Hello Everybody! Today is a BIG day as this is the start of a new era for me….I have upgraded Blender so I am running the new 2.81A version (as I type this I have seen v.2.83 has been released but that isn’t a stable release yet). This means I have access to a new modelling feature called EEVEE which is a “real-time renderer” so I can make a model and apply textures/materials to it as I go along and the new laptop automatically modifies the model and textures as I make changes. This means I can see how the finished version of a saber will look almost as soon as I have started building it! Oh, yes…did I just mention the words “new laptop”? Yes I did….my new toy has arrived! I now have an updated computer which is amazing compared to the computer I used before…
This is a Lenovo X61s 12 inch laptop and it has 1GB of memory and a whopping 64GB hard disk…it even ran on Windows 7 – real high tech! But now I have the big brother of this computer with a 14 inch screen, Core I5 processor, 8GB of memory and 500GB hard disk so I am able to run the latest versions of Blender! I installed Blender yesterday afternoon and within an hour I had built my first version 2.81 saber, would you like to take a look? Of course you would so here you go…
This saber isn’t based on anything specific or any particular hilt it is just a testbed, something that was in my head that I modelled. The new software is even more powerful than the last version I had. Almost 99% of the functions can be accessed from the studio/workspace screen so was able to build this so fast. But even if a needed function isn’t on screen then there will be a dedicated tab and secondary screen layout where it will be visible. For example the screen to model the object would be different than a screen for rendering (creating the images or videos) – but there are “hot keys” to switch between the various screens allowing you to preview your progress as you go along. This software is so slick and fast I think it could do the Kessel run faster than the Millennium Falcon!
Rendering is also something that is vastly improved with 2.81. I knew it would be better but I had no clue just how good it was gonna be. Some of my old renders had lots of speckles of light and looked “grainy” due to how the graphics chip recreated the lighting for the image but you may have noticed the pictures above were very, very focused and pin sharp with no little “Fireflies” – Blender users call the speckles fireflies! You can see them on the gold pieces on the hilts below… Blender has a new function similar to one developed by industry leaders in animating (Disney Pixar) that removes the speckles and sharpens the image, but when I installed Blender I wasn’t aware of it. Imagine my amazement when I saw the first picture I created! The difference was like watching a movie on a mobile phone, then seeing the same film on IMAX! So impressed was I, that I rendered a few more so here’s another gallery of some glamour shots, enjoy….
I am just lost for words…and the image I showed with the Fireflies above took 40-50 seconds to render, whereas these new pictures took much less time. I pressed the button to render the image and I counted 1…2…3…and it displayed onscreen. Less than four seconds! This will cut down my workload by about 75%. I don’t know how it will handle animations but if Blender works this fast for single images then videos will take a fraction of the time too. I will work on some animations once I have transferred all my files to my new set-up. I can’t wait. Here is one final “poster” I came up with and it has the Blender “Eye” logo looming over the planet like the Death Star!
Well, that just about wraps up this post, I hope you liked it. I will be looking through my old Blender models and seeing which ones would benefit from being tweaked in this new version of the software while I work on new saber designs so I hope you’ll return to see all of that in future posts. Thank you all for your support of me and this site, whether you are a regular visitor or are new to FTSabersite – you’re all much appreciated. Till next time….
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“FT’s Blender 2.81 Saber” is a For Tyeth Edition design (built and rendered in Blender 3D v2.81!) and is ©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2020. “Blender 3D”, “Blender” and the Blender “Eye” logo are Trademark/©Copyright of the Blender Foundation.