04 April 2020

Blender 2.8 test animation to learn the software

I have been trying to learn Blender for over a decade... until V2.8 its interface was just too difficult to figure out for an end user like me.  The new changes to the interface, and the addition of some amazing features put is in a potential replacement for C4D for me which has become far too expensive. 

Evee render: The render view you see in the workspace, 30 seconds

Cycles Render: the professional output render, 90 seconds

I re-made the robot I made for another project in C4D and exported using Evee, then added a post blur in After Effects. Evee was 30 seconds a frame, Cycles was 1.5 seconds a frame. I tried the Apple Magic Mouse, got frustrated used my 3 button mouth with scroll wheel, got more frustrated and went back to the magic Mouse but found using helper keys made it the best choice for navigation. 

The animation:



  • Much easier to use
  • the viewport is amazing and playback is fantastic
  • the online manual is really helpful
  • there are a ton of tutorials now for Blender
  • seems like most if not all the major functions you might need are present
  • Free
  • editing, compositing are all part of the software
  • 2D integration is unlike anything else out there now
  • Even export is actually good enough for final output in a non effects/ cartoon project.
  • You can import models from C4D into it using FBX and OBJ
  • Still not as intuitive or using standards set in all other software, but getting there
  • the rigging and bone system is not robust or easy to work with (you can only animate bones in pose mode for example)
  • Buggy with some crashing 
  • navigation is still pretty wonky, but I am sure it would improve with practice and learning it better. 
  • rendering is slow in Cycles
  • texturing is complicated compared to C4D and I had to just resign myself to learning it in detail as a separate project.
  • Character animation is lacking several features like squash and stretch as far as I can see from my limited test
  • Hierarchy is improved but still not modernized enough. You have to parent everything by hand and can’t just drag one object under another in the hierarchy window
  • Textures did not follow along with FBX import, I didn’t try OBJ files yet. 

C4D comparison and impressions

C4d interface is hands down the better interface and it’s tag system to add affects, effectors, deformations etc  non destructively is superior to even Maya in my opinion.  You can do most of the same stuff in Blender with a ton more work and time. 

I am using V19 of C4D with 80+ plugins including X-particles and Turbulence FD for water and smoke simulations, something Blender does natively. It will take Blender awhile to catch up to my C4D workflow but it’s moving 100 km an hour compared to the snail’s pace of C4D which has been updating it’s core for 10+ years now. Blender seems up to the task, they expect another huge update in a couple months,

Before this test I would start to lay with the software, get frustrated after 30 -60 minutes, swear like a sailor and shut it off. Unless I followed a step by step tutorial I got nowhere. this time I reproduced a character I made in C4D and animated it for 10 seconds then exported it and did more work in After effects - so a giant step forward. I have 20+ year with C4D so It is a little unfair to compare my skills in Blender after a week to that, but I got enough into it to actually make an animation so it might just be  amateur of time before it becomes efficient enough to use everyday. I see me transitioning to Blender starting now for some things while V19 of C4D will still work for the next 3 years at least and because of my plugin investment there it would be crazy to just stop using it. I won’t be going anywhere near the subscription thing with with Maxon, that’s for sure. 


T' said...

Looks great, nice and smooth! There are some things I don't think I can see because I don't use either program but the short render time for working certainly seems to be a plus! I hope you continue to get good results with a program you're likely to have fun with. :D

Behemoth media said...

I think this is a long term learning thing for when Cinema stops working and I can't afford anything else. I am sort of liking this idea of using the free stuff available these days, especially when they are putting as much effort into it as blender is right now. My friend who also did a test didn't get as fas as I did which surprised me bt I am committed to learning more and eventually doing a real project in blender sooner than later.

T' said...

Did you sign up for a program called, "Animation Paper?" I think I did a LONG time ago. It's traditional 2D drawn animation for the Mac and Windows. Got a notification from them yesterday that the Alpha is out which is free for a certain amount of time. No idea what it will eventually cost, but I downloaded it and may look into it with all the current time off. They're at: animationpaper.com.

Behemoth media said...

That looks great, when it goes live it will be 79$ with no subscription which is a great price. The little circle thing menu is similar to what Sketchbook Pro uses and Krita has something like it for the colour palette... Blender has something akin to it also.. seems ot be the new idea in interface! I do like it in Sketchbook. Thanks for telling me about it, I signed up for the alpha release so i can play with it a bit!