Workflows in Blender

This is a topic that many new users to Blender can benefit from, since workflows are crucial for creating epic art and that they simplify working with a program.

I was just curious, could anyone of you help me with a workflow that you find works for you with Blender, to create final animation shorts.

What do you start with, where do you go form there, what do you do after and so on up until you finish your production and render out your final product?


Generaly for short movies i have one when it is 100% animation i use 2 main sceens. with are.

Render scene just nodes in compositor for render layers etc.
Secound scene is compositing to this sceene are linked all object’s from other sceens as a instace group.
Other scens are modeling scens where i just model let’s say that i am makeing tank fight on desert.

So it would look like
Tank modeling
Tank 2 modeling
Desert modeling.

this is my workflow. for now.

Do it with your heart! That’s what I do.

Kidding aside, best suggestion I have is to look into the CG Cookie animation DVDs.

I’m loving the feedback! Thanks guys! keep it up

I would actually want to get my hands on that animation bundle!

On shots with larger or more detailed meshes/assets I typically devote an entire scene to a hero asset. Then I use a separate scene for rendering which only has Empties in it. The Empties dupligroup the hero assets into the final scene for rendering. This way I can just rename a dupligroup to a proxy name or a final render name to produce alternate renderings based upon needs.(i.e. such as blocking review or quick animation, final output etc…)

So managing proxies comes into play quite often in my work. I rearely use linked assets and try to fit everything into a single giant BLEND file.

I also often look to scripting to produce results as well.

I found that making big scenes in files are better when the scene is small as well, make sit easier to work with my scene files and assets.

I don’t know how broad an answer your looking for but off the top of my head (some of these can run concurrently of course):


  1. Script
  2. storyboards
  3. shot list
  4. concpet art
  5. animatic with place holder assets

6. Record Sound
7. Modeling (characters/sets/props)
8. Rigging
9. Blocking
10. first pass animations
11. Playblasts - rough edit to check pacing
12. Animation
13. playblasts
14. Rendering

15. Final edit
16. Compositing and effects
17. Sound final mix
18. Stick it all together

I’m sure theres lots of stuff that I’ve forgotten.

Create a cube… subdivide it so theres at least a million polygons…then retopo it…then rig it…all it needs is one joint… no need to animate it though… then render it out and post it on youtube.

HAHA! SaintHaven, that’s funny!

Kettlefish, I just want general workflows, your is a very good answer, I like what you said. The main thing I’m trying to achieve, is to see how other people work, well, not exactly see, but read and then get an idea, since I don’t have a workflow myself yet, but form my experience, this is my workflow that I followed when I used Maya:

Concept Sketches
Storyboard and animatic
Take Playblast composition to sound company
Final Edit

I’m trying to work Blender into this workflow, in terms of working between Blender’s tools.

In my case I only make images. But my workflow is…

  • Concept
  • Make base mesh in blender
  • Export a OBJ
  • Sculpt in Zbrush with dynamesh
  • Make retopo in blender
  • Make UV in blender
  • Detail in Zbrush
  • Go back blender to final touchs.
  • Make texture
  • Mount all in 3dsmax with Vray.

Hey Neal

cool beans :eyebrowlift:, Yeah just noticed I missed materials/lighting out completely DOH! well it was off the top of my head anyways…

The flow you posted for Maya should work just as well in blender. The only thing I’d mention is that you should really animate to your soundtrack, as that will determine the pace of dialogue. So recording audio should be first in production. Of course if you don’t have dialogue, or you arn’t animating to music (music vid or something), then it doesn’t matter, and doing sound afterwards is cool.

Also in case you arn’t aware, blender has a very similar system to the Maya Trax editor. Keyframe your animations using the timeline / dopesheet. Then in the NLA editor, click the little snowflake which will bake it to an action. The action can be scaled, moved or press tab to go into edit mode on it, then you can edit the keyframes in the dope sheet.

That’s awesome! I’ll definitely check it out. So far I’ve been spending my time to learn blender’s tips and tricks, so everything is still a lesson to me.