Category Archives: Tutorials

Part II is Up! Composition

Hey guys, just a quick heads-up: following up on my previous tutorial for, the second part of the series is now available (well, it has been since Monday really!). In it I start talking about Composition and cover simple tips on Framing your images and a couple of important principles of design (Balance and Contrast).

I hope you find it useful! Part III will be ready soon.


New BlenderCookie Tutorial, By Me

Hey guys! Just to let you know that just published a tutorial I authored on how to improve your renders by applying simple photography notions.

Pardon Sintel’s hair. She’s been out of work for a while (“bloody recession!”), which is pretty much why she agreed to help me in this tutorial in the first place.

It covers why you should always play with the focal length before settling with your camera position, other things that influence the Depth of Field aside from the aperture value so that you always make an informed decision on how much blur you want around your subject, and finally why you should always do at least some post-processing on the raw image that the render engine gives you.

I’ve learned so much from the tutorials from BC over the past couple of years that it is really exciting to be able to contribute with something as well. I hope you guys find it useful!

Tutorial – Rigging the Gyrocopter, Part II


Rigging the Gyrocopter, Part II

Sorry I’m late! Last week was crazy, but here I am with Part II of the tutorial. Video quality is much better this time (720p in fact), and I managed to stay around the 20 minute mark, so check it out to learn how you can use Spline IK to rig things like hoses or ropes or stuff like that.

I first went to the wiki to try to figure out how it worked, but you know the wiki – even though the intention is great it’s always hard to explain things by text. So a big thank you goes to Nathan Vegdahl and his Mammoth Rigging Tutorial, where this subject is very well explained. I haven’t gone through all of it (I skipped around to the parts when Spline IK was dealt with), so you’ll probably see a review post on it soon, but so far it really is a great product. If you want a better explanation of why cyclic dependencies are a bad thing (instead of my attempt in the video – “it does crazy stuff”, I still can’t believe that’s how I summed it up!), go get it!

I hope this was useful to you, and as always, please go ahead and leave any feedback on the comments below!


You can find Part I of the tutorial here.

Tutorial – Rigging the Gyrocopter, Part I


Rigging the Gyrocopter, Part I

That’s right! After soaking in a lot of knowledge by watching various tutorials out there, it’s finally time for me to try to give something back.

For me, and more than any other discipline within 3D graphics, Rigging seems to be one of those click subjects – you don’t get it no matter how hard you try, and then suddenly something clicks and aha, you get it. And to be honest I’m not sure it has clicked for me yet… In fact before I started trying to rig the gyrocopter I went back and re-read the rigging chapter on Blender Foundations, and in the end I thought “ok, I get it”. Then coincidently BlenderCookie produced a tutorial on rigging pistons and I thought “perfect, that’s it!”, and watched it and it all made sense. But when I finally sat down looking at the landing gear on the gyrocopter, I couldn’t help but feel it was still over my head. It hadn’t clicked.

But still I had a go, and just like Edison I learned quite a number of ways in which it didn’t work… until I found one that did! The whole process made me understand the subject quite a bit better, and in the end I felt like sharing some of the knowledge I’d acquired. So without further ado, enjoy my first tutorial!

Updates: I dropped by at the #blendercoders IRC channel today (wow, it had been a looooong time since I’d last been in IRC) and Aligorith shed some light over the Envelopes bug I thought I’d come across in the video – it turns out I had to also disable Envelope Deformations in the Armature modifier on the mesh. Concerning the other bug with the empty jumping around, I couldn’t reproduce it on a simple scene…

Hopefully part II will be shorter and allow me to post a better quality video. I think something went wrong with the encoding, since the raw footage in 1080p was actually smaller in disk size than the edited (cut, shorter) in 720p, which in turn was too big to upload to vimeo… so I had to re-encode in lower quality.

Anyway I hope you’ve learned something useful with this, and again please do drop your tips in the comments!


You can find Part II of the tutorial here.