Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Category: Geekery (Page 2 of 84)

Final Exam For The Blender Donut Tutorial

I completed the Blender Guru’s new version donut tutorial sequence just before dinnertime on Thanksgiving.

The duck’s a bit janky but hey, I made it entirely on my own, building on what I learned from the donut videos and reading/watching bits of other available how-to material. There’s something still a bit glitchy about the coffee cup, specifically some of the “liquid” contents. The “autumn leaf” sprinkle idea didn’t work out like I’d hoped on the donut but it’s not too awful, I suppose. I kind of wish I’d gone with a different brick texture for the wall since I never did find a color that looked good for me (hence the gray). And so on, and so on.

Part of the point of all this was giving myself permission to be bad at parts of it so I can learn, so… you know what? I’m pretty happy with this.

To be clear, I had to render this at 640×480 in order to get done with the animation in a reasonable (for me) timeframe. Which, sad to say, rules out the possibility of animated duck-related projects in the near future. Nothing’s stopping me from making any kind of wackadoodle still-frame imagery I want to, however!

Next time: More ducks, hopefully.

Will It Blend?

I tried the writing thing for a while. That didn’t pan out, as evidenced by the death of the 3WA project.

I thought I’d take up photography again. Turns out I bought entirely the wrong camera for most of the uses I wanted to try, and I can’t really afford to throw tons of money at that solution. Never mind that our living space is cramped enough without trying to carve out a workspace for that sort of thing.

I still want to exercise my creative impulses somehow. So, what next? Turns out that a friend on the bird site suggested I look into some tutorials by a guy who bills himself as the Blender Guru. Thus began my immersion in the wonderful world of fake-donut creation.

The hardest part was agreeing with myself to allow myself to be bad at something at first. Seems obvious, but I carry some deep-seated mental baggage about trying something, doing poorly at it, then never being able to try that something again. And boy howdy have I not really matched the tutorial for the type and quality of results. But that’s not the point, the point is to learn, I must remind myself every time I tackle another video.

It all started modestly enough.

A 3D donut mesh complete with 3D icing

Yum, sure looks tasty, doesn’t it?

Then I learned a tiny bit about working with materials. Too bad my sense of color was a bit off.

3D donut with 3D icing, in color

I was aiming for the look of chocolate icing… and missed.

Vyx suggested an improvement to the color scheme, which when paired with my lessons in making colorful sprinkles resulted in a vastly superior donut-looking image. Lighting’s still a mess, though.

3D donut with chocolate icing and multi-colored sprinkles

Right about at this point in the process I started craving a donut. Heavy-duty craving.

Then came the coffee cup section of the tutorial, which was easier than expected in some ways yet annoyingly fussy in several others. It doesn’t help that I completely missed one important part of the instructions so my cup ended up a bit… frosty.

3D glass (frosted) coffee cup on saucer

I actually really like this frosted-glass effect, but it’s not what I need to finish the tutorial properly. Whoops.

I also found a better “de-noise” add-on than what comes in Blender 2.8 natively, which truly improved the quality of my renders. Once I sussed out some of the problems along the way I was able to stage and render the not-actually-final product. (This is as of the end of the third “stage” of videos, with one to go.)

3D donut and 3D coffee cup on 3D saucers

There’s still a weird glitch with the coffee cup but you know what? I’m pretty happy with this so far.

Additionally, after each section of the tutorial I’m re-watching the videos and taking notes that I put into a wiki for later reference. It feels like the process of taking notes after having done the work is helping reinforce the learning somewhat. And what learnings aren’t reinforced are at least documented!

Now, let’s be clear: I’m not doing all of this so I can render snack foods. I have something a bit more… on-brand… in mind.

3D test render of a "Rusty" type duck toy model

I created this model entirely from scratch, though the rust effect involved following a tutorial video (not from Blender Guru).

Yeah? Yeah.

Mastodon-and-on-and-on

I’m back in the fediverse again. This time I’m not running my own instance. Though I tried. Boy did I try. I tried using the Docker method of building a Mastodon instance, which back when I was running the old ‘frell.co’ site was the preferred method (which of course I didn’t use when I built ‘frell.co’, ha ha). Oh, apparently that’s old hat and doesn’t really work anymore, great! I tried using the new official install instructions and… that didn’t work either. I gave up. (Which is a shame because I hoped to use a great domain name for it. Ah well. I’ll figure out something else to do with ‘earworm.me’ eventually.)

So I’m using someone else’s instance. We’ll see how it goes.

I’m still most active on Twitter but with every passing month it becomes more of a dumpster fire so having an exit strategy in place seems like a good idea. Here’s hoping it all pans out.

Shinji’s Harem

I’m led to understand by some folks on Twitter that Netflix’s new translation for Neon Genesis Evangelion changes one particular line from one particular character, and what this tells me is that the folks behind Netflix’s new translation are blissfully unaware that NGE is, at least in part, a harem anime.

I mean.

Shinji collects three of the four more prominent haremette types over the course of the show.

1) The tsundere. Obviously this is Asuka.

2) The cipher. Obviously this is Rei.

3) The childhood friend. This role is basically left un-filled.

and

4) The vamp. Obviously this is Kaoru.

At least one of the three is honest and direct about their feelings, right? (Somebody in that benighted band of broken children might as well be, and guess who that ends up being.)

Passing The Days, June 2019 Edition

My life itself isn’t anything to write about, as it’s really just “eat sleep work lather rinse repeat” for the most part. I decided to share a bit of how I spend my leisure time lately, though…

Reading

  • I finished Martha Wells’ “Murderbot diaries” novella series (starting point: All Systems Red). I cannot recommend it highly enough if you’re at all into Sci-Fi style adventure heavily seasoned with snarky commentary and a few musings on the place of non-human sentient beings in a mostly-human society.
  • I… keep trying to finish Cat Valente’s Space Opera. I see rave reviews and while I get why people love it, I suspect it’s better for folks who can handle audiobooks as the writing style is clearly meant to be read aloud. It’s a love letter to Douglas Adams as much as it’s anything else, and I can’t deny the craft. It’s just… a bit too much. I can get through a chapter at a go, then I have to walk away from it for a while. Weeks, sometimes.

Playing

  • I dabbled in Warframe and Diablo III on and off this past few months, and that’s about it on the PC side.
  • My phone has AFK Arena, Pokemon Go, and Egg Inc installed, only one of which takes very much time on any given day.
  • My (new) tablet runs Valkyrie Connect and King’s Raid, both “gacha” style games, as well as the superb match-3 game, Gems of War. I can also recommend mobile version of the Ascension deck-building game.

Watching

  • We just started the new Aggretsuko season (so far so good) and after that we’re probably going to tackle Good Omens.
  • I took Kyla to see the new Godzilla movie in the theater for her birthday and bought her the Blu-Ray of Shin Godzilla, so we’re having a grand kaiju-loving time, indeed. (We enjoyed both, quite a lot.)
  • Also in the theater, we saw Captain Marvel (loved it) and Avengers: Endgame (not so much).
  • The only anime this season I’ve cared about at all is the Fruits Basket redo, which has been a delight thus far. Everything else has left me cold.

Listening

  • I delved into the back-catalogs of Mono Inc (2013’s Nimmermehr) and Assemblage 23 (2004’s Storm) and so far I’m pleased with both purchases. I don’t expect to go much further back, however. I like where each act is headed, musically speaking, more than I’m interested in where they’ve been.
  • I finally broke down and forked over a lot of money for Yuki Kajiura’s Fiction II which… was not as good as I’d hoped. Sigh.

And that’s about that, entertainment-wise. If I forgot something, hey, that’s fodder for another post…

 

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