Further work…

Sometimes life is interupted by reality. I am currently enjoying a long break and use this precious time to improve my graphical skills. Events occur tho, the world does not stop spinning because I put things on hold for a bit. And sometimes goal posts move unexpectedly. Something like that happened recently and those events resulted in some delay in work, and I went back to browsing certain forums and providing as much feedback to those affected as possible. But where does that leave my plans? In limbo.

So today is a day of new things. I have completed the Blender course, and today I will try and model a first freestyle prop. And I will start with a Poser tutorial, as a lot of things have changed between version 4 and version 6. I know there is a newer one.. but hey.. long break means not spending to much money on trivialities.. so P6 will do!

Blender Materials

sharkI had some serious troubles to assign 2 materials to a single mesh of a shark in Blender. Frankly, it was driving me mad… it looked like the mesh was overlapping and the resulting render looked horrible.

Careful study of the model revealed that indeed some extra faces were created when I added the fins. Also a lot of vertices were doubled, which caused problems with smoothing. I cleaned up the mesh and got rewarded with a nice render. The shark is the last model in the TUFTS course on modelling in Blender by Neal Hirsig. The shark will be animated in the very last tutorial…. after that it is time to be on my own two feet.

Correct rendered shark
Correct rendered shark


Beautiful Bugle
Beautiful Bugle

In my last post I wrote about the free course that TUFTS university hosts on Blender. Over the past 2 weeks I have steadily worked through all the lessons, and I feel I have basic control over the Blender interface now. It was a challenge at some points, as the course uses a slightly older version of Blender compared tomine, and Blender keeps changing and improving.

I can truely say that this course was everything I hoped for to get me started with Blender. I could have completed it quicker, but I was in no rush. I think that it is time for any 3D graphics designer to take this application very seriously, as it contains so much more features now. I have become a true fan of this software and I already made plans for items I would like to model using Blender. It will keep me busy for at least another few weeks, and if anything turns out to be good enough for sharing, I will surely share it.

I will also give Umbraco 4 a go. It is still in my plans and it would be good to get my site up and running using a full CMS. So that provides me with enough tasks at hand to prevent me turning into a couch potato. Updates follow soon…

WordPress Update 2.7.1

I dreaded upgrading my old wordpress page to a new version. Been putting it off actually. I thought by now I would be deeply involved in Umbraco installs and having my own design up and running in its own CMS. No such thing yet tho.

So I decided to quickly refresh this page and selected a fresh and girly looking style for the time being. And an upgrade of WordPress to 2.7.1 was part of the action plan. The upgrade was done without troubles and the site still works so that looks good. It seems that I have created some problems with permissions on directories tho, and need to go back to reading the manual.

In the mean time… things are progressing slowly but I finally kicked myself out of my lethargy. I started to work in Blender again. Even while I have not been doing much 3D work lately, it all comes back quite quickly. I think most people find the Blender interface a bit daunting, but there are very good tutorials and courses freely available online. I decided to use the freely offered Blender 3D Design course as refresher and I am really impressed by the quality of this course. The course is aimed at the Blender beginner (and as such a bit slow for someone that has already some 3D modeling experience). The instructor Neil Hirsig uses videos to demonstrate Blenders features. The accompanying tutorials are well written and gives ample options to learn the Blender interface. Get your own feet wet at Tufts University OCW.

I have been sleeping…

… way too long. Too busy packing stuff and tying loose ends. Today I found out that one of the earliest 3D modelers I used, TrueSpace is now available for free, gratuit, gratis, for noppes, nada, nix. Caligari is the company that created TrueSpace and the company was acquired by Microsoft a few months ago.

I have used version 4 of this modeler for quite some time, and got accustomed to the somewhat non-standard but highly efficient user interface. Then as technology progressed and I did not want to spent money on upgrades.. I sort of abandoned it. But WOW.. it is there: version 7.6 for grabs and for keep! That got me all excited! The SDK is available too.. so development of plugins is possible.

Oh boy.. that will keep me stuck to the PC for days and days..