Sunday, December 01, 2013

"Hello World!"
A study of light emission and glossy shaders. 
Blender 2.69 cycles.
A few months ago, I decided to become literate in computer code, specifically Python code. In September, I wrote my first "Hello World" program. I was excited to learn a new job skill. I began with free online tutorials at Code Academy and later, I enrolled in an online class offered by Rice University,"An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python". I scored perfect marks on all the projects and quizzes and I built simple games (guess-the-number, memory, pong, etc.), but there is a big problem. I don't like programming much and the thought of doing it for a living makes me cringe.  

 I like making images.



print("Hello World!")


Friday, July 26, 2013



This is the second rendition of,"A squadron of three heavy battle mechs docked in depot for Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO)", from my post, Mecha!. (Click Link to view post). The first is about the mech models and this second image is about the scene and the story. I made changes, additions and took things out, but I kept most of the original composition. There were several transitions of different ideas before it got here.

I like the lights in the first image, but there isn't enough of them. Large MRO facilities and industries that labour throughout the night require a great number of bright lights. I increased the amount of lights in the background and gave them different strengths and glares.

 Then, because the ground lacked interest, I added markings to it. These help guide vehicles moving through the complex corridors of facilities and give the models a designated space to be in. The similar colors of the pavement help integrate the models into the composition, as well. 

Other changes include, remapping the metal texture to the guns, so that it matches their shape, and giving the upper two windows of the mech a glassy, emission material. I also demolished the four castle walls and tower on the right side and replaced them with three groups of barrels and two, oddly shaped, decrepit signal/watchtowers. 


Friday, July 19, 2013

Manufactorials Premium Series: Redux

Post 30/30 Challenge June 2013.

Three more




Easy Company

Friday, July 12, 2013


30/30 Challenge
The Challenge, hosted by Avanti Gallery, was to create thirty pieces of Art in thirty days during the month of June 2013. 
I took it.
 Dimension rules: Nothing larger than 4" x 4" x 4" (4in = 10cm).

 I call them the

Manufactorials Premium Series

   I create these sculptures using wood, paper and metal. I cut and sand the wood by hand and paint it with 1-4 coats of enamel to get different levels of gloss. I recycle acid-free matte board to make into paper and emboss it to give it different textures. I painted these papers with several coats of enamel. The metal plates are steel/zinc or copper plated steel and cut by hand. I either heat treat or patina the copper plates to change the color or texture and then seal them. Holes are drilled and I attach the paper and metal plates to the wood base with screws and bolts. I do this by hand, to align and avoid damaging their heads. Each piece is signed and numbered with an embossed metal plate. 



They are showing at Avanti Gallery through July to August 2, opening July 12, 2013 6-9 pm. 
For more information go to the events page.
Pricing is $40 to $55.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

 A squadron of heavy battle mechs docked in depot for maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO).

 An idea for a futuristic scifi video, inspired by Katsuhiro Otomo's "Cannon Fodder", the last short in the anime trilogy "Memories", and the table top game "Warhammer 40K". This image was modeled in Blender 2.66a using both cycles and Blender internal render.
I wanted to make these things look huge, so I made hatches, ladders, railings, barrels and a background of cranes. I set the camera's f/stop to 1 and diminished the emission value of the lights the lower they neared the horizon. I also added smoke, but Cycles doesn't do smoke at this time.

This is a mix of scenes in Blender internal engine and Cycles. One scene is rendered in Cycles, with the models on one layer and the background and lights on a second layer. The second scene is rendered in blender, with the models on the first layer and the background and smoke on the second . The models and background, in the latter scene, are assigned a non-reflective black material and will be transparent, so that only the smoke will be rendered, when the two scenes are composited together.

Black is the key to help these render engines work together with different scenes.

Carpe Noctem!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Celebration of Spring

Tiptoe through the window
By the window, that is where I'll be
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me

Oh, tiptoe from the garden
By the garden of the willow tree
And tiptoe through the tulips with me

Knee deep in flowers we'll stray
We'll keep the showers away
And if I kiss you in the garden, in the moonlight
Will you pardon me?
And tiptoe through the tulips with me 

~A. Dubin~

3D study of tulips in Blender 2.66a Cycles
Each tulip consists of a stem, two sets of three petals, given an array modifier, and an empty object used as the array offset object. The petals start out as cubes and are modeled into a simple basic shape that is assigned a subsurface modifier to create more vertices and to round out the object. The next step is to manipulate the position of those new vertices to change the form and fine tune the appearance, because the petal mesh is too even at this time and looks unnatural
Tot Ziens!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fireworks III
Exploding Rockets


This effect of a multi-break shell was produced, in Blender 2.66a Cycles, by giving the payload emitter two particle systems and an explode modifier in between. Each particle system was assigned a spark object, one with an explode modifier and one without. I flipped the normals of the payload shell to change the direction of the emission and raised the scene gravity along the negative Z axis to make the particles descend. I think the addition of some smoke particle systems would push this scene further and make it more realistic, but for now I achieved what I set out to do and I look forward to retuning to the subject. 

What's next?
Environmental scenes: landscapes, cityscapes, interiors, and object studies: flowers, fruit, fish.
One at a time of course.
More fireworks clips
Stickmen and Fireworks
and two previous posts
Fireworks I         Fireworks II 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fireworks II
Exploding Rockets
Surface launch and exploding tri-colour sparks.
 A particle system and an explode modifier are applied to the emitting object. A different particle system and explode modifier are also given to the spark particle objects to simulate the second explosion. All the particles are low poly spheres and randomly given one of three different coloured light emission shaders to model glowing sparks. 

Three rockets and explosions.

If you want to view some preliminary animations, this link will take you to Stickmen and Fireworks
and this one to my previous post
Fireworks I

   Happy Trails!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Fireworks I
Exploding Rockets

rocket accelerator 2 and firework 11

I used particle systems, explode modifiers and mesh objects, in Blender 2.66a cycles, to animate fireworks. The rocket accelerator's particle emitter is a 32 sided cone and is moved up along the Z axis to create a skyward motion.
The explosion's particle emitter is a randomly subdivided icosphere. A particle system, an explode modifier and another particle system are applied to the particles bursting from the sphere's first emission.
All the particles are low poly objects, not halos, and given light emission shaders to model the appearance of glowing sparks. I had planned to use halo particles, because they glow nicely, but at this time, I don't think they render in Cycles. I tried, but it did not work out. The rocket and the exploder are rendered separately and the two clips are composited together using Blender's video editor.
If you want to view some preliminary animations, the link below will take you to the studio. I intend to update this post with more firework simulations within a week, so stay tuned. 

 Signing off 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Under the Arbor of Concord
a 3d study of grapes

The grapes are low poly spheres with a subdivision modifier and a procedural texture consisting of
glossy, translucent and colour shaders. Noise and voronoi textures are added to simulate the dusty bloom of the grape skin. The leaves are simple planes with image textures of photos and transparency shaders. This image was modeled and rendered in Blender 2.66 cycles. 


This is a short clip (7 secs) of a camera trick I learned how to do in Blender this week, to bring the foreground into focus and blur the background using depth of field. I used an f-stop of 0.05 to 0.1. I don't know if an aperture that large exists in reality, but if it does, that has got to be an expensive piece of equipment.   

 2 March, 2013
 I changed the color shader and tweaked the texture nodes. We now have green grapes.