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Blender 2.5 Materials and Textures Cookbook

Colin Litster

Achieving near photographic realism in your 3D models is within easy reach once you’ve learnt the finer points of using materials and textures in Blender. Over 80 recipes cover everything from human faces to flames and explosions.
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Book Details

ISBN 139781849512886
Paperback312 pages

About This Book

  • Master techniques to create believable natural surface materials
  • Take your models to the next level of realism or artistic development by using the material and texture settings within Blender 2.5.
  • Take the hassle out of material simulation by applying faster and more efficient material and texture strategies
  • Part of Packt's Cookbook series: Each recipe is a logically organized according to the surface types with clear instructions and explanations on how these recipes can be applied across a range of materials including complex materials such as oceans, smoke, fire and explosions.


Who This Book Is For

If you are a Graphics Designer looking to master the features for materials and textures to create realistic looking models in Blender, then this book is for you. It can be read by both beginners and experienced Blender users; however, prior understanding of object creation and manipulation in Blender would be an advantage.

This is a must-read for Blender users who want to learn the concepts and at the same time experiment with the different Blender Material and texture functions.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Creating Natural Materials in Blender
Creating a realistic pebble material using procedural textures
Creating a gray limestone pebble
Creating the quartz pebble material
Creating an opalescent quartz material
Creating a mask to represent the quartz veins
Combining two materials, to make a third, using Nodes
Creating a large rock material using procedural, and node textures
Creating a sea rock material
Creating a texture node to simulate seaweed at the base of a rock
Creating a large rock face using photo reference
Chapter 2: Creating Man-made Materials
Creating a slate roof node material that repeats but with ultimate variety
Using a tileable texture to add complexity to a surface
Warping a texture to disguise seams in a repeated texture
Adding weathering by copying and reusing textures
Combining materials using nodes
Creating metals
Using specular maps to add age and variety to man-made surface materials
Adding oxidization weathering to our copper material
Adding grime and artistic interest to our copper material
Creating a path or road material that never repeats
Repeating a tiled texture to duplicated objects
Deforming materials and textures in Blender
Chapter 3: Creating Animated Materials
How to move textures and create animation without moving a mesh
Manipulating the F-Curves of texture movement
Using an Empty as a dummy object to control texture movement over time
A barber pole with no moving parts
How to alter the color of materials and textures over time
Creating a red hot iron bar
How to animate transparency in a texture
Creating a burning sheet of paper
How to change textures during an animation
How to texture with movies creating a TV screen
Chapter 4: Managing Blender Materials
Setting a default scene for materials creation
Additional settings for default scene
Creating an ideal Blender interface for material creation
Creating an ideal texture animation setup
Naming materials and textures
Appending materials
Linking materials
Making blendfiles stand alone
Chapter 5: Creating More Difficult Man-made Materials
Creating rust on iron-based metals
Creating a mesh object to provide good reflective surfaces
Using environment map textures to simulate reflection
Varying environment map reflections to simulate corrosion or wear
Using raytrace reflections to simulate polished metals
Varying raytrace reflections to simulate dirt and grime
Chapter 6: Creating More Difficult Natural Materials
Creating realistic large-scale water in Blender 2.5
Setting up an ocean vista environment
Creating a wave surface using textures
Creating an ocean surface material
Creating wake around objects in water
Creating a non-repeating leaf material
Creating image and bump maps, with alpha channels
Using images as the basis for a leaf material
Using alpha to create a leaf shape on a simple mesh
Adding a non-repeating bump to the leaf material
Adding color complexity to the leaf material
Chapter 7: UV Mapping and Sub Surface Scattering
Creating a face map from photographs
Unwrapping a face mesh to produce a UV map
Editing a UV map to optimize the image space
Creating multiple UV maps for a single object
Combining UV maps to create an enveloping UV
Using a paint package to merge UV maps
Extracting color, bump, and specularity maps from photographs
Applying UVs to create an accurate skin material
Skin shading using SSS and AO
Chapter 8: Painting and Modifying Image Textures in Blender
Post processing rendered images from within Blender
Adding more than one material to a surface
Adding dirt onto a model
Creating an aged photo with simple Blender materials
Chapter 9: Special Effects Materials
Creating explosive smoke in Blender
Igniting a flame and making things burn in Blender
Creating loopable fire and smoke sequences
Adding complex FX without the render overhead

What You Will Learn

  • Understand the new Blender 2.5 user interface that simplifies creation of materials and textures
  • Explore the complex task of UV mapping of a human face
  • Use the Sub Surface Scattering commands in Blender to create objects the way you want
  • Confidently simulate materials such as smoke, flames, and explosions using the Blender 2.5 Smoke Physics module
  • Create an entire ocean that animates and reacts with objects in the water by using the new Blender 2.5 features
  • Employ simple repeating textures that can be applied with infinite variety without appearing to repeat
  • Synthesize complex materials without complex mesh objects by using alpha transparency
  • Create incredible moving textures and materials by using Blender 2.5 animation curves
  • Create flexible materials that can curve around corners or apply themselves to complex winding meshes without unwanted texture distortion
  • Manage Blender 2.5 materials and textures and effectively apply them to your Blender projects

In Detail

Blender 2.5 is one of the most usable 3D suites available. Its material and texture functions offer spectacular surface creation possibilities. It can take you hours just to create basic textures and materials in Blender and when you think of creating complex materials and textures you are petrified. Imagine how you will feel when you overcome these obstacles.

This book wastes no time on boring theory and bombards you with examples of ready-created materials and textures from the start, with clear instructions on how they were created, and what you can learn from them for making your own. It covers all core Blender functions you will ever need to easily create perfect simulation of objects from the simplest to the most complex ones.

The book begins with recipes that show you how to create natural surface materials, including a variety of pebbles, rocks, wood, and water, as well as man-made metals, complete with rust. By utilizing some of the easiest-to-use animation tools available, you will be able to produce accurate movement in mesh objects. Familiarize yourself with a plethora of tools that will help you to effectively organize your textures and materials.

You will learn how to emulate the reflective properties of natural materials and how to simulate materials such as rusted iron, which is difficult to make believable. Transparency and reflection are both tricky natural surface properties to simulate but these recipes will make it easy. Explore ways to speed up animations by using special painting techniques to significantly lower render times. By the end of the book, you will be able to simulate some of the most difficult effects to recreate in any 3D suite, such as smoke, fire, and explosions.



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