Archive for September, 2009:
One of the examples shown on the Maxon Cinema 4D website is a model of the Francis Espresso machine. The same model was also featured on the Moi3D forum. It seems very straightforward to model this with a Nurbs modeller such as Moi3D, Rhino or Concepts3D. Nevertheless I tried to model this in Blender as a good exercise in subdivision modelling.
Here is the wireframe of the model:
Modelling the espresso machine was relatively simple. I used some of the techniques explained by Robert Burke on his website www.rab3d.com. The most difficult part was the plug.
|Compared to the plug the socket was relatively easy to model.|
Here is a render of the complete model made with the Blender internal renderer. I got a lot of support on the BlenderArtists forum. There was some discussion regarding the gamma settings. In the render shown below I used a correction method as described in the BlenderArtists forum.
Using CSI Concepts 3D I modelled my iPod. Concepts 3D is a very good tool to model these kind of shapes. Hard edges and roundings can be combined very easily. The different parts can be modelled on separate layers, allowing a good structure of the files.
The only downside to Concepts 3D – as far as I have found – is the export to external renderers. When exporting the file to Wavefront OBJ format the shapes are tesselated, divided into small triangles. For some applications this is useful but in programs such as Blender and Cinema 4D this can result in creases in the final model.
Here is a render of the model in Cinema 4D.
The LH-10 Ellipse is a small aircraft, designed by two young engineers in France. It looks like a blend of a glider, a jet and a small private aircraft. It is an aircraft that I would like to fly.
I modelled this aircraft using the Beta version of Moi 3D. Moi3D is a nurbs modeller with a very intuitive interface. And the best thing of Moi 3D is the export. Other than most nurbs modellers, such a Concepts 3D, it delivers a very nice mesh made up of quads insteads of triangles.
Here is a render of the model in Blender 2.49b.
The render below was made with Cinema 4D. As you can see from the date on the picture it was already some time ago…
Just to prove to myself that I do not need a Nurbs modeller to model a complex shape with rounded edges etc. I started this experiment to model a Dell Axim. It is not an accurate model as that was not the point of my experiment. I used my own PDA as an example but did not use images or projections to create the model. Instead I just estimated the dimensions.
The wireframe is shown below. Now that I have more experience with this technique of modelling I can easily spot some areas – or better: edges – for improvement.
The Pou de Ciel shown below was designed by Henri Mignet around 1933. Henri Mignet offered a book and plans to allow other people to build this same aircraft, the MH-14. It had some revolutionary features. An interesting feature were the tandem wings. The front wing was what we would call now a “freewing”, a wing that is hinged and that can be controlled. Other than all contemporary aircraft it had no ailerons or wing-warping controls. Instead the rudder was connected to the stick.
The aircraft shown in the render below was modelled and rendered with Blender.
I also tried a non-photorealistic (NPR) render. The first one was made with Blender using the so-called toon settings.
The second render was made with the cell render in Cinema 4D.
Some time ago I experimented with Moi 3D, a true Nurbs modeller with a very user friendly interface. At that time Moi was still in a beta stage and did not contain features such as layers. So I tried several other nurbs-based modellers such as Rhino, Concepts 3D, SolidThinking. I finally chose CSI Concepts 3D, partly because I was allowed to buy this software for a lower price with a restriction for non commercial work only.
The alarm clock shown in this render was modelled with Concepts 3D. The image was rendered with Cinema 4D.
The following two renders were made with Blender:
And here is a render made with Realsoft 3D.
Today I discovered Windows Live Writer, a tool offered by Microsoft to allow writing blog-items in a wysiwyg mode. I thought I would start writing blog items in Word or TextMaker so I still would have the basic information in case my provider has a system crash.
This news item is the first one added using the Live Writer. The set-up was almost completely automatic. I took some courage as the program seems to analyse the weblog so it can add new items using the standard lay-out. As I am using a non-standard WordPress theme this is not a simple task. Editing the news item works perfectly and even uploading it to my provider works, including the image below. I had to adapt the settings in the wp-admin/ page to allow XML-RPC.
But what a disappointment. The item did not publish correctly. The html-tags were shown directly in the news item but without the sharp brackets. It seems that WordPress is not yet supported by Windows Live Writer. After some searching on the internet I discovered that I had to install a plugin called libxml2-fix to my WordPress site (which, in the process I also updated to the latest version 2.8.4).
Features I still have to discover are saving local copies of the text, including images. If that works I am totally convinced that this is a good solution. As a test image I use a proposal I made for a logo for the KDC institute.
The logo was made with Inkscape and saved as a png file. Note that at first this image looked a bit strange. The reason was that Windows Live Writer allows to set a nice boundary such as a shadow around images. As the logo is mainly transparent the shadow of the bounding box was visible through the logo.
The screenshot shown above was made with Artweaver and copied directly into this post, i.e. without saving it to my harddisk first. The files are all saved as local copies into [My Documents/My Weblog Posts] in a ‘wpost’ format. I did not find an application other than Live Writer to open these files.
For now I am extremely happy with the features of Live Writer.