Saturday, August 15, 2015

Settling on a Simple Blender Start File w/Toggle Lighting Options

Since my building fun began 15 years ago, I've wanted to design an Old Woman in the Shoe storybuild.  During my early years, my mother would let me lay on her bed and listen to her read from the Treasury of Verse.  My favorites were The Old Woman in the Shoe, and Wynken, Blynken and Nod, another poem about a shoe (flying wooden).  I haven't yet opened the build in Kitely, because I am taking my time working on this one region build. 

While much of the build is not yet complete, some parts of it are working out.  When it is finished the shoe will be the home of an older woman (non-player character) who reads aloud to guests.  So I wanted every furnishing and detail to be "fantastically believable," if possible.
One of the problems to solve was how to create my own textures for my models.  I needed a lightbox blender file that I could use for baking in light and painting textures.  After weeks of working with this and that complicated plan, I finally settled on a simple solution:  a lightbox blend file that could used with cycles.
 The following is what I came up with:
1.  3 Point Lighting - Each light can be toggled on and off in the outliner.
A.  Key Light.  Traditional gold lighting, angle directed at the model.
B.  Fill Light.  Traditional blue lighting, angle directed at the model.
C.  Back Light.  Traditional white lighting, directed at back of model.
D.  Sun Light.  Optional overall lighting, to be used for  generic, too dark, or overly shadowed scenes.
2.  Curved Plane that can be re-positioned for reflections and ambient occlusion lighting.  Toggle off if cluttering visual scene.  Delete if not wanted or before exporting.

I am Using this blender file over and over.  I can use it for building houses by either toggling off the curved plane or deleting it. 
3.  Using a "stages" workflow.
1st - Box Model, Extrude or Sculpt Model (Blender Render) - Save File.
2nd - Mark Seams, Unwrap (Blender Render) - Save File.
3rd - Set up Nodes and Bake using materials, textures and lighting (toggling on/off combinations of lighting options). (Cycles Render) - Save File.
4th - Export Process - Return to Blender render to check model's color for generic world use. Use Open Sim static export option. (Blender Render) - Save File.
5th- Optional - Texture Paint.  Texture Paint and/or add decals to diffuse map created through prior stages baking process.  Then use export process. (Blender Render) - Save File.
The SIMPLE LIGHT BOX BLENDER FILE is available for pick up at the Waymarker Community docs file.