At some point in your MD adventures, you will become dissatisfied with the final product. Although MD does give you some texturing options, they really aren’t that great. If you want to create real works of art or even realistic images for use elsewhere, you’re going to have to take your models out of MD into another program.
For the longest time I didn’t realize how limiting the MD textures were. I thought everything looked fine. Sure, you don’t have any buttons or accessories, but the clothing always looked pretty good.
I was contacted by someone to recreate real world clothing to use in an online catalog. This person is a clothing manufacturer, so it was extremely important that the clothing looked like it was real. His customers needed to know what the garments looked like and it was crucial that when they received the garment, it looked like the catalog. It became quickly apparent that MD could not handle this kind of realism.
The only 3D software that I could afford was Blender, because it’s free, open source software. I had been studying Blender for quite some time, but really didn’t have much real experience. Now, several months later, my Blender skills are improving.
Here is the hoodie that I did in MD. It looks pretty good, but it can looks so much better.
Here are some shots of the hoodie after Blender. I’ve added texture, stitching, cuffs and a zipper. Now it looks much more realistic.
I wanted to show you the Justacorps coat and the primary focus of that coat is all the buttons. I have a large collection of old buttons, so I started looking through them for the perfect one. I found this button. This is an extremely unique button. You can see that the front is cutout and on the inside is a mirrored surface. This was the perfect button for my coat.
I created the button in Blender. I had some issues, so my button differs somewhat, but I got my inner mirror working. Here’s the Justacorps complete. The mirror in the button is incredibly subtle, but I think it adds such a great element of class to the coat.
Some day Marvelous Designer will add zippers and buttons, but I doubt they can compete with what I’ve done here. If you want this level of realism, you’ll have to go outside MD. Also, Blender can turn your MD work into game assets. That’s something that is very valuable to all of you game developers and artists.
There is no question that Blender is a great finishing tool for MD work and the price just can’t be beat. So what is the problem with Blender?
Blender is a full-featured 3D program that is capable of making game assets, photorealistic images, animated movies and much, much more. Because of this, Blender can be overwhelming. There is so much in here that most people are just plain scared away.
What you need to remember is that you don’t need to know how all the features of Blender work. Just learn the features that you need to use today. Think of Blender as a huge amusement park. Every possible ride is in here. Today you may only need the Ferris Wheel, but down the road you’ll be ready for the Drop Tower. When that day comes, Blender will be ready and capable of doing anything you need to do.
One of the biggest drawbacks to Blender being an open-source program is its lack of documentation. There is a manual, but it can be a bit much for the beginner. There are very few books written for Blender, because it is constantly upgraded and improved by the community, which makes books obsolete almost before they are published.
This is where CG Cookie comes in. I joined CG Cookie several years ago to learn about Blender. At the time, most of their tutorials were very specific and more advanced. Even so, I could watch them and learn about the software.
Just recently, CG Cookie has changed their format and mission. They’ve decided to focus on beginners and create learning flows that everyone can follow. The new site is extremely well done and easy to use.
I’m such a fan of Blender and CG Cookie that I decided that I wanted to promote them. I contacted CG Cookie and they have provided a special discount code for all of my viewers. The code is FearlessMakers and this will give you a 15% discount off the cost of membership. This is case-sensitive, so make sure you capitalize the F and the M.
Membership to CG Cookie isn’t inexpensive, but it’s worth every penny. Their videos are very well done. One thing that sets these people apart from others is their intimate knowledge of Blender. They are very active in the Blender organization and are highly regarded. If you want to learn something well, you need a teacher that knows what they are talking about. Each of the Blender crew has a specialty which allows you to make the most of the program. They know how the software works and all the ins and outs of it.
Another advantage to your CG Cookie membership is the other things you can learn. If you’ve ever wanted to play around with making a game, they have a complete course on Unity. They also have a full 2D artists course to learn digital fine arts. If you’re more of a hands-on person, they have a real world sculpting course, too.
Many of their courses are free, so you can get a taste of what is available. They are continually adding more content to make your membership even more valuable. All the old content from their prior site is in the Archive, so you have access to those tutorials, too. Unlike many learning sites, they provide full project files and you can download the videos to watch at your leisure.
Jonathan released a new tutorial on modifiers only a few days ago. I’ve been watching the series and used a lattice modifier to make my button, It saved me so much time and it was easy. My membership has already been justified, just on what I’ve learned over the past couple months.
The project files are little nuggets of gold that contain content that you can reuse over and over. Even if all you use Blender for is texturing and rendering of your MD work, you can use these project files to jump start your learning and create amazing results.
I still consider myself a beginner at Blender, but even I can achieve some pretty nice results using what I’ve learned at CG Cookie. Check out their site and watch a few free tutorials. Then you can use the Fearless Makers 15% discount code to sign up. The discount works on any level of membership.
Learn how to make your Marvelous Designer work shine using Blender and then post your creations over on our unofficial MD users forum. We’d love to see what you create.
Thanks for watching.