16 Posts
Just tried to make first animation more complex then just a rotation.
1 Feb 2017, 11:53
Edited 1 Feb 2017, 11:53
200 Posts
That's pretty dang awesome sunder!
1 Feb 2017, 14:28
272 Posts
1 Feb 2017, 16:42
700 Posts
1 Feb 2017, 18:31
3061 Posts
I cannot stop looking at this thing walking.
1 Feb 2017, 19:18
16 Posts
2 Feb 2017, 01:21
25 Posts
WHAAA! That is amazing! I wish I could do something like this. Great job Sunder_59!
2 Feb 2017, 09:49
16 Posts
A bit more comlex thing.
3 Feb 2017, 02:29
Edited 3 Feb 2017, 02:32
25 Posts
Wow! Awesome video. I kept hoping it would fire at something.
3 Feb 2017, 02:43
25 Posts
edit: opps it posted it twice
3 Feb 2017, 02:43
Edited 4 Feb 2017, 01:52
200 Posts
That's even more impressive! What was your render time like?
3 Feb 2017, 05:32
209 Posts
Wow! That is great!
3 Feb 2017, 15:02
16 Posts
It took 16 hours...
3 Feb 2017, 15:51
19 Posts
Great work!
10 Feb 2017, 18:09
79 Posts
My experiences for what its worth.

I started playing with Blender a few years ago on and off and made a short trailer animation as a test. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ6ePtUf8t8)

I am neither a modeller, computer expert, or film maker, just an enthusiastic Lego lover who wanted to try stop motion animation. Once I had discovered Mecabricks, my life was changed.

It has resulted in my getting my hands dirty and learning blender to a point where I can bluff my way along. It is frustrating to start but the long learning curve is worth it for the incredible powerful program and the results it yields.

I have found that the best rendering is a series of steps. I use the Cycles render engine as the realism is awesome.

1 - Make sure you have Blender 2.78.5 - the new nightly built. The new denoising under the render layer tab is AWESOME! What a difference it makes for noise and also the time it will save being able to cut down on your render passes and still get acceptable results.

2 - Reduce the render settings - The higher the resolution the longer it takes. I have found that by reducing 1920 x 1060 to 60% it gives me sufficient quality for HD on YouTube and saves LOADS of time. Try comparing the difference between the 2 settings.

3 - As everyone says, find the optimum tile size. 256 for GPU rendering is great until you want to render things like smoke then you may have to drop down to 64 or even 32 if you find Blender crashing a lot. I have given up rendering smoke in Cycles and now do viewport rendering and overlaying it but that is another subject for another day. I did Cycles fire in my last animation and it took 3 weeks to do a 10 second video. Now I render my brick animation and then overlay the viewport render of the smoke/fire. Its not as realistic, but hours instead of weeks and my new animation will be ready in 6 months instead of 6 years.

4 - Try using the free blender plug in - 'Auto Tile Size'. I found this saves a lot of time as it optimises the tile size and at 256 I have 15 tiles 231 x 216

5 - Turn off Reflective and Refractive caustics in the render settings. Found it did not make much difference to the quality of the render but saves time.

6 - Play with glossy and diffuse bounces as well as Max bounces. I found that they could be reduced by half and still get acceptable renders.

7 - Big Light Sources. - This will make such a difference to your noise levels. I use the Blender Guru 'Pro-Lighting Demo' which works well. On my 'to buy' list as the Hobby version is $99 so saving for it. Saves you having to learn to be a lighting expert to get acceptable results.

8 - On Large scenes. Polygon count is important. I have been importing scenes built in Mecabricks which almost crash my PC. I break the scene up into layers and then rationalize each layer. If have found that by 'joining' large models or surfaces that you do not need to have moving parts for or are going to edit will make animation faster as well as when working with the models especially background models. i.e. a 1000 piece model 2 million polygons that can take a while just to drag into place, can be improved by 'joining' the pieces, then sometimes I will rationalize the materials and get rid of the 500 extra copies of the same colour.

9 - Apply a decimate to those 2 million polygon pieces that are not going to be seen close up. Things like buildings with thousands of parts. First 'join' the pieces, then add a decimate (Under the spanner icon) and then play with the settings to see what you are happy to accept. There will be some distortions, especially the studs, but I have found that settings up to 0.5 still yields an acceptable model viewed at a distance, and 0.8 for closer models.

10 - Under the world icon - Set the 'multiple importance' map resolution setting to at least 1024

11 - Render passes - I found that with good HDRI source and bright outdoor scene 150 passes is acceptable, especially now with the denoiser. 300 for darker indoor scenes. Only rarely have I had to do 1000 passes for really dark indoor scenes.

12 - May seem obvious, but when rendering, render to PNG stills rather than a movie setting like AVI or quicktime. When your computer crashes (Oh yes and it will especially if playing with smoke etc) then you only have to carry on rendering from where it crashed instead of the entire sequence again. THIS has saved me hundreds of hours in itself. Once the sequence has finished, go into Blenders video editor and import the sequence then render out in movie format.

13 - Make sure you have lots of disk space as this too will influence render time.

14 - If you have the money, upgrade your video board to something with lots of CUDA's. This will save you hundreds of hours. Even an older Nvidia card is worth getting as GPU rendering will top CPU rendering by a serious margin. I have just upgraded from my Geforce GTX550 with its 192 Cudas which rendered in 3 minutes 35 seconds a scene that took the CPU 1 hour and 10 seconds to the best I could afford, a Zotac GTX1060 3GB which has 1152 Cudas that now renders the same scene in 1 minute 6 seconds. I will be paying it off for the next year, but I am saving so much time. I now have my older card in my office machine which battles to render due to lack of Ram, but at least can help with shorter scenes with not too much information.

Save your models often. Save a version before you start rationalizing and joining etc as you may find a place where you need the original file for one reason or another. I tend to save each scene as a new file if doing any sort of modification as you often want to go back to it. Delete it all once you have finished.

Put different models on different layers. It makes it easier to select something to manipulate without accidentally getting parts of other models. It also means the computer is only having to deal with the selected layers and not the whole scene so speeds up your animation. Select all the scenes when you are ready to render.

I am sure there are lots of other tips I have forgotten, but hope this is of some assistance to anyone wanting to try Blender animation.

Importing Mecabricks models via Collada and using even the standard settings yields terrific life like renders with almost no additional work, but if you want to do animation, then hopefully the above information will give you the inclination to give it a try.

*** Warning *** Its addictive.

Perhaps Scrubs can start up a subsection just for Blender animation that we can all help each other.
11 Jun 2017, 16:30
317 Posts
Cool stuff!
11 Jun 2017, 18:34
2 Posts

I have made my first lego animation.
I don't have alot experience with blender and I used 3ds MAX alot more so made my animation in 3ds max

Not really happy with the shadows. but the other things are for now good enough

If someone got experience with 3ds max materials would be awesome if he could help me
21 Jul 2017, 17:54
Edited 21 Jul 2017, 17:57
79 Posts
Excellent, Love the way you got the grass effect.
22 Jul 2017, 05:34
1 Post
I made this https://twitter.com/geotrax2001/status/891084371381432320

thought it was decent. since I made that, I updated my material overlay I as using. think it makes it look better, but unfortunately cant afford to render out better right now
4 Aug 2017, 03:15
75 Posts
12 Aug 2017, 01:41
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