Cycles is a renderer which first appeared in Blender 2. It offers more physically-accurate handling of lighting, based on a completely different handling of materials from the old Blender Internal renderer. Start with a new Blender document. Select the default cube. Go to the Material Context in the Properties Window, and you should see something like at right.
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During the course of this tutorial i introduce a very common technique called UV mapping. I will cover only the very basic principles.
I will use a Pump as my working object. Although the tutorial is made with Blender You can download the pump. Warning: This document is work in progress and may contain not verified or missing information. Blender tries to mimic the real world situation and thus it provides a simplified version of Materials and Lights with an impressive amount of control parameters.
It is not astonishing that we will also find a Camera in Blender. The camera is used for taking still images as well as entire movie sequences. The simulation in Blender is not perfect, but it is good enough to give us a very powerful environment for creating virtual scenarios.
The result is a black silhouette as can be seen on the right side. This is almost exactly what we have expected: Because there is no light, the object appears in black.
But since we have not yet assigned a material to the object how can it interact with light? So we expect that the shoe still appears black. The reason why the object appears is: Object with no material assigned to them will be automatically assigned to a default material. Hence the object gets visible as we can see. Note: The default Blender Material is white with a moderate specularity.
We will get back to lights shortly. So after we have added some light to the scene it is time to define the material for our object. In fact we will add a new material from the Material properties section. When you enter the material section for the first time, you will see an empty material stack the grey field in the center of the image to the right. Below that area you find a creation button. With the creation button you can create new materials press the Plus sign. Or you can select previously created materials, even materials used in other objects by pressing the small circle icon left to the Plus sign.
Right after you have created a new Material, the Material stack gets populated. You also will see many more control fields appearing below the material creation button. We will get there soon. You can rename your material to something recognizable directly within the Material creation button. The material in the Material stack will automatically inherit the Material name change.
Now after we have assigned a material, lets check how the rendering has improved by pressing F12 again. Ok, we see no improvement at all. Why that? We will change the material settings now. Hint: You can create an arbitrary number of materials for your object and assign each material in the material stack to another part of your object. Note that it is not possible to assign 2 materials to the same face s of your object. Below the Material creation button you find a previewer which will give you some visual feedback while you change the settings further down.
We leave the shader settings to their defaults for now. We will first examine a simple color change of our material. The Hardness of the specularity defines the size of the reflection point small hardness makes this point big and diffuse, while high hardness makes it small and pointy. Click on the color selector of the diffuse color and select your color from the color palette. I choose a warm red. Another Testrender F12 shows the colorised model. Please play with the settings a bit and see how different specularity can change your object look significantly.
If you are brave hearted you can also peek into the Shader settings. But i recommend to go one step at a time. If your Computer has enough power you can also switch to GLSL mode and see an almost perfect view of your model in the 3D view:. Note: Each light type has a different set of property settings. A Hemi light in particular has only very few attributes and thus it is simple to configure it.
Note: For a Hemi light the actual position of the light does not matter at all. Only the emitting angle takes effect. Try to move the Hemi around and then rotate it to see the difference.
The image below is a screen shot made in the 3D view right after i changed the lamp type to Hemi. I have not changed anything else in the setup. If you are curious you can make another experiment and work out how you can get similar results in your favorite game engine.
The most important material reflection properties are: Diffuse reflection Specular reflection Surface structure An Experiment Let us remove the light sources from our scene. Then go into Camera view Numpad 0. There adjust either the camera position or the object position until it fills out the Camera view. Let there be Light Let us add a ligth source, take another snapshot and look at the result.
Now there is light and we can see the object. But did we really expect that to happen? Add a Material So after we have added some light to the scene it is time to define the material for our object. When you have not yet defined a material the material selector will show an empty selection. Rename a Material You can rename your material to something recognizable directly within the Material creation button. Hint: You add another Material to the stack as follows: Click on the Plus sign to the right of the material stack to create a new empty material entry on the stack.
For now we concentrate on the 2 most apparent attributes: Diffuse This controls the diffuse light reflections. In simple words this is the object color. You can change the color and intensity. Specular This defines the specular light reflections. You can think of specularity as amount of mirroring of the lights used in your scene.
A good example for high specular reflection is plastic and glass. But a sheet of paper for example or cloth materials typically have low specularity. The Hardness of the specularity defines the size of the reflection point small hardness makes this point big and diffuse, while high hardness makes it small and pointy Diffuse Color Let us colorise the model by setting the Diffuse color to our taste.
Lights What we have so far looks already much better than our starting scene compare to the top image of this tutorial But we have one very obvious problem: The image is too dark. Also note that Specular and Diffuse can be disabled for each light separately.
Although the Specular and Diffuse reflections are Material properties, it is still very handy that these settings can also be controlled per light.
Assume for example you wanted to add some fill lights to illuminate dark areas but do not want specular reflections. Chapter summary Here is what we did so far: We added a new Material to an existing mesh object We adjusted the color and specular reflection to our taste We adjusted the light type from Point Light to Hemi Ligh t.
The most important material reflection properties are: Diffuse reflection Specular reflection Surface structure. Let us remove the light sources from our scene. Let us add a ligth source, take another snapshot and look at the result. Ensure that the new Material entry is selected the entry is marked with a blue background Now add a material from the material selection box or add a new material as described above. Diffuse Color Let us colorise the model by setting the Diffuse color to our taste.
If your Computer has enough power you can also switch to GLSL mode and see an almost perfect view of your model in the 3D view: Open the Object properties panel and locate the Display Tab.
What we have so far looks already much better than our starting scene compare to the top image of this tutorial But we have one very obvious problem: The image is too dark. Here is what we did so far: We added a new Material to an existing mesh object We adjusted the color and specular reflection to our taste We adjusted the light type from Point Light to Hemi Ligh t.
Blender 3D: Noob to Pro/Advanced Tutorials/Introduction to Cycles
The Basics of Texturing I