Thursday, April 7, 2016

Keeping Busy, with Art!

Well, here I am, unemployed for the first time in…over five years, I think? It's strange to have this much free time on my hands, but by no means unpleasant. Apart from the usual stuff of looking around for a new job, I'm relishing the chance to get back to doing something I haven't done as much of lately: art.

I've never really considered myself much good at doing real-world pencil-to-paper type art, so when I discovered programs like Inkscape, GIMP, and Blender, I was quite excited. I've spent many happy hours playing around with each of them, but with a full-time job I found I just didn't seem to have as much creative energy left at the end of the day. (Probably because I was often spending a lot of it at work coding!) With all this free time on my hands, though, I'm looking forward to getting back into creating more visual stuff again.

In fact, I got back into Blender this week, and came up with some simple but neat-looking stuff. I haven't used Blender for even longer than Inkscape or GIMP (due to occasionally having need of 2D image manipulation but not much need for 3D modeling) so I was worried I'd need to completely relearn it, but it looks like quite a lot of it is coming back to me already after a little brushing up. Monday I created a simple test of Blender's more physically-accurate renderer Cycles with a small brushed-metal model and some simple lights:

I think it came out pretty nicely for not having used Blender in a few year (and not really using Cycles even at that point, as it was pretty new back then). I'd like to really push my Blender skills and improve them while I have the chance, so I'll probably have more practice work to post on this blog in the next few weeks. And maybe some other stuff too, who knows? A hui hou!


  1. Have you ever tried writing Python code to display SDSS u, g, r, i, z images with five channels (colors)? APLpy can do RGB but I haven't seen any way to make color images with ugriz as something like blue, green, orange, red, dark red, or something like that.

    1. No, I haven't. Sounds like an interesting idea though! Learning to use the Blender Python API is definitely on my list of things to do, too.


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