortcut viewer, so through the duration of the course, you can look down here on the bottom right to see what I'm pressing. In case I forget to say what it is, you will record that down here on the bottom right. Working in a 3D software can be intimidating, but we're going to slowly work through exactly the tools that we need to accomplish the project that we're going to do throughout the course so don't get overwhelmed or feel like I didn't mention one button. If I don't mention something it's because it's not that important to the project. The way I like to teach is to teach the tools as I go. I'm not going to spend a ton of time in telling you what every button does. That's pretty boring to me when I'm learning and so I would think it's boring to others. Let's cover how to navigate. Middle mouse button is what you need to know, that will tumble around by itself. If I hold down Shift and middle mouse button, it pans, and Control middle mouse button, zooms in and out. If I want another way to do that or a different way, I can use the World Access icon up here, and click and drag that around with my left mouse button to tumble around, and then use the Zoom icon to zoom in and out, and the Hand icon for panning. This button will snap us to the Render camera. As soon as I middle mouse, it will pop us out of that, and then this button will change to a orthographic view as opposed to a perspective view. Now, if I hold down Alt and middle mouse drag, it will snap to an orthographic view. I need to be middle mouse dragging and then hold Alt. If you hold Alt first, it won't do this. That's also accessible from here if you want to go to a specific orthographic view. Besides that, it's important to know, as we can see in the axis handle here, z is up and x is forward. Different softwares use different orientations of those three axes, x, y, and z. Z is up in Blender and x positive is forward. If I hover over these other little dots, it'll tell me that's negative x or negative y. That's how you navigate in the viewport. Hopefully, that helps you get a little bit more comfortable with that, and in the next lesson, we're going to start to progress, and I'm going to show you a lot more tools, how to actually work within this to create a slideshow. I will see you there. Thanks for watching. 4. Import Images: Let's get started with the meat of the project and import our images as planes. But first, we want to get rid of the default items that opens with a blender project. This is something that might change in the future. I know that's been requested by the community, but if I just Shift, select everything or I can click and drag-select the camera Cuban light. I can hit "X" on the keyboard and it'll delete them because we're going to make on our own everything. The next thing we need to do is enable an add-on called Important Images as Planes. To do that, we want to go to Edit, Preferences, Add-ons, and then just type in Import or Images, one of the two, and just make sure that's checked on. It's not checked on by default, so you have to actually do that. Once that's enabled, we have a new option here. If I hit Shift A, I get the option to add something in the viewport. I can also click the Add menu here, it's the exact same thing. I just like to start to use shortcuts to get familiar with working quicker and quickly in the program. If we go down to Image, we can see we have images as planes. That option will not show up if you don't enable that add-on we just enabled, so make sure you do that. Just as an aside, most softwares have some version of that so that the software doesn't run very slowly and enable every single plug-in and add-on possible. They leave that up to you sometimes to do that so that a software can run as efficiently as possible. That's why that's a manual enable thing. We want to import images as planes, we'll get a file browser, and we need to just browse to where those files are. Now I do want to mention that you can use video files as well, but in this course, I'm going to be using still images because that just runs faster in the program, and so it's easier for me to teach with still images, but you could also equally use video files for this instead of images. The Playback will just be much slower because it's having to calculate and play however many videos you select all at the same time. Just imagine opening up 20, 40 videos at once and hitting "Play" on all of them. It's going to slow things down, so I'm going to use still images. Before we continue, I do want to encourage you to reduce the image size. If you notice right now in the file browser, some of those images are over one megabyte, and that cause problems later on in the course because apparently, Blender is fairly unstable when it comes to memory usage and having a bunch of texture files in its memory. You want to use as small of image sizes as you can get away with. Later on in the course, to solve that problem, in-between lessons, I reduce the image size because what was happening was Blender was crashing when I was rendering my scene. Make sure that you're using small image sizes, something between 200 kilobytes and maybe 700 kilobytes, at least under one megabyte. Use images at least under one megabyte. You can do that by reducing the image size and dimensions in Krita, which is a free software, Photoshop or Lightroom. Lightroom is my favorite because you can do that for a lot of images at one time. Very quickly in Lightroom Classic, I like to import everything in the library workspace by clicking the "Import", once the photos run hit "Control A" to select everything, Right-click on any of them, go down to Export, Export. Then in the Export window, just choose where you want to save them, and then say, resize to fit the long edge 1024, and that should reduce any big files down to small file sizes as a JPEG format. Then hit "Export" and you're done. Just make sure that you're using images that aren't too big file size-wise. All right, let's continue. There's another consideration with still images in general that we want to address. I'm going to click the thumbnail view here so we can get a better view of what that is. If I look at some of these images, I can see that a few of them aren't rotated or oriented correctly. This one is rotated horizontally and it should be vertical. Now if I open this same file in Windows Explorer view and view that file, it's going to have it correct. That's just the difference between a program like Blender and an operating system like Windows, accessing the EXIF data or the metadata of that file, which is what describes how to display this image vertically, horizontally. Sometimes depending on if you're using an iPhone or maybe you process the iPhone photo through another app and then exported it, sometimes that EXIF data gets lost or changed, and so Blender doesn't know how to orient the photos correctly. There's a couple of different ways we can address this. The first is you could open up those files in a separate program like Photoshop or Krita, and then rotate them manually, and save that file out. In that save process from that photo editing software, that will give it its correct orientation EXIF data. The other way if we just want to stay in Blender and there's not a ton of these to do and we can visually see them in the thumbnail view, we can just go through and import them as on their own first. Rotate them manually, correctly, and then import the rest so that we can rotate all the bad ones by themselves without affecting the rotation of the good ones. I'm just going to go through here. Since we only have about 40, some add photos, I'm just going to Control, left-click the ones that I can see need to be rotated, and then import them first by themselves. I'm going through all these and it looks like there's just maybe a handful of those that need that treatment. Once that's selected, I can go through and say, Import Images as Planes. But first, there's some settings here on the right you've probably noticed that we need to set up correctly first. I want to choose Emit. Emit means that it's a shader property. A shader is what is applied to geometry, which is a physical object in the 3D space, which in our case is a plane. That's the Import Images as Planes. We want to emit because I don't want us to have to mess with lights and shadows. By using an emitting shader, we won't have to worry about the brightness or shadows being cast on other images in the scene. We want to choose Emit, and then we can untick, use Alpha just because I know there's an Alpha on these images, meaning there's no transparency. It's just unnecessary connection, it will make on a material. It's totally a preference. You don't have to click that one, but you do need to click "Emit". Then we don't want to offset the planes. For whatever reason, default will bring in each image separated out from the other. We just want them all stacked on top of each other, so I'm going to untick that one. Then I want to go down to orientation and align to the X positive axis here because as I mentioned earlier in the navigation lesson, X positive is forward and that's how the particle system will help orient the particles in the way that we need them later. With those settings selected now I can say Import Images as Planes. Now we can't see the images themselves, I need to turn on the Material Preview button here, or viewport shading as it's called. When I click that, it will take a second to load the images here. Now we can see that they are loaded, and in fact that they are rotated incorrectly as we expected them to be. Now, they're all stacked on top of each other, but we can see that there are multiple items here. Without left-mouse clicking anything yet they're all still selected. If you happened to click somewhere, you need to re-select them. Clicking and dragging there or clicking and dragging here. Now we just need to rotate them, so I'm going to hit "R", is the rotate tool. If I start moving my mouse, it will begin to rotate based on the plane of the camera view that we have right now. But I'm going to keep them constrained. I'm going to hit "Escape". I want to keep them constrained to the x-axis here, we can see the red line is the x-axis. So I'm going to hit "R" and then "X", and then now it's constrained to that. But I know I'm going to go 90 degrees, so I'm going to type in 90. I can see that's the wrong 90, so I'm going to type a negative 90 and then hit left-mouse button, and that will lock in that change. Now I know that all of these images are correctly oriented. Now if I wanted to go through and see each one, I could just turn off the eye icon here, and then turn on each one to make sure that they are correctly oriented as I expect them to be. Then I can click and drag the eyes to turn them all back on. Now we've seen to do the same thing for the images that are correctly oriented, so I'm going to jump back to my Favorites folder, which if you're inside a folder that you want to save as favorites, just click the "Add Favorites" or "Add Bookmark", I think is the original little button here or the plus one if you already have added a bookmark. Now I'm going to hit "A" to select all of them and then just go through and control, left-click the ones we've already imported. This way we just don't have duplicates of photos we've already imported. It can seem a bit messy, but this is just the reality and the practicality of dealing with some of the reality that most of these photos are really going to come from someone's phone, and who knows what EXIF data they're going to have. I want to make sure to cover that correctly. Now because we already set all the settings in the right panel here, those should be the same as the last time we did them. Everything should look the same way as we've already set, so we don't need to change anything there, just Import Images as Planes. It will take a second. They should pop up here under this collection. Now all the images are stacked up on top of each other, they're in this collection here, which is just a way to organize things in Blender. Now we can move on to actually creating the 3D space and placing these correctly. It's a bit tedious to get set up, but hopefully, this has been explained well enough so you feel comfortable doing it yourself. I'll see you in the next lesson. Also know that you can download these project files in the course files that come along with this. I'm going to do this on an incremental basis. If at any point you get stuck, you can go back to that lesson file and open that one by itself. All right, thanks for watching. 5. Particle System: Now that we have all the images in, let's create the emitter that we need to place these images in 3D space very quickly and easily. We are not hand-moving each one around. Now if you wanted to do that, you could. You could duplicate each one of these by hitting Shift D and G as the move tool, and you could manually place each one of these by clicking them, hitting G, and moving. Of course you can constrain in an axis. If I want to move in x, I can hit G and then x and then move it back. I'm going to hit Escape. You can also constrain by hitting G and then middle mouse holding down and it will snap to an axis as well. But we don't want to do that. We want to have a more automatic and easy procedural way to apply all of these images to our scene. I'm just going to undo that by hitting Control and Undo. I also want to make sure that I have on my shortcut here so that you can see what I'm doing. Now we need to create the emitter. The emitter needs to live outside of our collection of images. I need to create a new collection. I'm going to right-click in the Outliner and say New Collection. With that outliner, Collection 2 selected, in the Viewport, I'm going to hit Shift A, or click up here in the Add menu, and we need to add a mesh. This is going to be our emitter. I'm going to select Cube, and then I hit S, that is for scale. I'm going to scale it up just a little bit. I want to scale in the x, so I want to constrain in the x. I'm going to hit S and X, and that will constrain in that axis, and hit Left-click to confirm that scale. We can change this later on. This doesn't have to be a final decision. That's why it's so nice to work procedurally, is because you didn't change your mind about something you did at step 1, when you're at step 100, and it should still filter through all the steps you've already done, and continue to work. That's what I mean by procedural and why we don't have to confirm all these changes just yet. Let's just get everything to a good starting point, and then we can massage all the values and stuff. We need to create a particle system attached to this mesh. With the mesh selected here, let's start to look at this properties panel here that we haven't talked much about yet. We have the object properties. Every time that we select something different, these will be applying to the selection only, all of these here. Everything above this is more for the project settings and the scene settings, and we'll get to later on when we're rendering. All this stuff doesn't matter what we have selected because it's going to apply all of these settings to the whole project and the whole scene. With cube selected, we can see an object properties here. If we just leave our mouse hovered over it, it tells us what that is. We can see we have the cube selected. We want to go down to the particle properties. When we select that icon, we get this empty window because we don't have particles yet. I'm going to create some by hitting the Plus button. Now we created a particle system. If I just hit Spacebar, you'll be able to see all of those particles raining down off of the faces of the cube. That's pretty cool. But we want the images to be attached to those particles now. Instead of particles, we want images to be there, and the images that we've already imported. Let's start to do that now. I'm going to go through each one of these a little bit and we'll probably revisit some of them as we go through step-by-step. I just wanted to show you some progress here before we revisit one. Because I don't want to be explaining something that we'll do it step 8, even though it's ordered, emission's the first thing, but we'll come back to it later. Anyway. Let's go down to the source. We need to tell it where to emit from. We don't want to emit from the faces of this thing. We want to emit from the interior. We want a volume. We want to go to emit from volume. Then we'll revisit that in a moment. But if I was just to show that change, you'll see now when the cameras on the inside, there's a lot more particles being emitted from the inside as opposed to the faces. Now that we have that chosen, let's tell it to use the images instead of particles. I'm going to go down to render, and render as halo, I want to choose Collection. I'm going to go down to collection, and then under Instance Collection, I want to choose the collection that only has our images. That's why we made a separate collection earlier just for the cube so that we can select something like this, and it's not going to try to spawn a bunch of cubes somewhere. One little goofy default value is, the scale for the collection is 0.05 of its original scale. That's not super helpful for us. That's why every image you see in here now is so tiny. Let's change that to one. We can see that everything is oriented in the wrong way. Let's go down and choose Object Orientation so that it adopts the orientation that it currently has in our scene. That's why we spent some time making sure everything was rotated correctly when we were importing them. Now we see everything is where we want it to be. But part of the problem if we go back up to the source, Distribution, jittered, basically means scattered. But, you can see something we might get are images being, well, those are source images, which we can actually turn off now because now we've connected them up. We can just click this checkbox to get rid of the original images so that we're only looking at the particle ones. But depending on how many we spawn or emit, sometimes you can get images stacked right on top of each other and it gives us this weird artifact. Let's avoid that by creating a grid system. Now if we zoom out, we can't see the particles yet because the emitter is still visible. Let's quickly solve that by going down to viewport display, and turn off show emitter so we can see the changes we're about to have. It's going to jump back to the beginning again. I want to turn on the grid. We were just talking about jittered and how images can stack on each other. This is going to solve that here. We're going to turn on, grid. When I play back, these should be displayed in a grid fashion. Now next problem. Every time we make a new change we encounter the next thing we need to fix. All of the physics are still on. Gravity is on, everything is still falling down. We want our particles to stay where they're at. For this case, at least, you can change all of these settings if you want them to move around based on physics or turbulence. But for the project itself, just to keep it simple, we want everything to stay where it's at. Let's turn off some of the, not the physics, rather the Field Weights. That's where we can get to all of the gravity and the all setting here. Now when we play back, we'll be able to see now everything is in a grid fashion, but is coming in a successive form because that's based off of the start and the end frame. If we go up to the start and end frame here under emission, we can change that from start on frame 1 and end on frame 1. That will mean that as soon as we go back, hitting the back arrow here, everything will be emitted not in a succession, but immediately on frame 1. Down we hit Play, because we turn off physics, everything will just stay there. I'm going to hit back. The reason why they all disappear at the same time is because of the lifetime is set so low. I'm just going to turn that up to 1,000, just to make sure that that's 1,000 frames, that when we play back, they're not just going to disappear. Now they're stacking on top of each other quite a bit. We can actually just change the scale of the images. Back down, remember of where we created the render here, and we changed that default. We could just scale the images down, so they're not overlapping each other. The other thing we need to take into account is that, they're all lined up like soldiers. They're all in a row. We want to create randomness there. We can do that with a random value here. Under source, we can increase the randomness. Let's go back to the beginning. We can see that now that randomness is in play and we'll actually see it in real time, so I can increase it. Using the grid system, and then adding randomness, make sure that we're not stacking images right on top of each other, like the jitter one was doing or could do for us. That's one way to deal with that and then quickly change the scale of everything. We can go back up, now that things are in z-depth space a little bit. We can increase maybe the scale depending on how dense you want it. You might want to be able to, and I would encourage you, maybe have them scaled down enough that you can see a few layers deep because this effect is most impressive when you get the sense that you're flying through a 3D space. As we're flying through, we can see that we're moving past things and not just a single wall, it's like everything is floating in 3D space. That's why you would want to scale the images down a little bit. Essentially what we're going to do in the next few lessons is, we'll first animate the camera, and then create a shader that is based on that camera position so that the images will fade out the closer the camera gets to them so that we're never popping through an image. You can see if I control middle mouse drag through, the frame gets completely filled with this image and it pops to the next. An effect that I like and discover through this process of making my own was that we could actually fade out the image based on the proximity it is to the camera, through a material. That's going to be a fun thing we can adjust and it's going to be procedural as well. We can accordion style change that, what the distance is fading from the camera. Because this in effect breaks the illusion a little bit, we're flying through space because for that entire time that we have this entire thing on screen, it looks we're scaling up a single image and not that we're flying in 3D space until we pop through, and then now we get to do it all over again. I'm going to try to avoid that. Of course, once we start animating the camera, you could animate the camera to find a clean line through this. But that can create a lot of jitteriness and see sick motion if you're trying to constantly move the camera into the empty space. Explaining all that, that's the why behind what we're doing and I'm going to show you this cool material we can create that will solve all those problems for us. Now we've gotten familiar to these settings and how to create a particle system that works for the purposes that we need of creating a fly through a 3D photo collage. The next few lessons we're going to finish this up, and then move on to the advanced version of creating something that can work with the 360 degree properties that you can get in Facebook and YouTube videos. But this one is perfect for adding into a slideshow video after the fact. We're going to render out a movie of this camera animating, doing this. I will see you in next lesson. Thanks for watching. Yeah, let's keep going. 6. Animate Camera: In this lesson, we're going to create an animated camera so that we can fly through the volume of particles that we've created of images. I'm going to make sure that I have the correct collection selected because I want the camera to be added to that collection. I choose the collection 2 or the cube, and if we hit ''Shift A'' and create a camera now by clicking "Camera", we can see that it gets added to that collection. If I hit ''Period'' on the numpad, or if I go to "View" I can just backup to show the shortcut too. View, Frame Selected, it will view up on that camera we can see there. Now, I wanted to start at the front of the volume, so I'm just going to hit ''G'' and then ''X'' to constrain it on the x-axis as I move it back. Now as I look through the camera here, I can see that its offset a little bit, so I want to be able to rotate that to the correct view. Let me just turn back on the shortcut here so you can see what we're doing. I can hit ''Period'' on the numpad to frame up on it. I can hit ''0'' on the numpad to look through it. If you don't have a keyboard that has a numpad, you can just go back and use this shortcut here, Set Active Object as Camera, that will jump to the camera view itself, so let's show that View, Cameras, Set Active Object as Camera. I want to get this pointed at the volume, so I'm just going to hit ''N'' on the keyboard to pull up the transform properties here, clicking on the item tab, and I can see where it is in space translation wise, and then the rotation. I want to get those on nice even numbers of 90 and 0 and 90. Now we're pointed right at the volume. You can see that there's a bit of a gap here on the left and right side. All I need to do is go to the emitter, the cube, hit scale ''S'' and then I don't want to scale on Y, which is this direction. I can see if I just escape out of that for a second, the Y is left and right this way on the screen. If I hit ''S'' and then ''Y'', I'm only scaling in that direction. Imagine if you were doing this by hand, that would take a very long time to move 1,000 photos and scale them proportionally away from each other. That's the advantage of doing this procedurally, and using the particle system, that's why we're doing it this way. We can make changes like that on the fly and it updates everything. I want to see this render view, and I want to see the view of this whole space, so I want to make another viewport. I just need to go up in the top right, move my mouse until I get the cross hairs, and then click and drag that out. Now I have a separate viewport, middle mouse button down to pop out of that view, and now I have the render view. We can see the film gate here is the brighter area, and that's what I was scaling earlier to, that little line there, that's the difference of what's going to be rendered and what isn't. Now we can set a keyframe on our camera and fly this thing through the volume. I'm going to select the camera, click ''Drag It'', make sure I'm on frame 1, go back to that frame, and hit ''I'' on the keyboard, and then choose "Location and Rotation." We can see there's a little yellow dot here, that is a keyframe. Then we can click anywhere to de-select it, we don't want to keep that keyframe selected and accidentally move it or something. I'm going to drag this all the way to maybe like, let's add frame 500. I just clicked on "End" here and then typed in a new end frame. Then I can click the little Grey button of this Grey slider, and then just drag that out so we can zoom out on the timeline, and then drag maybe to 50 frames before the end or something, and then move that camera to have the end position of where it's going to end. I just want to move my camera here so that I can see where I'm moving it to. I'm going to hit ''G'' and then ''X'' so it constraints to the x-axis, and then just move it all the way. Now I'm looking at the left side of the screen and I just want to get it right past the last photo, and then left mouse button click to confirm that. We don't have auto key key which is this little button right here, so we need to hit ''I'' again, and then hit "Location and Rotation" and then we can see we got a little yellow keyframe there. Now I can scrub the timeline out or hit the back arrow, and then hit ''Spacebar'' to play this, and I can watch in the viewport the timing of the fly-through and how fast it's going through it. If I like that speed or don't like that speed, all I have to do is just move the keyframes around. What I can do if we want more time, I can just click and drag that keyframe later, and I can add more time, maybe 600 frames, if we think it's going too fast. Whatever is comfortable or how long your volume is, it depends on how you scaled it. Yours might not be the same frame numbers as mine, so you just need to get a sense of that timing of how fast it's scaling. If you did want to navigate and not just do a straight shot all the way through, you could pick somewhere here in the middle, scrub somewhere. If you wanted to see specific photos, you could hit ''G'' and then move the camera and frame up something specific and then do that and then hit a keyframe ''I'', "Location and Rotation", so now we have two points that it's going to be flying through. Let me go go through the timeline, a few of those, but I would just caution you that don't do too much of that because it can get to be a lot, especially depending on how fast your camera's moving. It can be a lot for the viewer to try to keep up with where everything is flying. That's why like the straight shot because there's no disorienting the viewer with like being on a roller coaster, like not being prepared. They don't know if they're going to go right or left next. But if you just stay straight, there's the expectation they can take everything in a little bit easier. That is how you animate a camera. Now, the next thing we want to do is to avoid this popping thing that's going on when we go through a photo. We can actually add a new material to this so that we don't get that effect, what we can actually fade off the photos. Now, the other thing I did want to say, it's maybe a nice thing to consider, to add an image right at the end. It's not a part of the particle system, so that we can frame up on something like an end photo, or like if this was like an in memoriam, or whatever it is, you can have one final photo to focus in on. We can hit ''Shift A''. This is the easiest way, instead of like trying to duplicate something that we've already hidden. Just bring in a new version of that photo. Of course it's probably better it fit the frame better if it's a landscape type of a orientation photo. Let's just choose one. Where's the one? This is a good one. Import images as planes. With that one selected, I can just hit ''G'' and then ''X'' and then move it back. We can end on this frame, G and Z, and just move it up. If we wanted to, we could do some type. Blender is not super great with type. You actually have to load your own fonts in. If we hit ''Shift A'', we can go to text, but they're only by default. Maybe there's changes in the future, I hope it does, because it's pretty bad. You can see this type icon. If we go to that, we can get to all of these attributes for what the text actually is. Again, it's a bit wonky where you have to load in your own fonts, and this is a bit of a different, we're going off the deep end here. But let me just show you how this works very quickly. I'm just going to hide everything else and then frame up on the text by hitting "Period." We can see that we have the text, and we're going to be stuck with this font. You can Google how to load your own fonts here, it happens here. It's super wonky and frustrating. Blender doesn't access the fonts on your computer. Anyway, to be able to edit this and actually type in we need to hit ''Tab'' and then we can just start typing like normal. I'm just going to say, Dudley, and then I'm going to hit ''Tab'' to confirm that selection. Then all I need to do is just I can extrude this out a little bit to give it a 3D quality, and then rotate it on X by hitting "X" and then just hitting "90" on the keyboard, and then I can show everything back again, and then just move this back to that last photo which is back here, so G, and then X, and then slide this back, and then I need to rotate it in Z, so R and Z, and 90. Then I need to scale it down. We're just getting all this position correctly. G and then G again, and this view, and then S, scale it down. This is just something you can do. It's not a must-do thing, but it might be cool. The other thing you do real quick is just add a new material if you want this to be a different color. Just say new and then it'll take a second, and then we can choose a different color for this. I don't know like a blue. What goes good with green? Red? Now we have a 3D text at the end of our slideshow. That was on the fly teaching there. I got that idea after the fact. But anyway, I just wanted to show you things around blender as well as we go through this options. Of course we get to increase the extrusion here, whatever we want to do. Anyway, I don't want to get too far off the main goal here. Now what we've done is created an animated camera. We've added text, we've added an end image for us, and now we just need to adjust the materials of all these images so that they fade out instead the camera popping through. The last thing I do want to bring up. Let me just click and drag on this border here so we can bring up this, and then we change the timeline to actually be the Graph Editor. If you are familiar with animation, maybe you've worked in After Effects or something like that, and you're familiar with what curves are, this is how you access the Graph Editor. You can just get through this button, and then of course we can go back to the timeline if we want. But it's a nice way to navigate and just swap out windows as we need them to be different things. But if you want to do adjust the curves, you would do that here. I could hold down Control and just bring that in if maybe it starts too slow. I'm changing the curve so now it starts a bit faster, and it ends a lot slower. This is basically time versus speed, or value change, and the value for us is X, which is the red curve here. That is just a quick introduction to how you can adjust the curves to holding down Control so it can snap, because we don't want to go do something like this, that will go past where we want and then back. Let me just show you. We're going past and then it'll come back. That's what that curve does. That's why we want to keep it flat, and by holding down Control is a nice way when you start. I've already messed it up so I'm going to hit "Undo". When I click it, again, I want to just hit ''Control'' and then I can snap move it in after I start moving. That's one way to adjust the curves, and the ease in and ease out. If things are starting to slow and ending too slow, that's how you would adjust that as well. In the next lesson, let's start to create this custom material so that we can fade out each image the closer it gets to the camera as the camera flies through the volume. Thanks for watching. I'll see you in the next lesson. 7. Transparent Shader: In this lesson, we're going to create that material I've been referring to, which is camera distance dependent. Meaning, as the camera gets closer to the image, I want the image to fade out. Let's create that material or shader network now, and the first thing we need to do is pick one photo to work on. I'm just scrubbing through the timeline to pick that photo. It's going to be this one right here that we're popping through. So I need to find what that photo is in my original collection. The easiest way to do that is just to "Shift A" image as planes import so that I can go to that original folder where the images were in Thumbnail View and find what that image is called 2016-10-28. So I go back to the original collection, hit the "Checkbox" to turn it back on and then scrub down to where that image is, 2016-10- 28. With it selected, I can change the view of this panel window on my right to the shader editor window. So with that and with this selected, I think I de-selected it maybe, with that image selected, it's showing me what that shader network is. So I'm just going to hover over the border here so I can drag this over so we get more screen real estate space here, so it's easier to see what's happening. Now, what is going on to create this image is we have the image file here, and then we have the shader itself. Remember when we imported them, we chose the emit options. So that is why the image file is being piped into the emission only. We also unchecked Alpha because this image didn't have an Alpha. Otherwise, it would have piped in an Alpha. It didn't have into the Alpha transparency opacity, whichever one it was here. It doesn't matter because we don't have one. So we just need to minimize those because we are not going to mess with those. What we want to do is insert our own network before the output here. So what we're going to create a network that's going to connect up through here. So we need a transparency, we need a mix shader, we need a bunch of things we're going to start creating by hitting "Shift A". Shift A gets us that Add menu again. By left clicking "Search", now I can start typing. I want to mix the shade that we already have with a transparent one. So I want to mix shader, someone typing a mix shader. I'm just going to move this down here and Shift A, Left Mouse button again and transparent. So I want a transparent shader, and those two things are going to get mixed. So I'm going to mix this into the bottom, and I'm going to mix the original and to the top. I want to now pipe this into the output. So now we have this type of a setup. I'll just move these over so it's a little bit more clear to see. This is the setup and for us to see the effect it's having, we need to change the preview that we're seeing here. In this window I'm just going to hit "In" so that we get rid of that little Properties menu. I'm going to go to the Render and make sure on the render engine, I'm going to choose cycles currently Eevee, I don't believe you can preview transparency in the viewport. So I'm going to choose cycles and then I'm going to select this viewport shading option here so that we can get a preview render. So now you can see the image itself start to fade away. That's because the factor here is what's controlling that. So as we change the factor slider, we can see it's already having an effect. So now the rest of the network is just going to be built on piping into that factor. All the camera data needs to go into what that factor is. So that controls how this slides back and forth. But I just wanted to show you at this stage the effect that already has, what we've set up here. Now that we have that setup, we need to get the camera data ends. I'm going to hit "Shift A left-click" to search for camera data. Now that we have camera data, we need to get this depth value remapped into a 01 value that we can use. So I'm going to hit "Shift A" search for math. I'm going to change this to a multiply and then clamp it. Because if I hover over this, this is what's going to give us clamp result of the node to 0-1 range. Because we're mapping this value onto a color ramp in a second, a color ramp is 0-1, like black to white. So that's why we want to clamp this value so that that makes sense for the color ramp that we're going into. I'm just going to pipe this in, the depth into either one of these, it doesn't matter. Then the value here, we can leave at 0.5, we can change to one. This will affect the distance value when it starts to fade out or fade-in. But the main thing we're going to do is the color ramp. So if I "Shift A, left-click" and then search for the color ramp and pipe the value we're getting from the distance into the factor of this. That is going to give us that distance value from 0-1 value, and that's what the color ramp needs. So I'm going to export that color value into the factor, and that's pretty much the whole thing. Now we just get to tweak the values so that this works. Now, if I scrub the timeline, you can see we're going backwards. We're going from transparent to opaque, and we want to do the opposite. So the quickest way to do that is just flip the white to be on the left side and the black to be on the right side. Now we can see that as we scrub through and the camera gets closer, it's starting to fade out. Now, like I said that what we're multiplying by has an effect. So we could change this to one if we want. We can also just change the position of these color nodes here or knots and that we can see in real-time is affecting the amount of time it fades and at what point, at what distance it starts that fade. So that is up to you depending on how you want that to look for yourself. I like to have it totally fade out before the cameras exactly where it's at. I want it to fade out a little bit before that. So that's why I'm not all the way to the right on the black value. Then it's just a matter of choosing when do you want it to start fading out. So that's the position of the white value here, or adjusting the value of multiply. This little setup here we need to group and that will help the script tell Blender what to apply to everything. So if we bundle this up in a nice little group, we can say take this little group of this thing we made and then apply it to every material shader in the scene. Let's do that now. We've got this setup. Now we just need to click "Drag", select everything that we've created. Make sure I get the transparent one here and hit "Control G". Now, we've gone into like the nested group thing that we've made. So we can see that there is now new nodes of the input and output of what that group node notice, and to get out of this view we just need to hit "Tab". Now we can see everything that we made earlier is now just in a single group. We can name this node group something specific, and I'm just going to copy and paste what the script we're going to use here in a second is using. So it's essentially, you can name this anything and then change the script. I'll show you here in a second, but this is what I'm doing, just hit "Enter". Essentially we have the camera based transparency is just the name I typed in and that's giving it a unique identifier so that when we go into the script editor here in a second, we can identify, "Hey, take this group applied everything." Let's go ahead and do that now. Again, you could do this manually. You could take, copy this. You'd basically say "Control C". Let's go to the next image, and I could pipe this into this image, "Control V", and then pipe this in here, and then pipe that into the output, and that's essentially what this script is going to do. I'm just going to provide it in the project files so that you have access to this. To get to be able to use that script, we can go to Scripting tab. If you don't see the Scripting tab, you can just hit "Plus", and I believe it's under general scripting. We just need to copy and paste this script, let me pull up this. This script was generously provided by a answer from the Blender Stack Exchange website where I actually asked for some help here, and who was it? I'll also have a link to this, I forget where their names are. [inaudible] I totally butchered that, but that's who created the script. So credit goes to them. Let's paste that in. I'm just going to "Control C", the script, paste it in here and just clicking it and hitting, actually I need to hit new first we want a new script and then we can paste in. Hit "New" and then "Control V", paste that in. Notice the highlighted ones here are our that you want to make sure match what you've named for your group. Earlier I said, I've copy pasted this name in and you can see where it says the hash tag group here thing is basically the comment that says, "Replace this with your group name. If you name it something different, name that there." So what this is going to do is import that group into every shader when I hit the "Play" button here. So I'm going to hit "Play", and that will have executed, and we can go back to the layout that we have by clicking the "Layout" tab up here. Now every single image should have that shader. Now, the ones that we've already applied it to, it's basically applied it twice. But if we click on any other image, we should be able to see that setup here correctly. So if you want to clean it up, we can delete the one that's a bit redundant and just hanging out by itself now on the two that we had already manually applied it to, but that doesn't really matter. Now we scrubbing it, let me just maximize this here, every single image should have that effect applied to it. As we get close, every image is going to fade out. Of course, we could always go back to that group because it is in a group, it will change every single one. Let's go back and just for argument's sake, tab into it, and then we can maybe change something pretty drastically and we can see every single one is going to update based on that. I guess let me do something like that. Because it is a group that's the power of groups, is that now we're not having to go through each individual image if we later on make a changed in our mind of how we want the fade out to occur, it's going to happen for everyone, and that's the power of using the groups in the shader editor. In this lesson, we learned a lot. We learned how to mess with shaders, we learned how to make our own network that's camera based dependent transparency, how to use a script editor and don't forget, of course you can access this project file in the project downloads. I'm going to save it out as number 4. So that will be this project file. Thanks for watching this lesson, in the next one, we're going to keep moving forward with this project. I'll show you how to render it out, and we can move on to the more complicated one here after this project wraps up. Thanks for watching. I'll see you in the next lesson. 8. Clean up: There's just a few things we need to clean up before we finish this lesson. We need to turn back off the original collection so that we don't have this big chunk of photos in the center of our scene. I'm going to hide the check box up here in the top right. Then the other thing to think about is, when we imported an image we already had in our scene to be the final image back here, it actually changed the shader for the image in our collection. If we click this, we can see, and this might not be true for you if your final image is something that wasn't in your scene already, then this won't be a problem. But because of the way that it import images as planes works, it uses the name of the file to create the shader. If you import another copy of itself, it is using that same shader it already has. That's why when we select it, you can see that the image has a couple of issues with it. We can see it has a group but we don't want this final one to have this group that we ran the script on, so we need to get rid of that. But if we got rid of it here, it would also get rid of it where we do want it, which is back here. You can see this darker image here. What we need to do is essentially duplicate this shader and apply it to the final image. I'm just going to copy everything here and I'm going to go to Create New Material. If we click this little checker box here, we can see that we actually have this duplicate, which is basically the same name but I gave it a 0.001. We're on the final image. If I were to just get rid of this group and go straight from the shader to the surface, we can see that the image in the scene doesn't get affected. But if we scrub to the end, it doesn't fade out. Now, it's still dark and that's because I think when I did import images as a plane, I didn't have the color in emission. That's what happens when you don't have any lights in your scene and something isn't emitting, then it's going to be dark. If we just click color here and we drag it into emission, this is the left mouse button and just let go, that will fix that as well. Now, also notice that the text, even though it's red, is very dark and so that had applied the group to it as well. We can just bypass that left mouse button click. Then we can also turn on emission and just give it a red color as well. That will help break through the fact that we don't have any lights in our scene, and that's just intentional to keep our scene nice and light, and our render times low. Let's go back and notice because we still haven't fixed the fact that the emission when we did import images as plains, it didn't have emission on, it affected the original as well. If we just select the final image, we go back to this checker box sphere. We can easily navigate all the shaders in our scene, but we know the one we want to mess with now is the original right above it. We just want to make sure that color is right into the emission channel as well, there. That fixes that image. That's just a little bit of troubleshooting if something doesn't work out, that's how all the pieces play together nicely. You won't see this stuff until the stage where you're actually doing the render preview in cycles when you get the transparency, and whether there's lights or emitting materials and you're seeing, that's where that matters. In the next lesson, let's get this thing rendered out and move on to the next version of this thing. I'll see you there. 9. Depth of Field: Now that we've pretty much finished up creating this slideshow fly-through, I want to talk about rendering and how do we get this thing out of Blender so we can use it in maybe another package like Premiere Pro or just upload it as its own video. We need a video file from Blender. How do we get it? Before we do that, I just wanted to touch on another little final polish thing that you could've looked into if you wanted to include this in your slideshow. I'm just going to click and drag from the top corner here to get rid of that Shader Editor, now that we don't need that. Select the "Camera" then go down to the camera options and select "Depth of field". The default is 10 meters. Essentially what this is going to do, what you can already see, because we are in the render preview mode here. For cycles is, we are getting a blurring effect that you would get like if this was an actual camera. That's a pretty cool effect to also help focus the eye because there are so many photos in the frame, and so this will help us, not just the fading out as the camera gets closer, but also having a little bit of depth of field will help focus each successive picture coming in the focus. All we need to do really is set or animate the distance value here. We can also attach that focus distance to a new object or piece of geometry that we add to the scene, and then we could animate that through the scene. If we didn't want to animate the distance, it's really up to you. It's the same idea. It's just whatever is more convenient. I like the fact that everything is in focus here at the beginning. Then as we go through, we can rack the focus back to images closer. I'm going to right-click on this and click "Insert Keyframe" after right-clicking on it. We can see it's yellow and we have a little tick in the timeline. As we get closer, I'm going to start racking the focus so that maybe an image at this distance is in focus now. I'm going to drag this back, probably, let's just say 2 meters. That looks about right. Because we don't have Auto key on, which is this button, you can turn it on if you want. That would autoset a keyframe on any value that you already have set a previous keyframe on. But because we haven't, I'm just going to right-click and say Insert Keyframe again. Now we're at this two-meter distance. As we're getting closer to the images, our focus distance is changing and now we can pay attention and focus on each successive photo as it gets close to us and then fades away. Then as we go through, we can see more photos at that focus distance. Now, you could animate this back and forth because maybe you want a particular photo in focus or you change your mind. All you need to do is select "Jump to Keyframe." If we click this one, that's the one we've been clicking. The one with the little diamond air the arrow is jumping to the keyframes. That's a quick way to jump to that keyframe to get to that value. If we change our mind and we're like, you know what? We want it a little closer to camera. Let's do 1.5, something like that, and then scrub through and let the render play out, and we see, at different intervals without having to wait for every single frame, what the view is going to be like. The other little aspect of this is if we're like, I like the distance, but it's just too much blur in general, we can increase the F-Stop here. It's 2.8 by default, which is pretty low, so you're going to get a lot of blur. If we increase this to something like 8, you can see a lot more images come in focus. The focus plane on 2.8 is very narrow, it's like this wide. We can only see that much in focus. If we increase the F-stop, that gets to be like this wide. Every photo that it encounters, that plane or volume going forward, will be in focus. That's how the F-stop works. I'm just going to crank this down to maybe 4, just so it gives us a little bit more wiggle room and what's in focus at any one time. Now that we have the depth of field dialed in and added that nice little finishing touch to this, we need to get into rendering this thing. 10. Render Image Sequence: Now that we have the depth of field dialed in and added that a nice little finishing touch to this we need to get into rendering this thing. Let's look at the render settings here in the top attributes of the properties panel here. We can go to render properties, which is the little camera here, we have already been in this before because we chose cycles over EV earlier. If you always switch to GPU rendering, you could or you can depending on the GPU that you have, I'm just going to leave this on CPU for now. Samples, this is basically the quality, you could increase this if you want. You can see right now in this viewport rendering, what we see is 32 samples. The final render is 128, so it's going to take a lot longer than what we see here, but the quality will also be better. Depending on how fast or slow each frame is rendering, you could dial down or up these numbers, and all that matters for the final render is, of course, this render setting. The viewport is just for the preview, so don't worry about that one. The next major setting is telling it the frame range. If we go to the output properties, the one right beneath it, it's the frame range and the dimensions. If we want it to be HD, this is where we're going to set that, the resolution X and Y, and then we can set the frame range here as well. Now, we've been working at a frame rate of 24 frames per second, that should be the default for everyone when you open. If you want to learn more about frame rates and animation, you can take the principles of animation class where I talk a little bit more about frame rates and the origin of why is that number 24. The next thing we want to talk about is the output, so we need to tell it where to save the file. Right now, it's just the temp folder, we can tell where to save it, but we also need to choose the file format. We have two options here, basically. If our final output eventually somewhere, we want it to be a movie file like a dot MOV or MP4 or something, we need to either get that straight out of blender or we need to render an image sequence, so every single frame will be its own picture basically. If we do that version, we have to take a second step after that and then put all that image sequence back together to export as a movie file. Whether or not you want to add that extra step of doing an image sequence first is up to you. When I make these classes, it's hard to know when do I stop, how much should I explain, and so that's why sometimes I struggle about how far to go because I want to try to keep these concise and it's like you can talk about this stuff for forever. What I'm deciding is we're going to do the image sequence and the movie. Essentially the image sequence take the advantage of that, why would you do that? It's like adding an extra step. It has crashed on me since recording this tutorial course multiple times, so don't think it's crashed on you that you're alone, if blender crashes during the render and you're doing image sequences, you at least have up to that last image that it rendered. Now, if it fails and crashes while you're doing rendering a movie file, that whole file is corrupted and you got to start from frame zero, frame one. All right, so that's the advantage of doing image sequences, one of the advantages. Let's do that. We have PNG selected by default. The other thing we can take into account is the fact that every thing that's gray here is going to be transparent if we want it to be. If we're doing image sequences and say we bring it in after effects, or even if we bring it back in a blender to composite, we could change the color of the background after the fact really easy without having to re-render the whole thing. If we want to include the alpha channel, meaning this is transparent and we can see through it as an image sequence, we can choose that and make sure that we choose RGBA, and A means for Alpha, so we're going to include the alpha channel. Now, the tricky thing about this is if you don't change the film setting, you won't get the Alpha. We need to go to the back to the render settings here, the render properties go down to film, and we need to make sure that we check on transparent. That is the tricky thing, to make sure that even though we said RGBA, there's this other transparency that we need to turn on for our scene. PNG is a pretty good format, it's losses. It is a bigger file format, so the main thing with PNG is the fact that we do get that Alpha channel. If we chose JPEG, we won't have an alpha channel. That is why I'm going to choose that file extension, and then instead of in the Temp folder, let's choose our project folder somewhere and I'm going to create a new folder by clicking this button and just say image sequence deadly. I can accept that by clicking anywhere and then double-clicking it to go into that folder and then accept, and then it's going to name the frame number at the end. Sorry, I had to stop, my dog is getting water. We're back. We're right at the last hurdle here of getting this thing rendered. Now, even though we're in the render preview, we've been playing it back. Everything looks fine. If I go to render right now, I'm going to click render image just so we have a single image and get gray screen. What is going on there? Well, we haven't turned off the emitter for the render. We turned it off and then for the viewport, but not for the render. Let's hit "Escape" to cancel this render, and we need to select the cube, go to the particle settings here, scroll down to the render tab and turn off show emitter. It's this invisible thing that we don't see anything changed in the viewport, but that's the render setting. Now, if we go back to render image just to test a single image, we can see that now we can see everything. That is another little got you moment that can be tricky to remember every single little setting that you need to turn on and off. Don't be concerned if you have trouble, ask questions in the discussion area if I can help you run into something like that, you're like, I just don't know what is going on here. There's a bunch of little got you moments like that, I'm hoping I'm explaining every single one so that you won't run into that yourself. But so now that we're in the final stretch here, let's revisit everything, we got cycles on, we got the film transparency on. Motion blur, you could turn on, it's just going to increase your render time and probably won't see much blur motion from it because our cameras not moving that fast. From the render settings, HD is fine for me, PNG, we have the right place. I just like to do this sanity check right at the end to make sure that everything is set correctly because you catch little things like that where, wait a minute, I have a great render that doesn't make any sense because it looks fine in the viewport. Now that we have everything set, we can go to render animation this time. Once I click that, it's going to start from the first frame, and it's going to go through the entire sequence and render out each and every frame. It will take a little while, but one nice thing you can see while it's rendering is how long it's going to take or we think it's going to take. We can see in the top left here the time elapsed and then the estimated time remaining, and then it will crash. Welcome to 3D. We're back, so that brings me to my next point before you hit Render Animation, it's probably a good idea to turn off the viewport shading render preview , this cycles preview. It's getting overworked, I guess. We're rendering it in the viewport and we're rendering it for final image. Before we hit Render Animation, let's go back to either the textured or the shaded view, so we give our computer a bit of a break so they can focus on just the render animation. Now, when we go to render animation, this hopefully shouldn't crash this time. But what I was saying before was essentially you can figure out how long this is going to take because it gives you the amount of time that each image takes to render and it tells it what the last frame was, so you can see if maybe it's increasing over time. Depending on what's in frame, it might go more or less, it's not always going to be the same from frame one to frame 600 in our case. We got through two frames now, so we know pretty sure that the fix for that crash was turning off that preview. But we can see here it says last 21 seconds, and we can see we hit about 20 seconds. We can basically do the math 20 times 600 frames and then divide that by 60. That's how many hours or it might not even get to the hours, I don't know what that math is. But anyway, that's how you do that math on when should I come back to my computer and see that my render is finished? I will see you in the next lesson where we can take this image sequence and then compile that into a movie file inside of blender. Of course you can do that in After Effects, whatever, but it's nice just try to stay in the same software every once in a while. I will see you there. Thanks for watching. 11. Render Movie File: Now you should be done rendering your animation. If you ran into trouble, it's most likely because your image sizes were too large. I had to restart Blender a few times during my render because I had my image sizes too big, but the ones that come along with this course, if you're using those, those should be the correct size. They are about 1024 at the longest edge and well under one megabyte per image. You just want to make sure that you're using small enough images so that the memory in Blender doesn't get overworked and crashes during render. The other thing you can do is decrease the resolution of the particle system here down in resolution. The next thing we need to do is take this rendered image sequence into the video editing workspace and compile the image sequence and export it as a movie file. I'd like to create a new file just for that video editing because I don't want to adjust the render settings in some way in my main project to have those settings be affected by the video editing. I'm going to go New, Video Editing, and I'm going to save that project. Now that we're in the video editing workspace, we can apply the image sequence to this track timeline here. We can go to Add, go down to Image/Sequence and click that. We just need to navigate to where we saved our image sequence. It does matter what order you select the images in for it to recognize the order of them. We want to select the first frame image first, then we can hit A on the keyboard and it will select all in that folder. Then we can just add image strip and I can click and drag this little button down here on the slider to extend this all the way out to the end of our image sequence. If we look in the render properties here, we need to increase the end frame from 250 is the default to 600, which is the end frame of our image sequence. Then we need to add a background color because if you notice here, we still have that checkerboard pattern and we need to add some type of color to it. I'm going to click and drag this with my left mouse button to the second track. I'm making sure that this little number on the bottom left of that track is one. You can see how it's 10, 12, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5. I want to make sure that I'm starting from frame one even when I move it up and down. Now, we just need to add a color. I'm going to go back to Add, go to Color. I can just extend that out by dragging. It doesn't matter if it's past the end. It doesn't have to be that accurate because we've set our start and end frame. Now nothing changed. If you notice, we still have that checkerboard pattern, so we need to change the blend mode of our image sequence. I'm going to click the image sequence and move this back up so my head isn't hiding the options here. We can change the blend mode to Alpha Over. Make sure you can see that above me. Do a little Brady Bunch thing here. Alpha Over and now that works. We can of course change the color. If we just click that, we can access this color wheel. I think I'm going to choose maybe a dark purple, dark blue, something like that. Maybe not as saturated. Now when we have a color that we like, we can scrub and play back very quickly our image sequence here, you get a sense of the final product. Now all we have to do is actually export it as a movie file so that we can use it much more easily or upload it by itself or edit into another project, like how I showed the Premiere Pro slideshow in the previous course I did. Let's go to the output options here, similar to what we've already done before. We have these output options here, and temp is the default folder, so we don't want that. Let's choose our own folder. We do want to type in a unique name. I'm typing in Deadly Movie File and I'm going to hit "Accept". Now we just need to change the file format. So we're going to go down to FFmpeg Video. Under encoding, we can change the video codec and also the container. I want a quick time container. MPEG-4 is also a common one. I'm going to choose quick time. I think I'm going to leave it at H.264. Feel free to experiment with other types of codecs, but this is pretty basic one for uploading to the web. I'm going to choose the perceptually lossless quality so that it's going to be some of the best quality we can get. Keyframe interval is a bit of an odd number to me. I haven't encountered something like this in another program, but essentially this should be half the number of your frame rate. So we can change this to something like 12. Then that is good to go. Now we can go back to render our animation again, and I'm going to save this first, and then I'm going to go to Render, Render Animation. Now it's going to go through the whole timeline and render our movie file for us and put it in the format of our choosing. Thanks for watching. If you want to continue to learn more about a technique adjacent to this that uses a VR effect from YouTube and Facebook, continue with me and we will do some more advanced slideshow particle effects. I will see you in the next lesson, or if not, I hope you enjoyed it up to this point. Let's keep going. See you in the next lesson. 12. Intro 360 Section: Welcome to the second half of this course where we're going to cover how to create a similar slideshow but in 360 degree view. If you're using the YouTube app or the Facebook app, or you're looking at this video on YouTube on your desktop, you can actually have the user pan around and look around in 360 degrees. It's a really cool feature that not a lot of people take advantage of, so it's a very novel unique idea I think to incorporate into your slideshows to have an element like this that lives online and on these two formats, Facebook or YouTube. Let me show you an example of what I'm talking about and what we're going to create. I'm in YouTube with this test version that I created, I'm going to hit "Play", and you can see it's a slideshow like normal. But if you can see my mouse, I'm actually clicking and dragging around in real time, and I'm actually changing the camera angle view of this slideshow. That is a really cool feature, and if I was on my phone, you can actually control it by just moving your phone around and looking at your phone and looking around 360 degrees that way. It's a really cool feature, and I want to show you two ways to make it. The one we just saw is going to be the longer way because we have more frames or enter because it's an animation. The first way I want to show you is, using just a single image we can do this. The reason why I'm dividing it up that way is because we're rendering such a larger frame. If your computer struggled to render the first section of this animation of the 600 frames or whatever you chose, this is a great workaround, especially in this format for 360 degrees, we can get away with just one render, and then extend that out in the video editor that we've already been familiar with, and then export that out as a movie file. Now we will have to add some metadata to this file which are familiar with because I mentioned EXIF data at the beginning of the course in relation to how the computer reads what orientation it should display a photo in, portrait or landscape. In this case, we need the metadata to tell YouTube or Facebook, ''Hey, this is a 360 degree view and you need to process it and display it that way.'' We have to be the ones to add that metadata to it, and it's pretty easy. It's just a one-click thing that we need to actually download a free little software to do that for us. Let's get started and I'll show you the first easier example first, and then the second example is going to be the one, the preview we just saw. I'm going to move a little bit quicker in these lessons because most of it we've already covered how to set up this particle system and apply your images to the slideshow. Let's get started. I'll see you in the next lesson. 13. Particle Sphere: Here we are in a brand new Blender scene. I'm going to move pretty quickly because most of this material we've already covered. To start, we want to use a sphere instead of a cube. Let's get started creating that. That is going to be our emitter of the sphere. I'm going to click "Drag", select everything and hit "X" on my keyboard to delete it because we're going to create everything that we need. I'm going to hit "Shift a" go to Mesh the icosphere. I'm using that instead of the UV sphere because the UV sphere converges at the poles and I want an even distribution of faces. That's why I'm going to choose the icosphere. I'm going to increase that by hitting "S" and just moving my mouse. I'm going mouse wheel in and then I want to create a new collection for our photos. I'm going to go to collection two, hit "Shift A" again and go to Image, Images as Planes, which is an add-on that we enabled in the first section of this course. I'm going to navigate to my photos, I'm going to hit "A" and I'm going to create the same settings we had in the first section I want to emit. We don't have an alpha so I'm going to turn that off. I'm going to turn off offset planes and the main axis is going to be positive X. Now I'm skipping the step where we rotate images that have the wrong orientation. We already covered that in the first section if you want to do that. I'm going to turn on the shader view here so that we can actually see the images themselves, but I'm going to turn off that collection because we're going to just use that as a particle system. Now I want to choose the icosphere, either through the outliner or selecting it in the viewport. Go down to the particles and create a new particle system. Let's hop down to the render and instead of Hulo, let's choose collection, and then let's choose the second collection. Now let's go to the in-frame and turn it to one. Start and end are on the same frame, just so we have a good place to set all these settings from. Under render, we need to increase the scale, same thing that we did last time. Let's have it be 1. Now you can see everything is oriented incorrectly, so I'm going to go to the rotation section here and enable rotation. We didn't do this last time because we weren't trying to orient things to faces. But because we want to see everything in 360 degrees, we want each photo to be oriented towards the center of where the camera renders going to be. I want to change orientation access to normal because a normal is basically just saying, this face is facing this direction. That's what a normal. We want to say go in that direction. Nothing has really changed because we're not using the object rotation so as soon as we check that box under render, we can see now that those have stuck to the face the way that we want them to. Now under view-port display, we can turn off show emitter, we don't need that anymore, and now we just get to play around with a few other settings to set our scene up. One inevitable problem you're going to run into is intersections and I'm going to show you for the single render version how to get around that a little bit. We're basically going to use this emitter system as a great starting point in order to convert that to a mesh, and then we can individually move each photograph around as we need it. Let's get into these settings a little bit more because we haven't turned off the physics that we need to turn off, so let's go down to field weights because we don't want gravity to affect it. I'm turning gravity and all down to zero. Now I'm going to go back up to velocity and I want all the photos to come towards the center of the sphere or where the camera's going to be. We're going to render right here in the center of the scene, that's where our render is going to be. That's where I want all the photos to go towards that. So I'm going to say, the velocity along the normal should be a negative. If I were to hit play right now, these would just expand outside the sphere. That's one way to do it if you want to do it, but I want them to get closer so that we have a bit more ZDF space and I want some pictures pretty close to the camera so we can see them easier. I'm going to go negative 0.3, you can play with that setting. I'm going to go back to frame one and then now when I play, you can see all the photos are coming towards the center. Now that we have a decent understanding of how this is set up. We can go back to having an end frame. Let's say the end frame is 500, it doesn't really matter because we're going to simulate this whole thing and then just freeze-frame one frame of it in the middle of it somewhere. I'm going to increase the end time as well to 500 and I'm going to click and drag this little bar out so we can see the whole timeline. As soon as we did that now you can see we only start with one photo, so we may need to adjust the number here of particles embedding. We need to reduce it down but maybe not because we're starting so big. The lifespan it is way too small, you can see all of those were dying, so we can say 500, so they stay on the whole time the timeline is playing back. One thing to keep in mind about this type of a render two, is that in 360 degrees, these might seem close to us now, but in 360-degree render, things might appear further away than they are. We do want to get some photos very close to the center, so I'm actually going to select the icosphere and hit "S" and then scale that down. That's going to be the quickest way we can get a better baseline starting point so that most of these images are close to the render camera we're going to create. I'm going to reduce the number because I don't want every plane to be emitting a ton at the same time. We want them to be spread out a lot more but over time, there are meetings, so there's a lot more depth to how many are behind the first one. I'm going to reduce this down to maybe 200 and take advantage of the fact that we have 500 frames and let this just run for a lot longer so that it keeps emitting photos after the ones that are already emitted, so it creates a sense of depth there. The only problem now is that these are getting too close to maybe the center. If that's the case, we just need to reduce the speed that they're traveling, negative 0.3, maybe 0.2. I'm just going to leave this for now to play out and see where we get to. I think that is the case, I think we need to reduce it to maybe negative 0.2 and that will depend on how big your sphere is. Those are the two things you can change right now, the scale of your sphere and the rate at which they're moving along the normal. I'm just going to let this play for a moment and then I'm going to hit "Pause" and see where we're at. I think we just need to let these get a little bit closer to camera and then we can move on to the next part of this. This seems like a decent distribution. I'm getting a little bit of parallax maybe in some of these. I think it's just a decent starting point so what I'm going to do is move on to the next section where we're going to convert this now and manually adjust this. I'm going go to the gear wrench here and say convert. Now we have all of these images in this collection with the sphere, and they are images by themselves now, so what we can do is actually just manually place these. I can actually delete this particle system because we already have it, or I could just turn it off in the render and in the viewport. We could maybe just turn those off better than deleting, hitting "Minus" because if we want to go back to reconvert at a later time, we won't have to remake all those settings. Now, all we can do is just hit "G" on the keyboard. We can select the individual pieces like we couldn't before, if these were actually particles and then just adjust these so that they're not intersecting. We can actually see each one of the photos the way that we want to see it in this single frame view. I'm just moving all these around so that's in a 360 degree view, we have a decent view of it. Maybe we might need to rotate some of them. We can manually move these but the general idea is keep your camera in the center and then we can just redistribute these if there's blank areas, move pictures there. Things do tend to group at the poles. Even though we're using the icosphere version of a sphere, it's still going to probably get lumped at the bottom a little bit. I'm just going through and I'm going to speed this up. I'm just hitting "G" on the keyboard and sometimes like this one I'm going to hit "R" and I'm going to constrain that in the z-axis and just rotate that a little bit more towards camera and then maybe hit "R" and "X" to rotate it down. I don't want to flip it. Rotate it down towards camera and then I can just G move that away to a better spot that's empty, maybe R and Z again to rotate it. I'm just going to speed this section up because it's pretty tedious, mundane stuff, just moving these photos around. We essentially just used the particle system is a good starting point, so it saved us a lot of time to where we didn't have to do this for every single photo to get it distributed. Now, same thing we have duplicates, we could even just delete those and bring other photos forward, but I'm going to speed this up and I'll see you in a second. Now that we've got this in a decent spot, some of those I deleted, some of those I rotated scaled, you can do whatever you want. This is just an easy way to get things distributed relative to the zero space here in the world. What we can do is actually duplicate this out and we can scale it in, scale it out and rotate it so we can create even more depth. I'm actually going to find the icosphere in this collection and I want to just pull this out. I'm going to click and drag it down until we get past the last collection and let go of it. Now it's outside of that first collection, which we can see by minimizing it, and then we can see that it is outside of it. Now with that whole collection selected, we can right-click and say Select objects. Then we can hit "Shift D", and then R, and then Z, and we can rotate a copy of it and then we can actually scale these out. I'll hit "S" and then just scale these out so that the most inner version of these copies are much further away. Now we have a lot more out in space and we just copied and rotated to give a lot more depth. This is a great starting point and from here we're going to go into creating the render camera and rendering out a single frame of this. Thanks for watching. 14. 360 Render: Now that we've created our particle system and we use that to create the sphere of photos that we need, let's create our camera so that we can render this out. I'm going to hit "Shift A" in the viewport so I can create a new camera. Now that camera, we need to make sure that the render settings in here, currently Eevee doesn't support the equirectangular setting that we need so we need to change from Render Engine Eevee to Cycles. That might change in the future but that's what we have right now. With a camera still selected, we need to go to the Camera settings and then change the type from Perspective to Panoramic. When we do that, we get the panoramic type and that's where we want to choose Equirectangular. Now in the render settings, we need to choose the output properties. We need to choose a 2-1 dimension ratio of our image. 7168 and then let me use my cheat sheet here. 3584 or recommended settings for YouTube. When I was doing my own test, I saw that Facebook downscaled the resolution to 2000 something number but this is a decent number to start with. But you may have to do your own experimentation to see what works best because those numbers may need to change. But the general idea is because the renderer is equirectangular, that means the image needs to be twice as long as it is high. As long as you stick to that ratio, then you should be fine no matter what dimensions you use in the future. If you can do higher than that, you can but those recommended settings may change in the future. Now with those two set, we just need to make sure that we are rendering the right frame which it doesn't really matter. We're just rendering one frame. We want to say frame start and frame end can just be one. It's the same frame. If you remember, if we want to have transparency and do something, color the background, or whatever, we need to turn on RGBA and we need to turn on the film transparency settings down here under Film and turn on Transparent. Now, we can test render this by going to Render, Render Image, and like I said at the beginning of this section of the course, these renders will take a lot longer. Right now we haven't turned off the Show Emitter in the Render settings and so that's why we're getting this gray look instead of the checkerboard transparency. We want to choose the Icosphere and go to the particle properties and make sure under Render we're unchecking Show Emitter if we don't want to see that. Now when we go to Render Image, that should be transparent and we should be able to see the checkerboard remain as finished as the render. Depending on your computer, this might take a while. Now, the first section of this part of the course, I'm instructing you to just try a single image because it can be very taxing on your computer to render something out of this size. Take it easy, I don't want your computer to catch fire but this is why we're choosing this image for this lesson. We're just doing a single image instead of an animation. I'm going to let this render and then I'll be right back. Now that we have our render done, we can go to Image, Save As, make sure it's a PNG, RGBA because we want to save that alpha channel. I'm going to save it in my project folder. Now I can close the render window and I'm going to just save out this project as well and I'm going to create a new Blender project. The same that we did last time when we went to the video editing phase. File, New, Video Editing. Now we're back in the familiar video editing space and I'm going to choose Add, Image Sequence. I'm going to navigate to where I saved that single image that we just rendered out, I'm going to add that image strip. Now it's going to add it and I'm going to click the end of it, and then I can just click and drag anywhere on that clip to extend it out. This is where we need to decide how much time we want to give the viewer in the player. Twenty-four frames per second means that 240 frames is 10 seconds. If we just double that, if we want to give them roughly 20 seconds, we can extend this out to 500. I'm just typing 500 down in the bottom right where it says End and I'm going to click and drag this out so I can see where the End frame is. Then I can just click the end and then just pull it out past that. It's okay if it goes a little bit past it. Now I need to deselect this clip to be able to re-select the entire thing and drag it up to the next track because we want to add a color beneath it. I'm going to go to Add, Color, and then click and drag that to the end as well. Now to be able to see the color beneath that track, we need to turn on the correct blend mode here under Compositing and choose for that image instead of Cross, we want Alpha Over. Now I can see through the transparency to the color behind it. We can select the color and adjust the color as we need it to be and increase the brightness a little bit and maybe the saturation by dragging it out. Now, if you notice we have a top edge and a bottom edge up here and that indicates to me the dimensions are wrong. If we look at the dimensions, we have 1920 by 1080, and we know that this image is much bigger than that. If we actually right-click on it. I actually need to select it. It was still on the Color. Go down to Set Render Size, it will change the render size to 7,168 by what we had. No mouse will scroll out. You can see the image itself is too small because Blender had scaled it down to fit 1920 by 1080. If I go to the Transform tab, I can just see Scale here and I can see the factor that it scaled down by. If I just reset that back to one, it will fill out the correct dimensions of the frame. Now we can render this out as a movie file. I'm going to save this project so you have this as well and then we can go to the output and change from the file format PNG to FFmpeg Video. Now we can go to encoding and choose whatever we like. I like the QuickTime and H.264 is fine. I'm going to choose Perceptually Lossless, and the keyframe interval can be 12. I don't think it really matters what we set there. Then choose the output directory. Once we choose where we want to save it, all we have left to do is actually render the thing. I'm going to go to Render, Render Animation, and then there's one step left to do to get this to work inside of YouTube and Facebook. Let's render out that animation and I will see you after. Now that we're done rendering the video file, we need to put the metadata on it so YouTube can recognize it as a equirectangular 360-degree video and process it that way. Let me show you where to find the free software to inject the correct metadata into your video file now. If you just Google, upload 180 or 360-degree videos, you'll get to the page that will tell you where to go. If you click 360 degree, not that 360, if you click this uploading 360-degree, it'll take you to this GitHub page. Essentially, whether you're on a Mac or Windows, you're going to download one of these two zip files. In that zip file, has the free software to run to be able to quickly inject your video file with metadata. I already have that program downloaded and installed so I'm just going to double-click it, it runs as this little window right here. All I have to do is open and navigate to where my video file is. It's this video file right here. I'm going to hit "Open," and all I have to do is say, "Inject metadata." Once I do that, it's going to save out a new version of it with the underscore injected. So I'm just going to hit "Save." Now it's saying, "Saving," and then it says, "Successfully saved." Now, this file is what we're going to want to upload to YouTube. When you're uploading to YouTube, there's nothing else you have to do. Behind the scenes, YouTube is finding the metadata that this software just injected your file with. One other tip before we upload to YouTube or if you upload this video to Facebook, it's going to take a while to process. I think YouTube recommends waiting up to an hour, actually making this an unlisted video on YouTube because it's going to take so long to process and then once it's processed, you can make it public. Let's jump over to YouTube and do that now. Here I am in YouTube and all I need to do is just click the "Create button," Upload video and then navigate to my file or click and drag it into this. I'm just going to click and drag it. The injected version, _injected. YouTube's interface might change but this is essentially what you do. It's going to start uploading and then the next step is processing. What we want to go, is to the visibility and make it unlisted. Then we want to hit "Save" and it will finish uploading and processing, and then we can go back to our YouTube Studio dashboard and find it and then go into the Settings and make it public if we want to or share the link to that video file as enlisted. Now, same thing with Facebook, you just upload it like anything else, like any other video file you would upload to Facebook but it will take a long time to process as well. Don't be discouraged if you revisit this file in a little bit and it's playing back like a normal file. That just means that it hasn't processed yet. Give it some time and be patient and your video file will look 360 degrees. I will see you here in a few hours and once mine is done and we can continue on with creating the more advanced version that has an animated version that we saw at the beginning of the preview of this section of the course. I will see you in the next lesson. Thanks for watching. 15. Animated 360 Slideshow: This last example is going to be the animated version where we have pictures flying into the center of the camera, and they fade out the closer they get. Now, the render time on this is going to be very long. I think for mine it was three days to render I think 400 frames. I wasn't even doing the resolution we did in the previous example of the 7,168, I was doing the Facebook version. I'll put it up on the screen, now it's 5000 by something. That took three days. Just be forewarned that the render time is going to be huge on this because we are rendering a sequence of huge images now. I just wanted to show you how to set it up. You can try the render. Hopefully, it can work for you, or you have the time to wait for the render to finish. But essentially we have a starting point here. We have the project file, 008_360_ParticleSphere1. That's basically where we converted the particles to a mesh. We have a great starting point from there, but we just need to delete all of those photos. I'm going to click drag in the viewport. I want to make sure I don't have the icosphere selected because we want to keep that. I'm going to Control click that twice, and then hit "X" on the keyboard and delete. I'm just going to turn on the shortcut here, so we have that in the bottom right. I'm going to zoom in and make sure I got all of them. There's some photos beyond the sphere itself, so they're on the inside. I got to go inside of there or we could just drop down here in this collection that they all live in, and then delete them from there. We can also delete that collection because we don't need it anymore. Now if we go back to the icosphere and go down to the particles, we can turn on the display for the viewport and display for the render. Now, we're back to where we started here. All we need to do is just adjust some of these settings and have them animate towards the center as we did before. If we're happy with this amount of speed and how close they get before we end, we can move on from here. We basically have a great starting point. Now for consistency sake, I'm just going to decrease this to 400 frames. When I get my camera in the center and just make sure that I like where these images are. I might change the seed value, this is how to randomly generate a different organization just because some of these are intersecting a little bit more than I would like. Now all we have to do is just create the shader that is dependent on time. I might increase this number to 250 as well. Now I'm going to jump back and play this and just double-check everything is working as I expect it to. It's not perfect because of the intersections and there's areas where it's punched up, and that's just a random factor that is very difficult to control when you're dealing with particles, but we can use the seed value to adjust that. Once you get something that you like, all we have to do is go on the top right and open up the Shader Editor by making a new window here by click dragging the top right of the viewport and then changing this to the Shader Editor. I'm just going to show you this for one of them and then you can go through and run the same script as before as well. We can either select shaders from this drop-down menu or we can select the individual image itself. We need to find something that we can actually test and see. I do want to make sure that I'm picking something that is obvious. Maybe if we can find this photo, we can just test that. I'm going to find that real quickly. I found a photo that we can use to test this out on. I'm just going to be looking at this one right here that is in the background, and with the original selected, I get that shader network for that original photo. Essentially what we're going to do is the same thing we did earlier, where we inserted a new network right before the output. We're going to start like last time with a mix shader. Just going to click "Search" so I can search for it, Mix Shader and then plug that BSDF in there and then put that to the outer surface. Then I want a transparent, so I'm going to hit "Shift and A", and then I click that again and say transparent BSDF, and that is going to go into one of the other shader hookups. Now the way to preview this is we need to click the "Viewport Shading" option so that we get the Cycles Render and we can adjust this. It's not playing back currently, so let's see why. Currently I'm still on EV Render in the Render property so I want to change to Cycles. Now we'll be able to see transparency in the Render preview. Just at this early stage, we can see that that is indeed working on both the original and the particle version. Now we just need to pipe in to the factor, the age, essentially of the particles so that as it nears the end of its life, which we want to set to 400 because now our frame ends at 400, we can jump back to the icosphere and go into the particle settings and make sure that the lifetime is 400. We can also say end on 400 as well if we want. Now with that image selected, we can go back to the Shader Editor view and start piping in what we need. We need shift, A and then click and search for Particle Info. Currently I believe Cycles is the only one that can use information from the Particle Info node. I'm going to hit "Shift A" and click again to find the Math node. Then of course, we want a color gradient, same kind of a method that we did last time, just using different data to input into the factor. What I want to do is take the age and the lifetime into the math node and I want to divide. I'm going to hit the drop-down menu and then click "Divide" and then take that value into the factor on the color ramp and now pipe in the color ramp in the factor of the mix shader. Now we can see hopefully, I might need to invert the white on the left and black on the right to see this play out correctly. Let's see if we can locate that image. There it is right here. As it goes, it starts to fade out. We can see that that's working as expected, now all we have to do is just adjust this gradient so that that dictates how long it fades out. We don't want it to start fading from the very beginning, we just want it to fade towards the end of its life. Let's get this looking a little bit better to where by the time we get the frame 400 it should be faded out. We just need to adjust the gradient ramp to get that to work. Just scrub back to make sure it's not starting to fade out too soon. Maybe around frame 320, then, I'm just going to drag the white value back and I'm just watching right here to make sure that it is becoming opaque, right about in here. Now, it should fade out from 320 to about 400 and you would do the same thing that we did in the previous part of this course where essentially, we're going to group this now hitting Control G, and then, tab, to get out of this and then we can just name this something Transparency Particle Group and I'm going Control A and then Control C to copy that. What I want to do is go grab that script again. Let me grab at one second. Now, I've located the script which should be in the project files, just copy that text and then go to the scripting tab. If you don't see the Scripting tab, you can just hit Plus and I believe, it's under General, Scripting. Now that we're in here, we just need to hit "New", and then we can Control V, paste that in. I just want to jump back very quickly to Layout view and recopy this because I had copied the script, then I lost copying this name. Going back to the Scripting tab, I'm going to make sure that this name right here is the name of my group, I'm just control V pasting that in there, and then once I hit Play, this should add that group to every shader in the scene. I'm going to hit Play, and then I'm going to jump back to the Layout view. Now, as we scroll up, we can see every single photo should be fading out. That is pretty cool. Now, the one thing we want to keep in mind is, if we want it to loop this, we need to make sure every photo is faded out. Let's jump back into this group, you can see the original one and now has it applied twice. We can jump back into that group by hitting Tab, and further tweaking the color ramp because we want everything to be faded out by now. I just want to adjust this ramp and make sure everything is faded out. The other thing we could do is say stop emitting particles at a certain time because if we were to do this, this way, then particles would die very young, or they would become transparent very young. What we can do is go to the Icosphere and just say, we want the end stop emitting particles, maybe at 200. Then, let's jump back to the beginning and then replay that. Now that we at least have 200 frames where they're all going to be roughly around in the same age as each other, as we get towards the end here, we want just the last bit of those images to be fading out, it looks like they're fading out a little prematurely. Let's just adjust this, and let's get the frame 400 so that we are doing it actually exactly on the last frame and it looks like we got all of the particles. Now, I can turn off the visibility for the one we were testing and now we are good to go. I'm going to hit Tab in the Shader editor, and I can just close that down as well by clicking and dragging from the top right of the viewport into this one and letting go. Now, if we scrub back, all of these should come back into existence. Now, the flip side of this is, again, if we wanted to loop this, we have to think in a looping mindset. If we were to start looping these, pictures would pop on, if we don't want pictures to pop on, we would also need to fade them in. We could actually use that same network if we wanted to do that. Let me just drag this back out and get back to the Shader editor here. If we did want them to fade in, all we have to do is just add more nodes here and I can just add another black. I'm just adding the plus symbol here and then, I'm going to add another white. What we can do is say, fade out from the beginning, be totally transparent at the beginning as well. When we loop this, we're not going to have any popping pictures. Essentially, this is what you're going to want to render at the same render settings that we did before. We want to add a camera, same thing that we did before to do the 360 view, I'm going to go to Shift A and then hit "Camera", and then, we want to go down to the Camera properties here and change Perspective to Panoramic, change the Panorama Type to equirectangular and if we want to make sure we have the transparency, we also need to turn on the Film Transparent settings here. We need to make sure that we're RGBA so that we're getting that Alpha channel. Now, the next thing we need to do is make sure that the dimensions are correct. I'm going to go to, and I would also say it might be worth reducing the render here, I think I did maybe 64 on mine so your render times won't be too crazy at that speed. If we jump back to the output properties, we can adjust the dimensions here. Let me jump over and see what mine was for this one because I did reduce it from the single image, I didn't do as big because I knew the frames were going to take so long to render. Let me check what those dimensions are. I got this number because it looked like that's the highest resolution that Facebook went, that's what I went with, 2160 by 4,320. That's still that two-to-one ratio, we're going to 2y to the one up. Whatever ratio you want to use, you could do something very small just to test this to make sure it works before you did a really big image. You could do 540 by 1080 and test that out and upload those before you did a more time-consuming render. Let's just render an image so we can make sure that this is actually rendering as we would expect it to. I'm just going to go to render image and as always, I forget to hit the Show Emitter, that's how we're getting this gray right here because the emitter is still showing. We go to the Icosphere, go to the Particle properties, down to Render and turn off Show Emitter. Now, that's why it's always good to check your renders before you start a really long render to make sure everything is looking as you would expect it to. That looks about right and I'm going to escape out of that. I think everything's looking good and I'm going to jump ahead and in the next lesson, show you how to loop your image sequence so that you can have only 400 frames of animation, but then you could make it be as long as you want because we're going to loop it in a seamless fashion. I'll see you in that lesson in one second. Thanks for watching. 16. Seamless Loop 360 Render: Let's make the render that we did here a seamless loop. I'm going to go to File, New, Video editing, and I'm just going to navigate to where this is. Let me swap over where my face is, so we can see this menu. I'm going to go to Add, Image, and sequence. I'm going to navigate to where my photos are, and I have an image sequence here. I'm going to make sure I click the first image and then I'm going to go hit "A", or you can scroll to the bottom and hit "Shift" and select the bottom one. I add that to the film strip. I'm just going to scroll out, so we zoom out a little bit. We have 400 frames, but we want to loop this. Essentially what we're going to do, is we have this it fades in, and then it should fade out. It goes from nothing to nothing, which is how we're going to loop this seamlessly. What I want to do, is click and drag this. Actually, let me just copy this, I want to hit "Control C" and then "Control V". I want to make sure that they start on the same frame here. When I go to frame 200, I can just click 200 down here in the bottom right. Jump to there, right-click and go to the Split. Then what I can do, is flip-flop these around. We're starting in the middle here. What I'm going to do is click and drag this up and over, and then click and drag this back the beginning because they start and end on a fade in and fade out. If we have two of those, essentially what we're going to have, is this seamlessly looping render. I'm going to zoom in here, and middle mouse drag ping. I'll zoom back out. We had those round top of each other. Now the reason why we're not seeing through to anything right now, is because we don't have the correct blend mode on. So we need to go to Blend Alpha over, and then same thing for this one. We need to go to Blend. Oops, I moved it a little bit, so I'm going to hit "Undo". We need to go to Blend Alpha over, and then we can extend the frame range to, let's say if we wanted it to loop three times, 4 times 3 is 12, so it's going to be 1,200 frames. I'm just going to zoom out a little bit more again. Middle mouse drag to ping. The other thing we need to do, is remember about the dimensions before you render. We can go ahead and set those just by right-clicking on one of these and say Set render size. Then like last time, we're going to need to scale these up, so we just need to go to the Transform drop-down here and just change all these x and y's to one for these three clips before we start duplicating them out. Otherwise, that's going to be a lot more work for us. We have those. If we wanted to add color, we could, we could go to Add Color and set that on the first track. We just would move those up. I guess I can just go ahead and do that and show you, even though we've done this twice before, I feel like already maybe. But for those people who are skipping ahead and did not watch, this is where you add that. We don't see the color because we didn't add, change the blend mode on this one. We can go to Blend Alpha over, and now we can see through to the color. We can change this color to be whatever we want. I'll leave that blank for now. All we have to do now is just click-drag, select these, Control C, move forward Control V, and then we can move these and just have them be back to back. I want to make sure that they're seamless, there's no gaps between the frames here. There we go. I can scroll in and just inspect. That's what's happening. Now when I scrub over these areas that you would expect to have pops or whatever, they're actually going to be free from popping, and we also get this double layered effect. We have one set of images coming behind the others that are just now fading out. We have this constant cycle of images coming in. This is a great way to reduce render time because we only have to do like 400 frames as opposed to like 1,200. If we just loop those 400, we can make this as long as we want without having to increase render times a lot. All we have to do, is just choose the FFmpeg video format and then go to encoding and go to Quick Time. This is the ones that I like. Perceptually lossless, I'm going to change that to 12, and you can choose an output. I've already done this and I'm going to also skip injecting the metadata because we did this in the previous example where we just did the single frame. I'm going to leave that up to you because I've already shown you how to do that. Open up that separate software that's free. Just say, "Yeah, this is a 360 video," and you're good to go. That's how you create this more advanced version. I say advanced, you've already done everything, it's just that it's going to take longer to render. That is how you do it. In the next lesson, I just want to discuss some next steps, but thanks for watching this far. I'll see you in the next lesson. Thanks. 17. Next Steps: Congratulations, thanks for taking this entire course or if you're jumping ahead, that's okay too. I know what that's like. But I just want to discuss next steps in case you want to learn more about subjects around this Blender or animation or making slideshows, I have courses all about all of those things. If you want to do more slideshow-related stuff, I have a course teaching how to do that very efficiently and effectively in Adobe Premiere Pro. Then if you want to learn about animation, maybe you're like, I like animation, but I just don't know where to start, I made a course specifically for you called Principles of Animation. It's a great place to start and I highly recommend it for anyone starting out, even someone like me, I use those principles every day. Don't think if you've dabbled in animation, that course isn't for you. If you don't know what's in that course, then you're really doing yourself a disservice in your animation education. Everybody should know those principles. Definitely check that one out. If you wanted to dabble in Blender a little more, I have a course about 3D printing stuff using Blender. Essentially, we're going to use photogrammetry, which is a whole subject that's very cool in and of itself. We're going to do photogrammetry, recreate a real object in 3D just with photos. Then I'm going to show you how to make that work for the 3D printing service that we can use. You don't need a 3D printer to take that class, to be able to print that out. I'm a professional animator, I've been working in the industry, the visual effects and animation industry for 10 years on movies like Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One. I've worked on games like The Last of Us Part 2 and at every single job I've used Maya. That's why I have a lot of courses teaching Maya because that is the industry standard these days if you want to work for a big studio. If you're curious about what that's about and what software the pros use, then definitely check out all of those Maya classes. If you don't want to start the big course series that I have that is five or six courses and it totals maybe 25 hours total. Each one is divided in five, six hours apiece, if you don't want to jump in the deep end on those, it's called Maya for Beginners, by the way, if you don't want to do those, I also have a bunch of other shorter, more contained courses in Maya, like the recent Sci-fi Looping Animation, which check out this student's work. This student had never even opened a 3D program before and after taking that class, they were able to do and create this render. I find that pretty fascinating and I love seeing student stuff like that. That reminds me to ask you to please share whatever you make in my classes on social media, tag me in it, @digitalcreatorschool is my Instagram handle. Also, share in the project area or however you want to share it. I always love to see what people create, it lets me know that some of this is effective. Please leave me feedback as well about what you thought about the course. That always helps. I will see you next time in one of my classes. Thanks for joining me and I'll see you next time. Bye.