Rick's Blog

Aug
15
2019

WIP - Image of The Month - Piazzo San Marco

 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.


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Apr
20
2019

Happy Easter!

Mr. Davinci - Hard At Work

In anticipation of Easter, I thought a little frivolity was in order.  

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Mar
25
2019

Publish or Perish - Chapter 2

Despite having other items which I would like to get done, I am making an honest effort to publish something to Sketchfab  each month.  This month, I did a quick interior home office/library model.  I used some great props available on BlendSwap  (credits for the props are included in the Sketchfab description) that helped minim...
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  0 Comments
Mar
08
2019

The SketchFab Learning Curve

​My previous SketchFab model uploads were really only a way for me to dip my toe into the water.  This time I went for the whole foot, maybe even half-calf!  I attempted to upload my farm house model to SketchFab.  This model had two particle systems and multiple texture- and procedurally-based materials.  I'm considering the at...
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  0 Comments
Jan
30
2019

The Right Tool For the Job

 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...

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  0 Comments
Jan
23
2019

Part of Learning is Trying to Teach

 I finally made the plunge and contributed an answer to Blender's StackExchange.  It easier (and less scary) than I thought!

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  0 Comments
Dec
02
2018

The Road To Becoming A Better Artist

Photo Credit: https://manualdasecretaria.com.br/aprenda-administrar-o-tempo/

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.

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  0 Comments
Nov
13
2018

Spring Cleaning in November

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! 

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  0 Comments
Nov
10
2018

Publish or Perish - My SketchFab Mantra

 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. :)

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  0 Comments
Nov
09
2018

Groovy Grading

Quick Update 

 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! :)

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Nov
08
2018

A Basic Wind Tunnel

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.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Oct
10
2018

Time For a New Look!

After a couple of years where life got too busy to keep up with the fun stuff, it was time for a web site revamp!  I settled on a cartoon-ish theme to create a whimsical feeling!   Because my natural state is to fiddle and tweak for eternity, I gave myself a deadline and attempted to focus on the big issues first.  (I have to ad...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
Dec
13
2015

Last Supper - Let There Be Hair - WIP - IOTM

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. :)

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  0 Comments
Nov
27
2015

3D Printing a Farm House

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!'.   :)

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  0 Comments
Nov
24
2015

3D Printing the San Luis Obispo Mission

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.

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  0 Comments
Oct
18
2015

Last Supper - Adding Clothes to the Disciples - WIP - IOTM

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!'

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  0 Comments
Oct
07
2015

Last Supper - Adding the Disciples - WIP - IOTM

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. ;) ).

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  0 Comments
Jul
03
2015

MakeHuman Installation



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.

 

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Feb
09
2015

IOTM-January-Home For Christmas

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.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Jan
22
2015

MOTW-19Jan2015-Air Stair

I borrowed heavily from the last two vehicles for inspiration, but the air stair chassis was created new this week.  Unlike the luggage conveyor, I used the Subdivision Surface modifier on the chassis for the air stair which helped the model look cleaner, particularly around the wheel wells.  Normally, I start from the ground up.  This time, I got the stair extension/retraction mechanism working first before attaching it to a vehicle. 

Continue reading
  0 Comments

Rick's Blog

Aug
15
2019

WIP - Image of The Month - Piazzo San Marco

 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.


Continue reading
  0 Comments
Apr
20
2019

Happy Easter!

Mr. Davinci - Hard At Work

In anticipation of Easter, I thought a little frivolity was in order.  

Continue reading
Tags:
  0 Comments
Mar
25
2019

Publish or Perish - Chapter 2

Despite having other items which I would like to get done, I am making an honest effort to publish something to Sketchfab  each month.  This month, I did a quick interior home office/library model.  I used some great props available on BlendSwap  (credits for the props are included in the Sketchfab description) that helped minim...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
Mar
08
2019

The SketchFab Learning Curve

​My previous SketchFab model uploads were really only a way for me to dip my toe into the water.  This time I went for the whole foot, maybe even half-calf!  I attempted to upload my farm house model to SketchFab.  This model had two particle systems and multiple texture- and procedurally-based materials.  I'm considering the at...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
Jan
30
2019

The Right Tool For the Job

 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...

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Jan
23
2019

Part of Learning is Trying to Teach

 I finally made the plunge and contributed an answer to Blender's StackExchange.  It easier (and less scary) than I thought!

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Dec
02
2018

The Road To Becoming A Better Artist

Photo Credit: https://manualdasecretaria.com.br/aprenda-administrar-o-tempo/

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.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Nov
13
2018

Spring Cleaning in November

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! 

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Nov
10
2018

Publish or Perish - My SketchFab Mantra

 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. :)

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Nov
09
2018

Groovy Grading

Quick Update 

 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! :)

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Nov
08
2018

A Basic Wind Tunnel

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.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Oct
10
2018

Time For a New Look!

After a couple of years where life got too busy to keep up with the fun stuff, it was time for a web site revamp!  I settled on a cartoon-ish theme to create a whimsical feeling!   Because my natural state is to fiddle and tweak for eternity, I gave myself a deadline and attempted to focus on the big issues first.  (I have to ad...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
Dec
13
2015

Last Supper - Let There Be Hair - WIP - IOTM

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. :)

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Nov
27
2015

3D Printing a Farm House

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!'.   :)

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Nov
24
2015

3D Printing the San Luis Obispo Mission

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.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Oct
18
2015

Last Supper - Adding Clothes to the Disciples - WIP - IOTM

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!'

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Oct
07
2015

Last Supper - Adding the Disciples - WIP - IOTM

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. ;) ).

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Jul
03
2015

MakeHuman Installation



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.

 

  0 Comments
Feb
09
2015

IOTM-January-Home For Christmas

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.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
Jan
22
2015

MOTW-19Jan2015-Air Stair

I borrowed heavily from the last two vehicles for inspiration, but the air stair chassis was created new this week.  Unlike the luggage conveyor, I used the Subdivision Surface modifier on the chassis for the air stair which helped the model look cleaner, particularly around the wheel wells.  Normally, I start from the ground up.  This time, I got the stair extension/retraction mechanism working first before attaching it to a vehicle. 

Continue reading
  0 Comments