"Print-Friendly" Blender Theme

In Blender For Dummies, 3rd edition, I use a custom theme for all of the screenshots; one that’s a little bit lighter and shows a up a bit better in grayscale print. I’ve uploaded that theme as a ‘gist’ on GitHub. You can copy and paste the code to a text file right from that page, or directly download it using the links on the right side. Have fun! »

Author image Jason van Gumster

Simple 3-Point Lighting

Chapter 9 of Blender For Dummies, 3rd edition talks about lighting. In that chapter, I mention that I have a file with a basic 3-point lighting set-up… and I say you can download it from this site. Well, I better not make a liar of myself. You can download the file right here: 3-point light example (Right-click this link and save the file to your hard drive. Then open it »

Author image Jason van Gumster

Soup-to-Nuts Cover Art with Free Software

This is a repost of an article I wrote as a guest post for the blog at RenderStreet, an excellent renderfarm service that I’ve used before. The article takes you from beginning to end — concept to deliverable — on designing the cover for a book. Enjoy! Say you’re approached with a request to produce the artwork and design for the cover of a book. The book’s author says, “I want an image of a pair of disembodied pants running around… and on fire.” That same author, for some reason, also requests that you not not pour gasoline on an actual pair of pants (or the person wearing them) and set it ablaze for a photo shoot. »

Author image Jason van Gumster

Rigging Stickman

As you may have guessed, rigging is a pretty intensive process. You need to be technically minded and creative at the same time. The best riggers I’ve ever met are the sort of people who fit this description and have an eye for the big picture. Well, regardless of whether you’re one of these people, the best way to understand the full process of rigging is to actually create a rig of your own. »

Creating and Animating a Simple Eye Rig

When I’ve explained the process of rigging in the past, I often start by asking the other person (or people) if he or she enjoys playing games like Chess or — for a computer gaming example — Minesweeper. It’s an apt comparison. The core mechanics of these games involve having the players logically track their way along a series of interdependent events. Rigging is a lot like that. It’s a complex task, a technical artform that simultaneously involves the logical problem-solving skills of a programmer, the usability considerations of a designer, and an animator’s eye for aesthetics. »