- The Blend
- Volumes For Cheese
Volumes For Cheese
Intro to the Volume Cube node
Become a better Blender artist in 5 minutes each week.
By Samuel Sullins
If you think eating cheese (this stuff → 🧀) is about as fun as napping on the slopes of an active volcano amongst the clustered nests of freshly angered fire ants, stop reading. I’m going to be saying “cheese” a lot in this one, and it’ll probably give you a bad taste in your mouth or something.
Back when Blender came out with the Volume Cube node, people made lots of helpful tutorials.
My favorite tutorial was one showed how to make cheese using the new node.
It’s a very interesting setup, and it makes very accurate cheese. You can do a lot of other things with the Volume Cube node, too, like making 3D fractals (if you understand that kind of math. I don’t.)
The point of today’s newsletter is simple: you learn how to use the Volume Cube node to make cheese.* This knowledge will apply to other projects (I’m sure.)
*it’s going to be square cheese until I learn a lot more math
Let’s dive in. First thing you need is a new Geometry Nodes setup.
Select the default cube
Go to the Geometry Nodes tab
Press New to make a new Geometry Nodes setup.
Next you make the nodes. Here’s a picture of the whole node tree. Set up the nodes, then I’ll explain what they’re for. (If you don’t see the image, click here to read this online. You can right-click the image to open it in a new tab with more detail if you need.)
The whole Geometry Node setup.
Here’s what’s happening.
The Volume Cube node gives us a cube made of voxels, like a smoke simulation. You can think of voxels like 3D pixels. We get controls for the density and resolution (amount) of voxels.
We use a Voronoi Texture + Color Ramp to control the density. This creates spots of lower density in the volume cube (which will currently look like fog in the viewport.)
We convert the volume to a mesh with Volume To Mesh node. Next, we shade it smooth, and set a material.
See what the Volume Cube does? It gives us a very powerful tool—a way to work with an object that is essentially solid, instead of just a surface made of faces. View your cheese in wireframe mode to see the way the holes exist throughout the final mesh.
The cheese remains cube-shaped, of course. But it does really look like cheese. Because of the realistic way the bubbles exist throughout the whole mesh, it looks a lot better.
The cheese cube.
There are a few ways we could change the shape:
Use math to generate the exact shape we want by controlling the density, like the Voronoi texture is right now
Use a boolean cutter to gouge the shape we want out of the cube
If you do find a way to get a different shape, hit reply and let me know. I’m terribly interested.
And if you want my material, it’s just a simple Principled BSDF with subsurface turned up:
The cheese material
Next have a look at this awesome Geometry Nodes tool ↓
Really Random Render
Today’s random render is not really a render.
It’s an awesome tool, developed by a superb Blender artist called Jesse Miettinen. It automatically generates water stain textures for any object, which you can then use to add water stains to your model.
I don’t know how it works (yet.) It’s made with Geometry Nodes and some plain old Shader Nodes, too.
What I do know is that it’s very impressive in the demo video. And—amazingly—he’s giving it away free. Not sure how long that’ll last, so get it now.
I don’t have much else to say other than “this is cool and I’ll dissect it later to see how it works then probably make a much simpler version for my poor brain to understand. And don’t forget to get the latest version of Blender before you use it.”
Can't think what to blend?
Try to make macaroni & cheese (in Blender of course.) It’s harder than it sounds.
P.S. If you enjoy this newsletter at all, check out Voyage Fiction. I write short stories there. Here’s my latest one:
P.P.S. Some of you have been reading Voyage already—massive thanks to you!
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