Step 2: Joining pieces and adding ocean

Step 2: Joining pieces and adding ocean

Today’s post, as suggested by the title, is about using Blender to make a lighthouse scene.

Well, I persisted (mostly) – as much as I got really, really, really frustrated at times with the Blender interface. This said, I am beginning to feel the power of this application.

Once I made the column of the lighthouse and the underside of the lamp in Blender (see last post), I did cheat and export them as fbx files. Why? Well at this point I was ready to give up on Blender (once again). After all, everything in Blender was just so difficult! I really wanted to add a brick normal map and some other stuff, but I could not get it to work.

So I went into DAZ Studio and played with the shapes some more to get the following:

tn3

Given my self-appointed brief was to have this light house on a rock in a stormy ocean during the night, I figured that the next step was the ocean. Now DAZ Studio does sell a nice little ocean pack called Ocean Wide by an artist called Marshian. It was only $17 and I did start to justify myself by thinking that I only needed to design the lighthouse myself and nothing else. So I felt that I could purchase Ocean Wide, dump the wonderful waves and stormy skybox into my scene and voila!

But no!!!

I am going to do the sea myself!

So I tried another old favourite of mine: Bryce. This wonderful (now free) terrain generator can do amazing things. I found a number of posts online saying that the best way to do a sea was basically with a mountainous terrain but using the “turbulent sea” material. I spent an hour doing this and, frankly, was not happy with the results. Here’s a picture:

brycesea

Looks OKish, but…

So then I try importing my lighthouse file and the lighthouse turned out completely disjointed:

b2

Damn!

So I tried exporting and importing in all manner of formats but no luck. I even tried DAZ Studio’s own bridge to Bryce. No luck. I could not find any fixes.

Damn!

Now I can gather Bryce is a program no longer in development, so with despair in my heart I chose to give up on pursuing this line of experimentation.

Ok, I thought, what can Blender do with oceans and the like?  Yes, I felt that I had no choice but to go back to complicated old Blender. And then I found this marvelous tutorial by CG Geek:

This tutorial is so cool!  The first six minutes of it covered the creation of an ocean plane with waves and then the animation of these waves. The plane in these six minutes is grey and the ocean not yet realistic but I was thrilled. I had to play this six minutes in little jerks – frequently stopping and rewinding. But the end result can be seen in my following video:

I still need to add colour, a sky, and a storm and all that, but it is getting there :)

So what do I now think of Blender?

Well, it is certainly very powerful and can do some marvellous stuff. However I cannot help but remain overwhelmed by the interface. There are far too many controls crammed on a screen for my liking. DAZ Studio is a lot more elegant as far as I am concerned. This said, I suspect that Blender will become a larger part of my graphics toolkit. Persistence is the key.

Greg

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4 Comments


  1. Far too hard for this old noggin to even try to understand. I’m not a Luddite by the way, just thick in the skull. But it does look like a fascinating project.

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    1. It is fascinating and probably over ambitious :) But we need to stretch ourselves. :)

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  2. I was very over whelmed by blender when I first started and it takes a while to get comfortable with the interface. I also have to say once you get your around texturing and uv unwrapping you will find doing things in blender get pretty easy. The one saving grace to blender you can customize it to you and your work flow. this is a good link for working with the interface.
    https://cgcookie.com/blender/cgc-courses/blender-basics-introduction-for-beginners/
    and the is a number of good tutorials on blenderguru.com. and if all else you can ask me. I may or may not have the answer but I may know to find them. I wish you look with your project. I am here searching for inspiration and motivation but willing to help as much as I can.

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    1. Thanks :) I will definitely take you up on your offer of help. I really want to learn Blender. I’ve also just linked my copy of LuxRender to Blender (I normally use it on DAZ Studio). SO that will be an adventure too! Once again, thanks and await questions :)

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