What I did over summer break

So, last November, December and January, I worked on modeling, using my favorite WWII airplane, a North American P51D MUSTANG as subject matter. So, I learned the fundamentals of the Blender environment using tutorials on Lynda.con and YouTube and began building the airplane. I figured out hard surface modeling, lighting, surface mapping, and bump mapping working on this model. I started from the nose cone on the propeller and worked my way back and out. I modeled it so as I could animate it later, once my Blender skills reach a level that I will allow me to do so. I still want/need to model the interior of the cockpit. Fun.


This summer, I have focused on learning how to animate in Blender. The same projects you will be accomplishing this fall. Here’s an initial sample. Mesmerizing, ain’t it?


Anyway, this is just an initial taste of what you will be doing real soon.

Effects break down for sphere in hand spinning hand

Blender part

  1. I took a 360 panoramic photo and saved it as a “.png”
  2. I made a new blender file and deleted the cube
  3. I created a iso sphere and then smoothed it out by adding a subdivide modifiyer then switched from “flat” to “smooth”under the tools panel.
  4. I switched the render to “cycles”
  5. under the world tab I clicked “use Nodes” then clicked the tab next to color
  6. I selected the environment texture
  7. then I imported my “.png”
  8. (feel free to do a test render to see if it looks right and save at this point)
  9. then *shift+a* add CURVE circle (click 7 on the number pad to make sure its centered
  10. select the camera then go to the add constant tab (the “linked chains” tad) and add constraint “follow path” and select “bezier circle”
  11. check the box “follow curve” and the “Y axis” and offset for whatever number you want, then click animate path
  12. you’ll probably need to point camera at center of circle, click “n” to open transformation tab then rotate camera on z axis
  13. go to camera tab and then sampling tab and then make the sampling higher for a better image, but the more sampling the longer it will take to render.
  14. render one frame to see if you like the way the sampling looks, and this will give you a sense of how long rendering 1 frame will take.
  15. Then I set the output file and clicked render “animation”
  16. Then I went to bed as it render


  1. I went to the output file I made then pulled all the exported .png’s into premire and made a video. (you can do the same thing if you load them into stacks for photoshop)
  2. I reloaded the video into the editing software and duplicated the file as much as I wanted to allow the sphere animation to revolve multiple times
  3. I exported my final video file (.mp4) that was around 10 seconds long
  4. (when you import the .png’s into the editing software they may not be in order, you must meticulously reorder the images yourself)


  1. I took a picture (.png or .jpg) of my friend cupping his hands, pretending to hold a sphere
  2. I opened a new aftereffects file and imported my “.mp4” sphere video
  3. I added a circle mask to cut out the sphere from the background
  4. I then created a solid layer (on top of sphere layer) and added the effect “fractal noise” and then add the effect “cc sphere”
  5. I animated the factal noise by ALT clicking ontop of the time icon next to the “evolution” option underneath the “fractal noise” drop down under the effects bar for the solid layer.       *whew*good luck*
  6. after ALT clicking “evolution”, I typed   “time*500”, (this created a animation)
  7. In the using the transformation tab for both of my layers I adjusted the size of each sphere
  8. I dropped in my “.png” image of the cupping hands into a new layer
  9. I duplicated the layer then put one “hand” layer below the spheres and one on top
  10. For the layer on top used the pen tool to mask out the fingers. I feathered the edges slightly
  11. I went back and selected the sphere layers and “right click”+”pre-compose” so they became one, the I adjusted the size of the sphere.
  12. I then added puppet tool to the finger tips to animate them slightly
  13. If you want to color correct the overall image but don’t want to do it for each layer, select all the layers and pre-compose and you can edit them together
  14. to get the glow on the hands I made a solid layer and masked out the shape of the hands and applied the same “fractal noise” to it as I did before without adding the “cc sphere”

These are the general steps I have followed, I tweaked the work as I needed too after.