• Alvin Shi

Blender Saga: Intermediate Animating

Previously, I expressed a desire to make more interesting motion. General location/rotation/scaling animation will get you far, but it's a bit tough to use just those things to generate stuff like fire and crazy water blobs and stuff like that.

Animating more complicated things is basically keyframing stuff that isn't always listed on the menu when you press "i" in the animation window. For example, we can animate a transition between two different kinds of shaders on one object with texture coordinate mapping, a frame driver, and a little bit of math to make sure the gif loops easily.

Here, I have a lot of elements, including regular toon shading, moving light sources, and some grease-pencil-ing. The two Ds take a noise texture with a variable cutoff dependent on the frame, then decides between putting an emission shader or a toon shader on the surface of the objects. Modifying the base cutoff, we can also make cool looking orbs.

Using the number of the frame as a driver also translates over well to other weird stuff. Working with volumetric things, we can also make pulsating blob loops.

This volumetric exploration was a good starting point, since I wanted to make objects that had variable surface geometry (water, fire, etc). How'd I end up doing that? Who knows....

P.S. I'm updating my "portfolio" a heck a lot faster than this blog, so if you want to look at some other looping gifs (made in blender), head on over to the art tab.

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