The tutorial "Reflections
& Reflective Materials" was the first tutorial I tried to do. I
figured, "Looks easy. It's only one page long, and has three objects in
it. Should be just the perfect intro to Blender."
Man, was I wrong! I got a heck of a lot of things,
but none of them looked like this:
After more doodling with Blender, I
returned to this tutorial, and found out why I couldn't get it right
the first time.
Here's a rundown of the steps, and what I think
should be added to each if a newbie like me is to successfully complete
it. The black stuff is mines, the green
stuff is a summation of what in the tutorial. It's a good idea
to be looking at both tutorials when working on this project. I suggest
printing the tutorial linked above, or if you're comfy with reading
straight off the computer, by all means do that.
Here we go.
1 - This is ok as is. Just
2 - Delete the cube by
pressing 'x' after you start Blender, and then clicking 'ok' on the
menu that pops up.
Here is where I got lost. The tutorial forgets to mention the
importance of the numberpad when changing views. On your numlock
keypad, press 1, 3, and 7. You should keep it in '7' when starting this
tutorial, but you will have to switch occasionally to put all three
objects together nicely. See HERE for
a list of the hotkeys and what they do in Blender. Please remember also
that scrolling on your mouse (zoom in/out) will be handy here as well.
Back to the
tutorial: WHILE IN VIEW '7', add the plane like it says, and
scale it (change its size) using the 's' key and moving your mouse like
it says. When you've got it the size you like, just click the left
mouse button, and it'll stay that way.
what you should be looking at right now is a square with yellow dots at
each corner. This means you are in "Edit mode". Edit mode just means
you can edit whatever your object is, vertex by vertex. This gets
really nifty when you move into more of three dimention object
modeling, and it's what allows you to shape stuff like a face or an
If you press tab, you'll see that your square turns pink. This means
you are in "Object Mode". Object mode just means that you can move and
turn and scale your whole object to where you want, but you can't
actually change its shape.
Remember the tab button. It will be
one of the keys you live by in Blender.
Back to the
tutorial: Hit Tab again to get back to Edit mode. All your dots
should still be yellow. If they aren't, hit "a" until they are.
3 - Now push the 1 on the
numpad like it says. The plane should be a line now, with two yellow
dots at the ends. If you want to move your plane up or down, hit "g"
for "grab", and go ahead. Again, click the LMB when you're happy with
Now, you're going to add the other
plane. But here is where you might mess up so pay attention if you
don't know this already:
RULE #ONE OF BLENDER: WHEN
ADDING OBJECTS INTO BLENDER, MAKE SURE ALL OTHER OBJECTS ARE NOT
SELECTED! You'll have stuck-together objects if you break this
rule. That was a major
problem for me. I was so confused!
Ok! So now hit "a". All your yellow
dots turned pink!
This means that no vertices are selected. NOW hit tab again. Note that
your plane is still pink! Hit "a" again. It turns black, and you are
safe to add your next plane like it says in the rest of step 3. Make it
smaller or bigger with the s key.
What's that you say? Not sure how it will look? Glad you brought that
Hit 0 on your numpad. Go ahead. I double dare ya.
Whoa. Where am I? You're in the camera view port!! This just means
you're seeing what your camera sees. (Sorry if that's stating the
Now you can hit 1 on the numpad again and get back to what you were
doing. If you want to move your plane up or down (using the g key and
your mouse) go ahead. But if you want to move your plane closer to the
camera, you're going to have to either switch to the side view (by
hitting numpad l) or to the top view (my favorite, numpad 7). Once
again, hit the LMB when you're happy.
- The lamp non-sequitor.
Yeah, this started all wrong if you're a newbie.
First off, hit "a" to get your points pink, then tab, then "a" again to
deselect all the objects in your scene. Now, if you can't see your
lamp, try looking from the top, and scroll back (or hit the '-'(minus)
key on your numpad) to get far enough away from the scene to see it. It
has to be there, so don't panic.
When you've found the lamp, you can select it in several different
ways. You can do a "border select" by using the B-key or the menu, and
then circle the lamp that way; but the quickest way is to right-click
on the yellow dot that is your lamp. It should be pink now if your aim
Now, use the settings the rest of
the step provides. You can get the lamp to change color by messing with
the R (red) G (green) B (blue) values. Look at the second picture of
step 4, right in the middle under the highlighted "energy" parameter
are your colors. Just click and drag your mouse across the bars. The
minimum of each is 0.000 and the maximum is 1.000.
5 - Where it really gets
Switch to numpad 1 so you can
see your smaller plane. Select it. (Again, either use "b" or the RMB,
and make sure you're in object mode.)
Here's where the material instructions are weak for us newbies. Keep
Hit F9 to get to the edit menu. Make sure your plane is pink. Click the
"New" button you see. NOW
RULE #TWO OF BLENDER: IF
YOU DON'T ASSIGN YOUR MATERIALS STRAIGHT AWAY, YOU'LL GET CONFUSED
LATER WHEN YOU HAVE TO DO IT. Might as well
keep everything straight by starting off on the right foot. This is something I wish this tutorial
mentioned when I was starting out. I had mirrors everywhere but
where I wanted for days. As long as you adhere to this rule, you can't
screw up more than one object at a time. (You'll see that that's a good
Now that we have that straightened
out, follow the map in the rest of the step. But where is the 'mirror
transp' tab, you ask? Hit F5 to get to the Shading Menu.
F9 and F5 are going
to be long time
friends here in the land of Blender.
Learn them well.
6 - Adding the sphere.
Again! Make sure your planes are not selected in object mode before you
7 - Hit F12, or click on
the Chunky "Render" button in the Scene (F10) menu.
Here's what I
got. I just added the colors the same way as in Step 5, but not with
any mirrors (I just played with colors). If you're going to do colors,
don't forget to assign!
As for the
monkey with the green eyes, well, that little bugger was dying to come
If I were you, I'd start a
new file for blender, delete the box, and add the monkey (space, mesh,
monkey, then click "ooh ooh ah ah" that pops up), and play around with
it. Hit F9, and under the "Mesh" tab, click on the lilac "Subsurf"
button you'll find there. Render it. Then click on right of the
button to increase the subdivisions in your new mesh. Render it again.
Hit "set Smooth" under the link
and materials tab. Render it again. Try to color it, using a material
like above. Have fun playing with it! It's the only way to learn