Blender Tutorial

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Intoduction

This tutorial assumes you have already downloaded and installed the import/export plugin.

Blender can be very intimidating. And rightfully so; Blender is very powerful and versatile. When you first load blender you'll see a camera, a light source, and a 2x2 cube:

We don't want these. Right click an object to select it (it will have a pink outline when selected). Hit DEL and it will ask if you want to delete this object. Hit RETURN/ENTER to confirm. If you want to undo, use CTRL+Z.

Importing

Now that there is a clean working environment, we can import a file now. Assuming you correctly installed the plugin, go to FILE > IMPORT > ROR IMPORTER. Sc2.png

Navigate to where you installed Rigs of Rods (this will vary greatly, based on what operating system you're using) and find semi.truck in the data/trucks/ folder. Use the middle mouse button to rotate the viewpoint based on where you clicked and hold SHIFT while using the middle mouse button to move the view point. Once you have the truck on display, hit a to select the truck. Below the coordinate grid you'll see Objectmode.png. Click this and go to Editmode.png.

Now we have the truck in skeleton form. This view shows us the nodes, beams, and the parts that are covered in a submesh. We will return to the submesh later.

Sc4.png

In this exercise we will simply lift the truck, and get into making new nodes and etc in part 2. If you want to skip straight to part 2 do so now. Realize that if you have no prior Blender experience, you should read this part first.


We're going to do something, yet silly. Now that we're in edit mode, we can move nodes around. Remember that if you make a mistake you can use CTRL+Z to undo, and CTRL+SHIFT+Z to redo. In this exercise, we will not be modifying the submesh, so if you end up moving a face you've picked the wrong node!

Modifying

Let's start with the rear axle. Because the semi truck uses axle rigidity it has a very basic rear axle set up. If you zoom in, you should be able to see where the suspension meets the axle. There are a total of 4 nodes in the axle. Right click one of the outermost nodes to select it. Hold SHIFT and right click the next innermost node to select multiple nodes at once. This can be done through submesh faces.

Sc5.png

Now, while holding CTRL, drag the blue arrow downward. Holding CTRL snaps the nodes to the grid so you get nice even numbers, and consequently may take a bit of mouse movement depending how far zoomed in you are. If you find you've selected the wrong nodes, hit CTRL+Z and hold SHIFT and right click a node to deselect it. If you recall, the process of selecting/deselecting nodes is the same, but simply a toogle.


Once you have the nodes moved (the beams will follow), the truck should look pretty silly. This is OK, since we're just learning!

Exporting

Hit TAB to go back into Objectmode.png. Make sure the truck is selected by making sure it has a pink outline. Just as we did in the first section, go to FILE > EXPORT > ROR EXPORTER and navigate to where you installed Rigs of Rods. Select the semi.truck file again. The import/export plugin automatically backs up the original file before overwriting, so do not worry about losing your old file. Open Rigs of Rods and load the Daf Semi:

Daf.png

Note that any node you moved has been changed. The Blender import/export cannot retain old values for modified nodes, so if you changed anything drastic (which you can see I did: I moved the roof which messed up the submesh and apparently moved some nodes in the front which altered the beam structure). If you made it this far without much trouble, congratulations! Time to move on to part 2.

More

Basic Blender: http://www.youtube.com/1taken#p/u/49/J-suERt7qdE

The best tutorial Lepes have seen using blender step by step and modelling a car is from CG Cookie dot com at Modelling a Porshe 911 a set of 11 videotutorials covering all aspects.

Other resources:
- Unwrapping with Ira Krakow's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_8OV92HLPY&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
- Precision Modelling guide: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/r.burke2/precision_modelling1.html
- Youtube "blender tutorial" search, of course.



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    Rigs of Rods is a unique soft body physics simulator.


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