Balls animation

Hi everyone. I’m relativly new to blender. I’ve been using 3ds max for about 2 years, before i decided to switch completely to open source software a moth ago. Windows to linux(ubuntu) transition was nice, photoshop to gimp went good, but 3ds max to blender was a bit painfull, at first. Actually, i first tried blender half a year ago on windows and i was very dissapointed in blender. But i kept exploring it and since i switched to ubuntu linux lately, i decided to go with blender full time. As time went by, i came to a conclusion that blender is not so bad after all, even lightyears ahead of max in some things. And judging by the way it’s developing i think that blender has a really bright future. I got tierd of new versions of 3ds max… buying someone’s elses plugins and making a few minor changes and calling it a new big version. That’s why blender will eventualy beat max, imho anyway.

I’m sure you heard this things millions of times, but i’d like to say a few things which would make blender much more acceptable to first time users switching from other 3d apps:

1.) When you create a new objects, they don’t allign to grid but to users view?? Also when creating new objects, specially cube and plane, you can’t choose size and number of segments. I know all of this can easilly be done in a few more clicks, but really this two things were the main reason why i allmoast uninstalled blender after only 5 minutes. It may be insignificat, but it’s one of the first things everyone tries, and first impression is very crucial, as i understand i’m not the only one who thought of uninstalling blender after only a few minutes. Also it would be nice to have some more mesh primitives to choose from.

2.) Blender should have timeline in seconds, because with frames only some poblems could arise. For example, if you’re doing a precise physical sim and then you later decide to use 30 fps instead of 25fps you could run into some problems.

3.) Why are there no real-world units like meters or feets in blender? I’m a physicist so this would make me very happy.

4.) I know this can be faked, but camera target feature would be nice.

5.) Since extrude is so much used it should have more options, not only two. For example, extrusion along face normals for groups of polygons.

There are houndreds of other things but now i can’t remember them all. Oh and i miss n-gons, but if understood corectly bmesh will take care of that. Oh and one other thing… something that i miss most in blender is afterburn. If only blender could have some decent smoke and fire simulator, but i’ll survive.

I also have a few suggestions, if i may. I would really like to see this modifiers: bend, skew, taper and twist modifiers. Also, i think it should be possible to chose in render options window from which view or form which camera to render. This would allow for some nice transition effects in node editor and would generally be usefull thing. Also some more procedural shaders like tiles, and better use of existing shaders would be a nice addition and i asume devs are working on it. Existing ones are mostly b&w and there is no way of using any of them as a sub-shader.

Ok, now that i finally got used to blender, i tried to make this little animation of balls droping on to the floor, with hdri lightning and GI (with yafray), matrix bullet time effect (time slowdown), camera moving and zooming in and out and of course node editor things like vector blur, DoF and glow. Second animation is basically camera moving around the pool balls. Here are preview pics of both videos:

, and link for videos:

Exuse my not so good english if there are any grammar mistakes, and tell me how you like the animations.

I have never used 3ds Max and I am no developer, but those sound like some good suggestions for Blender.
Those animations look incredible, especially with the hdri lighting. I would suggest a better floor on the pool balls one instead of the solid green (one that looks more like felt). The slow motion on the dropping glass spheres was great, how did you do that? It would be neat to see the pool balls get hit with a cue ball and scatter with some slow motion mixed in as well. Really great work!


1.) When you create a new objects, they don’t allign to grid but to users view??

Blender creates new objects at the 3D cursor. To create at the origin simply remember to do a CTRL-C (center) which will move the 3D cursor back to the center. Also, if your viewport is at an odd angle, you can always use ALT-R to clear the rotation of an object you created at an odd angle.

The 3D cursor was odd to me as well (coming from a 3DSMax background) but after a while it will become your friend!

2.) Blender should have timeline in seconds,

It does simply select View/Show Seconds in the timeline menu.

4.) I know this can be faked, but camera target feature would be nice.

If you have not used the CTRL-U feature, try it out. I do a lot of after effects work and need a targeted camera for exporting my blender scenes back into after effects. All you have to do it add an empty to the scene, clear it’s rotation and add a “Track-To” constraint to the camera. Set the target field to the name of the empty.
At this point, simply press CTRL-U. This will save the current scene as the default scene with the camera target. Now, when you open blender , you will have a targeted camera all the time. This is how I have my default scene setup.

3.) Why are there no real-world units

This from WIKI:

Blender Creator has no innate concept of real-world units, so 1 "Blender Unit " can be considered equal to any size you like.

I have been using blender for about a year and half and rarely miss 3dsmax now. Initially I compared all things in blender to 3dsmax, like you. At this point, I don’t even think in max terms anymore.
One thinig I don’t miss in max, is that blender has is the ability to create logos without pain staking editing of imported verticies from illustrator files. I certainly don’t miss that!

Welcome to Blender World!

Thanks for your replies atom. Guess i still have a lot to learn about blender.
Anthonyesau, just press F10 button, and you’ll notice options for streching the timeline, that’s how i created time slow-down effect.

I put so much work and effort in this two animations and no one else has anything to say about them?? I’ll think twice before posting my work here again, it ain’t worth the trouble if just one person will comment it.

Hello Luka welcome to blenderartists.
I think the biggest problem with your animations is that you share them in a not so friendly shareable way. Frankly I hate rapidshare and don’t like the hassle you have to go through to see the animation.
That’s why I haven’t looked at it yet.
Maybe provide a lowerres youtube version for us to get an idea of the animation and provide the additional highres version through rapidshare or the like.
Don’t be impatient sometimes your posts get overlooked and sometimes it takes time for users to comment. And btw you have two people commenting.
Your last post can be taken as an insult for all the guys that allready commented since they took the time to answer your questions and look at the animations. If you seem to be not getting a response bumping the thread with a concrete question like: What do you think about my hdri lightning? can help but don’t overdue it cause that can be taken as an insult also.

Anyway give the Forum a chance it’s a great community.

Wow, I just saw them and must say they look really amazing. Especially the first one I could watch over and over again. Guess I also have to learn how to use Yafray.

I also don’t like Rapidshare, but I can assure everybody who hasn’t seen it, it is definitively worth to download it from there!


That was awesome, Luka! Please don’t let people’s non-immediate reactions bother you. But I’ll try to respond more quickly, as I know I would like that. :slight_smile:

Press T key while mouse is over the timeline and you can switch between seconds and frames. You can also change your default fps (25/30/whatever you want really) in one of the menus to the left of the play/pause/stop buttons (sorry at work so i can’t tell you the exact name of the menu)
As for:

I’m starting to think that you might want to pick up a manual/tutorial because there are related things you can do and other modifiers by different names that accomplish the same thing

There ARE more options (actually keypress’/settings for AFTER you’ve set extrusion in motion), it all depends what your trying to do with it, you can extrude along normals and things like that. Yeah I would definetly run thru a couple tutorials.

You seem like a great artist (judging only by the stills you present), don’t gimp yourself by only using/learning SOME of the tools available to you…I did the same thing and am now kicking myself over how hard I made the transitiion on myself.

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the reasons you dislike blender are the exact same reasons that i absolutely hate max. its just soooooo sloooowwwww:(.

I find max rilly lacking in fetures compaired to blender. i supose it’s just the program you learn first becomes your favarate

personally i find primitives completely useless, i tend to poly by poly model everything, due to blenders tools (select and press f and ctrl+click) i can modal quite quickly. using this technique in max takes an absolute eternity to get anything done.

I also have a few suggestions, if i may. I would really like to see this modifiers: bend, skew, taper and twist modifiers.

these features are useless, perfect curves never exist in real life. its quite easy to achieve these things using bazier curves and the curve modifier. tapering is easily achieved using loop select(alt+right click) and the scail tool(s key)
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