Today, we'll have a brief introduction to Blender's new rendering engine - Cycles. This tutorial will cover modeling a small and easy still life scene, setting up different types of materials used in cycles and then finally lighting and rendering the scene.
First we'll create a simple scene, starting with the tea set. Delete all default objects in a new file, press Shift+A and add a Cylinder. With the cylinder selected, in the Tool shelf's (press T if it is hidden) command panel, reduce the number of vertices to 16.
Press 3 on the Numpad to get into the side view. Toggle off the perspective view with the 5 key on the numpad. Select the cylinder and press TAB to enter into Edit mode. Press Z to enter wireframe mode so that we can select and edit the vertices behind, Press B to drag select the bottom vertices and then Press S and scale them down.
Press Ctrl+R to add edge loops. Move the mouse wheel up to increase the loops to three and Left click to confirm.
With all the new loops selected, press S to scale them. Select the loops individually with Alt+Right Click and scale them to create a nice cup shape. Select the whole mesh with the A key and then press S, and then Z to scale them down along the Z axis.
Select the top center vertex and press Del to delete it.
Select all vertices with A key and then press E to extrude them, press the ESC key or right click to confirm the position of the new vertices. Press S and scale them down. Move the selected new vertices upward, to give thickness to the cup.
Press B to drag select the bottom row of vertices, and then Press E to extrude them just a little bit to create a small base. Select all vertices with A key, Press W and select "Shade Smooth" to give it smooth shading.
Click on the Modifiers icon and add a "Subdivision Surface" Modifier.
Press the edit mode preview button.
Add edge loops to give nice creasing on the top edges and bottom. The cup is ready so Press TAB to get out of edit mode.
Now lets create the Teapot. Press Shift+A and add a Cylinder, reduce its vertices to 16.
Press TAB to enter into Edit mode. Scale the bottom row of vertices, Add more edge loops and tweak them to create a nice shape.
Add a Subsurf Modifier, select all the vertices and press W and select "Shade Smooth".
Select the top center vertex and delete it.
Select the top most edge loop with Alt+Right click. Press E to extrude and Right click (or hit ESC) to confirm the position. Press E again to extrude the selected loop and then Right click again to leave the new vertices in the same position. With the new loop selected, press S and scale them down to form the base of the lid.
Using the same extrude and scale method, we create the lid. Here the lid is modeled in a way that it is a part of the same mesh. First extrude the loop, then scale it to shape, then repeat this process until you reach the desired shape. To close the mesh, select the last loop and press Alt+M and then select "At Center". This will merge all the vertices in the center.
Finally, Tweak the loops to get a nice shape. You can add more loops if you wish.
Select the two front faces and extrude out the spout. Add an edge loop at the base to give some crease, and adjust the loops to give it a round shape.
Delete the closed faces and then Extrude the loops and scale them down to give it thickness and a bevel.
Similarly select the two faces right behind the spout and extrude out the handle. Adjust the edges to create a nice round shape. The teapot is complete, so Press TAB to exit edit mode.
Similarly create a jar from another Cylinder. Add edge loops, scale them and rotate where ever necessary.
Extrude the whole mesh inside to give it some thickness, and then adjust and move the top inside loop.
Add more edge loops near the neck. And then select the faces and extrude out the handle as shown. Finally tweak the over all mesh to give it a nice shape. The jar is now ready, so press Tab to exit edit mode.
Press Shift A and add a Plane to create a base on which the objects will be kept.
Select the plane and press TAB to enter into Edit mode. Select all vertices with the A key, and press E to extrude so that we can have some height.
Scale the objects so that they are proportionate to each other. and finally place them accordingly.
Select the cup (with right click) and press Shift+D to make a duplicate.
Now we'll add the room. Press Shift A to add a Cube and Scale it with the S key and place it accordingly.
Press Shift+A and add a Camera. Place and rotate it so you can have a good close up view of the objects.
Split the 3D view into three. Move the mouse over to the corner and drag when the cursor changes.
In any of the 3d views Press 0 on the numpad to enter the camera view.
Now we get into cycles! But before we start, lets hide the room. This way we can light up the scene just with the background world. So select the room (cube) and press H to hide it.
In the top menu bar, Select "Cycles" from the Render Engine drop down list.
In the header of a 3D view, select "Viewport Shading" to "Rendered". You will notice that the view port is now giving almost a realtime rendered feedback. you can rotate, zoom-in, zoom-out or move objects around and you will get realtime feedback. We can do this to any 3D view but here we will do it for the camera view.
In the main Render panel, you can choose whether cycles should use CPU or GPU. Also down in the Integrator panel, you can increase the samples to get better results, both in final rendered images or in the 3D preview. If you enter 0 samples for preview, the 3D view will go on calculating samples to infinity until you change the viewport to shaded or wireframe.
Now we will add materials to the objects. First select the jar, and press the Materials button in the Properties window, and click on "New". You will notice that the usual panels are replaced with new ones when you select Cycles as the render engine.
Name the Material - "Jar" or "Glass". In the surface select "Glass BSDF". This will assign a glass material to the jar. You can select any color but right now I will leave it at white to have a clean glass material.
Add a Sphere. Scale it and place it accordingly and add a new material. Select "Glossy BSDF" in the surface panel, this will create a mirror like glossy material (you can select any color.) The Roughness value determines the sharpness of the reflections. Higher values will make the reflections blurry. A value of 0.00 will make it 100% mirror like reflective.
Now we will add a ceramic like material to the tea set. We will have to make it with a combination of glossy and diffuse materials. To add two materials, we select "Mix Shader" in the Surface drop down list. So go ahead and select the tea pot and add a new material and select Mix Shader in the surface type. Name this material "ceramic".
Select "Diffuse" for one shader type and "Glossy" for other. The Fac value determines the percentage of the mix. A value of 1.0 means that the second shader (here glossy) will have 100% effect and the first shader will effect 0%. 0.500 will mix 50% of both shaders. Here we want a combination of 10% glossy shader and 90% of diffuse, so the value is set to 0.10
Reduce the "Roughness" to 0.00 under glossy shader settings.
Now select the cup and in the materials panel, click on the icon and choose the ceramic material we already created. Do this for all the cups - select the object and then assign the material from the list.
Select the base cube (table) and add a new material and name it "wood". Select "Mix Shader" in the Surface type. Assign one as Diffuse and other shader to Glossy. Set Factor value to 0.300 (30% for glossy and 70% for diffuse). In the Glossy shader, set the "Roughness" to 0.150. This will make the reflections blury.
In the diffuse shader, click on the button next to Color and select "Image Texture".
To map the image properly, click on the Vector button and select "Generated" from the list.
Now let us add more realistic sky lighting. Click on the "World" button in the Properties panel and click on "Use Nodes" or you can add a new material to the world.
Click on the button on the side of the color box and choose "Sky Texture".
Click and drag the lightball to set the direction of sun light. Also play with the Turbidity value.
Now we will light the scene for indoors. Press Alt+H to unhide the room. In the camera view everything will be blacked out as there is no lighting inside the room, so press Z in the 3D view to switch it back to 3d Shaded view.
Add a plane inside the room, add a Material to it and name it "Lightyellow". In the surface type select "Emission" and choose a yellow-orange color
You can add another plane and set it to Emission and choose a different color for this new light.
To make the scene a bit more interesting, we will place the objects near a window. So add Edge loops and then delete a face for the window.
Place the window near the wall, and Extrude the edge of the window to give some depth.
In the top view, drag all the objects including the camera near the window.
In the camera 3D viewport, switch back to rendered view and preview the result. Scale down the inside yellow light plane, and delete the blue light plane.
In the Renders Panel, reduce the dimensions of the image to 50%. Set the Render Samples up to 200 or 500 so that the final output is more clear and less noisy. You can also set the Preview samples to 0 and see at how many samples the render looks fine, and then set the render samples to that number. Indoor scenes need more samples than outdoor scenes.
Finally Press "F12" or hit the image in the render panel to render the image. Press "F3" to save the image.
Other Great Blender Tutorials From Karan Shah:
- Model, Texture, and Render a Photorealistic Kitchen in Blender and Yafaray
- Create A 3D Floor Plan Model From An Architectural Schematic In Blender
- Modeling, UVmapping And Texturing A Low Poly T-Rex In Blender
- Model, UV, and Texture a Complete Manga Character in Blender
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