Dimension Dancer – 47/365

Along with learning photography, I’m also diving into the world of 3D modeling and animation, and I want to track my progress, and also share it with you. Maybe your on a similar journey, or maybe not and it’ll just be cool to see me progress, hopefully!

I’ve been using Blender (a 3D software suite) for about a month or so now, and it is a heck of a ride. At times I feel crushed, at others I feel overjoyed. It is a genuine digital rollercoaster.

Blender itself is an amazing piece of software, it’s completely free and open source, so anyone can have a go. It genuinely feels like being part of a big, healthy, artistic community; all brought together by some challenging and quirky software built buy a multitude of engineers from all over the world.

My journey so far.

My first render, a kind of strange spiked doughnut creature thingy!

I then moved onto trying to actually recreate something in the real world, in CGI, so I tried to recreate a bar stool in our kitchen using only mesh modelling, so I could gain an understanding. Basically it’s modelling with geometry, like you used to do on that squared paper to do technical drawings.

That kind of worked, but it looked very artificial, so I moved onto something else and tried to make it more realistic in the texture.

It was all coming together, though it is an exctremely steep learning curve. So I decided to really stretch myself and try for a human form, in a really interesting pose or position. I chose a dancer, who was mid jump, and I was going to model her using the sculpt tools, which is best described as like modelling clay digitally.

Whilst building this model, it became increasingly obvious that I had made some fundamental mistakes with my base mesh early on, and this was giving me some real problems as I progressed.

So a very short 5 second video, of my dancer now “parked” in terms of her development. I could do loads more modelling and refining on her, but I know that its going to take more work than it should, and I probably wont get the final results I would want either; simply becasue of those early mistakes. You can see the short video below:

Next up, I’m going to try something unreal, something mythical I think, so that I can combine my mesh modelling and sculpting skills that I have I’ve learnt together.

You might think that this blog entry doesn’t really fit with my 365 challenge, and I guess on a lot of counts you might be right. However, to create today’s image, I have had to set the lighting, the camera angle, the focal length, the composition and everything else I would have normally in the really world, and more besides in this digital environment. So as left field as it might be, for me it counts!

Learnings – The biggest thing I’ve learned so far aside from how to use the software, is that fundamentally you cannot build good geometry over bad, no matter how hard you try.

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