Saturday, 19 August 2017

Made the Switch to Blender.

I had to re-topologized  a scan of an office chair, something I'd never done, and looked online to find a how to. Blender came up as an option and I went ahead, after a day of doing re-topo in Blender I was starting to appreciate it's modeling tools, then decided to also do a render in Blender using Cycles. Up until then I hadn't really looked into Cycles. The above images were the result of setting up materials and lighting for Cycles. I instantly recognized the quality, the detail and believably of the surfaces wasn't something I was used to seeing without a lot of fiddling about (I use Lightwave normally), yet in Blender I barely did a thing, it felt like cheating.

At that point I made the decision to finish that particular job in Blender and all went well, it didn't take more than a day to get my head around working in the new system and the renders came out way better than I'd anticipated.

I realized that I would probably be using Blender more.

I took a car model I'd made with Lightwave and imported it into Blender to start the process of converting it into a Blender file, going through the different surfaces and very quickly making them Cycles friendly, most using what's called the Principled BSDF shader, an all in one shading node. Here are those render tests.

I just wanted to see how Cycles would render something I was familiar doing in Lightwave. Most of the time my head was shaking in disbelief at how much better everything looked, the clarity and smoothness for instance, plus the speed seemed comparable to what I would expect in Lightwave. I think I'm at a point where I will consider Blender first before automatically going to Lightwave. I await with interest to see the next version of Lightwave, with it's re-built renderer, but for now I will choose Cycles for anything that needs to look real, and learning Blender has made 3D interesting again for me.