Friday, December 28, 2012

More, a texturing and animation story

     Well, Christmas is over and it is time to get back to work learning Blender. Taking some time today to learn texturing and animation. I know this topic is way over done, however, it is an easy character to make and texture. Deal with it. I decided to make my very own Minecraft Steve. For those of you who are not familiar with Minecraft, Steve is a cube based character with 8-bit graphics. This makes him very easy to model as well as texture.

     This screenshot shows me finalizing the armature after making the very basic mesh for Steve.You can see that I have not parented the bones in the arms and legs to the main spine bone yet. Fret not, I did it. Anyways, a very basic armature for a very basic mesh, though I did learn how to go in and edit vertex groups for individual bones. The leg bones where effecting the body and the head was effecting the arm... it was very strange, but it is now fixed.

     After adding the armature and then parenting the mesh to it, I decided to work on marking seams for the UV unwrap portion. Since all the body parts are essentially cubes, this process was very simple. All I did was take the front face on each part and mark the 4 edges coming off towards the back, then you just mark the 3 seams in the back and it unwraps very nicely.

     Here is the initial UV unwrap displayed in the UV image editor. After this screen shot I placed all the that were the same on top of each other. For instance, since both arms are going to look the same I rotated and located one arm so that it fit perfectly on top of the other. Then, I did the same for the legs. The head was scaled up to allow for more detail, as was the body.

     Using G.I.M.P., an open source image editor (similar to PhotoShop) I loaded the UV unwrap and proceeded to paint the texture. I have a fondness for cartoon textures and it just so happens that Steve wanted a custom cartoon texture. I'd go into explaining how I used G.I.M.P. with all the layers and such, but, this is a Blender/Game design blog. Anyways, after all the painting was done, I added a blur to make the image look pixelized. Then, export it as a .png file and load it back into Blender.

     I had to kind of cheat this image, since the original used a very poor and quickly done texture that I decided to throw away. So here is me showing the new texture loaded into Blender with Steve showing it off in style. Actually, in this picture you can see me working on the animation that will be shown in the next blog! I'm going to make a little Minecraft animation to finish off this project.

     Here is a sneak peak. It is far from finished, however, I wanted to see what he looked like rendered. Incidentally, does anyone know how to make this model project a shadow onto the image textured ground that he walks on? I cannot seem to accomplish this task. Any help would greatly be appreciated.


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