First project

As of today, I’ve had Blender for 15 days and spent a good bit of time on making this video to learn the “basics.” There are some minor problems that I could have fixed but, decided to just get it done so I could move on. The waterfall could’ve been touched up a bit…had a setting or two set wrong making the grass look bad. Some modeling and texturing could’ve been better.

My biggest problem was with lighting, lights seem to flicker on the textures. Being a noob, I set everything to emit .1 to ensure it would all show up, probably the main problem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLKSzQxqShw

left a comment :smiley:

Impressive work for such a short time …
I’m sure you will improve it more with time

Very nice.

A few very-specific pointers would I offer thee, if I may…

(1) First of all, you immediately and successfully take me “into a place” and give me the sense of “being there.” That isn’t easy to do, but in the first four seconds you did it. You immediately opened a gate and pushed me right through. Nice.

(2) At 0:08 and at various other places, there’s a definite variation in the shadow levels on the wall, giving me a consistent notion of “where the sun is.” It does not look flat. (It so-often does.) Nicely done.

(3) You definitely do have a problem with jerky motion … not sure why, but the sequence between 0:08 and 0:10 feels like going up a roller-coaster sideways. It’s very jerky; not smooth at all.

(4) In the sequence 0:17 to 0:21 you are taking me through a series of very interesting and engaging scenes. The waterfall is a pleasant surprise. Ditto the castle at 0:21. The stylized grass, while very stylized, nevertheless “works” because it never pretends to be anything else.

(5) The sequence leading up to 0:29 is interesting, but difficult to sit through due to the jerkiness. When we arrive at the waterfall at 0:30, it’s out of focus. (But I loved seeing the golden highlights on the columns at 0:25… Once again, nice variation in the depth of gray shadows, and in the unexpectedly brown door at 0:26.

(6) It’s tough to follow along when you “jerk the camera across the field of view” at 0:36-0:39. But we see another unexpectedly interesting-looking thatched roof building, set against an interesting sky.

(7) 0:46 … an interesting village reveals itself!

(8) 0:50 … what’s next? :yes:

This is your first work? :eek:

Impressive. You have got great potential.

I’m glad you all enjoyed this, I still have a lot to learn. If anyone has an idea on why the lights seem to flicker on the walls and the camera jerking, I would love to hear feedback on that. I used the method of moving the camera through it’s view and setting keyframes to set the path instead of putting in a curve and making a motion path since I haven’t figured out how to control the camera rotation following a path yet. Not sure if that is the reason it seems to jerk or not…I did have maybe an extra 5-10 secs of video I cut out at the end because blender calculated a couple of crazy spins on the camera.

Could you attach the .blend file? That would allow us to look at your lighting set up and configuration and figure out what could be causing the flickering. Make sure to pack the textures so we don’t end up with blank walls (File -> External Data -> Pack into .blend file).

The camera jerking looks to be a framerate issue. It appears to have been rendered at six frames per second, with every fifth frame showing for two frames.

As for the camera, the easiest way to control its rotation while following a path is to give it a Track To constraint and have it follow something, usually an Empty so you don’t have some huge object obstructing the view. The camera follows the path, and you add location keyframes to the Empty to tell the camera where to look.

To do this, create your path, then select the camera and give it a Follow Path constraint, using the name of the path you created. If the camera isn’t following the path properly, use Alt-G to clear its location. In the curve’s object data, you can use the Path Animation properties to set the number of frames for the animation, and you can set the Evaluation Time to adjust the camera’s location along the path at any given frame. (For example, if you have a 250 frame animation and you want the camera to be at the middle of the path at frame 200 instead of 125, you would set three Path Animation key frames - 0 at frame 0, 125 at frame 200, and 250 at frame 250.) From there you can use the graph editor to refine the timing.

To add the Track To constraint, the easiest way is to select your camera, then select the object you want to follow, press Ctrl-T, and select Track To Constraint. To add it manually in the Constraints properties window, add the Track To constraint, enter the object you want to follow, change the To: field to -Z, and the Up: field to Y. (Using Ctrl-T makes these changes automatically.) To understand what these mean, you can go to the camera’s Object properties and enable Axis under the Display panel. This will show the camera’s X, Y, and Z axes.

If you want to be able to rotate the camera instead of keeping it oriented to the global axes, check the Target Z button in the Track To constraint’s properties. This makes it so that if you rotate the object you are tracking, it will cause the camera to rotate as well.

(These instructions were written using the latest 2.5 build, and may be different if you are using an older build. If something doesn’t work as explained, and you can’t figure it out, let us know.)

I hope this helps! You’re already off to a great start.

Finally got it uploaded. You’re right, I actually had the fps set to 5…I’ll definately make sure not to lower it in the future.

Couldn’t upload directly into the forums, tried three times and was getting a bad security token error so I used mediafire instead.

I am using 2.52 so, I’ll try playing with the camera controls tomorrow. Thx for the info :slight_smile: