Saturday, March 1, 2014

Learning to Blender: Nonphotorealistic Rendering

I started learning Blender in pursuit of an old dream: make a graphic novel with 2D style art using 3D rendering techniques. To avoid burnout (the learning curve is really, really steep) I find it helps to spend time doing research: collect inspiration, download resource files, find tutorials, browse forums, and find examples of styles you want to emulate and styles you want to avoid. For inspiration I also picked up Transmetropolitan Vol. 1. Very good stuff...good thing there are nine more volumes and one special edition volume to read.

I'm still not ready to work on a graphic novel project but I'm getting there and it is definitely starting to look more feasible. I've gotten the hang of the compositor, which I mostly use so that I can have my linework and inking render layers done separately from coloring/fill layers.

Here's a great resource: a Blender ink shader. Download the .blend file and stick whatever subject you want in there for instantly great results. Here are some experiments I've been doing with this and the compositor.

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