Monday, July 27, 2020

Driving to Work

Driving to work

A short animation trying ot some techniques and rigging.  Modeled a low poly landscape and set of buildings.  

Landscape modeled

Modeled two characters using the Blender rigify.  Gave a basic walk cycle to the security guard.  The thermometer was a child of the guards rig 

Guards rig

For the car  I used a driver expression and an emptys movement to rotate the wheels and the wheels were parented to the car.  
The car window movement was a shape key animated.

Car model

Everything was rendered in cycles.  The main action was slowed down during editing and the colour balance shifted. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Pink sofa

Pink Sofa

Interior render 

Another 3D project.  This one was modeling a floorplan out in 3D.  The placement of furnishing was established which helped with scale. I took some time and populated the scene with props.   Rendered in cycles

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Plate Fill

This work evolved out what was going to be part of a larger project but as it developed began to eclipse it.  All completed in Blender 2.83.  The subject is a microtitre plate.  It is used in analytical laboratories to run tests.  This one has 96 wells.  It allows 96 reactions to be run simultaneously using very small quantities of reagents. 

 It would be on of the most common formats for running the Covid-19 antibody tests for research and diagnostics.  
They are usually polyproplylene or polstyrene and serve just as the assay container so not considered very exciting.  

The challenge was to make it feel heroic and to do that required some work.  

Tried a few different looks first then set up the animations.  
I used all the hard won fluid knowledge from the virus video to set up the fill.  

I used the clamp to constraint to move the camera along paths.  

I also added a music track and cut the edits to match and give a rhythm.  
This was a learning curve and a half but a really good challenge.   

  Lockdown concentrates the mind. 

I am streaming more regularly on Twitch  and the bigger project is being worked on there.  You can catch me live or watch the VODs.  

Monday, July 13, 2020

Wash your hands

Link to youtube

Back again.  I have taken some time out to revise my portfolio and website and relaunch the business side of this enterprise.  I gave myself some personal projects and I will be publishing them over the next couple of days.  I will follow up here with some more behind the scenes work and explanation.  If there are some things among all this that interest you or you have some questions let me know here or any of the other social media sites.  

The updated website is

One of the more contemporary projects was  'Wash your Hands'.
This was modeled, animated and edited in Blender. 
The structures were based on virus protein sequence data such as here

The data was imported into Blender using the atomic blender utilities add on. This allows you to import the PDB data.  Had to play around with the import parameters to get the desired effect. 

After that the structure could be edited but for a virus where multiples were required it was not practical.  I went back to the sculpt tools and approximated the shapes.  The surface was created with textures.

The fluid simulation was a learning curve.  I had worked with the old fluid sim in Blender which was based on the particle system.  The mantaflow system is more powerful but complex.  Tweaking each parameter piecemeal was require and would be my biggest tip.  Make sure that the sim has recalculated after each change and review the outcome.  

After that was moving some cameras and editing the rendered movie.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Unforeseen Circumstances

Nuclear Reactor

Well there you are.  
Had a plan.  
Was working through it.  
Knew it would be a tough ask but was giving it a lash and then...  

Yes a once in a 100 year happening happens.  
Now what.  

The virus has ironically not impacted much of how I was living.  I was mostly spend time working or practicing.  I had already cut my expenditure right down - no holidays , nights out  or  fancy anything.  
What it has done has hit the momentum of the work - it dried up completly and has picked up again - but slowly.   It has created a vast unkown  a calculated gamble that has now become it seems,  just become a gamble.  
For now I am in holding mode trying to figure out the next move.  
I am sure a lot of people are.  

So stay safe, stay healthy, hold firm.  This too will pass.

In the meantime the blog has taken quite a hit.  I was really busy trying to get as much work done as possible so not much personal work in the mix.
This gif is mixture of Blender and Photoshop - a combination  I have been playing around  with alot of late.  

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Small Town

Small Town 

I started out with a small set of buildings and then added some more.  I finished it out but it would have been better if I planned from the start and ordered the tasks in an efficient way.  I did at one point max out the lights and my pc chugged in the later stages.  I would want to reduce everything to the minimum to render effectively.  It was well worth doing as a learning task.  I did some animations as well.  At ground level its a little rough around the edges.  

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sitka Spruce

Sitka Spruce

Had some time to work on personal projects this past week.  Where I live the agricultural land is marginal to poor.  Forest coverage in Ireland is one of the lowest in Europe.  There are historical reasons for this.  The government has been encouraging more forest to planted initially to redress this and now as a carbon offset mechanisim.  Sitka Spruce - not indigenous - was identified in the 60' and 70's as a fast growing conifer.  It has become the go to species for planting new 'forests'.  So much so that it now dominates the landscape - planted at densities that the land does not support anything else.

Still practicing in Blender 


Wednesday, February 5, 2020



Or you can watch it at ..

I am still working my way through Blender features and there were already alot to learn but it seems the devs have been adding alot more of late.  This animation was created using the cloth simulation and its pressure setting in Blender 2.81.  There have been a few tutorials on it.  One of the more comprehensive ones is a series by Chris Prenninger. It is a real timesink creating different effects and I have to budget my time at the moment.  

Friday, January 31, 2020

Happy New Year

Logs - ink
Happy New Year.  

Managed to get a post out before January closed out.  Have been busy working on paid work and a revamping of my portfolio.  I have let this slip alot these last 3 months which is not good as this is mostly a store of study pieces and experiments and this makes it obvious I have let both slip.  Well new year and a recommitment to keep this record updated.  

This is a study from a photograph in ink.  I finally manged to get a cartridge pen.  Up until now it I have used a dip pen.  It was nice to just work without worrying about recharging with ink.