Alright, so the basic recipe here was I started off with text objects, converted them to curves, and then deleted all of the interior edges. Then I took those shapes and extruded them and normal-scaled in and did some other extrusions and fills to get my words.
I took the words and applied a good gold material to them that I got from the blender material repository. It’s a very nice gold, and the reflection is very important. To achieve a good reflection surface for the background, I did the whole animation inside a giant sphere and lit it with a collection of lamps and hemi’s until the distribution was uneven and the resulting reflections were more interesting.
The diamonds I created using some basic jeweler docs. They are not hearts-and-arrows though since I basically didn’t bother to tighten up the proportions for super nice reflections. The problem with diamonds in the context of not using the proper lighting to actually get them to appear sparkly is that whatever light you want to throw on them, you have to mess up other parts of the scene. (rendered in yaf btw) My solution was to add a little emissivity to my diamond material, which instantly put a lot of light in them
Next I used vertex dupes on three diamond-set models per word and just drew out a distribution of diamonds with vertexes as I went. Process was pretty fast. Next I parented everything to empties to use as handles and just went about the animation using the empties.
The sound is from the song C.R.E.A.M. by Wu Tang Clan and I just thought it’d be fun to put some lyrics to it I loaded it into the video/clip editor window and used the sound window to sync up the motions. Because the animation window can’t keep up with the speed of the music, I found the words in the sound window individually and used tags to know where they would begin and end.
The only part I’m not happy with in the animation is that the word “Everything” looks a little bit out of place on account of it having two syllibuls but no corresponding two parts to the animation. Making the motion correlate with the “shape” of the sounds in the lyrics was very important I thought. That’s why the C.R.E.A.M. word disappears almost instantly while the Dolla words have to parts and two parts to their entry onto the screen.
If I had it all to do over again, I’d make up a typeset since the process is relatively fast and painless. I’d also use more angles with perspective since my estimation of the primary advantage of using blender as a typographic platform being the freedom to break from 2D animations without any considerations.
Also, I think I’d be very well off to redo my diamond models with more accuracy. A couple of test renders I did with slightly different table ratios or crown angles really did have the different “fire” and “brilliance” that jewelers refer to. This would have enabled me to use environment lighting to get real sparkles instead of just using emitted light in the material to inject light.
I’m really curious as to where to start when trying to do something like lens flare from the brighter reflections in the diamonds to enhance their effect (in truth make them appear more like real diamonds) as well as finally get over a style hump (^_^*)
In conclusion, Blender is a mind-numbingly easy program to use for typography. It’s probably better suited than any 2D program since all of the toys for making more complicated appearances are so naturally integrated already. Also, the ability to theme text using 3D transformations of the base shapes is pretty powerful I think. There’s just a lot more freedom in blender…but when’s that not usually the case =)
Any questions in general about any other techniques or suggestions maybe?