Entry Area for the Research Hospital Model

I got a start on the doors of the research hospital today. This is based on older styles such as old sanatoriums and the like, so the entry area is not particularly wheelchair friendly, but it is based on an image of an actual hospital entry from an abandoned hospital in Beelitz, Germany, that I found on Shutterstock.

Here you can see the basic model I have been working on, no textures have yet been applied to this base mesh and the windows that surround the door are still solid panes. I might decide to widen the door a little more, since I am thinking this will most likely find its way into a video game one day, but for now the door is set at 4’wide by 8′ tall, which seemed to be the rough scale of the door from the picture I had found. I will adjust the door size once I am happy with how the model looks overall.

The ceiling tiles are most likely going to end up being my basis for measuring the rest of the model, since they are going to be rather uniform and detailed with the molding of the inset wood panels.

For now my goal is just to block the entry hall and the main entrance doors in so I can create a complete environment area suitable for use in a game or animated film, then after testing that in the Blender Game Engine I will focus on adding in higher levels of details before I add textures.

This is the first actual full scale level area I have tried to design as a completed level piece, so it is a learn-as-I-go process to determine what works and what does not.


Abandoned Hospital Electrical

I’ve been working on my old research hospital model I started a few years back and made an asset for it, electrical boxes to go out in the alleyway behind the research hospital.

They are not finished, but you can get a decent idea of what they look like. The door of each box is set to open, and the handles on the doors can be turned to different positions in relation to the individual doors.

Today I was looking at some images to try and find a good reference for hospital doors and ended up looking at pictures of abandoned hospitals, which lead me to discover a picture someone posted of an old electrical box from the basement of an abandoned hospital in San Francisco. So now I have a starting place for what to make for the basement when I get around to modeling the interior of the old research hospital.

For now, however, I am focusing on the outside of the research hospital and making the parts for it in small pieces, such as the above electrical box, and releasing the basic models for others to use over at Patreon on the $5 and higher support tiers. When I have finished making all of the parts I will go back over everything and fine tune it all with proper materials and everything to make it the best I can.

The Defenders – August 18th

The next part of Marvel’s expanded universe of movies and series’ is coming to Netflix this coming week when the 8 part series The Defenders is released on August 18th.

Like with the movies that set the example, the series builds on the four earlier series that were each introductions for the gathered heroes: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.

In the new series, The Defenders, the four heroes and their friends are pulled together in a fight for New York that was heavily foreshadowed in Daredevil and Iron Fist. While the four shows are all precursors to The Defenders, it has been said that the series was made with the intention that even those who have not seen all, or any, of the previous shows will enjoy the series. The first episode and part of the second reintroduce the lead heroes to the viewer before the four come together to form The Defenders in the second episode of the series, giving everyone the chance to either get to know the heroes or spend a little time with old friends before the new team dynamics are introduced.

If you have considered watching the Netflix series’ Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, or Iron Fist, this week would be a great time for a binge session. (In that recommended viewing order for best story line continuity.) If only two could be watched, then the two that seem to build the strongest toward the new series are Daredevil (mainly season 2) and Iron Fist.

Blender not for professional use? Don’t be so sure…

I was poking around looking for some information on how to test out walking around in a game level I am designing and came across something kind of interesting.

The website Art of the Title has an interview up where the creative minds behind the Wonder Woman end titles discuss the titles and what went into creating them. In the interview Jason Doherty, the creative director for Greenhaus GFX, states:

Jason: Much of our 3D modeling begins in Blender and is often refined in Maya. Krakatoa is responsible for most of the smoke simulations and Houdini was used for many of the scenes involving water. We love using Maya for realism, the watch for example, but Cinema 4D was used just as much and was just as effective.

Maya is, clearly, still the industry standard for realism, but as you can see by the above comment there is a place in the major film industry for artists who understand how to use the Blender 3D suite. This is not a surprise to me, I have always known that Blender had more under the hood than most people give it credit for. Many look at the fact that Blender is an Open Source program and take a step back, as though the mere idea of something being Open Source might have some kind of infectious disease element to it.

I am not sure why that mindset exists, but in my experience it does. Which is a shame, since Blender began its life as a professional in-house toolset for what was, at that time, the top animation studio in the Netherlands.

Blender’s story began, as I said, in the Netherlands. In 1995 the animation studio NeoGeo, founded in 1988, realized that their in-house 3D toolset was no longer doing the things they needed a toolset to do. The decision was made to mothballed the toolset and build a new one for the company.

In 1998 Ton Roosendaal, co-founder of NeoGeo, founded a new company where he worked to develop NeoGeo’s toolset and market it under the name Blender. The company, Not A Number (NaN), was aimed at providing commercial products and services around the Blender toolset.

When the company sought investors in 2000 the goal was to create a free 3D creation tool for online use and a commercial version of the program. A poor financial climate and poor sales of the commercial product caused the investors to shut things down and discontinue development of Blender in 2002.

The program could have easily been lost and forgotten were it not for the hard work of Ton Roosendaal in the creation of the non-profit Blender Foundation in May 2002 and his efforts to free the program from investor control that would lead to the release of Blender to the world by the end of the year.

In the years since Ton Roosendaal has led creative minds all across the world in the further development of Blender to meet, or exceed, the needs of the artists who use the 3D suit. Perhaps with creative directors such as Mr. Doherty affirming the usefulness of Blender in the production of major cinematic films like Wonder Woman, the path will be opened and Blender will find more acceptance in the professional levels of the 3D industry from which it had been born.

If you know of any other major productions that made use of Blender I would love to hear about it in the comments.

More work on the hospital model

I’ve finally got back to working on the hospital model again. I gave it some new textures from Poliigon for the bricks and concrete areas as well as a pebbled roof texture. I also re-scaled it to be more to scale for the 14 to 16 foot floor spaces that I discovered are average for labs.

All that done I started roughing out what I would like in terms of fire escapes and access stairs, then I did minor adjusting to the levels to make them line up better to the stairs at the end of the building. I added a few windows and pipes on the back side of the building just before taking the below screencaps.

I will most likely be focusing on the back alley corner, creating a good design there then working my way around to other areas. I also need to re-scale the textures because the brick pattern is too large for the building being a basic red brick structure.

Lighting Issues with Knuckle Gun

The knuckle gun is the first model that I have gone for a full photo-based rendering in cycles. I created my own gold tone for the inlay sections and used metal and stone textures I got from Poliigon to create the gun and the stone surface, but I am having some trouble getting the lighting to work right.

Most of my work up until now has been in the Blender render engine or, when I did use Cycles, I was not making anything that had real-world appearance so never worried about how to light might affect the image so long as the image could be seen when I rendered it out.

This seems to have all changed with the use of photo-based realism (PBR) rendering. I am now discovering that what I had thought I had known about lighting was at best minimal and possibly even completely wrong. I am now back to learning how to properly light my scenes.

Newest Model is a J.Del Haxhe Knuckle Gun

I’m working on a knuckle gun as my newest model. This came about on accident when I was browsing the internet for ideas for building a weapons rack and I came across an image of a small hand-held crossbow. It was an interesting design that caught my attention, so I followed the image to the Collectors Firearms website to find out more about the crossbow.

I never did locate the crossbow, because upon reaching the site I stumbled across this interesting weapon that ignited my imagination.

The J.Del Haxhe pinfire/knuckle gun looked to be a rogue’s best friend to me, complete with a built in folding knife. As a lover of all things rogue I decided that I had to make this enticing weapon and was delighted that the website had a good arrangement of pictures that I could use as reference images for building this beauty.

I’ve been hard at work on it since last night and will be sharing the results sometime tomorrow.

I’m not sure what exactly I will be doing with it yet, but I can definitely see a weapon like this as a close quarter’s combat weapon in some sort of game along the same aesthetic lines of BioShock, Thief, The Order 1886, or Dishonored.

(The image belongs to the Collectors Firearms website and is used only to showcase the knuckle gun I am modeling.)

Lantern Model

I’ve got started with Patreon at long last by uploading this lantern as a test at the $5 support tier.

I would normally ask more for a model like this, but since I am still learning how to use Patreon, and how to share model files, I have released it at the $5 support tier; the lowest tier under which I intend to release model files.

I am not yet sure just what frequency I will release models via Patreon, nor how highly detailed the various models will be, but I will be trying to offer higher quality models at higher tiers as I learn more about how the site works and how to best share model files through the Patreon site.

Don’t want to get a model? I am providing images of the models and basic commentary at the public level, with more detailed information and the ability to vote on polls for what models I will share at tiers as low as $1.

Binge Watched Van Helsing

I went on a binge last night and tonight that I had not intended to go on. I watched the complete first season of the SyFy series, Van Helsing.

I had ran out of other things to watch, so decided to give the series a try even if I am not much for vampire shows. I ended up pleasantly surprised by just how good the series was and how, despite asking for some leaps of belief, it managed to pull all of the elements together into a well made whole that only had me questioning things a few times.

Overall it was a very enjoyable series to watch and I can not wait to get the chance to see what they do in season two of this series.

Strongbox Model

I made a new model last night and today after seeing that the theme for the weekend challenge at Blender Artists was “thief”. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot in my heart for the thief character type, something I attribute to Han Solo and Robin Hood.

I decided to make a treasure chest, but in looking for images of streamer trucks I came across a very nice series of images of a 17th or 18th century strong box from an auction site. After creating the strongbox I added a few other items to give the appearance of a thief having left behind his tools after getting his prize.

This was a very fast creation, made in a few hours last night and this morning, but I am still rather happy with how it turned out. The textures I used come from Poliigon, otherwise it is entirely modeled by me and I will be taking the various pieces and expanding on them to make them better detailed as individual models.