Blender Tutorial: Wobble GIF



You see these on Tumblr a lot, sometimes as photos and sometimes as 3D generated. Fortunately, the 3D kind are easier to work with since you get perfect camera control.

Essentially, you’re hijacking the brain’s sense of parallax to create depth. The background is moving left and right, the foreground is a little bit. Whatever the camera pivot point is stays “fixed” as the depth when the brain puts it together.

So. Super simple setup, and you can use basically any model for this, though some will look cooler / work out better. Ideally, you have three planes: foreground, focus point, background.

Acrylo Wobble Camera Setup

So you have your model – whatever it is – and your first camera positioned where you’d normally put it. I just UV mapped a spiral image to this wavy line I rotated; whatever. The important thing here is that my focal point is the cursor and that I’ve rotated two extra cameras around that point (+/- 5 degrees, but that’s arbitrary. Too much angle will lose focus because you only have three frames to work with – jumping around too much is just confusing strobe. Try less, maybe, for a more subtle wobble). The only thing that matters is your cameras make an arc (so they’re the same distance away. You can use constraints against an Empty if you want, but rotating in one axis works too) and the angles converge on the focal point.

Render the three frames. I’m labeling them here that the left camera is 1, middle is 2 and right is 3. Protip: you can activate another camera as being the camera to be rendered from by using CTRL-0 on the numpad with that camera selected. It’s exactly like the normal 0 going into the camera view, but the CTRL bit also makes that camera the active one.

Spiral 1

Spiral 2

Spiral 3

You can use GIMP / Photoshop or any number of .gif assembler programs for this part. I Googled this and it seems to work well, but my five minute using it isn’t exactly a full review. Take your frames and assemble them 1, 2, 3, 2 which creates that loop back to the beginning frame. Mine is a 50 ms delay, but play with that too, probably working in conjunction with how far apart the cameras physically are. If it’s a more subtle wobble you don’t need it to go as slowly, simulating your one physical head moving around the object and the time it takes.

That’s basically it. It’s super easy, you just need to take a little care with how the cameras are positioned.

Morning Doodles: Scaffold Skeleton

Skeleton 1

Skeleton 2

Skeleton 3

Skeleton 4

Skeleton 5

I wish I could pull off the pretentious “These are a metaphor into my soul; of the increasingly mechanistic society that turns our organic bones into rigid metal ones…” but let’s face it: I’m not that kind of artist.

Just playing this morning with some stacking modifiers in Blender and came across the new Wireframe module. It’s pretty sweet, actually. Add a bit of colour and a lot of DoF and you get these.

80’s Halloween

I know I’m a week early on the Hallow’s Eve thing, but I was playing around with some old skull models for a different reason and had the idea.

My favorite part is the glossy shine running down the orange sunglasses:

Not sure if I’ve posted this before, but I did do some quick Freestyle tests with the same model (which comes to us from the repository) a few months back when that was first revealed:

Isometric Landscapes – Tim Reynolds

Since I gave you a perfect isometric Blender setup, go forth and make cool things like Timothy J. Reynolds.

Bigger shots here, but tons more on his Dribbble.

Love that low poly style. I predict with the return of flat UI design, we’re going to start seeing more of it.

Gallery WIP

It’s a rainy saturday morning so I made this and decorated a cake I made yesterday.

Things to do:

  • Populate the shelves with neat things.
  • Render with more samples
  • Fix the bump map on that wooden box
  • Maybe add some pendant lights or something; continue adding interest.

But, it’s a start.

Ideas in different mediums

Cutting down speed paints to being properly speedy seems to be the way to go – used as they should be, not finished works but concept generation and quick ideation.

The 3D model version took about as long as it would have to flesh out the paintings to a respectable level (with my current skills).

Every villain’s lair needs to have an unassuming topside front to conceal the sprawling underground complexes. Mine, of course, happens to be the innocent Snapstag Cider Flyers Brewery, complete with plywood cows that would pop up and play a pre-recorded “Mooo!” any time an investigator ventured too close.

In Gaming news: Portal 2 DLC and Reset

As we know, Portal 2 is awesome. It’s been a little over a year since it’s release and next week Valve is laying down the community driven map system with editor and I have to say, the UI looks slick. I was worried – there’s a lot of complexity in a test chamber and 3D editor interfaces are generally sort of terrible at intuition. My fears have been quelled, replaced by sheer excitement for the release. May 8th. Ask Siri to mark your calendars.

In other gaming news, a trailer that caught my attention:

A trailer of enigma no doubt. But gah! That’s in game footage. They wrote the graphics engine because they didn’t like any of the existing ones. It’s first person puzzle single player co-op (whatever that is). The teaser art (also in game footage) looks like this. You can find that trailer song here. They’re writing a blog and making notes about all of the development. This is the sentence structure of Brennan Letkeman swooning. Consider me a fan of this indie studio and all that they’ve done so far. Even if the game release itself is utter rubbish, that trailer is something to be proud of.

So good, you guys. So good.


Works In Progress

Some things that I’ve been playing around with. May or may not ever finish them, but the ideas are there and people keep telling me to share the intermediate things.

I feel like the loft is off to a good start, but that back wall needs some love. Not sure yet. The external scene is, well, I’m terrible at them. I mean, that’s the point of practice, but still. I started a speed paint of almost that exact idea but realized half way through that doing the shading for each of those chimney stones is an ugly process.

The MK2 Stealth Chairs are the design we were originally going to make after we did the cardboard versions, but we got distracted and it never fully materialized. Someday, perhaps.

Funnily enough, not counting the render times themselves, making these takes about the same amount of time as my “speed” painting does. I’m both a pretty fast modeler and a pretty slow drawer, it seems. It is getting faster though. I was painting this morning and went to take a break only to realize it wasn’t as late as I thought it should have been. So that’s good. Improvement!

Psychic Land – 2veinte

It’s like Yum Yum London discovered Glo Fi. Woah.

In related inquiries, is there a genre for that soundtrack? I have a bit of it, but it’s been called generically “chiptune” which is both somewhat fitting and somewhat entirely wrong. I wonder if there isn’t something more specific.


Blender Ocean Sim

It’s been a while since I’ve posted my own work. Too long.

So, as we know Blender has had an ocean simulator for a little while now and I just got around to playing with it. I don’t really have much use for making oceans, but if I ever write a script for a Perfect Storm sequel, I’m totally set. Mostly, though, my version would just be like swimming pools and things becoming unrealistically angry and tidal wave over the sides onto those people who insist on sitting beside the pool but get all whiny when water touches them. You know the type. Like sunbathers, but sitting on lounge chairs beside indoor pools. Fluorescent tan.

Anyway, I’ve put the atrocious .blend file up for download but seriously, nothing’s even named or the renders made efficient or anything. You’ll have to throw in your own HDRi map for the world node texture there because for legal reasons I can’t redistribute the one I’m using. There’s no water textures or anything, it’s all procedurally generated (both by the ocean sim and by the proc. noise material).

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