That is why we created our comprehensive Robotic Planet course for Blender, designed to equip you with time saving and essential skills for everything hard-surface, all using free tools.
This course is not only informative, but also fun to follow, by focusing on the best workflows for individual artists.
You will learn to create two robots from scratch, by going through robot ideation, modeling, material creation, rigging, animation, rendering and much more.
By the end of the course, you will have created your own captivating robot animations, along with having gained the knowledge to tackle your own hard-surface projects.
Before diving into the 3D production, this chapter focuses on idea generation, providing insight into the thought process and offering methods to help generate unique and feasible ideas for robots. It also briefly touches upon sketching ideas in Blender and discusses modeling techniques to understand the chosen approach for creating a robot.
6 videos | ~21 minutes
In this chapter, we'll explore the process of modeling "Basic Bot" from a concept sketch. The approach involves hard-surface poly modeling, utilizing Blender's modifiers and non-destructive techniques. We'll cover blocking out primitive shapes, adding details with Boolean operations, incorporating screws and labels, utilizing arrays for fine detailing, and understanding viewport properties and modifiers to enhance the model's form. By the end of the chapter, we'll have a fully modeled robot ready for adding materials.
9 videos | ~1:31 hrs
In the materials chapter, we begin by addressing mesh smoothing techniques to eliminate faceting artifacts and maintain flat surfaces. Next, we delve into shader work, creating procedural Edge, Dirt, Roughness, and Scratch shader masks with benefits such as resolution independence, customizable parameters, and smaller blend file sizes. We then organize our shaders into node groups to build a plastic material with easy color variations, followed by the development of additional materials like metal, decal, and lens materials, tailored for both Eevee and Cycles render engines. By the end of the chapter, our basic bot will have a more appealing appearance, ready for rendering.
9 videos | ~56 minutes
In this chapter, we focus on rigging the "Basic Bot" to be able to animate it later on. We start by preparing the model to address potential deformation and performance issues. Then, we plan and construct the rig. We establish a bone hierarchy, implement bone constraints for automation and movement restrictions, explore the use of drivers to create animation based on mathematical calculations, and ultimately organize the rig for a clean and efficient animation workflow. By the end of the chapter, our "Basic Bot" will be fully prepared for animation.
7 videos | ~42 minutes
In this chapter, we delve into animation, starting with the fundamental principles and blocking out basic poses for our "Basic Bot's" boot-up animation. We then refine the animation curves, use the wiggle bones add-on for automated animation, and animate the camera with motion modifiers for a handheld effect. By the end of the chapter, we will have a fully animated and expressive "Basic Bot".
6 videos | ~36 minutes
In this chapter, we focus on creating a complete scene for our animated "Basic Bot" by adding a ground plane, stylized rocks, and plants. We then enhance the scene with additional lighting, refine the render settings for optimal quality and speed, and utilize the compositor to introduce imperfections that add organic realism to the animation. Lastly, we gather reusable assets for quick access and prepare for future sections of the course. By the end of the chapter, we will have a fully animated scene ready for sharing on social media.
8 videos | ~51 minutes
In this chapter, we embark on creating our second robot, 'Fish Bot'. We adopt a different approach compared to 'Basic Bot', using subdivided surfaces to achieve smooth contours. Rather than relying on booleans, we manipulate the base meshes to create cut-outs and employ Blender's 'loop tools' add-on for convenient operations like projecting meshes into circular shapes. Additionally, we model supporting geometry for the robot's effects, including water, water bubbles, and jet exhaust, and conclude by creating a battery cell prop, applying the knowledge gained throughout the chapter.
15 videos | ~2:08 hrs
In this chapter, we leverage our asset library to quickly set up the environment and base materials in Eevee. We also create new materials for our fish character, glass, and water while addressing Eevee's environment refraction issue. Additionally, we set up materials for effects elements like jets, control panel, and bubbles, ensuring they are easily animatable.
7 videos | ~36 minutes
In this advanced rigging chapter, we tackle the challenges of rigging 'Fish Bot'. We begin by preparing the mesh and creating an armature, followed by diving into a comprehensive control rig using drivers, constraints, geometry nodes, and custom properties for efficient and versatile animation. We explore procedural animation and utilize the improved 'Wiggle 2' add-on for secondary animation. Finally, we organize the control rig using bone layers, groups, and custom shapes to enhance its usability.
13 videos | ~1:42 hrs
In this chapter, we bring 'Fish Bot' to life in our stylized environment by expanding on our knowledge from Basic Bot and creating a more complex animation based on a storyboard. We start with scene layout, utilizing our previously created environment assets, and set up duplicates to achieve a looping animation. Next, we focus on animation, blocking in layers, manipulating the battery prop with a dynamic child of constraint, refining the animation with the Graph Editor, and adding extra appeal using baked wiggle bones. Finally, we explore the real-time viewport compositing option for post-processing and color adjustments before rendering. By the end of the chapter, we will have completed our second bot, and a looping animation which is particularly suitable for sharing on social media platforms.
12 videos | ~1:40 hrs
Good fundamental Blender knowledge is highly recommended to have fun with this course.
Even though we cover every step on the way, we suggest finishing our free Blender Beginner course first.
You can also get our comprehensive Blender Launch Pad course with a discount at the checkout, to learn all important fundamentals.