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Previous challenge: What's the most fun way to create a fork in Blender??

Winter is here, and I'm trying to build a snowman.
But my Blender freezes after the first snowball! (is it because of the ice?)

There's gotta be a better way!
How would YOU build a snowman?

Use shaders, particles, python, geometry nodes, simulations or even your very own kitchen blender.
And please make it fun, I'm a millenial and have a really short attention span :))

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Damn I missed your happy mood around here $\endgroup$ Dec 1 '21 at 12:12
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    $\begingroup$ Bah humbug! Question should be closed as opinion based! :^)) $\endgroup$
    – John Eason
    Dec 1 '21 at 12:15
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    $\begingroup$ I wish I were any good with the Molecular addon... $\endgroup$ Dec 1 '21 at 22:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And this made it to HNQ $\endgroup$ Dec 3 '21 at 17:27

15 Answers 15

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Here's another just for the Geometry Nodes. :)

enter image description here

The main part of the body is here:

enter image description here click to enlarge

The idea for the body is to scatter points on the input mesh, and then remesh using the points to volume node. From there, it is simply assembly from instances and curve primitive nodes.

Here is the hat:

enter image description here click to enlarge

In 3.1 the curve parameter seems to have been replaced by spline parameter.

Here are the rest of the frames that complete the node tree:

nose
click to enlarge

smile

click to enlarge

buttons click to enlarge

eyes click to enlarge

ground click to enlarge

And this is the complete tree. complete node tree click to enlarge

Here's the file to play with:

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    $\begingroup$ niiiiiiiiiiiiiice!!! +1 $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Dec 5 '21 at 5:30
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    $\begingroup$ Had no idea geometry nodes were this advanced :). Thanks for adding the screenshots and explanation, now this answer is genuinely the most useful :) $\endgroup$ Dec 10 '21 at 8:55
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+500
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Let's use collision and cloth (hard I know, but please try to follow!)

Let's make this random thing: enter image description here

Add your settings like pressure, friction, stickiness, and eureka! enter image description here

Now you have a base for a snowman that only works at frame 58... Oh wait...

Oh no, he is depressed :(((

enter image description here

Maybe add some snow and he will be happy again ... too much work for me

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    $\begingroup$ love that depressed one.... +1 $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Dec 1 '21 at 12:16
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    $\begingroup$ Nothing like a depressed snowman with no eyes to make my day brighter! $\endgroup$ Dec 1 '21 at 12:25
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    $\begingroup$ eyeballs or limbs are too hard, that's why annotation exists (true facts) $\endgroup$
    – MikoCG
    Dec 1 '21 at 12:26
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    $\begingroup$ Congrats for getting the most upvotes on your snowman-building skills :)) +500 points for you, well deserved :)) $\endgroup$ Dec 10 '21 at 9:05
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    $\begingroup$ I knew that depression can win it xD Thank you so much for this Christmas gift @JachymMichal ! $\endgroup$
    – MikoCG
    Dec 10 '21 at 9:07
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The Abomitaball Snowman

A glowing abomination straight from Chernobyl.

enter image description here

Made from a series of metaballs plus a particle system emitting metaballs from a hidden mesh

  1. Shape the static part of your snowman with a few metaballs
  2. Add a mesh emitter object roughly shaped like your snowman body. You can optionally make it from a copy of your metaball base and convert it to mesh to use as emitter.
  3. Add a simple particle system with Newtonian Physics, pointing to an additional smaller sized Metaball object.
  4. Under Velocity turn off Normal and increase Object Z slightly.
  5. In the Field Weights disable gravity so they "float up", then add a texture to it.

enter image description here

  1. Make the texture is Blend type, and turn off all influences except Size.
  2. Switch Mapping to Strand/Particle so it maps out "through time" rather than any spatial coordinate.
  3. Under the Color panel enable the Color Ramp and flip the default result direction so they shrink with age rather than grow.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ too hard to follow steps $\endgroup$
    – MikoCG
    Dec 2 '21 at 9:31
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    $\begingroup$ OK I'll admit - a glowing sublimating snowman was NOT on my bingo card this year :D $\endgroup$ Dec 2 '21 at 9:31
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    $\begingroup$ @MikoCG hope it is clearer now $\endgroup$ Dec 2 '21 at 12:10
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    $\begingroup$ Yummy meatballs. $\endgroup$
    – Arsenal
    Dec 3 '21 at 13:33
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Lately I find myself tired with all those mouse clicks to add a sphere, and duplicate it 2 times, it's just so much work... So I just type some code, like this instead:

C.area.type='VIEW_3D';o=bpy.ops.object;a=D.objects;c=a[1];c.select_set(1);o.shade_smooth();d=o.duplicate;m=c.modifiers.new('','SUBSURF');m.levels=3;d();b=a[2];b.location.z=-1.6;b.scale*=1.5;d();b=a[3];b.location.z-=2;b.scale*=1.5;d();b=a[4];m=b.modifiers.new('','MIRROR');m.mirror_object=c;m.use_axis=0>1,1>0,1<0;m=D.materials[1];m.diffuse_color=[2]*4;m=m.copy();b.active_material=m;b.location=[.5]*3;m.diffuse_color=0,0,0,1;b.scale/=10;[exec('d();b=a[i+5];b.scale=[.1]*3;b.location=Vector((2,sin(i/2),-cos(i/2))).normalized()*.8')for i in range(5)]

Ctrl + C Copy it, in Blender in a new project (with default cube) press Shift + F4, then Ctrl + V to paste, Enter, done.

As requested by Jachym Michal on behalf of phone users and exceptionally lazy people, an image (click to reveal; please, instead just copy-paste the code once at home):

it's also a more readable and interactive version:

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks maaaan, now I can have a default creepy snowman instead of a cube :D $\endgroup$ Dec 2 '21 at 9:16
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    $\begingroup$ @JachymMichal I thought about it, figured it would spoil a surprise - fortunately there's a spoiler feature on SE! $\endgroup$ Dec 2 '21 at 13:09
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    $\begingroup$ @cocomac thanks for edit, I used to write pluses in key combos, but then I saw others on BSE not use them, with the shortcuts still being readable (maybe even more), so I found the pluses redundant. According to a meta discussion both are fine. As for the code formatting change, I reverted it, because unlike usual code it's a very long oneliner, so single backticks make it easier to read and copy to clipboard. $\endgroup$ Dec 2 '21 at 13:09
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    $\begingroup$ Nice spoiler free edit ;) $\endgroup$ Dec 2 '21 at 13:41
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    $\begingroup$ The best part of this answer is that when you upvote, the tooltip is "This answer is useful" $\endgroup$
    – Nathan
    Dec 3 '21 at 18:24
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you've got to pump it up...cloth simulation with pressure

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ and I love how the head pops up at the end :D $\endgroup$ Dec 3 '21 at 19:36
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Go to pixabay.com -> search for snowman -> download image

Then use this node setup:

enter image description here

Is this the cheapest and worst solution ever? Yeah

Was this the fastest answer? Yeah

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for the cheapest but definitely fastest answer :)) $\endgroup$ Dec 1 '21 at 12:12
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    $\begingroup$ cmon man, you could at least give it alpha and cut the black color $\endgroup$
    – MikoCG
    Dec 1 '21 at 12:12
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    $\begingroup$ @MikoCG: if i would have done that...it won't be the cheapest anymore... ;) $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Dec 1 '21 at 12:16
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    $\begingroup$ Ummmm.. WAY too much work. You could just have drag-and-dropped the image into the workspace. $\endgroup$ Dec 2 '21 at 1:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Chris Yes! .. But I warn you.. I'm expensive. $\endgroup$ Dec 2 '21 at 12:09
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Let's make it hyper realistic

Start with 2 cubes

Switch to front view and change the studio light

enter image description here

Add relistic arms and hand

enter image description here

This is the tricky part (face and belly) be careful

enter image description here

And don't forget the scarf and hat

enter image description here

Not even ILM can handle this level of detail

Happy Holidays to all :)

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    $\begingroup$ and now turn it around xD $\endgroup$
    – MikoCG
    Dec 1 '21 at 13:03
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    $\begingroup$ Love the mittens and scarf, that snowman has class ;) $\endgroup$ Dec 1 '21 at 13:39
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    $\begingroup$ I can't really tell if it's a render or a photo at the last one. $\endgroup$ Dec 1 '21 at 23:51
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Softbody solution with collision:

enter image description here

enter image description here

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Here's my lazy way with a few modifiers from the default cube.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ What a great start to my fully procedural Christmas! :) $\endgroup$ Dec 2 '21 at 9:24
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    $\begingroup$ I was thinking about an array solution, but setting it up as modifiers only and using mask and screws instead of to sphere cast for extra roundness is a nice touch. :) $\endgroup$ Dec 2 '21 at 10:51
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_________Under pressure !!!!!!

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I reversed it to make it look like melting, but didn't turn quite right :) imgur.com/FeTRGNP $\endgroup$ Dec 2 '21 at 13:26
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    $\begingroup$ Ohh... a bouncy anti stress snowball :)) Perfect! $\endgroup$ Dec 2 '21 at 13:37
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Minimalistic Animation nodes solution:

enter image description here

If you can use less nodes, let me know. I am happy to learn ...!!

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Geometry nodes solution:

enter image description here

I am sure, it is possible with less nodes. Robin will show us ;)

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    $\begingroup$ You're really covering all the bases with your answers here :D $\endgroup$ Dec 1 '21 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ Nope - I didn’t provide a shader nodes solution - and no sverchok….and no rigid body…😅 $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Dec 1 '21 at 13:42
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Like many things Blender related, the "man" portion of this has already been built and released to the internet under a CC0 license.

Thanks to lsmft - https://www.blendswap.com/blend/8395 enter image description here

It is then trivial to craft a snow.

enter image description here

And apply a coat of snow to the base mesh with a Particle System.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ That's the gigachad of snowmen 💪⛄ $\endgroup$ Dec 4 '21 at 1:13
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Maybe... a quote approach... I don't remember if it is from Ton or someone else?

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ I have to show this to my girlfriend. We both love The Little Prince. Thank you Lemon, this is really sweet :) $\endgroup$ Dec 3 '21 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ @JachymMichal, so... romantic ; ) $\endgroup$
    – lemon
    Dec 3 '21 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ i know you too well lemon, you just want to ruin the moment :D $\endgroup$ Dec 3 '21 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ are you really pushing me to talk about cats @JachymMichal ?? $\endgroup$
    – lemon
    Dec 3 '21 at 19:34
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    $\begingroup$ no. just no. not today! this challenge is about snowmen! $\endgroup$ Dec 3 '21 at 19:38
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I decided to make mine with a python script and using the real_snow addon that comes with blender, turned out really well I think.

I'm planning to make this into my first blender addon called "Snowman Generator". I'm just learning to make blender addons right now.

Fun contest, thanks!

snowman

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  • $\begingroup$ cool... you should eventually share you code! +1 $\endgroup$
    – lemon
    Dec 8 '21 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ I will throw it on github once its done for sure $\endgroup$ Dec 8 '21 at 19:03
  • $\begingroup$ Ummm... Yeah, looks "slightly" better than my Python Snowman... 😥 $\endgroup$ Dec 8 '21 at 19:16

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