It’s been ages, I know, but rest assured that I’ve been working on honing my Blender3D skills and working on a solid portfolio worthy of your discerning little eyeballs. This is a piece designed on dead-tree paper, modeled in Blender, textured in Illustrator and rendered in Blender’s newly updated engine, Cycles. It’s one of many projects that have marked a new direction for me in 3D art, and I think it’s time for me to start sharing the results. I’m planning many more ambitious works in the near future, so stay tuned. Just wanted to let out a little squeak to let folks know I’m still around. Hope you enjoy, and I’m excited to bring you much more in the near future.
This was surprisingly painless to set up and render, while simultaneously being fairly educational. The scene consists of linked instances (with the exception of the station, which was the basis for the original project). Lots of keyframing, path animation, time stretching and indirect lighting. I really wish Blender had a true radiosity function, but of course, that would mean this project would most likely still be rendering right now. All in all, it took about 18 hours to render at 720p, although that would probably be slashed in half if I’d skipped all the compositing (bokeh and haze effects were used). I heeded the advice I found on an online forum, and rather than go with compressed or raw video when exporting, I used still .PNG files, which turned out quite nicely. By the time I ran the still sequence through After Effects for color correction and additional effects, the lack of compression artifacts really paid off– it looks really great in its uncompressed form. I exported to .mov, because I found the h.264 that AE uses too lossy, but it’s still not quite to my liking. Gonna have to tweak it a bit. Still, I have a good pipeline going between Blender and CS4, so I’m looking forward to moving on to the next experiment. One thing I want to experiment with is concurrently exporting a depth map so that I would have more control over the effects in AE. If I can figure that one out, I can simply export clean frames from Blender and do all the effects work in CS4, which would yield much better results.
Here’s a short flyby clip of the heavy battlecruiser Anylise with a few of the SFX in place. I have quite a bit of art piled up at the moment, so I’ll probably be posting at least once a week for awhile, but this test looked so good I just had to share it. I was very happy with this video– it rendered overnight at 720p, which is very impressive, considering that I was using bokeh and glow effects (also, the materials were not baked so my poor i7 had to deal with shaders). I’m finally starting to become truly comfortable with Blender, though there’s still so much more to learn. The timing needs to be faster on the running lights, and I realized I need to add some sort of visible propulsion system (probably going to go with some sort of ion engine a la Star Wars, rather than Trek-ian glowing panels, since this is not an especially advanced ship). I’m also working on the windows. Not sure how they should be configured, and since this is basically a warship, it’ll have far fewer portals than, say, the Enterprise. I wish I would’ve thought to add a destination (maybe a gas giant planet or a barren asteroid) at the end of the clip. All in all, I just wish the shot was longer. I can’t wait to start working on a battle sequence!
This is a bit of a fun little experiment involving reflections, modifiers, text, cloth, decals, externally linked objects and different types of lighting, which I whipped up last night whilst watching House. I had a lot of fun with it, and it doesn’t serve much of a purpose, but it illustrate some of the power of Blender’s rendering and physics engine. I’m still working on inlaying windows, though– I can’t figure out how to do it without driving my polycount through the roof. Anyway, here’s my little display case. Enjoy!
A rough portrait of Sandrin wearing his Guard Force charlies. I think the uniform is going to change quite a bit over time, but the idea is for it to be comparable to something you’d see in a first-world military today. Notice on his chest where he wears a QR code patch. There’s a written Desophynaelic script, of course, but military personnel use a digitally coded language, which is made of snippets of their equivalent to a QR code. Here’s the patch– scan it on your phone to find out what it says!