Blender (Sensei Format) Viable as a Total Animation Platform

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Blender (Sensei Format) Viable as a Total Animation Platform

Postby Psmith » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:02 pm

With the ongoing development of the Blender "Grease Pencil" 2D animation platform - and a major offering to simplify the Blender interface (via Sensei Format), as well as the incredibly flexible and powerful stylistic tools found in Blender "Freestyle" - perhaps Blender has emerged as a very attractive option for all forms of animation production.

The primary objection to Blender, over the years, has been its strange and unwieldy interface. Those of you who have tried the "Sensei Format" of Blender know that many, if not all of these objections, are no longer an issue. It is the simplest, yet most functional interface of any 3D application I have yet seen. All Blender functions are still there, but made beautiful and understandable and un-obtrusive.

For those who strictly want a 2D animation approach, Grease Pencil functions are rapidly being enhanced.

And, for those who understand the benefits of a 3D approach for all kinds of animation - all styles of rendering, from photorealistic to wildly stylistic, are available and simply adjustable within Blender's main interface (via Sensei Format).

Have any of you found these things to be so?


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Re: Blender (Simple Format) Viable as a Total Animation Plat

Postby synthsin75 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:43 pm

Is there a download that include all these, or do you have to find each plugin separately?
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Re: Blender (Sensei Format) Viable as a Total Animation Plat

Postby Psmith » Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:27 pm

Sensei Format (with ZeroBrush) is the only add-on that is required. I made a very short "setup" video showing how to get started - with a number of following videos showing how to use this great combination.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02oGbk1Lfvg

Freestyle is included also with Blender, now - but may require some watching of videos to understand the many settings.


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Re: Blender (Simple Format) Viable as a Total Animation Plat

Postby synthsin75 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:45 pm

Thanks Greg.
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Re: Blender (Simple Format) Viable as a Total Animation Plat

Postby herbert123 » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:57 am

Well, I thought I'd try out that Sensei add-on. What a bloody mess.

Aarghh, it messed up my configuration, and I was forced to re-do my entire config. Never again. Not very happy now. :-(
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Re: Blender (Simple Format) Viable as a Total Animation Plat

Postby JaMike » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:43 pm

Is there a summary of Sensei somewhere? All that video showed was how to install Blender and then Sensei - nothing about why I should bother trying it out.
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Re: Blender (Sensei Format) Viable as a Total Animation Plat

Postby Psmith » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:54 pm

JaMike:

Of course there is. Try visiting the Blender Sensei Format website at:

BlenderSensei.com

Not only is there a full description and list of benefits, but there is a link to over 100 videos on how to use it to do almost anything:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... wU2vYH5Bzu


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Re: Blender (Simple Format) Viable as a Total Animation Plat

Postby herbert123 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:33 am

Also, if you are interested in puppet cut-out animation (similar to Anime Studio), be sure to check out COA tools:
https://blenderartists.org/forum/showth ... ol-Blender

Together with Blender's excellent animation tools, actually more powerful than Anime Studio's animation tools (unless you really require vector support).
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Re: Blender (Sensei Format) Viable as a Total Animation Plat

Postby Psmith » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:14 pm

Herbert123 (and others):

The Sensei Format installation provides for instant switching between this format and whatever your most current Blender configuration was before installing Sensei format.

All of these options are available from the "File/Sensei Format" menu - including a complete "Uninstall" of Sensei Format.

To return to your standard Blender configuration, simply click the "File/Sensei Format/Deactivate Sensei" option. You will be given a dialog which causes Blender to shut down. The next time you launch Blender, you will get your standard Blender configuration (all preferences and shortcuts, etc.)

One important note, (very important), is that in order to retain your previous Blender configuration and all preferences and settings - you must click the option from the File menu, "File/Save Startup File". This applies whether you ever install Sensei Format or not. The other thing you must do is to click the option "Save User Settings" after you have made any changes contained in the "User Preferences" section of Blender.

If those 2 rules are followed, then each time you "Deactivate" or "Activate" Sensei Format - you will be using the appropriate preferences and settings for each format.

Also, you get the standard version of "Zero Brush" whenever you install Sensei Format. Zero Brush allows you to instantly generate UV maps for any object and lets you start painting or texturing your object, with all appropriate texture channels. An incredible time saver.

You can also use the "Sensei Format" menu to update Blender and Sensei Format at any time - all within the Blender application.


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Re: Blender (Sensei Format) Viable as a Total Animation Plat

Postby JaMike » Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:00 pm

Do you need to buy those paid-for plug-ins to get the most out of Sensei?

I don't want to watch all those videos if it's just a bait-and-switch at the end.
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Re: Blender (Sensei Format) Viable as a Total Animation Plat

Postby herbert123 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:21 am

JaMike wrote:Do you need to buy those paid-for plug-ins to get the most out of Sensei?

I don't want to watch all those videos if it's just a bait-and-switch at the end.


No, that is not necessary. Sensei Format is basically a re-dressed version of Blender's GUI, with a number of handy "instant setup" scripts included. The paid-for add-ons make working in Blender even simpler.

You may run into issues following along the significant amount of tutorials that are based on "vanilla" Blender - but, as psmith pointed out, it is possible to switch back to the default GUI.

To learn Blender as a novice, SF is interesting - for myself, being a veteran user, I found it frustrating because it broke my workflow. However, I noticed it is possible to retain the core functionality of SF, and keep using my own config. Still, it did break my default configuration. Perhaps I did not install it correctly (but I did follow the steps).
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Re: Blender (Sensei Format) Viable as a Total Animation Plat

Postby Psmith » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:06 pm

Herbert:

I can't figure out how it broke your settings. If, before you had installed Sensei Format (as a .zipped file), you initiated "Save User Preferences" as well as "Save Startup File", there is no way Sensei Format can overwrite these "regular" settings.

To toggle back and forth between "regular" Blender and "Sensei Format" Blender - you simply use "Deactivate Sensei" and "Activate Sensei" from the "Sensei Format" menu.

I've spoken to the author of Sensei Format - and he, quite vehemently, said that if these instructions are followed - there is no possibility of overwriting your settings for regular Blender - and thus - no way to upset your workflow.

What gives?


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