Thursday, September 30, 2010

Adventures in the Third Dimension!

Today I downloaded Blender on a whim, even though my past experience with such 3d software hasn't been very good. The only 3d stuff I ever got the hang of is Half-life level editing, and that was ages ago. As I should have expected, Blender's interface is counterintuitive and filled with hidden keyboard shortcuts and strange little icons. Plus you can't even seem to select things like you would expect but dragging with the mouse, and moving things was a bit screwy until I figured out how handles work, but they were STILL a bit screwy.

How much is just bad interface design and how much is me not being used to it I am not sure. I mean the basics of doing stuff in 3D should be simple, you make a top, front, side, and 3d view, then create primitives and line them up. Why is blender making that simple task so frustrating? I am sure my brother would do better, he has actually schooling on this stuff. It also stands out in my mind that little to know programs of this sort use a right click context menu for objects, or allow you to punch in values for things like Doom and Half-life level editing tools do (or at least not that I see).

Of course even if the interface were intuitive to me, the actual method of modeling is usually not. Most people, at least according to what I have seen and what my brother has told me, use a sculpting-style method of cutting parts off a shape until you get what you want. That method I feel I probably couldn't master as I don't have the foresight, although it should work for detailing better. Another method which is usually included is Constructive solid geometry which is very helpful for simple shapes but probably less so for complex ones. There are also methods for making curves but how you define curves right in 3d is a bit of a mystery to me.

One thing I would like to see more of is modeling with voxels either using basic height-maps or slices. That way it become much easier to draw a basic shape. Of course it still needs a bit of planning and extra set up to do something complex, like say, a human shape. There also exotic modeler programs for things like this, and such. I really have to look into this stuff more.

Monday, September 20, 2010


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Ya know what I'm saying?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I found myself going to this site today, even though I have been there about a million times. As you might guess, Pink Floyd probably my favorite bands ever. Mostly because it has a lot of variety and depth to it's music, unlike most rock bands bland rehashes of the same song over and over again. It's also probably because I was introduced to it at a young age via my father, but then again, he also introduced me to Bob Dylan and other classic rock or folk crap I really can't stand that stuff.

Anyway, out of all Pink Floyd's albums, The Wall is probably the most emotionally and symbolically deep (though not necessarily the most musically impressive, but it's up there). When I was young I saw a heavy censored TV version of the movie which was probably the most psychologically fascinating thing I had seen up till that point. All the weird imagery and the basic story really struck a cord with me.

Even before I found the analysis site, I basically had figured out most of the meaning behind it. In fact it's not really that hard to figure out, though it speaks more to your emotions then your mind. I think it really was the start of my love for symbolism and artsy-fartsy stuff in general, though really I can see why some people wouldn't like it. You could say it's a tad pretentious, and to be honest it is a bit. One thing I don't agree with with this stuff is that you need drugs to understand it. I never have and probably never will take drugs, and it's perfectly understandable to me.

I have toyed with the thought of what my own version of The Wall would be like. In the end though, my childhood just isn't angsty enough to really match this sort of stuff. My dad never died in a war, my mom was never that overprotective. It's not that I don't have problems but they aren't a big deal. I also sort of think that would be silly anyway. I am over my angsty teen years after all.

In the end it is just a silly thing made for some silly band, so bah. I honestly forgot what I was trying to do with this post.