Blender for 2D Illustrators: Speed up your 2D work-flow with 3D Tools

Blender is an incredible open source program that has a suite of useful tools for 3D modeling, sculpting, animating and video editing. But what you may not realize is that Blender can also be used to simplify your 2D illustration workflow.

In this class we are going to approach Blender with the mindset of a 2D illustrator and only focus on the tools that will be useful to us for creating a simple base image that we can then use as a jumping off point for a 2D illustration.

This class is ideal for:

  • Beginner to intermediate Blender users
  • 2D illustrators who wish to create the illusion of three dimensional space in their digital paintings and drawings
  • Students or Professionals who wish to speed up their illustration workflow

If you’ve ever wanted to learn Blender but felt a bit intimidated, this class is perfect for you. Or, if you are already an intermediate Blender user this class will be great for seeing a new way you can apply your skills.

The only tools you must have for this class is a computer, Blender 2.92 and a digital painting software. Since Blender is an open source program it can be downloaded for free at Blender.org. The digital painting software I will be using is also open source. Although not required, the other tools listed below are highly recommended.

Materials and Resources:

  • Blender 2.92
  • A digital painting software of your choice, I will demonstrate in Krita
  • A mouse with a scroll wheel
  • A drawing tablet

For this class we are going to create an illustration of a terrarium, but not any ordinary terrarium: this terrarium is going to also have a little house inside. Do fairies live there? Miniature people? Maybe a mouse? You decide!

 

Our beginner students will start with the Warming up To Blender lesson where they will learn the basics of creating primitive 3D objects like cubes and spheres and how to manipulate their location, scale and rotation and how to navigate the 3D view.

 

Our intermediate students will join us again for the rest of the project where we will arrange various 3D meshes in the 3D view to create the terrarium composition. Once we have a lighting set-up and some materials applied to our objects we will render and export the image to our favorite 2D painting software. Keep in mind that our goal isn’t to create a photo-realistic render! Just a very simple layout that we can paint over to create the final illustration.

 

Class Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Class Project: Terrarium Miniature World
  • Our Tools: Blender and Krita
  • Warming up to Blender: The Basics
  • Creating the Jar
  • Creating the House
  • Importing Plant Meshes from Class Resources
  • Creating Materials
  • Rendering
  • Final Stage: Painting
  • Conclusion: Where to take your skills next