My Life In 3D
|Among my many persistent interests, these last 10 years or more, has been 3d modeling and raytracing. It's kind of hard to pinpoint the reason for that, but there it is...
In 2004, my department at the University Of Hawaii hosted Techs In Paradise 2004, for which I did this promotional poster:
The sailboat was a dinghy somebody else made, stretched out and rigged. The notebook, which was based on my HP Omnibook, represents something like 40 hours of work, and the rest was pretty standard Moray-ness. There were things Moray did that I do pine for in Blender (below) but there was also much for which to pine in Moray. If you want to browse the files that made that image, look here. I offer no assistance, no warranty, etc. You can still take the files and run them through POVRay, and generate the image, probably.
If you're interested in making 3D models, you can make it out of sugar, or you can use Google Sketchup (alt spelling: "scatsup") to make sort of quasi-CAD concept/treatment drawings or you can use Blender, the 500 lb. gorilla in the open-source, free 3d space, at the moment (and probably for several moments to come.
It is good to be modelling in 3d in 2008. Blender is making some sharp turns in development, and the way things look, is only going to get better. Blender is a free-of-charge 3D modelling, animation, and game making -- well... suite, really, in one executable. There is much to be learned from your fellow aspiring Blenderers, notably Apollos on BlenderUnderground, Super3Boy on Nystic (and YouTube).
At the moment, I'm flutzing around trying to make promotional characters for various websites, as well as trying to make a walk-through of my department's proposed new building in Blender Game Engine.
Here are my suggestions for starting from scratch in the fast-paced world of Blender, whether you want to be pro or simply make pretty pictures, or even ugly ones:
The Tight Green Precision Cursor for Windows
The other day, in a fit of rage I designed a new precision cursor for Windows -- I have often found my self working in Blender Edit mode, and constantly searching for the cursor. The little cross that Windows XP provides for this is just damned near invisible at times while working against that grey backgound. If you have similar problems, you can download my cursor for Windows here. I mostly work in Windows XP, in which the path to cursor happiness is via the Mouse section of the control panel, where cursors are called "pointers". Hopefully, I will add information to this. For now, drop the cursor into \Windows\cursors\ directory, and then it will appear as a choice in the pointers panel. Replace the simple black precision cursor with this one, and you will be able to see it in edit mode!