Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Getting Back Into Blender

So on Wednesday, I told you all that I was getting back into Unity as my goal for next year. Naturally, this has led to me going onto using Blender as well. If you’re not aware of Blender, this is a free and open-source 3D graphics application. You can create simple models, or even fully fledged complex ones. You can create textures, animations and much more through Blender. Using Blender and Unity together makes perfect sense; Blender is in fact fairly easy to use, once you’ve given yourself some time. However in the time I’ve been away, a lot has changed.

The Basics

Blender can be used through contextual menu systems, or through the use of hotkeys. Hotkeys are the main way I get around and they all remained the same (thankfully). However, Blender the application has gotten a lot more clean in the years it’s been since my last run with the software. This is great, but I do miss having a plethora of interfaces to work with. Nevertheless, I got the hang of the changes in a session.

The above image was taken from blender a long time ago. The monkey head there is a staple of the software, as it’s a complicated enough object, but it’s one of the primary spawn-in objects of the application. The old software looked a little bit messy, but everything was in a specific place. Now, a lot of the uses of Blender are hidden behind relatively well hidden views. This isn’t a bad thing, as it keeps clutter to a minimum, but the change in the UI is pretty interesting.

One thing that I genuinely love about using Blender with Unity is how easy it is to update an asset, for it to then automatically update in Unity. This is mostly on Unity’s part, more so than Blender, but the 3D graphics software must be commended for having such an excellent saving/exporting system for their assets. It’s also fairly easy to make textures for your models, such as the one I made below. Yes, I literally spent 10 seconds making it, as I was simply testing how well the texture view worked in Unity. All I can say is that I was thoroughly impressed.

One of my enemies textures. Oh my. So scary.

Naturally, in combination with my time in Unity, I created an enemy with the most basic texture of all: An angry red face. Oh my, so scary.

The point is though, using the two software together has felt very apt. They share a similarity in that they’re both free software and Blender and Unity work really well together. Honestly, they genuinely feel complimentary, so clearly a huge effort was put in on both applications sides. I’d recommend you try Blender out for yourself; it’s not the terrifying behemoth that it once was. Instead, it’s now a much simpler application, intended for all audiences.

Oh and much like Unity, Blender has some excellent tutorials out there. Share your experiences of Blender in the comments, or on Facebook and Twitter.

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