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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-1 for BlenderGuru as well, even if he’s a well-known Blender youtuber, from what I’ve seen he’s not really meticulous in its workflow. Channels like GlebAlexandrov is better IMO.

Actually “Blender best practices for BJS” is equivalent to “Best practices for realtime assets creation”. You can check some channels specialized in game assets creations, even if it’s not on Blender - logic keeps the same -, like Arrimus 3D, ChamferZone, maybe CG Masters, GameTextures also and probably many more.

Some tips can be taken from other 3D engines too, like Unreal, Unity, GDQuest (game designer on Godot), etc

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Thanks for that “realtime assets creation”.