My obsession with Blender continues, and I’ve been doing a bunch of tutorials and courses simultaneously. One has you make a basketfull of apples. After learning how to make the apple with the provided resources, I thought I’d practice what I’d learned on another fruit.
First you sculpt your banana, which was more challenging than one might imagine.
Next, you disect it into sections that you can paint a projected image onto. This required I take a half dozen snaps of a banana with my smart phone.
Below is the “texture paint” editor. On the left is my UV unwrapped banana sculpture, and on the right you can see the photos I took, and the scupt painted with projections from the images.
It’s a little complicated, but starts to all seem reasonable after a while.
Above, you can use various nodes to facsimilate the glossiness and texture of the banana skin. This is kind of faking it, and there’s a superior technique that requires multiple image files of a special nature, but it works well enough.
If you’re curious, you can always dip inside the banana and look around.
I made several images to showcase my banana, which I originally just intended to drop into my tutorial to spice it up a bit.
First I went with the complimentary color of yellow, and found a blue-painted wood texture to work with. I did a pretty good job of getting some of those spots and blemishes on the banana, if I do say so myself, and I do say so. This uses my Photoshp skills, so I’m used to digitally painting on things.
Next up is one on rusty metal. Any excuse to use rusty metal, though, come to think of it, there wasn’t even an excuse. This is just a flagrant use of the material.
Finally, here’s one where I blended a couple different versions. The scene is exactly the same, but the lighting was entirely different.
The ends are looking pretty decent because I opened the “sculpting” editor — you have to know that Blender has 10 editors — and practiced some organic sculpture to add dimples and protrusions.
It took me several hours to produce this. There’s something intriguing about this novel technique (as in, novel from a fine art perspective) because it contains a sort of universality in the sculptural component, but the photo of the banana is highly specific, and sustains the ephemeral quality of the fruit. This constitutes a new way of making fine art still lifes using a very different skill set than conventional painting. As I’ve pointed out in other posts, Blender [as well as other software that you have to pay for] allows you to create in virtual reality. Among other things, this inverts the historical incident of photography sidelining painting as a tool of representation (because photography could do it so much better). Now, artists can create things from the imagination which easily rival photography. The possibilities for fine artists are endless, and this is largely unexplored territory (most use this kind of software for more commercial or entertainment ends).
I have another humorous idea for this banana (some of you who follow my blog might be able to guess what it is). I’ll be back soon if I can pull it off.
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One thought on “I Made a Banana in Blender”
Wow Eric, I never knew this side of things. Thank you for sharing. Your last comment about a humorous idea for the banana, reminded me of something my first husband said once and my children always bring it up and laugh their heads off. Here is what he said after discovering that someone had eaten the last banana:
“I had plans for that banana”.
Now I am laughing my head off.
Thank you for your post as I enjoyed it very much.
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