Can You Make Art Using Blender 3D?


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Now more than ever we have access to incredible tools that allow anyone to create just about anything that they want to make, from musical soundtracks to beautiful landscapes to full 3D environments. Art comes in many forms, but can Blender 3D be used to create art, and in what forms?

You can create some incredible 3D art using Blender, both in 2D and 3D. With the help of Blenders rendering engines, Eevee, and Cycles, you can create scenes and artwork for just about any art style. Learning 3D allows you to really branch out in terms of what art you can create.

With Blender 3D you have access to more tools now than ever before, allowing you to create whatever scene that you want, and whatever form of art that you desire.

The Different Ways That You Can Create 3D Art With Blender?

There are more tools in Blender than one could count, and many of these tools you will likely never use as an artist. But this variety does allow for incredible flexibility for the styles of art that you may want to create. The following tools in Blender can be used to create various forms of 3D art…

  • 3D Scene Tools (Object Mode) – The 3D viewport is the place where you create the foundations of your artwork. It’s where you create your 3D models that you plan to use for your art, and when working in object mode, you are able to position, rotated, and scale your objects anywhere in the viewport to begin constructing your scene.
  • 3D Modeling Tools (Edit Mode) – The 3D viewport has different modes that are accessible depending on the type of object that you have selected. When working with mesh or curve objects you have access to edit mode. In this mode, you can reshape your objects into any form using tools like extrusion, insets, and bevels.
  • 3D Sculpt Tools (Sculpt Mode) – Another mode that is accessible when working with mesh objects is the sculpt mode. This is a more artistic and creative way of reshaping your models by using various kinds of brushes to add detail to your model base, similar to how sculptists work in the real world.
  • Materials And Textures – Art goes far beyond the process of creating 3D models, as without color, there is no life in your scene. We create materials to not only give our scene that color, but also that artistic style that we are looking for, as materials can be used to define how our objects respond to light.
  • Lighting – Perhaps the most important attribute of creating a scene and defining the atmosphere of that scene is the lighting that is used. Through how we apply sources of light, we can transform a happy scene into a dark and fearful one. Lighting works with our materials to tell the story of our artwork.
  • Camera – In the viewport and the properties panel you can control how to use your camera for rendering. You can change the positioning and the angle of your camera, as well adjusting basic effects like the field of view and the depth of field.
  • Compositor – Even after you have rendered out the 3D scene you are still able to edit your rendered image using the node compositor, which allows you to edit the rendered image and apply additional effects like silhouettes, filters, and color correction. For example, you could render your scenes and then convert them to black and white images with an ellipse mask as the silhouette to form a dark atmospheric artwork.
  • 2D Grease Pencil – If you do not want to always be limited to using 3D objects and scenes Blender also has a 2D toolset with the grease pencil, which allows you to draw into your scenes in a similar manner to working in more traditional applications like Adobe Photoshop.

Within each of these categories, you have many tools to use and many more workflows that you can learn to create all kinds of artwork using Blender.

Can You Create Digital Artwork Using Blender?

One of the core attributes of the Blender software is the ability to create almost anything that you can imagine. While many tutorials on youtube show you how to create realistic materials and object, you can also go down a more stylistic route, and create art in the form that you choose.

Do I Need Specific Hardware To Create 3D Artwork?

It is not a requirement to use specific tools to create your artwork but there are some key benefits to using the right kind of hardware. For example, a Graphics Tablet is an incredible tool for drawing in Blender, as it allows you to use a pen to create your brush strokes and offers various levels of pressure sensitivity so that you can draw almost as you would on a piece of paper.

Some models of graphics tablets also have displays that allow you to draw on the display itself. This is an easier approach compared to tablets without displays as you can see exactly where you are drawing when looking down at your pen.

If you are in the market for a graphics tablet then we tend to recommend Wacom tablets as the company is pretty much dedicated to the production of this kind of product and we use their tablets here to great effect.

For those who are just starting out the Wacom One 13 Pen Display is a great choice as it does not break the bank and will do everything that you need it to do.

If you are interested in going a little bit further with and want the best experience possible working work a graphics tablet, then you will want to go higher resolution with a larger display and precise pen strokes.

Our choice of daily driver here is the Wacom Cintiq 22, which meets all of the above criteria and is a fantastic all-around graphics tablet, and at 22 inches and full 1080p resolution, drawing becomes easy compared to using anything else.

The Best Way To Start Painting In Blender

The best toolset to begin creating digital artwork in Blender is to use the 2D animation toolset. The best way to get started is to open Blender and choose 2D animation as your template, where you will be met with a white background in the viewport and plenty of brush tools associated with the grease pencil.

The grease pencil is Blenders version of the paintbrush tool that you will find in other 2D-focused applications like Krita and allows you to perform most of the functions that you would be expected to use in those applications.

The key tools here are the radius and the strength of the selected brush, where you can change the radius value to adjust the thickness of the brush strokes in your scene, and the strength value for how strong the color applied will be. A low strength value for example creates a faded brush stroke, and a high radius value creates a thick brush stroke.

Next to each of these values, you will have the pressure settings, which are applicable to those who have graphics tablets. When these settings are enabled, the force of your strokes dictates the level applied. So if you enabled the setting for the radius, a lighter stroke creates a smaller line, while a heavy stroke with more pressure creates a larger line.

Learning to be a digital artist takes time, so practice and gain a sense of familiarity with tools, and don’t worry bout not being able to create fantastic drawings initially, just focus on improving your skills.

If you want to learn more about Blender you can check out our course on Skillshare by clicking the link here and get 1 month free to the entire Skillshare library.

How Good Is Blender At Creating Concept Art?

Concept art is a specific form of art that is used in-game and animation industries as part of the planning stages of a project.

For example, a concept artist for a game developer may be asked to design a new character for the game while meeting certain conditions for what that character is expected to look like.

Another example is an environmental artist who has to design the aesthetics of an environment used for a particular level. The level designers then attempt to build the platforms, puzzles, characters etc into that concept to create the full environment.

Blender is an excellent tool for creating concept art because it has so many tools that you can use. For character modeling, an artist can use the sculpting toolkit to quickly design the character and then make required changes using the various brushes at their disposal.

Concept art originates as a 2D art form, but in Blender, you can use 2D, 3D, and even a mix of the two to create your concept art.

Can Blender Be Used For Painting?

When we are creating materials and textures for our 3D models, we normally use nodes to either use external textures or create our own procedurally. But when we use the term art our minds are often drawn to painting specifically. So are we able to paint textures using Blender 3D?

The answer is yes, we are able to paint new textures in the 3D viewport by using the texture paint mode. With texture painting, we can use brush tools and stencils to create our own unique textures using our brush strokes, although the way this is done is not like traditional paint applications.

You always need a 3D object in the viewport to paint on, and that object needs to be unwrapped with its own UV map. the easiest way to do this is to go to the UV Editing workspace, select your model in edit mode, and then hit the U key and choose how you want to unwrap it.

Note that depending on how you want to unwrap your model you may be required to mark seams in various places.

When your UV map has been created you then need to go to the shading texture paint workspace and add a new image in the image editor. Make the color of the image pure white and set the resolution to whatever you need. We recommend a minimum 2K resolution to work with.

That’s not the end though as you now need to go to the shading workspace and add new material to the object. We need to connect the new image that we created to our objects’ material. Select the main principled node of the material and then use the hotkey Control + T to add the image texture node and connect it.

Then in the image texture node open the little menu to the side and select the image texture that you created. You should see in the viewport above that the texture has now been applied to the model.

Go back to the texture painting workspace, nothing will appear to have changed here, but that is because we need to set the view mode of the viewport to either material preview or rendered view.

Blender is now set up so that you can begin to paint onto your model, and you can do so by using the brush tools in either the image editor or in the 3D viewport while in texture paint mode.

What If I Want To Paint On A Flat Canvas Instead Of An Object?

If you want to paint on a single, flat canvas instead of a 3D object, you can sort of do that using the grease pencil in the 2D animation workspace. However, this is not strictly speaking an actual canvas, as with the grease pencil you are actually just drawing in 3D space from a 2D perspective.

This does allow for a whole new dimension to your artwork, allowing you to create 2D drawings and layer them on top of each other based on the distance between the objects and the camera.

With texture painting though you can create a flat canvas to work on, and use your brush tools as you would in a 2D painting application, to an extent. To do this still requires you to use an object as the canvas. But what you can do is create a plane object and have your camera directly facing the plane.

The process here is very similar to the normal setup here, with two key differences. If you want the image that you are planning to create, then you will need to adjust the size of the plane accordingly.

For example, if you want to use a resolution of 1920x1080p, then you need to scale the plane on each axis so that it follows this aspect ratio. If the camera is already set to the resolution, then all you need to do is scale the plane so that the edges line up with the borders of the camera.

The second change is when the image is created in the image editor, where you will need to change the resolution of the image to match the size of the canvas.

You could go higher here with the texture resolution, but to keep things simple you should at least maintain the same aspect ratio.

Also, make sure that you unwrap the plane object after you have scaled it and also apply the scale using Control + A. Not applying the scale before you unwrap it will result in the plane still looking like a square instead of a rectangular canvas.

You should now be able to paint onto your plane object as if it were an actual canvas.

Thanks For Reading The Article

We appreciate you taking the time to read through the article and we hope that you found the information that you were looking for. Below we have compiled a list of topics that you may be interested in reading.

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