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Blender Rotation Track

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:23 pm
by Aeonic
Click to download Blender Rotation Track

This is a Blender environment that allows you to import a ship model and have 40 frames of it rendered. To do this, first create the model, then follow these steps:

NOTE: Before you use this, you should arrange the ship model so that its facing DOWN when viewed from the top view.

1. Use Shift+F1 to import the model. The model must be ONE object, and make sure that it is centered in the middle of the circle and aligned vertically at the center of the grid. You'll want to make sure that the mesh's reference point is at the center of the model as well.

2. Scale the ship model (right-click to select the ship and click S) so that it fits just inside the circle. Leave a little room on all sides just in case things stick out at abnormal angles. Note that you may want to edit the mesh (Tab) and adjust the positioning to get the best fit inside the circle.

2. Right-click to select the ship model, then holding shift, right-click to select the 'ship target' empty (looks like a little XYZ object at the bottom of the circle), then press Ctrl+T to have the ship model target the 'ship target' empty. NOTE: if the ship model doesn't appear to be facing UP from the top view, then it has its rotation settings wrong. Select the ship model and press N and make sure its RotX, RotY and RotZ values are all 0. You may need to rotate the ship in the mesh editor (Tab).

3. Click F10 or select the Scene button to change the render settings. Look under 'Game Frame Settings' to change the size of the rendered image - I use 200x200 for < 100 pixel ships, and 400x400 for anything larger. Make sure you change the name, under Output, that the files will be exported as and where.

4. Click the big ANIM button and it will attempt to render 40 frames of the ship to the specified location. They'll be exported as [shipname]xxxx where xxxx is the frame number. I use a program called PhotoScape to merge the multiple frames into one using the Combine function.

IMAGE EDITOR: (these instructions depend on what you're using)
5. Load the combined image into an image editor, create two copies of the merged image and close the original. Replace the background of one of the images with black, and resize it to the size you want. Then resize the other image, copy it using the pink background as the transparent color, and position it over itself. Then, while the selection is still highlighted, invert it and fill/delete the selection to a black background, then invert it again and fill/delete the selection with a white background. Reduce to 2 colors and save as BMP, while saving the full-color black background version as JPG.

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:24 pm
by Aeonic
There are probably plenty of ways to improve this process, but this is what I've been using. How you want to create the mask and such after the images are rendered is mostly up to you and whatever methods you have for doing that with the tools available to you. Feel free to share.

If someone would care to try following the tutorial and let me know if I'm missing anything, that would be good.

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:59 pm
by Psycholis
what format do the models have to be to import into blender? i use solidworks for everything (make an assembly and rotate on the assembly) and the format is .sldprt (solid part), but it outputs in tons of other formats too. i can either list all those formats or you can give me a format that works and see if it's on the list. thanks. this might save me a little time in the 27 ships i have left.

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:06 pm
by Aeonic
Blender's current Import formats appear to be:

.3ds, .ac, .ase, .dxf, .dwg, .dae, .off, .x, .kml, .kmz, .lwo, .mot, .md2, .ms3d, .txt, .c3d, .bvh, .ndo, .flt, .svg, .ps, .eps, .ai, Gimp, .slp, .radio, .raw, .ply, .cob, .obj, .x3d, .wrl.


3D Studio, AC3D, ASCII Scene, Autodesk DXF, COLLADA 1.3.1, COLLADA 1.4, DEC Object File Format, DirectX, Google Earth, LightWave, Lightwave Motion, MD2, MilkShape3D, MilkShape3D ASCII, Motion Capture, Nendo, OpenFlight, Paths, Pro Engineer, Radiosity, Faw Faces, Stanford PLY, TrueSpace, Wavefront, X3D, VRML97.

I believe you can also download scripts to convert additional formats, but I've never really figured out how to use those.

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:40 am
by Psycholis
just tried it. it looks awful. sorry for making you post that long list.. i'm just going to stick with my current method.