Blender Volcano Environment

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At Bournemouth University I was taught the basics of Blender. Blender is an opensource 3D modelling program that can do modelling and animation. I personally didn’t like this program as I felt the User Interface wasn’t very responsive and didn’t represent true 3D polygon modelling that I learnt at College. However, as a basics to using 3D perspective I feel it was a good learning curve; though I have previously modelled so I found this unncesscary. While the User Interface was fiddly and the tools were somewhat limited I liked the results it could produce easily.

 

Looking for tutorials I found this low polygon model that covered a lot of basics from point manipulation to lighting and rendering. I felt this was a nice step into the program as it covered a lot of basics to create industry standard 3D models and it also came out with a nice result. I have actually admired this style for a long time too after seeing various artists replicate it on Dribbble.

 

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Using the tutorial I looked at creating a volcano in the sea. Originally I intended to animate this so I wanted a simple volcano and sea so I kept it simple and only had one point of interest. But this wass something I struggled with as I couldn’t figure out how to animate texture movement and is something I will have to look further into in the future. Instead I just did the volcano in full lava flow and manipulated the water by making it two shades of blue and using the same technique as with the mountain onto the sea but with smooth effects. This created nice waves and an image like the above. I felt it helped make the plain look less flat and gave it a character. I also added sub islands around so there was more in the background of the model. Overall I was very happy with the model and texturing part and found it pretty easy to do though I think my grasp of basic modelling principles helped with this. On the other hand though the modelling of the clouds took longer due to missing points when moving created shape distortion. This took a while to figure out as I was selected the movement as before but then I realised it was on a separate layer and I could press A to select all without selecting my plane.

 

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I then set up the lights and camera playing around with the settings given. I found the camera position to be sensitive and it took me a while to get the angle I wanted. I also noticed the plain was too small in comparison to my volcano so I couldn’t get the full volcano in as I hoped without the edge of the plain showing on the camera. If I were to do this again I would modify this so that I could get a better end image. I modified things such as the sun’s volume, the stars and added a slight mist. I also added more point lights in to light up the lava to show it is lava and give it a further depth.

 

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Looking at the final project and end result I quite enjoyed this, I however didn’t like using Blender and would look at using Lightwave or Maya as I previously have used these and feel for more intricate designs and professional models to use in games then these would be better programs. However if I was looking to create 2D art in a 3D program or simple animations then Blender would be the ideal platform to do this on. Overall though the image I created was something I was pleased with though it needs work in certain areas and paying more attention to lighting in order to further the fields of depth would be something I will look to do in the future. On the other hand though for my first attempt I am happy with the outcome and the ease in which I created the image though it took a while due to the learning of all the tools and shortcuts though I am comfortable that if I can do it again then I will do it quicker and it will have a better outcome following what I have learnt.

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