Category Archives: Inspiration

Have no Fear, Fax is Here – Take 2

So, ahem, six months went by without any updates here at the blog… Sorry about that :) There’s been a bunch going on and even though some of it is Blender-related (I’ve actually done some “real work” with it), somehow I let the blog marinate for a while. “Life is what happens while you’re making plans”, so this time I won’t list a bunch of stuff I want to do – instead I’ll focus on telling you about it when I actually do it :p

Meanwhile it’s been a year since I started this blog! Ha! Time flies… Also meanwhile, lots of exciting stuff happened in the software front – Cycles merged, Motion tracking merged, now BMesh merged..! Then also Project Mango started… It’s almost a crime that I have been silent for so long.

Anyway, there will be new content soon, starting with a new review. Have you seen the new Training DVD the Blender Foundation has put up in pre-sale? ;)

Meanwhile, some inspiration: what an AWESOME render over at BlenderArtists. It also has a fantastic modeling time-lapse, check it out.

Talk soon!

BlenderArtists Weekend Challenges, and the Art of Interpretation

Long time no post! It’s time to get Blender-productive again, and there’s nothing better to get started than some inspiration. But before I tell you about the amazing Blender artist I discovered, I’ll tell you how I discovered him in the first place.

Over at BlenderArtists.org there are weekly weekend challenges, in which you are presented with a one-liner (sometimes even one-worder) theme. You interpret that theme your own free way and using Blender from late Friday to late Monday you come across with an image to enter the challenge, which then goes to vote during the following week. The prize? Picking the theme for the next challenge! This is a great exercise in creativity and working on a schedule, while obviously keeping your tools sharp. Seeing other people’s interpretations of the theme is a mind-broadening experience too. I’ve participated twice so far (and actually won once! Ha!), and really should start finding time in weekends to participate more regularly:

My first entry, Challenge #420 - Edge of the World. Everybody was doing apocalyptic images, I thought of this and the winner came up with a brilliant fish in a fishbowl!

My winning entry for challenge #421 - Danger Seeker. I then made "Overcoming Gravity" the theme for the following week, which had some great entries, go check them out!

Now, someone who posts regularly at these challenges, although non-competitively, is Robert Tiess (RobertT in the forum). And his stuff is just incredible, even more if you consider the fact that he’s just working on them over the weekend. Go check out his website, http://www.artofinterpretation.com, and be amazed.

Now back to work!

Talk about inspiration

Hey guys, quick post today. I’m not even here, I’m actually enjoying some weekend travel. Scheduled posts, the guy who came up with that is a genius.

Long time no inspire. I came across Kamil “Mookie” Kuklo’s work when I saw the BlenderArtists WIP thread for his later creation, “Larve”. I was impressed and clicked the link to his website, and… talk about inspiration. Here goes: http://mookie3d.weebly.com/3d-graphic.html

Dude, I want to blend like that.

Post not suitable for the lactose intolerant

:)

Sorry folks, I’m taking a pause today. Meanwhile I’ll leave you with a link to an awesome thread in BlenderArtists.org for inspiration – it’s all there, from Work In Progress to finished render, including useful tips from the community.

Back tomorrow for more Blender goodness!

How I’m doing it

So I’ll start by telling you about how I usually approach a new skill I’d like to learn:

  • I make a few searches on the subject and find out what the state of the art is at the moment;
  • I search for media, usually books, regarded as references; I make sure they are up to date (that’s why finding out about the current state of the art is important);
  • from the possibles, I select one to start with and take from beginning to end, usually the one that will give me the broadest knowledge on the subject even if it only touches lightly on some aspects;
  • while following the book, I don’t limit myself to it – I use other sources to elaborate on any specific aspect I’m specially interested in for some reason, and I allow myself to make mini-projects to practice;
  • I stay on top of things, following the advancements on the subject and shortlisting further media that can complement what I’ve learned by specializing on a certain aspect or simply providing another useful angle.

And that’s pretty much what I’m doing with Blender:

  • back when I saw whatever it was that made me head to blender.org (I can’t remember exactly what my motivation was!), I (happily) found out the newest 2.5 version had a much improved UI and if I was going to learn Blender, I’d obviously learn this new version because the old one was a) bad (sorry) and b) going to be discontinued;
  • then I started a search; “Whoa, lots of scattered tutorials and sources… there’s gotta be a book that is structured, covers the new Blender and will take me from 0 to something”, and there was, Roland Hess’ Blender Foundations;
  • back then (which is actually just a few months ago) there weren’t a lot of sources that fit my criteria, so I basically skipped this step, but meanwhile another book came out – Lance Flavell’s Beginning Blender; I would have had a hard time choosing between these two, but I definitely don’t regret getting Roland’s;
  • I keep google open for searches on how to do this or how to do that when the book leaves me wanting more, and I always find an answer, even if it is realizing that “man, there is no way to animate the letters in a text object? Oh well, I’ll just animate 79 text objects then…”;
  • I follow a bunch of RSS feeds not only on tips and tutorials but also on the development of Blender; also, I’m planning to start Lance’s Beginning Blender book once I finish Roland’s – it covers a few aspects I’ll be missing, such as the game engine, and I’m sure even the parts that cover the same aspects will have a valuable different angle to them.

Oh yeah, I forgot one point:

  • I keep looking for inspiration!