Learn 3D Graphics

Animation Prep: Story & Props

In preparation for a long term animation, begin by deciding upon a story and creating inanimate prop.

Story Development

In a Google Doc, write a 2 paragraph introduction to your story. The first paragraph should introduce the characters and explain the general plot. The second paragraph should list the resources you will need to create for this animation.

Choose a subject you really enjoy for your story - we will spend the rest of the semester working on pieces of this animation. If you have trouble choosing your own idea, it is fine to use a story from the public domain as a starting point. For example, the original versions of fairy tales and myths are all part of the public domain and are not under anyone's copyright.

Multiple Props/Objects

Create 2-4 props for your long term animation. DO NOT create any characters at this stage - your character(s) will look better if you practice more first.

  1. In Finder, create a new folder to keep all of your animation resources
    1. Go to the Documents Folder
    2. Click on the gear icon
    3. Select "New Folder"
    4. Name folder as desired - this could be something like "Library" or the name of your animation
  2. Each prop should be saved in a separate file with a descriptive name (this makes it easier to reuse objects in multiple animations/games)
  3. In each prop file, use default shapes as a starting point - or draw with vertices like we did for the flower petal. Subdivision, loop cuts, extruding, the mirror modifier and proportional editing could all be helpful.
  4. Make sure to customize the materials and use original textures
  5. Name the objects descriptively as you make them - this makes it easier to keep track of what is what in more complex files later on.

Appending allows you to move a complete copy of a resource in one Blender file into another Blender file. This could include a variety of things from collections or individual objects to materials and more. All of the props need to be appended into a single prop file.

  1. Open a new file (CMD+N)
  2. Save and give a name that includes your first name, the inital of your last name and props at the end: ie. JohnS_props.blend
  3. Delete the default cube
  4. Create a prop collection
    1. In the Outliner, right-click on "Scene Collection"
    2. Double-click on the name of the new collection and give it a new, descriptive name (ie. props)
  5. With the new prop collection selected, go to "File → Append"
  6. Find the file with your first prop & select it
  7. Open the "Object" folder
  8. Select the prop
  9. Click on "Append from Library"
  10. Position the prop where desired
  11. Repeat as necessary to place each prop in the prop file

In Google Classroom, submit both a render of your props altogther & submit the props.blend file. Make sure to line up your camera and adjust the lighting as necessary before rendering an image.

If using image textures, make sure that the textures are "packed" in the .blend file - otherwise they are only linked to the file and will not move with it. (File → External Data → Automatically Pack Into .blend)