* Blender Graphics: Lenses and Optics

arachnoid.com
8 min read
fairly easy
Designing optical elements in the Blender graphics workshop
Introduction

Blender is the name of a terrific, free, open-source graphics workshop. It's also an example where things have gone right in the open-source community — people wanted a first-rate tool, they were willing to cooperate to get there, and Blender is the result. Blender helps you create computer graphic images and videos. It includes modeling and visualizing tools to assist you in setting up images and sequences of images. Then, at your command, it generates the images and videos you designed. In years past I've used more complex and difficult-to-use graphics tools like POV-Ray, programs that (unlike Blender) don't have a user interface and whose use is more like computer programming — click here to visit one of my POV-Ray projects. Figure 1: One of my POV-Ray images (click for full-size) At the time of writing Blender has released a new version (2.80) that overhauls the user interface and makes Blender easier to use. This has many advantages and a few drawbacks. The advantages are that this increasingly complex program acts more intuitively and consistent with people's expectations based on their experience with other programs. One drawback is that a lot of older contributed code and instructional methods no longer work. In this article I explain how Blender differs from other graphics programs. I show some of its strengths and weaknesses, and I provide methods to achieve some interesting optical effects. This article is also intended to be a resource for a series of future YouTube videos I'll be creating on the topic of Blender — both tutorial and techniques. Before we get started, let's take a look at Blender's user interface (Blender 2.80): Figure 2: Blender basic layout (click for full size) The 3D Viewport is a sort of visual workshop, where you can add and remove things from your scene.

is a sort of visual workshop, where you can add and remove things from your scene. The Outliner is a hierarchical diagram of your project that shows the…
Paul Lutus
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