I would like to use Blender 3D as a presentation tool like PowerPoint or LibreOffice Impress.
I have a PowerPoint presentation that has large amount of animation involved, which are almost out of control for further editing. And repetition is all over the place, that is, if I want to change the location of some diagrams, I have to update other slides so that objects align across all slides.
If I can reconstruct my presentation in Blender 3D (which slide corresponding to a scene with as much linked-objects as possible), I will be able to kiss goodbye to PowerPoint and move on with Blender 3D.
Unfortunately, I have some concerns in terms of practicality:
Seems like Blender 3D suits better for artistic artwork, and not so much for 3D vector graphics or preparing diagrams. For instance, here is a video illustrating how to connect two objects with a line in LibreOffice Impress.
When I move the objects, the line updates itself automatically. I want to find a solution (constraints, modifiers, vertex groups, curves, drivers, implementing my own solution with the Python API, etc.) but could not find any.
So I created an example to show you, with a cube :
- first make sure the cube scale is applied so that Z scale == 1 when Z dimensions == 1
- Added two empties
- Cube has two constraints : Copy location on first empty, and track to on second emtpy
- Then you can right click on Z scale of the cube and add a driver. Set the driver to be a distance between empty 1 and empty 2 . That way it will auto scale :
See you ++
While I tried out your perfect solution, I realized that there is a tiny detail to mention for the sake of completeness:
The origin of the cube must be at the source empty. Am I correct?
@tricotou, There is one more thing that bugs me. I have to set the expression of the driver as var / 2, because it is twice as long, like:
x---------------x--------------- <- stretched
^ ^ cube
Do you know why?
Because the default cube is 2 units high / wide / deep.
If I was you, I’d use Splines, because it needs less setup
It’s because of the apply thing on the cube. As you are driving the scale, it should equals the dimenstion
I don’t want to discourage you…
…but other than the “Gee, I can do this in Blender” factor (or maybe the thrill of masochism), why ever would you want to? This, IMHO, is just another example of using a hammer to drive a screw. “The right tool for the job” and all that.
I could lay out an entire magazine in, say, Photoshop or Microsoft Word…but why would I want to torture myself when I could use InDesign, QuarkExpress or even Scribus, the right tools for the job.
Now if you need to do a presentation (as in for your job) and want to throw some 3D into it, then I can understand totally. But even then, I wouldn’t think the entire presentation would be in 3D, maybe just some slides/animations.
Just wondering what’s the motivation here. PEACE!
Thanks for advice. I totally agree with you. Unfortunately, I could not find a better free alternative to Blender 3D for this job.
My end goal is to prepare a full Git Training Course.
I need to be able to:
- Do Vector graphics (like Inkscape)
- Connect objects with arrows (like PowerPoint)
- Construct parent / child relationship and grouping (like PowerPoint, Blender 3D)
- Name objects (like PowerPoint, Blender 3D)
- Reuse the same object in multiple locations (If I change in one instance, all instances change) (like linked objects in Blender 3D)
- Reuse the same layer in multiple scenes/slides (like linked copy of a scene in Blender 3D) (you can select only one master slide as far as know in PowerPoint)
- Add depth using the Z axis and perspective (like Blender 3D)
- Fill in the document programmatically (like Python in Blender 3D, VS in PowerPoint)
- Prepare fancy, nonlinear slide transitions using animated camera.
- Preparing beautiful technical animations like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YkfEft4p-w
I was also planning to implement a slideshow plug-in for Blender 3D, in which you would construct a path of scenes to traverse and animate after each hit to spacebar.
What I can do is I can prepare separate animation videos in Blender 3D and paste them to different PowerPoint slides but for each slide I had to click the Play button.
If you know a software that has support for some of the above requirements, I would like to investigate.
I had a look at the linked YouTube video. I know you’re not planning to do exactly as that video but nevertheless, If I Were You™ I would do the animations in Blender and the schematic flowchart stuff in Inkscape, PowerPoint or even LibreOffice Impress/Draw (whichever is easiest for you), export out to a useable format and then composite it together. For that you could even use Blender’s Compositor and VSE, I suppose. Otherwise, there’s always After Effects, Davinci Resolve or even Natron.
As for the “programmatic” stuff, you’d probably know better than I. That’s not my expertise. And honestly, I have a limited working knowledge of presentation software. So maybe my advice is worth every cent you paid!
It’s a complicated project you’re taking on and I don’t envy you one bit! I’m sure you’ll find the right path to put it all together. Best of luck with it all and don’t forget to breathe!
Thanks @gtomorrow, seems to me that I cannot eliminate repetition after all. I will try to update here when I come up with something to show.