Blender is a powerful and versatile 3D creation suite that can help you make a stunning short film with minimal cost and effort. In this blog, I will show you how to use Blender to create your own 3D animated car short film.
Previsualization (Previz) for short film in blender
Before I started animating, I created a previsualization (previz) or a rough sketch of my animation. I wanted to show the main hero car performing a driver drift, so I animated it along a spline. Then, I experimented with different camera angles and positions, using blocks to represent the other cars that interacted with the hero car. This helped me visualize what I wanted to achieve and how to make the camera cuts.
How to Link Camera to Markers in Timeline
To switch between different cameras in the timeline, you can use markers and bindings. Hover over the timeline and press M to add a marker. Then, select the camera you want to use and press Ctrl B to bind it to the marker. This is a handy way to plan your sequences and actions. for making Short Film in Blender Previsualization is very important.
Modeling and Lighting
I focused on creating the environment. I used an hdri map that projected the background and the lighting, which saved me a lot of time and effort. I only added some extra details and assets to make the scene more realistic and interesting. This technique gave me a lot of free benefits for the environment.
I continued to work on the lighting and modeling of the scene, adding more details and elements. I knew that some parts of the scene were not very realistic, but I hoped that they would not ruin the illusion. I also improved the animations of the car and the camera, and added some effects like tire tracks and skid marks using launch control. I did not finish everything yet, but I was making progress step by step.
I want to share with you a better workflow for animating cars in Blender. Instead of manually animating the car’s movement I have used Launch Control Plugin, you can use a path, a wheel, and a drift handle. First, you draw a path that defines the car’s trajectory. Then, you add a wheel above the car that rotates and pushes the car along the path. Finally, you use a drift handle at the back of the car to control the car’s drift. The car will automatically adjust its steering and speed according to the path and the drift. This way, you can create realistic and dynamic car animations with ease.
Splitting Large Files
A Short Film in Blender have a very big files, so splitting files is very important. I also had some fun with the details and the optimization of the scene. I removed a lot of the unnecessary geometry that was not visible in the shot, to save some rendering time and performance. Instead, I focused on making a high-quality curve at the bottom of the scene, because these small details really matter when you render something this close. That’s why I like to split my scenes into different files, so I can adjust everything for the specific view that I’m working on.
I also tried a different method for creating smoke, using a particle system instead of a simulation. Simulations can be very slow and sometimes unnecessary for simple effects like this. This is how the rendered smoke looked like.
It’s not as realistic as a simulated or rendered smoke, but it’s good enough for most situations. I only used it in some shots where I wanted to add some extra atmosphere.
For the rendering part, I faced some challenges along the way. I wanted to finish this project quickly, so I used a general lighting setup that worked for all the scenes. But as you can see, it didn’t look very nice.
Lighting and Fixing Issues
I devoted a lot of time to editing and adjusting the lighting for each scene, to make it match my vision and to draw attention to the key elements in the scene. I also achieved a nice color balance in the end.
Another thing that I added was a volumetric atmosphere to the whole scene, by using a simple technique. I just used a large box with a low-density volume shader, which created a faint haze effect that added some depth. I could have done this faster in compositing, but I wanted to have a quick solution that did not require much post-processing.
You can see some of the iterations here and how it was a lot of hard work and trial and error to make it look better and better with each pass. I also tried to identify and fix the issues in the scenes that needed improvement.
Compositing is very important in making a Short Film in Blender by compositing we can add color adjusting
For the compositing part, I used After Effects to combine and adjust my different render passes. I used the AO, the diffuse direct and indirect, and other passes to fine-tune the lighting and the colors of the scene. I also used black masks to darken or brighten some areas, such as the car and the lights. This is how the scene looked like with all the passes blended together.
Then, I added some final touches, such as glow effects, color grading, soft matting, vibrance, and sharpening. This is how the final composite looked like.
To see the complete things about making Short Film in Blender in video please check here