Blender best practices for bjs?

I want to start compiling some assets (lowish poly with bones) in blender, wondering if there are any known best-practices to employ (re: scale, snap to grid, cloning, parenting, skinning) for best results.

Also, if anyone has any resource for better familiarizing one’s self to the blender ui, I would be most grateful. Ive been graceful with such apps before re: vertex manipulation, but find myself a clutz in blender. (Blender seems like it could give me the best results for the price)

Thanks!

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Hi,

As for Blender Tutorials:
There is always Blender Gurus Beginner Series for 2.79 (a lot of that stuff is still relevant)


He also has stuff on 2.8 of course:

If you were willing to spend a little, look at Zacharias Reinhardts “Launchpad”:
https://academy.cgboost.com/
Also fantastic are Vaughn “Heavy Poly” Ling, Grant Abbitt, Gleb Alexandrov an Aidy Burrows on youtube.

As for best practices, I tried to figure this out as well, and this is the list I have so far:
. Reduce Mesh as far as possible. Create High Poly look using Normal Maps
. use only one Material per Submesh
. use as few Materials as possible. Each Material is a DrawCall at Rendertime
. Have as few meshes as possible. It can be more efficient to Join everything together and then use Bones to Animate parts
. If you do not need shadows, Lighting with HDRs is more efficient than real lighting
. Layout your UVs as compact as possible to keep Texture Sized small. Reuse if you can
. depending on the case, Vertex Colors can be more efficient then textures
. PBR Understands: BaseColor, Metallic, Roughness, Normal, AO, Emission
… BaseColor, Normals and Emission are RGB Textures
… Metallic, Roughness and AO should be a ORM texture: Occlusion → Red, Roughness → Green, Metallic → Blue
… generally PNGs are the prferred format (correct me if I am wrong)
… If you have a BW texture and dont need i.e. AO and Metallic you can save texture as JPEG BW
. Working with Smoothing Groups is better than adding more geometry

This is what i got so far. If I got anything wrong, please correct me!

Best regards!

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Awesome, exactly what I was looking for. Just blindly googling youtube videos is a very…mixed bag. Love the firsthand knowledge.
If anybody can add to it, please do.

Yes, Blender is awesome, and it is a GOOD QUESTION to become familiar with a half-dozen (or full-dozen) “best-practices”. :grin:

Off the top of my head…
from a year ago @JCPalmer was a big help… memory drop:


  1. know your rendering engine: evee, Blender Renderer, etc… (the differences surprised me)
  • I think maybe Blender Render is the only way to go. But, on hiatus from mesh-land so. IDK.
  • there are many VIEWS which become helpful in animation.
  1. know your MODES and METHODOLOGIES (there are many)
  • weight paint
  • retropolation
  • rigging
  • animating
  • brushes
  • textures and materials
  • Blender is massive.
  1. NAME YOUR MODELS WELL
  • get into the habit of naming every little piece in Blender.
  • the reason is for EXPORT. If it is not named know way to know what it is.
  • all of my exports to (.babylon) come across as multiple assets.
  • plus you need to DELETE unused things, and continually optimize.
  1. KNOW THE .BABYLON SETTINGS
  • JCP put awesome checkbox like options integrated to Blender.
  • it is important to know those options, like “turn shadows off”, “flat render” and many others. IDK.
  1. KNOW THE HOTKEYS
  • in Blender you fly or die based on your knowledge of hot-keys
  • gotta define your “workflow” - it gets very deep in some places (but not impossible)
  • re-topology is an example. Also rigging… oh jeez rigging.
  • Make “recipes” to remind yourself how to do the complex things.
  • Cause you can forget and do the wrong effect over and over.
  1. Exporting a GREAT RIG from BLENDER is a non-trivial exercise.
  • anticipate long stretches of trial & error. (can seem impossible but not impossible).
  • ANIMATION IS NOT DONE UNTIL IT IS EXPORTED AND WORKING 100%.
  • There are common errors, I think it was with BONE-parenting… but I forget now.
  • YOU REALLY HAVE TO GET THE RIGGING PRECISE TO GET IK TO WORK RIGHT.
  • Similar, weight paints are surprisingly delicate… miss a single hidden pixel (strange effects)
  1. Online videos are good. Also there are places like CGCookie and BlenderMarket, and good places to LEARN if you really want to. It is a great community. etc.

Also Gleb is a tremendously influential artist. I wanted to take his “how to build planets” course - but SPENDING ALL TIME IN BABYLON. That is probably a good point too…

  1. BABYLON and Blender have significant overlap. For example…
  • I first made complex polygons in Blender. Now I make them in BABYLON exclusively.
  • Same with terrain, and effects.
  • Taboo to say (I know - but I say it anyway) Over time BABYLON might be able to do everything Blender can do… and better. :grin:
  • Overtime I use Blender less and less and BABYLON entirely (materials, textures).
  • Get “close to the metal”
  1. To get rigging to work I had to go all the way down to “single bone” testing. And slowly work up.
  • Make hundreds of back ups of everything
  • And dont be surprised AT ALL when you have to re create everything again, and again, because of tiny missed steps early on…
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Yess, thankyou thankyou.
I am feeling much better about this endeavor.

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BONUS-ROUND:

@poetoem mentioned Gleb. And it reminded me of some great work he did…

Gleb did a vid on “how to make things beautiful”.

It is very important and worth googling.

Here’s why.

There is a single, simple trick to making things look beautiful.

He breaks it down into 3 concepts to look for:

  1. Depths
  • views with near, medium, and far. small,medium, big object are best.
  1. Definition: smooth, grouped, and detailed.
  • mix these into a balance to help eye be easily guided around the scene
  • big smooth areas help eye relax.
  1. Clusters of groups of similar things are good.
  • also to help the eye quickly analyze then relax.

Anyway he gives good examples of how this trick is “best-practice” for 3D Compositions.

TAKEAWAY:

Beauty has a Scientific Method and can be emulated easily, when you know what it is. : )

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Thankyou I’ve been wondering this as well, using scale, contrast, etc. Great that someone has gone in depth with theory <3 I’ll pull out links to some of my favorites.

As well as BlenderGuru who I find rambles a bit, Maybe check the YouTube videos of Grant Abbit or The Wayward Art Company with a quick search of YouTube for those two names.

Mr Abbit has quite a few videos on Blender 2.8. And Mike McGann of the Wayward Art Company let me use a creation of his for this little demo:

A Victorian House which would make a good intro to a 7th. Guest type game.

cheers, gryff :slight_smile:

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