(Expect a long nostalgic egotistical introduction followed by me talking about my irrational fear of Blender – yes, I am self-indulgent! :) )
In 1991, having completed a Bachelors degree in History & English, I did the obvious thing and enrolled in a Computer Science degree. By this time I had been playing with computers (trying to write games and create graphics) since buying a Commodore 64 in 1983. In this second degree I hoped to learn more about such things. I was not disappointed. The first graphics program I wrote for university was a fractal generator.
The next thing I did with this fractal knowledge was to create my own 3D terrain generator:
About the same time I discovered a DOS program called POV-Ray. This involved a bit of programming/scripting and here is the only picture of mine that I can find from those days:
I did not play long with POV-Ray because Bryce came along. Bryce was astonishing. Here is my first Bryce picture.
Not very imaginative but enough to blow me away at the time (about 1996). It took me a while to get a handle on Bryce and some of my early stuff was pretty average.
Notice how I managed to work out how to transfer POV-Ray assets to Bryce?
Since then I have played with a lot of 3D graphics programs (Poser, DAZ Studio, Terragen, Vue, Scultris, 123D Catch,etc) but…
…Blender has always been problematic.
It just does my head in. I look at the interface and I feel my eyes glazing over. I have, in the past, managed to use it with Inkscape to extract 2D objects into 3D, but then I immediately export them to another application. Even this was sometimes too much.
I have no idea why this could be the case when I am a software engineer with so much experience. But regardless of logic, that is what always happened.
However now I am in the blogosphere and making friends with people like you lot (“you lot” is a term of affection) I feel the need to overcome my fear. Indeed, when I confessed my fear to Doris she immediately linked me to some basic tutorials that were actually very useful. I then went on to watch some other tutorials and now I am making my first attempt to actually build something in Blender. It will be a spaceship, and below are screenshots of my progress.
It’s a bit sharp-angled at the moment and I hope to soften those. I also want to make some normal/displacement maps to add greebles. And also make the surface grubby and used with maybe some decals. Then add a light source. Once rendered I will probably add it to a Photoshop space scene.
So yes, I am finally plunging into Blender. All support (emotional, technical, artistic) is greatly appreciated, because this program freaks me out.
PS: I know that I probably come across as inconsistent, one moment concentrating on my writing and then the next on my art but that is just me :)