Blender on Raspberry Pi

In a hot weather  with multiple laptops running in the same room, the last thing I wanted to do was render, which I did and instantly the cooling fans turned on, result, the room turned uncomfortably warm.

Ten minutes later, I gave up on the render process as I did not want to sit in this oven and decided to fired up my Raspberry Pi 2,  and checked to see if a build of Blender is available in the repository, turns out there is a built not the latest built but has everything I need for the render.

I highly recommend doing this on a Raspberry Pi 2 or higher, as it has sufficient amount of RAM for decent render and CPU that can handle BVH(Bounding Volume Hierarchy) duplication without any issues.

Announcement: I will be publishing the result of the benchmark once they have been completed, you can subscribe via email to get notified or leave a comment.

 

Installing it is like another application.

 

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S blender

Raspbian

sudo apt-get install blender

The good thing about Blender is it has CLI support, which lets you render without firing up the GUI.

blender -b file.blend -o /render/frame_##### -F PNG -f -2

Let’s break down the flags used above.

-b  (render in background without GUI)
file.blend (location of the blend file to be rendered)
-o (Location to where the render will be saved)
-F (Override the image format specified in the blend-file and save to an PNG image.)
-f (Frame)

To learn more about the command line you can visit the official documentation.

Filmic Blender on Mac

Filmic Blender is an OpenColorIO configuration based on ACES (Academy Color Encoding System

) color space which is currently the industry standard and great known for photorealistic render, I recently discovered that sRGB EOTF was never designed for rendering and CG.

Like always CGCookie has the great explanation on this subject, here is a video they published on YouTube, embedded below.

Now that we know what Filmic Blender is and what are the advantages of ACES. Its time to install it in Blender and use it for all of our renders from now.

Installing

Downloading it from GitHub

Downloading Filmic Blender

Unzip the archive that we just download.

Its time to get into the filesystem of Blender app located in the Application folder and do the required changes to install Filmic.

Renaming the “colormanagement” folder to “colormanagement_old” just to have a safe back up and now move the “filmic blender” folder and name it to “colormanagement”. This way the changes are applied on the next start.

You can find the settings to use “Filmic Blender” Scene tab in color management.

You can find Blender related content here, Constructive feedback related to content is always appreciated, feel free to leave a comment below.

The gifs used in the post are optimized for web, due to which the quality of render may from the actual product.

Viewport render(Playblast) in Blender

Final render can be time-consuming and be taxing on the hardware, It is not recommended when you have to show mechanics or need a much quicker or instant render. An alternative to Final Render is Viewport render also known as playblast amongst animators.

Viewport render is quick as it renders with OpenGL. It also gives an option to render parts that are never visible in the final render like empty(null object) letting animators display rig mechanics in their showreels and teammates.

In Blender the viewport render is known as “OpenGL Render”, it gives you two options the first is “OpenGL Render Image” that renders the viewport as still, the second one is “OpenGL Render Animation” which lets you render the animation.

To render a still, go to Render > OpenGL Render Image

You can also go into the viewport header and click on the shortcut instead of navigating all the way to the menu.

The default scene should look something like this.

By default, it renders the complete viewport it is similar to taking a screenshot.

Controlling the viewport render is quite simple, the settings are in the N-panel. Things like Ambient Occlusion and MatCap can also be assigned and it will be part of the viewport when executed. You can also disable displaying of certain elements like Empty by tick marking the “Only Render” switch.

A customized viewport render looks like this of the “default scene”.