Sunday, May 11, 2014

settling into a groove

Being an art dabbler is not the way to go if you want to get something done. You have to spend time in a medium, in my case make the mouse sweat. I try many things and I've settled into a groove of sorts. I like Trimble's SketchUP, it handles 3d like an engineer. Blender 3d is great but too many nuances for me to get a grip on it. The other 3d program I like is Sweet Home 3d. It is pretty cool and even allows you to stretch the rules a little.

Here's a shot of a work in progress. This is imaging my garage as a studio.
The built in rendering package allows you to account for the time of day, 4PM in this pic. The skylight is actually a glass coffee table scaled up. You can select the interior lights to be on or off, shadows and reflection are figured for you. If you are a picky perfectionist Photoshop or GIMP will tweak it more. As far as photo realism goes, this is pretty good but not the top shelf. Sweet Home 3d has 4 render settings, this was the third. Rendering takes time, the higher the setting the longer the process. I have to remind myself this is a representation not a photo of the actual. Perfectionist will go nuts trying to get better results. You'll have to use a bigger gun like Blender 3d.

Sweet Home 3d lets you import a floor plan drawing, scale it, then let you trace the walls over the drawing. Then you can add in doors, windows and furnishings. Folks have figured how to add roofs and 2nd floors. BUT the coolest feature is this: the aerial 3d view and the camera level walk through.

Now my previous post had a tif with the 3d people included with this program, the Caucasians are life like and the Africans are stiff caricatures. Intended or not, it is not fair representation. Better to just darken the skin tone of a white guy and slap on an Afro than clown around. At least it will look like a real human.
Relax, I've had the same experience in a life drawing class in which I was the model. It took the mostly white class 3 tries before they drew what they actually saw. People still don't believe race is subjective, an inner image problem. Mileage may very but for some, still needs work.

I have to add the clutter to make the scene more real. The only thing missing in the catalog of models is crumpled scrap paper. Sweet Home 3d is Java so it will on your PC with Java installed. Oh yeah, it is free, open source cool!

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