The ghost of Blender past

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I am not a rank newcomer to the world of 3D graphics. In fact you could say it is the one field I have continued to try my hand at since my first association with computers. Like many today my fascination with computer graphics began with the Amiga. I too have spent countless hours rendering reflective spheres on checkered floors on my A500 with 1MB RAM. Back then my weapon of choice was Real 3D. When I moved to the PC I started playing around with POV Ray which I had heard of on the Amiga, and I created some pretty decent images in spite of text interface. I also dabbled in Bryce v2 and Poser v1 courtesy some Computer Arts cover discs, and Rhino 3D back when it was still a beta. All this exploration did contribute to my work, proof of which is evident on my old portfolio site.

Logo tutorial screenshotMy plunge into Blender started a few years ago when I came across version 1.8. I was very impressed by its feature list, and also by its small file size. However, the interface was a bit of a challenge. While I could see that it was actually better than the 3D interfaces I had come across before, I just didn’t have the need or inclination to get into it at the time. Since then I have repeated my forays into the software many times. Mostly this involved going through the Juicy Blender Tutorials yet another time (having totally forgotten everything since the last time), and making some half-hearted attempts to complete excellent tutorials (see image). By the way, I whole heartedly recommend the Juicy Blender Tutorials to anyone getting into Blender. It’s a great introduction.

Radiosity room in BlenderFinally at the beginning of 2003, I used my usual trick to get to know any new software. I forced myself to make the new software a major part of some real-world project with pressing deadlines. In this case it was the complete print identity for an annual architecture conference, which I was working on for the second time in a row.

Radiosity render in BlenderFrank Lloyd Wright once said “Space is the breath of Art” . I used this quote as a starting point. Also the theme of the conference was ‘architecture in the new millenium’. I needed to use the traditional concept of space and present it in modern way. While I had grandiose ideas of complex architectural 3D renderings, I was not going to learn that about Blender in the short time I had. So, I needed to come up with a simplification of space presented in a modern way. It was when I was having these thoughts about the idea, and looking around for Blender related information on the net that I saw my first image of the ‘Cornell Box‘. This ‘Radiosity’ look was exactly what I had been looking for. It provided a beautiful sense of space with even the most simple models. I played around with radiosity a lot in Blender, mostly trial and error. I tried various kinds of simplified spaces and objects in them, from spheres to weird abstract floating sculptures (see images).

CAAD Architecture Conference poster with a radiosity renderI finally settled on a sphere because it was the perfect foil for the rectangular spaces I was creating, plus I have a soft spot for rendered spheres. It reminded me of the good old days. :rolleyes:
So this was the final image used as a magazine ad, a folder and a large A1 poster.

This has been my journey with Blender to date. I am currently just playing around with the interface, but I think I should be more organized about it and actually work through one of the manuals available on the site. That’s the plan, the results of which are forthcoming.

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