Aurora Mountain

I had an idea to use a Northern Lights time-lapse segment from a whole-sky camera as a moving background/sky – so cranked out this short video to try it out:

It seemed to work fine – and will probably show up in other work (after a bunch of tweaking). Since I have probably more images that could be made into timelapses than anyone else anywhere (probably between 15 and 20 million) this concept and its derivations could be handy…

For those Blender people out there, this was created by importing an “image as a plane” in Blender with a short AVI file for the media file, and then subdividing the plane a bunch of times and reshaping it into a dome.  Lighting and camera placement was a little tricky but that’s all part of the learning process.

Fluffy Bunny project is done!

Well, I added a pretty sad looking bush, turned up a few of the settings (samples and resolution mainly) and rendered out this image:

(click on the image to view full size)

So, now I’m on to the next section – a gothic castle of some sort – so buildings should be interesting!  I’m hoping we get more into texture mapping and things like that.

I’m actually starting to feel a bit “conversant” with this software – although I’m still only scratching the surface.  But I am having a great deal of fun doing this!  It’s a great way to spend the first part of my retirement and excited to see what I will be able to build with this new “toolkit”.

42 Willys

Model in progress:

Edit mode…

On-screen render.  The model is only partially done – no materials or textures applied yet, still have to do interior, undercarriage, and tons of tweaking to match my reference images.  This took a couple of hours to get this far on the second attempt to model this.

Fluffy Bunny

The course module I’m working on is helping us to create a Fluffy Bunny in a scene.  We haven’t started on the scene yet but I rendered out a basic bunny after adding a couple of cameras:

This is a 1080p render of my bunny, normal camera (35mm)

Another image, but from a camera with a 300 mm lens.  There are a bunch of settings to play with (depth of field, etc) but that will come later.

Wide Angle.  I think this one used a 10 mm lens.

The hair is a little wild, but I didn’t really spend much time optimizing it.  Basics are good enough for now (the tweaking will come in future projects).

I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so doing “good enough” models is sometimes a challenge (but it allows me to keep moving forward without getting too hung up on anything).

My 1st Blender Animation

I hit the mid-point of my Blender course so thought I’d take a step back and press some of my “knowledge” into action.  To that end, I drafted out a one-page diagram of what I wanted to do and set out to do it – finish a model “just good enough”, build a basic low-poly landscape (with a mountain and a road), and animate the model and camera.  The 180 frame render took about 2.5 hours to finish; I then imported the frames into Vegas and rendered out the animation.  Here’s the result…


New Projects

I’ve been working hard to make a shift from pure video editing to a combination of video editing and CGI, Modeling and Animation so am trying to learn Blender. Here’s a screenshot of the completed project from Section 4 of the course – Low Poly Chess Set. We modeled and textured the chess board and created and coloured all of the chess pieces…

So far the course is going well.  I’ve tried a few others but found major flaws in each of them – so I may go back to them at some point, but for now, this course is meeting all of my requirements.  My biggest issue last spring (when I last worked with Blender) was the piecemeal method that I was doing – I was just jumping from one interesting thing to the next but Blender is so complex that I just confused myself.  So I looked for a beginner’s course and found this one – and although parts of it have been review, so far it’s all making sense and my tool kit is growing.