Monday, 12 December 2011

Scandal and Corruption...

Well okay, just corruption!

If anyone was affected by recent versions of Blender, which suffered delta scaling problems, there is a solution to repair your files, read on.

There was a solution posted originally but I discovered that while it allowed damaged .blend files to be opened in new versions of Blender, if the same .blend file was opened in an older version of Blender, all objects were still scaled incorrectly and the scene appeared messed up.  So in effect, the file was only being interpreted to appear correctly in new versions of Blender but actually remained corrupt.

For some people this might be acceptable, but for me, producing work for my degree and having already invested a lot of time in my current room-set scene (new one, not yet shown) plus lots more work to do, I did not feel comfortable progressing knowing that the file was in effect, still corrupt.

As many of you may already be aware (if you read Blender Nation news), I thankfully was able to find a solution to repair files (process repeated below), once again they can be opened in any version of Blender and are correctly scaled.

Before the fix:  How my corrupted scene appears in older versions of Blender

There are a few steps to the repair solution.
  1. Open your corrupted .blend file in an older version of Blender (I found revision 42181 and revision 42195 works). Update: any version of Blender from before the delta scaling problem works but be aware that very old versions might mess up your Cycles nodes.

  2. In a python console window enter the line below, then press ‘Enter’ on your keyboard twice.
    for ob in ob.delta_scale = (0,0,0)

  3. Save your fixed .blend file with a different test name.
  4. Test the newly saved .blend file by opening it with Blender 2.60a, everything should appear correctly scaled. The fixed .blend file also displays correctly in new versions of Blender.
This method has worked for me (tested several times) and have now fully restored 5 of my corrupted .blend files.

After the fix:  (exactly the same view) the scene is scaled correctly and can once again be opened in any version of Blender

Hope this is helpful and works for others!

PS: Found a Blender revision 42195 Windows version available here, Linux and Mac users, sorry couldn't find that version for you, try for revisions before 42195.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Modelling Showcase...

Today's Featured Model: Wooden chair with cushion

Thought it might be interesting to showcase some of the models I have created for use within the room-set scene, also some of the actual modelling stages.  Will post another one over the next few days...

Firstly the completed model.

Stage 1-3:

I actually found modelling to be quite relaxing, almost therapeutic, the feeling of creating something, the fact that it is virtual in this case doesn't seem to make a difference, it still feels quite rewarding.  These feelings of course greatly depend upon things progressing well, although even when things go wrong, problem solving can be satisfying.

1. To create the chair leg, I began by adding a plain cylinder, next added loop cuts where I wanted the details to be, selecting various loop cuts allowed me to scale some areas while leaving others, the closer the loop cuts the harder the angles.  The aim was to create a turned, lathed look and hopefully match the proportions of the chair in the photograph.

2. Another cylinder with loop cuts, edges tapered.

3. Previous part duplicated and used to form the central bar.

Stage 4-6:

4. Jumping ahead a little... I angled the leg, then used a 'Mirror' modifier to complete the chair legs, or so I thought!  Later found out, after looking at another photograph, that the back legs are angled differently to the front legs.  So instead applied the previous 'Mirror' modifier creating a front and back leg, adjusted the angles and used further 'Mirror' modifiers to duplicate the legs left to right.

5. From the previous image it was also possible to see that I had begun work on the seat.  Even though the chair (in the final render) is behind the door and not really clear on the web size version, I knew that the final render resolution might be quite high (for a large print), so I wanted to create the chair as accurately as possible, even to the point of (as can be seen on the next image) sculpting the seat.  Attention to detail is everything.

6. The chair is now starting to take shape, contrary to what you may think the pieces added here are not the chair back but armrest supports.

Stage 7-9:

7. To create the back I used a cylinder, rotated, compressed in size, top and bottom faces as well as some of the side vertices deleted, remaining sides scaled downwards.

8. The previous process leaves a back looking far too thin when viewed from the front, so I used a 'Solidify' modifier to provide form.

9. After angling the back, it is now starting to look like a chair.

Stage 10-12:

10. Chair arm modelling.

11. Check the chair arm looks okay before proceeding.

12. 'Mirror' modifier used to form the opposite chair arm.

Stage 13-14:

13. Simple cylinders added, scaled, angled and 'Mirror' modifiers used to form the chair back.

14. Central backrest created from a scaled cube, loop cuts added, parts scaled.  A cylinder added, scaled, positioned in the centre, then applied using a 'Boolean' modifier to create a hole in the middle of the central chair back.

Finally all modifiers were applied, a suitable Cycles material created, then I UV texture mapped all parts to give full control over the position of the wood bump maps.
Various parts were further tweaked, like position of the rings on the legs and armrest supports, plus the angle of legs and armrest supports to more closely match the real chair in the photograph.

To conserve space I won't go into details about the cushion creation, except to say that it was an interesting experience.

Overall, I feel quite happy with how the model turned out and as mentioned at the beginning, the model creation was both enjoyable and satisfying.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Humble Beginnings...

It has certainly been an interesting journey, here is quick render of how the scene looked at the beginning of my second day of room-set production.

By this point I had roughly modelled the walls, a basic door & window and the yellow (was supposed to be gold, had only just started learning Cycles materials) box on the window sill.

Since I didn't have any scene measurements, I placed cubes roughly where the furniture would eventually be, this was for two reasons, to try and help gauge scale, also to see how the shapes and colours interacted with the lighting.

94 different modelling stages...

Call it belt and braces but I wasn't taking any chances, because work is for my BA (Hons), I didn't want to get part way through and loose everything through some silly mistake on my behalf, plus I wanted to generate course work evidence, so, instead of just overwriting the same file, every (what I felt was a) major change, I saved a new version.  Consequently I now have 94 different modelling stages saved, this do not include a few furniture items I modelled and saved separately (Hey I did say "belt and braces"!).

For those who may not have heard of the term... Belt and braces means being overcareful, you don't just rely on one source of support to hold your trousers (pants) up, if one breaks you have another method of support.  Quite an old but illustrative term.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Welcome to my Blender, Modeling, Design and Render blog, this is my first real modelling and render produced using the powerful free open source 3D application called Blender.

The 3D room-set render below was produced as part of my BA (Hons) photography degree.

Thanks go to Ton Roosendaal and his development team for the incredibly powerful Blender open source software, also Brecht Van Lommel for coding the amazing new Cycles render engine.

6 weeks to get this far...
It has taken 6 weeks to produce this scene, the time includes learning Blender's interface, modelling tools, UV mapping (used for applying textures), physics engine (used for improving the soft furnishings) and new Cycles render engine with its node system.

There are 5 items in the scene that I didn't model due to degree time constraints.  Even so, those models were still adapted as follows...
  • Armchair (model split apart, fixed, UV textured, sculpted and new feet modelled)
  • Figurine, on window sill (lower base modelled, materials applied)
  • Flowers (adapted, simplified and materials applied)
  • Cornice (adapted, materials applied)
  • Intricate pattern (used and repeated to form part of my mirror frame model)

I carefully modelled, textured and created the surface materials for everything else.

My ultimate goal is to achieve photorealism.

Below is my main room-set reference photograph.

Thanks go to Graham Nelson at Set Visions for allowing me to prop, light and carry out the reference room-set photography within their studio.

For those who are interested here is a 'clay' render.

 Lastly, thank you for your excellent easy file hosting sharing service.