I'm starting a series of models, all involving commercial airline aircraft. Starting off is the Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) 700-series, known as the CRJ-700.
This is a project I started almost a year ago, but which soon stalled. I'm back to actively working on recreating one of the paintings in the series, Piazzo San Marco, by the artist Giovanni Antonio Canal.
I have been experimenting with the SwiftBlock addons that simplify the process of taking a mesh in Blender and defining that mesh in OpenFOAM. There are two versions and both are about at the same level of development. While they both work as advertised, I have come to the conclusion that neither will be appropriate for complex models. It was at this point, the little voice in the back of my head said, 'Of course, dummy! A wise man once said, "Always use the right tool for the job!"' (That little voice loves to quote himself!) While Blender is great for visualizing the results of numerical analysis, it was not made for creating the meshes used in said numerical analysis. Luckily, I found something that is the right tool for the job...
This is a permanent post--I will update it occasionally. Some aspects of being an artist, and improving as an artist are difficult: it requires skill, creativity, passion and vision. Progress generally involve hard work and there are seldom short-cuts. But other aspects are primarily a matter of organization and discipline. If you reduce your 'wasted' time, you'll have more time to devote to the time-intensive activities. The list below is where I usually find myself wasting time, causing a 2-hour project to turn into a 2-day project.
There is a reason I keep putting off the task of cleaning up most of my 'old' models--those projects that I tinkered with for a while before moving on to the next shiny thing: they are a mess! But getting this house model to a level where I can display it takes me one step closer to cleaning out my junk!
My first few attempts at uploading models to SketchFab were not overwhelming successes. There is not a one-to-one correlation between what a model looks like in Blender, especially rendered in cycles, and what it will look like in SketchFab. Like most things, it's a matter of understanding how to prepare the model in Blender to make the transition as easy as possible. This category of my blog chronicles the baby steps I'm taking. :)
I thought I was going to delve into SwiftBlock and understand the mysteries of setting curved edges.........not so much. Those mysteries still elude me. But, I got edge grading to work, so it wasn't a complete loss! :)
The Short Version...
I've attempted to get started with OpenFOAM before. I generally get bored with the building-block approach to learning it, jump in too deep and quickly get discouraged. I added an OpenFOAM category to this blog in an attempt to motivate me to take smaller steps and to remain committed for a bit longer.
The next step for my Last Supper project was to add hair to the models. I have very little experience with modeling/rendering hair in Blender, so this step was also more involved than I originally anticipated. My intent was to create a rough draft of the hair, with another iteration of styling/coloring once the near-final lighting for the scene is complete. So, from that point of view, I was successful, but I still think the current result looks like a toupee factory exploded. :)
The project to 3D print the mission in San Luis Obispo worked out pretty well, so I decided to create a model of my wife's childhood home. Just to keep things interesting, this time I decided I would make each floor a separately printed piece so they could be added and/or removed after production. Other than having to model the interior of the building, I didn't think it would add additional complexity. You know what they say, 'Go big or go home'...although apparently they also say, 'Ignorance is bliss!'. :)
I'm still pretty new to 3D printing so to me it is still magic. Create something electronically, send it off to a web site and in a week or so I can hold my creation in my hand...that's magic. This project was to recreate the historic mission in San Luis Obispo.
The good news about about having to scrap and rework everything you have just done is that, eventually, you get fairly quick at whatever you are doing. In this case, I have gotten much quicker at creating a model in Makehuman, exporting/importing to Blender and posing. :) This week, I was able to create initial clothing and re-pose each of the characters. Some mistakes I made were part of the learning curve; others still have me scratching my head. As someone once said, 'All movement is progress!'
I used MakeHuman to create Jesus and the disciples. There was a small delay after installing MakeHuman, apparently due to a conflict with python libraries. I found that if I ran MakeHuman with Administrator rights, I avoided whatever the problem was. The learning curve was fairly steep but at the end I created a custom character, fully rigged and imported into blender in about 20 minutes. Interestingly, with Blender set to imperial units, I needed to export the MakeHuman models with the units set to 'meters'. Below is the current scene with bodies roughly positioned. (CAUTION: Partial Nudity - May not be appropriate for children under 53 years. ;) ).
I dual-boot my computer with Windows/Linux because there are still a few programs that I haven't gotten working on Windows (and vice versa). This week, I took the plunge and installed OpenFOAM (in a later post) and MakeHuman. I had been nervous about installing MakeHuman because of the python warning on the web site.
I'm sure some configurations will cause problems, but in my case, I haven't experienced any problems. Once I finished, I realized 'Installation' is not accurate. Download the zipped files from the web site and extract them wherever you want--no installation is actually required. The entire process takes less than 5 minutes (YMMV).
I get a chuckle out of the nudity warning. In our litigious society, I'm sure there is a reason for the warning; it still makes me laugh.
The Image Of The Month (IOTM) for January was based on the painting by Robert Finale, Home For Christmas. It seemed like a good idea on January 1st. In retrospect, I could have started with a month or three of paintings not quite as complex. However, the good thing about challenging yourself is that even if you only get halfway there, you are still making progress.