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  • Writer's picturesallymorrall

3D: Into The Thick Of IT

Initially, 3D software seemed daunting and exclusive, leading me to believe it was reserved for big companies like Pixar. However, upon discovering an abundance of accessible software options, my interest was piqued.

After undertaking some research about the best and most accessible software available, I settled on Blender, and delved into a beginner tutorial series on YouTube.

The first video explained the features of the software and by the end I thought I’d understood the majority… how wrong I was! I should mention I was following a tutorial series on making a donut, which may be familiar to anyone also starting out in Blender. Despite being informative and well organised, I still found myself struggling with terminology, keyboard shortcuts, and slight variations due to my updated software versions.

Seeking a reset, I found a more up-to-date tutorial which explained the layout and functionality of the software, whilst simultaneously creating a treasure chest. This helped things click, and armed with newfound knowledge, I revisited the donut tutorial.

The treasure chest tutorial only took me so far, but I felt I’d gained enough from the video that I could tackle the donut tutorial series again, this time better prepared…

With growing confidence, albeit punctuated by pauses and repetitions, I navigated Blender with the guidance of Blender Guru's tutorial, and I was beyond happy with the end product - a delightful 3D donut animation 🍩

Once I had the static 3D image completed, the final stage was to create a quick animation where the donut would slide into frame…

Because the animation is so short, I decided to make the clip into a gif, which unfortunately can’t be done in Blender, but I was able to import the frames into another programme instead.

Encouraged by success, I explored more 3D projects, including a shorter tutorial on 3D typography and neon signs. Despite technical challenges, the outcome - a pink neon sign against a brick wall - proved aesthetically pleasing, though I noted minor improvements.

Neon lights against a brick wall
3D Typography

Eager to diversify, I ventured into creating a teddy bear, this time without heavy reliance on tutorials. Drawing inspiration from my old bear, I grappled with reproducing its unique fur texture.

I knew this would prove difficult because his body shape and fur texture is quite different to the bears modelled in the tutorials I had found, but I wasn’t looking for a direct copy, just something close enough.

Initially, I was happy with the bear’s structure, however the fur was proving difficult. I wanted to emulate that old, worn fur texture that my bear has, and after a lot of adjustments to the fur’s clumping, colour, enlarging the eyes and nose (which were becoming lost with every adjustment), I eventually had a bear I was much happier with and that somewhat resembled my reference…

Teddy Bear
Initial Teddy Bear Render

This initial attempt may lack some refinements, but I'm content for now. I anticipate revisiting the project to add seams and experiment with the background. Overall, my journey into 3D design has been rewarding, and I eagerly anticipate more projects in the future.

Teddy Bear
Final Teddy Bear Render

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