Not quite a "Pig" but an early Blender exercise in modelling hard and soft materials.
This is probably not the question you thought you’d be grappling with today. But when my kids were much younger than they are now, they had a great picture book called "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" by Laura Joffe Numeroff.
The basic premise is if you give a pig a pancake, she'll want some syrup to go with it. You'll give her some of your favorite maple syrup, and she'll probably get all sticky, so she'll want to take a bath. She'll ask you for some bubbles. When you give her the bubbles... and so it goes with each distraction leading to another until finally she is reminded of the pancake.
Well this is just how I feel at the moment. In my quest for ongoing professional development, I have taken the challenge to learn how to use the new fantastically powerful, multi-module free rendering and animation program - Blender. As I explore the software, I am constantly side-tracked, going on ever more exciting side journeys; one distraction leading to another. I feel very much like that pig with a pancake.
The Blender community is fantastic and it seems that there are hundreds of users posting tutorials for everything from the basics to really complicated concepts. Youtube is full of these and although many cover the same basic outcome there seem to be a plethora of ways to tackle any project. Whilst it is so interesting to see this, it means that I start by viewing one tutorial then halfway through I see something I need to clarify and so I go on to yet another before finally returning to the beginning only to start again.
This could be a frustrating exercise, but before I embarked on this journey of learning I placed only one criteria onto it; that is, I wanted to enjoy the process and improve the quality of renderings I was producing. I did not care how long it took.
Thankfully it has not taken very long to be producing images that are so real that everytime I look at them, I am still blown away. It is really exciting and the more I do the more I want to do.
Now it is not that I was not satisfied with the images I could produce before. In fact, I thought that my current software – Photoview 360, the SolidWorks renderer, was fantastic and very simple to use. However, when an electronics engineer, who secretly is a frustrated industrial designer, sent me some photorealistic images of his electronics in the housing I was designing, I was just blown away. It was so much more realistic and convincing than the Photoview renders. It was awesome to see. I could only imagine what I could be doing if I really got into it.
At the moment I am just concentrating on how to get the best rendered images – which means understanding node editing, cameras, lighting, materials and compositing, but there is so much more. The 3D animation module includes all kinds of particle and physics properties and other wild stuff to learn, meaning this happy pig will be on a mission for a very long time.
Early exercise in lighting and rendering transparent materials with decals.