Tips for Website planning with Blender.

It may have crossed your mind at some time or another that since you are an artist, you should have your own website. But you can’t afford Photoshop, Gimp is too confusing, and paint, well, you just think that it shouldn’t be called Ms Paint, but rather Ms Pain. But you know blender and wanted to use it to sketch your self a showstopper website. Here appears a bit of a problem; Blender is designed to create 3D scenes/objects/what have you, so how do you “downgrade” Blender 3D into Blender 2D without using a certain far flung Blender branch?

Here is an example of what you can do with blender while ab/using it in the way I will show you:

SiteRender

And here are a few tips that will get you on your feet, and well on your way to designing a great website.

  • Before you start, make sure that your scene is completely clear of any objects.

Background Object.

  • Add a plane to your scene and scale it 1024 on the X axis, and 768 along the Y axis.

PlaneScaleUp

All you are doing is giving this plane the correct aspect ratio for our website. We don’t actually want it this big.

  • Scale this plane down, roughly to the size of the default cube. I scaled mine down to .001.

WPB_img6


Camera.

  • Create a new camera, leave it’s default rotation, but move it a tiny bit along the Z axis. (doesn’t matter how much, just so that it’s at a positive z location)
  • Go into the render buttons, and set the Render Size to 1024×768.

WPB_img3

  • In the camera properties, set your camera projection type to orthographic.

WPB_img7_Ortho

  • Now we need to set our camera’s view to match the size of our plane.

You can either scale the plane to fit, or you can adjust the camera Scale value shown in the above screenshot. (Note that using the S won’t achieve anything)

I chose to adjust the Camera’s Scale value till the background plane filled it’s view like in the following screenshot:

CamScaling

Now we are ready for the fun part, the actual artwork. At this point we won’t really be needing to change any of the camera’s settings so you can hide it by selecting it and pressing the ‘H’ key.

Materials.

  • Whenever you create a new material, the first thing you should always do is to set it shadeless.

Material_SetShadeless

This tells the render engine to render this material, and the objects that host it, with it’s absolute diffuse color. In other words, it will completely disregard shading so you will able to see it in it’s true color even if there are no lights, or overly bright ones.

Text.

  • You can add and edit text objects right in blender without having to use textures.

WPB_img91

  • If you have some awesome font you want to use, you can do that as well by selecting your Text Object, hitting Load, and then browsing to the location of your font:

Text_LoadingA_Font

Miscellaneous tips.

Before starting to design your website, it’s a good idea to collect some reference material, and/or styles that you want to follow. I usually use Colorotate.org/ to create color schemes to use for the site that I’m working on.

To make it very conveniant to pick colors from your scheme, split the buttons window at the very right, and load a small screen grab of the scheme into it.

Like this:

WPB_img95

Now you can use the Color Picker tool to select colors from your scheme.

ColorPickerSampling

WPB_img96

  • Make sure that Your Z-Order is correct

That is, make sure that your objects aren’t coinciding. Images that should be shown on top of others should be moved slightly upwards along the z axis.

  • Make sure that no form of Ambient Occlusion is enabled.

It adds a great amount of time to the render but does not change the looks of it whatsoever.

_________________________________

Credits:

Golf Ball and Red Glass Apple images used on example site are from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/benklemm/306943061/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/8011986@N02/2748116045/ respectively

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This entry was posted in Intermediate, Tips, Webdesign and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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