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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Blender
Cgi

Creating Motion Graphic Elements in Blender Without Shapekeys or Addons: Part 1

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:MediumLanguages:

What You'll Create

Circle Pops

Step 1

In a new file, Press A on the keyboard to select all default objects and then press Del to delete them.

Delete default objects
Delete default objects

Step 2

With the mouse pointer in the 3D view, press 1 in the numpad to get into front view and 5 to toggle off the perspective view. Make sure you are in Ortho view. 

Press Shift-A and add Mesh > Circle.

Add a circle
Add a circle

Step 3

In the Tool Options panel, which is located at the bottom of the tool shelf—press T to toggle on if it is not there—reduce the Vertices count to 8. This will make the pop less dense. 

In the Fill Type select Nothing. Check Align to View so that the circle is not facing upwards.

Reduce vertices
Reduce vertices

Step 4

Click on the particles button in the properties window. Click New button to add one.

Add new particle settings
Add new particle settings

Press Alt-A to preview the animation or click on the play button, you will see that the particles just pours out from the centre. This is the default set up.

Animation playback
Animation playback

Step 5

With the circle selected, and in the Emission panel of the Particle properties,

  • Set the End frame to 5. This is the frame number to stop emitting the particles. In this case, particles will be emitted from frame 1 to 5.
  • Decrease Lifetime to 6. This shows that the particles will last for 6 frames. In this case, this value will also determine how far the particles will go.
  • Set Emit From to Verts, so that the particles are emitted from the vertices of the object.
Particle Settings
Particle Settings

Press Shift-Left Arrow to go to first frame. Press Alt-A to play the animation.

Animation preview
Animation preview

Step 6

In the Velocity Panel, Set Normal to 5. This sets the speed of the particles. 

In the Field Weights panel, reduce the value of Gravity to 0. This will prevent the particles from falling.

Particle settings
Particle settings

Press Shift-Left Arrow to go back to first frame. Press Alt-A and preview the animation.

Animation preview
Animation preview

Step 7

Press Shift-A and add a Camera.

Add a camera
Add a camera

Move the camera away and place it at a distance form the circle. Use the manipulators to move it. 

Press 0 in the numpad to get into camera view.

Place the camera
Place the camera

Assigning a Material

Step 1

If you render any frame of the animation with particles, you will see that they appear as white halos. This is because a Halo material is assigned to the particles by default. 

Drag the green line in the timeline window with the left mouse button to go to any frame in between.

Skip few frames
Skip few frames

Press F12 to render a frame.

Render an image
Render an image

Step 2

Next assign a new material to the particles. Click on the Material button in the properties panel. Press the New button.

Add new material
Add new material

A new material will be assigned to the object—as well as particles—and the setting options will appear.

  • Rename the material white—or anything you want
  • Set the material type to Halo
  • In the Halo panel, reduce the Size to 0.08. This determines the thickness of the halo
  • Reduce the Hardness to 0. This will make the halo sharp and hard
  • Click on the Colour block and choose a colour. I chose white
Material settings
Material settings

Step 3

Click on the particles setting button in the properties window. In the Render panel, uncheck Emitter. This will prevent the emitter particle from rendering.

Particle settings
Particle settings

Step 4

Drag with secondary mouse button on the timeline towards right to advance few frames.

Go to a frame of the animation
Go to a frame of the animation

Press F12 to render a frame. The Circle pop is ready.

Press Esc to go back to 3D view.

Render a frame
Render a frame

Rendering the Animation

Step 1

Click on the Camera button in the Properties window.

  • In the Dimensions panel, you can set the resolution of the final video
  • In the Output panel, set the directory and file name to save the animation
  • In the Encoding panel, choose MPEG-4 for Format and select MPEG-4(divx) for Codec
Render settings
Render settings

In the Render panel, Click on the Animation button to render the animation.

Rendering animation
Rendering animation

Explore for the file and play.

Animation playback
Animation playback

Duplicating the Object and Assigning Different Material

Step 1

In case you're not in object mode, Press Tab on the keyboard to exit the edit mode. 

Secondary-click on the circle and then press Shift-D to duplicate it. 

Move the mouse away and secondary-click to confirm the position. The new object will be sharing the same particle system and material.

Duplicate the object
Duplicate the object

Step 2

Press A on the keyboard to deselect all objects. Right click on the new object to select it. In the Properties window, click on the Particles button to bring the particles options. 

Click on the + button or the button which has number (2) on it, and it will copy the shared particles properties to a new one, for the new object.

Particle settings
Particle settings

Step 3

Rename the new particle settings. I named it Second. I changed the Start frame number to 10 and End frame to 16, as I want to to start after the first one has finished.

Rename the particle setup
Rename the particle setup

Press Shift-Left Arrow to go to first frame. Press Alt-A to play the animation. Press Esc to stop.

Aniamtion preview
Animation preview

Step 4

Give the new object and particles its new material and color. With the new object selected, click on the Material button in the properties window.

Again, click on the number button to make it a copy of the material for this object.

Material settings
Material settings

Step 5

Rename the material. I named it Red. In the Halo panel, click on the colour bar and set a new colour.

Color settings
Color settings

Press Alt-A to play the animation

Animation playback
Animation playback

Step 6

You can create variations by playing with the settings—Normal and Lifetime—of the particles. Also try using a circle with higher number of vertices.

Variations of circle pop
Variations of circle pop

Creating Two Colour Circle Pop

Step 1

I'll increase the number of vertices to make room for two-colour circle pop. 

  • Secondary-click on the object you created, and press Tab to enter edit mode. 
  • Press A to select all vertices. 
  • Press W to bring the Specials menu and select Subdivide Smooth. This will double the vertices of the mesh.
Subdividing the mesh
Subdividing the mesh

Press W again and select Smooth to ease the shape.

Making the mesh smooth
Making the mesh smooth

Step 2

Select alternate vertices. 

  • Secondary-click on any one vertex to select it. 
  • Hold the Shift button and then secondary-click again for multiple selection. 
  • Click on the Object Data button in the properties window. 
  • In the Vertex Groups panel, click the + button to add a new vertex group.
Select alternate vertices and create new vertex group
Select alternate vertices and create new vertex group

Double click on the name and rename this group. I named it White as for me these will be the ones with white material. 

Click on Assign button. This will assign the selected vertices to the group named White. Ensure the Weight is 1.

Assign the vertex group
Assign the vertex group

Step 3

Press Ctrl-I to inverse the selection. Click on the + button in the Vertex Groups panel to add a new group.

Inverse selection
Inverse selection

Rename it red and then click Assign. You now have two vertex groups. These will be assigned different particle settings with different materials.

Assign selected vertices to new vertex group
Assign selected vertices to new vertex group

Step 4

Click on the Particle Setting button in the properties window.

  • Rename the Settings to anything you want. I named it pop-white as this will emit white particles
  • In the Vertex Groups, select white vertex group you just created for the Density. By doing so, only the vertices belonging to the group named white will have the particle setting named pop-white
  • In the Render Panel, Choose White as the material. This was already created
Particle settings
Particle settings

Step 5

Click on the Materials button in the properties window. Press the + button to add another material slot.

Adding new material
Adding new material

Click on the browse button and select the white material i.e. the previously created material.

Adding new material
Adding new material

Click on the + button to make a copy of the material.

Making the material single user
Making the material single user

Step 6

Click on the name to rename the material. I named it red. In the Halo panel, click on the colour bar and choose a colour.

Renaming the new material
Renaming the new material

Step 7

Go back to the Particle settings by clicking on the particles button in the properties window. Click on the + button to add another particle system.

Adding new particle setup
Adding new particle setup

Step 8

Click on the browse button and select previously created particle settings—pop-white.

Particle settings
Particle settings

Press the + button to make a copy of it.

Particle settings
Particle settings

Left click and rename it to pop-red or whatever you want. 

This new particle settings will have the same settings of the previously created one so you don't need to redo those again.

Renaming new particle settings
Renaming new particle settings

Step 9

I want this particle settings to emit from the vertices which were grouped and named Red

In the Vertex Groups panel, select Red for Density. Also in the Render panel, select the Red material you created for this particle settings.

Assigning vertex group to particle setup
Assigning vertex group to particle setup

Press Alt-A to play the animation. You will see that the circle have two particle system each with their own material.

Render preview
Render preview

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