More Blender Renders

Since my last post about using Blender with vectors I’ve explored taking vectors into it and then exporting jpegs. Below is an image I stated creating awhile back in Inkscape but never finished.

Click for full size

Click for full size

This is what it looks like after I’ve taken it into Blender and messed around with it a little bit

Render from Blender. Click for full size

Render from Blender. Click for full size

Pretty snazzy! I’ve still got a bit of composition techniques to figure out, but once I do I think I might take my vectors into Blender more.

Blender renders

For the past month or two I’ve been getting my head around Blender to do some 3D modelling. It’s a tough program to learn, but with the aid of some very useful tutorials and strong community support I feel I’m getting somewhere!

As well as using Inkscape to make vectors I want to explore the possibilities of using Blender to render 3D models as vectors. There’s so many benefits of this approach as long as it works. To do this I’ve tried out to vector rendering scripts written in the python programming language, VRM and Pantograph. VRM was easy to install – just dropped the file in the scripts folder – but Pantograph was a bit more problematic. If you’re going to install it make sure you have the right Python libraries installed! Here’s the original Blender output:

Original file rendered in Blender

Original file rendered in Blender

I’m getting some reflection off of my surface, but I’ll work on that another time.

Here’s the results of rendering a simple 3D snake model in Pantograph:

Pantograph render of a snake

Pantograph render of a snake

The Pantograph render produced the smoothest results by far. When taking it into Inkscape the final drawing is separated into several groups. For the snake you had a group for the outline, the silhouette and the wireframe. Depending on the complexity of your model you may want to delete the mesh. The only problem I’ve encountered is separating objects. Pantograph likes to merge to objects together, thus limiting editing capability. Still, you could always do most of the editing in Blender itself

Render from VRM

Render from VRM

This render using VRM reminds me a lot of the old Playstation/Sega Saturn graphics. You could subdivide all of the faces to get it smoother (set smooth has no effect on it), but it’d take forever to render and you’d end up with an unnecessarily large vector (.svg) file. Still, using VRM is useful for relatively simple objects. You could even combine the two renders!

Open Source Art Zine on The Pool

I mentioned previously how I wanted to start an Open Source Art Zine (or something similar) and I’m still looking for any input! My idea is also up on The Pool. In case you didn’t know the pool is:

…an experiment in sharing art, text, and code–not just sharing digital files themselves, but sharing the process of making them. In place of the single-artist, single-artwork paradigm favored by the overwhelming majority of studio art programs and collection management systems, The Pool stimulates and documents collaboration in a variety of forms, including multi-author, asynchronous, and cross-medium projects.

Once you work your way around the interface why not add your thoughts to it!

Make and Do at The Edge

On Friday 29th November I was invited to the first Make and Do Party over at The Edge, which was hosted by Friction Arts.

There were about 20 artists present and there was a strong emphasis on just having fun creating art! I think there’s definite potential to increase collaboration amongst artists, possibly through the use of games.

Here’s some of the pictures from the night:

This is one of my works. It’s looking up onto a baby that’s about to jump off its chair.
Jumping Baby

This is the collaborative sculpture most of the artists on made on the night
Improvised collaborative sculpture

Which licence?

I’ve been wanting to start an open source art project for awhile now but the most confusing aspect of all of this is which licence to choose! I’ve already discovered that the GNU GPL doesn’t really cover art, and since I have stumbled upon three different licences that I could choose. Before I reveal them here’s what I intend to do:

I want to allow people to upload their original ideas onto a website and have those open for modification, whilst still crediting the original, and all subsequent authors/editors. Once an image is created I want the image itself to be available for modification and the original file i.e. the psd, xcf, svg etc file also available. All of these would remain free and not be allowed to be used for commercial work.

I thought Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 would do the trick but it doesn’t mention source files. I then came across the Free Art License 1.3, which seems to cover most things but there hasn’t been widespread adoption of it since early 2000’s so I’m questioning the validity of it. Finally I’ve come to the Open Art Source Licence, which is still in the draft stages but is more up to date, so possibly addresses more issues.

Can anyone provide any input?

Free Art Or Free Design

Reading Floss+Art really has got me wondering if art should be free. By free I don’t mean public domain, but rather in a way that ensures the work stays free, such as releasing their work under Creative Commons or some similar Copyleft licence?

When I approached this question I split it into two questions, should art be free and should design be free. To clarify, I see art as something more aesthetic, more pleasing to the eye. I don’t think it strictly is there to answer questions, but more to raise them. It’s like a fiction book, which isn’t there to provide facts, but to entertain.

I see design as something that solves problems. Need to push something up a hill? Design created the wheel. Need to make a mark on a paper? Design created the pen and pencil. It is true that there is some artistic (as I’m defining it here) concepts that went into it’s design, but primarily I see it as design.

Overall, of the two I feel that it is design that should be set free, especially when it can benefit so many people. On the screen a UI design may make a program easier to use but on a wider scale it sets the scale for other programs. If all other/similar programs followed the same design principles those programs in turn would become easier to use and everyone would benefit. However, too often I read of stories where companies patent whatever aspects of their program they can. Doing this does give them the upper hand over their rivals, but it prevents others from improving on their work and benefiting the users.