Digital art

Blender: An easy underwater / above water 3D cut-away approach

This is basically a “how I did it” post about Blender. In it I only cover the sea creation aspect, not the terrain aspect which can be found in hundreds of places online. You see, my goal was to try to create one of those shots where part of the picture is above the water and part is below. I figured that, just like terrains, there would be hundreds of

Three years later - changing my spaceship lighting

Three years drifted by. I was dissatisfied with that last image. Then I read a post on a fine blog called “This Northern Boy.” It was a thought-provoking piece on digital art and how this particular artist compensates for what he feels is his average modelling skills. The author, Alastair Temple, said “I hide the lack of details, and hint at them rather than showing the.” He went on to

Old photographs, Machine Learning and DeOldify

In my day job I am a database programmer. I love data. The reason I love data is twofold. Firstly, within data there resides stories and I adore stories. Secondly, data offers a challenge in its presentation. How do you present data in a manner that is not only meaningful but also engages and inspires? For work I have been asked to find out more about using Machine Learning to

Two achievements - a short story and a computer graphic - yippee!

My health has been a little dodgy recently and, with a minor hospital procedure this week, I cannot say that I had been in a good mood. However with every cloud there comes a silver lining – and I got two! The first was that the magazine Midnight Echo bought one of my short horror stories. Yay! The story is called “Alive!” and examines one alternative for prolonging existence. Apparently

Time in this 3D hair journey for 3 Rs - Research, Review, Reflection

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Hair for 3D models

A long time ago I was a teacher. Besides the normal three Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic), I always followed with a second three - Research, Review, Reflection. For me, these were consolidation exercises that deepened my understanding. Each of you will have to do this for yourselves. I just thought that I would share my experience of it in learning about 3D hair. Research I watched several Blender and Photoshop

Making a simple hair transparent texture in Photoshop, GIMP, Paint.NET

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Hair for 3D models

Hi folks, This post will be very similar to my post about making an opacity map. So if you have read that post then you only need to skim this for salient differences. Just to make it slightly different I have also added an incredibly small flaw into the hair by way of a slight wave. I did this because nothing is truly straight in nature. So our goal is

Test rendering transparent hair texture in Blender

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Hair for 3D models

In my last post (about an hour ago), I commented that while occlusion maps were good, I wondered what the hair would be like if I used a texture that already had transparency. So I quickly cobbled one together in Photoshop that was based on the same two textures that I used in the last post. Here is the node set-up that I used in Blender: Note that it is

Test rendering the hair opacity map in #Blender

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Hair for 3D models

Hi folks, the purpose of today’s post is to document my testing of the hair opacity map that I created in my last post. I am doing so in Blender cycles and I will be assigning the hair texture and the opacity map to a bezier curve. Huh! A Bezier curve! Yep. At the end of my post, I shall place a link to a great Youtube tutorial called “How

Making a simple hair opacity map  #Photoshop #GIMP #Paint.NET

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Hair for 3D models

Purpose In the first post of this series, I made a simple hair texture, demonstrating how similar hair textures can be created in Photoshop, GIMP and Paint.NET. In this post, I shall show how to make a simple hair opacity map using these three applications. It’s remarkably similar. NOTE: In this tutorial, I do not intend to implement the texture in a 3D application, simply to make it. What is an opacity

Making a simple hair texture using Photoshop or GIMP or Paint.Net

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Hair for 3D models

Purpose The purpose of this post is to show how (more-or-less) the same hair texture can be made using any of the following: Photoshop, GIMP, or Paint.Net. Note that I have not been that particular in selecting the same base colors and I also recommend that you experiment a lot with what I give you. Background As per my last post, mastering hair in Blender (for use in DAZ Studio)

Creating the Starship image - Lessons learned

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Blender Spaceship No. 2

This post is about the top 3 mistakes made and lessons learned in making my recent Starship image in Blender. Hence it is probably not the most exciting of posts. This said, I always feel the need to share such things with others in case anyone cares to learn from my mistakes. So here goes. Failing to plan is planning to fail An oldy but a goody. As anyone who

Greebles & lighting added, composition complete

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Blender Spaceship No. 2

My goal was to emulate the old-school spaceship art of the 1970s. Hopefully, I succeeded. This post will be a bit of a technical run-down in how I did it. Not too much detail, otherwise it will be super-dull. So you remember where I was at with my last post: I asked for feedback and got some great stuff. I experimented with the suggestions to see whether I liked them

First rough of new Spaceship scene

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Blender Spaceship No. 2

Hi folks, Just a quicky because I have to get myself and the family ready and run out soon. It’s been a busy past few weeks (new job, end-of-year obligations, family etc) and I”ve hardly managed to make it to the PC.  Yesterday I did and so decided to use some of the new things I’ve learned in Blender this year to have another attempt at a space scene. The

More of the door   #Blender

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Art-nouveau door

Hi folks, I was unable to do much door work this week until today. Mostly I worked on the door itself. This meant painting the actual door texture based loosely on the reference picture. So here is the reference picture: And here is the texture I painted in Photoshop: I tried to make it look “used” and also admit to tracing a little bit :) I then turned it into a

Normal map now on brick wall

This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Art-nouveau door

Hi all, Despite being tired, I came home and used Photoshop to make a normal map of the brick wall. This is just a filter in Photoshop that I applied to the skin I created earlier. Here is the normal map image: For those of you new to 3D modeling, this will give me some depth in my final image. I had intended to create a displacement map, but I need to

Baking my procedural texture    #Blender

This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Art-nouveau door

In my previous post in this series, I had unwrapped each of my objects, ready to texture them. Then I had an epiphany: if procedural textures exist, then does a brick one exist? OK – I’ll put that into plain English for the non-modelers or new modelers braving this post. A procedural texture is basically an image that has been created by writing a computer program instead of drawing it

3. Basic shape in place

This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series Art-nouveau door

Hi all, This is where I am at so far. To achieve this I did the following: Created a block which I then made tall, broad and relatively thin. This would be the wall into which the door would be fitted. I used MS Word to create basic doorway and window shapes, converted these to 2D objects and basically cookie-cut the shape into the wall. The cookie-cutter shapes I then

Art-nouveau door - commenced Blender work

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Art-nouveau door

Hi folks, I am delighted to say that I am ahead of this week’s plan as posted on Monday. The final thing I ticked off today was my goal of singing practice. I spent an hour this morning with my mate Jon practicing Dean Martin’s “Sway”, Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” and Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. This left me the afternoon to work on some of

2. Design for a 3D door model

This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Art-nouveau door

Hi all, as per my weekly plan, here is a rough 2D design of the 3D art nouveau door that I intend to create in Blender. As per normal, my rough design has been completed in PowerPoint. The inspiration was taken from the following door (By Jopparn (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons): My vision is to create 4 elements in Blender: a wall with an appropriately

User Testing - finalising my model of an x-ray machine

This entry is part 20 of 20 in the series My X-Ray model project

So you may remember that we started this project with an overall plan that follows the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) approach to remodel a 3D likeness of an x-ray machine that I first modeled a year ago for a presentation at EuroPCR 2016 – the official annual meeting of the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI) and the world-leading Course in Interventional Cardiovascular Medicine. Here is the diagram