If you can’t see it, it’s not exist.

not Blender specific

I’ve come across many newbie’s project with quite heavy scene.
They would cry how slow their project would render.

One common mistake is that they place objects everywhere, like real world objects, even where the camera never sees.

So, if the object or its reflection, or shadow is not subjective in the camera’s field of view, it rather not exist at all – delete it! And make the set as small as possible.

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Auto-Key is a mess!

Blender 2.63a

Some of you might love Auto-Key, but I find it often leaves keys where it’s not needed.
I accidentally animate a static prop while just trying to move things around.

My crews love this feature and it’s nightmare to fix the animation later because of huge amount of keysframes left uncleaned.

Keyframe should be what traditional animator says : KEY frame

My advice – never turn Auto-Key on.

Press i to insert keyframe only where you want, wouldn’t take too much time of your life, I can assure you.

If you need to key every bone at once, there’s a ‘Whole Charactor’ option available after pressing i.

Render from command line

Blender 2.63a

You can render a scene without opening the blender interface from command line

in windows – cmd
in linux or mac – terminal

Provided everything is set and ready to be rendered, to render animation type in command

blender -b filename.blend -a

For more advance options, you can use python script to change some settings in the blend file before render.

Create an empty text file with your favorite text editor (or in blender). Copy & paste these example settings.

import bpy

#change scene name to yours
Scenename = 'Scene'

# quality
bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].render.resolution_x = 2048
bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].render.resolution_y = 1080
bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].render.resolution_percentage = 50
bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].render.use_antialiasing = True
#bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].render.use_full_sample = True

# frame range
#bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].frame_start = 1
#bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].frame_end = 5

# image format
bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].render.image_settings.file_format = 'TIFF'
bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].render.image_settings.quality = 80
bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].render.image_settings.color_mode = 'RGBA'

# Cycles sampling
#bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].cycles.samples = 200

# stamp
bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].render.use_stamp = 1
bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].render.stamp_background = (0,0,0,1)

# output
#bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].render.filepath = '//render/test_'
bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].render.use_placeholder = True
bpy.data.scenes[Scenename].render.use_overwrite = False

# start render animation
bpy.ops.render.render(animation=True,scene=Scenename)

The important lines are the first and the last. Other lines can be changed to fit your need. The properties names are quite self-explained. The # sign is for comment line, will be ignored by the interpreter. You can hover the mouse over any boxes or buttons in Blender to see the script associated.

More details can be found at blender python api reference :

http://www.blender.org/documentation/blender_python_api_2_63_2/contents.html

 

Save the text as ‘setting.py’. You might put it in the same folder as the blend file for convenient.

To start render from command line, type

blender -b filename.blend -P setting.py

 

Speed up viewport display for NVIDIA card

Blender 2.63a

Viewport performance on computer with NVIDIA card is quite slow. One way to increase speed is disable the double sided shading.

For every object, uncheck the box :

Really huge improvement.

A little bit cumbersome if you have lots of objects to do at once.

So, keep in mind to uncheck it immediately every time you create a new object.

Edit:

I’ve found a script to do this for every objects in the scene. Just switch to text editor and paste in these codes:

import bpy
for ob in bpy.data.objects:
if ob.type == 'MESH' :
ob.data.show_double_sided = 0

and press runscript. (there should be a tab indent on 3rd line, and 2 tabs on 4th line – or you’ll get error when running the script)

Use ‘Scene’ to manage set

Blender 2.63a

When you have a set with lots of static objects, your outliner could be filled with those unidentified objects and sometimes gets in the way of selecting the right one.

You might join them to become one object, but it’ll be harder to move things around or assign new material later.

Better approach would be to create a new empty scene, place all those non-animate objects in this scene and group them. Rename the group to a meaningful name.

in the main scene, just add a ‘Group Instance’ with the group you just created.

Now, there’s only one object in the main scene, and you can still edit those individual objects by going to the ‘Set’ scene.

Stamp is useful

Blender 2.63a

Stamp prints useful information onto the rendered image. I find it’s convenient to have it turn on all the time, so that I woudn’t have to wonder which version of the file this image was rendered from. In fact, I enlarge my output file size a little to accomodate those small text at the top and bottom in the final render as well.

Handheld camera

Blender 2.63a

Handheld camera motion can be useful in some shots.

To simulate the handheld camera, you can add noise modifier to the camera curve.

Play with ‘Scale’ and ‘Strength’ to get the desired effect.

You can use ‘Restrict frame range’ to limit when to start and stop shaking.