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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    Anybody use Blender?

    I recently installed a 3D drawing package called Blender. It's a very interesting program with an unusual interface, but being a project under continual development, the documentation is rather disperse and disjoint.

    I'm wanting to use it to create a surface of revolution, similar to a bottle. I can't figure how to do this, or if Blender even supports that kind of construct. My impression is that one uses a series of stacked cylinders to make such a "solid". Anyone had any experience with this program?

    Alan

  2. #2
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    Re: Anybody use Blender?

    Hey Alan, thanks for posting this!

    This looks like the hell of a powerful app!! It seems a little complicated, but look a what can be done (image gallery & animations)!! Amazing!! <img src=/S/thumbup.gif border=0 alt=thumbup width=15 height=15>
    In the documentation section I found 2 manuals, each weighing over 30 MB! <img src=/S/yikes.gif border=0 alt=yikes width=15 height=15>

    <hr>I can't figure how to do this, or if Blender even supports that kind of construct.<hr>
    I'm sorry I can't help with the bottle, but I definitely think this can be achieved. Comparing with other projects, yours seems rather simple. Maybe a more experienced lounger can help. Or, you could try asking in their community pages... they even have a Chat section. Did you give it a go? Please keep us posted.
    <img src=/w3timages/blue3line.gif width=33% height=2>
    <img src=/S/flags/Argentina.gif border=0 alt=Argentina width=30 height=18> <big><font color=4682b4><font face="Comic Sans MS">Diegol</font face=comic></font color=4682b4> </big>

  3. #3
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    Re: Anybody use Blender?

    Hi Diegol

    Like the documentation, the forums are so disperse, and most seem to deal with the fancier features, like the ones that impressed you <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>. Despite looking through lots of the tutorials, I can't find one that contains this simple sort of operation. I'm sure it's doable, but it's the basic method that eludes me - it doesn't help not understanding 3D-CADspeak either. I think it's going to be a long, hard learning curve with this one... but what can you do? I've tried some other 3D legacy apps, but they are very much lacking in the documentation area. Blender, by contrast, is too overwhelming.

    I must admit though, that this <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> app impressed the <img src=/w3timages/censored.gif alt=censored border=0> out of me, when I saw a drawing package that was able to produce pictures like the attached. Some of the stuff in the galleries is virtually indistinguishable from photos of the real thing. Now there's a catchy term that might take off... virtual reality <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>.

    Alan

    Edited - and I finally found something here. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Anybody use Blender?

    Did you try http://blenderchar.weirdhat.com/eyetute/?
    The eye ball is a SOR.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Anybody use Blender?

    Truly amazing. It's been a long time since I was so deeply shocked by an app. It's not the fact that * I * can achieve something like this, because I stink at it and don't have enogh time to read the manuals, but the fact that this kind of technology is available for anyone who feels like accepting the challenge. I must say I've never used powerful graphic packages such as Photoshop or Corel Draw, so there might be some features there that appear in Blender too and they still seem 100% new to me <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>.
    Whatever, I'll just pass it on to my friends.
    <img src=/w3timages/blue3line.gif width=33% height=2>
    <img src=/S/flags/Argentina.gif border=0 alt=Argentina width=30 height=18> <big><font color=4682b4><font face="Comic Sans MS">Diegol</font face=comic></font color=4682b4> </big>

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    Re: Anybody use Blender?

    I started using CAD software in the early 70's and went through about 20 different programs in my nearly years of playing with them. The first ones were 3D but were "wire"frame only. Later came surfacing and then true 3D Solids. These programs all ran $2,000 per seat per year and these newer <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> one do just as good if not better.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Anybody use Blender?

    I should have mentioned, one of the programs that I work with, ran about $10,000 per seat with ALL addin's and required a "mainframe" to handle things that the local machine could not. Then we had a "hidden" 'Cray" to handle things the mainframe could not. Needless to say it was and is the biggest waste of money. By the way, the program came from France and is still in use today by the company I retired from.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Anybody use Blender?

    Thanks Dave. I found out the "hidden" feature that enables such SORs. Now I have a nice wine glass <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>. The program is so extensive that it's easy (for me) to get totally lost/ swamped. Most of the tutes were written for older builds (which aren't really "old") and a major problem is that the interface/ menus seems to change dramatically between such builds. Still, it's fun (if time consuming) learning the world of 3D CAD.

    Alan

    Edited - Maybe, as a dab old hand at this kind of software, you might be able to explain the difference between a "drawing" app like Blender, and a ray tracing app like POV. To me, the end results seem similar, but are there any significant distinctions to be made?

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    Re: Anybody use Blender?

    Dave

    My edit may have crossed paths with your reply, so I'll make a separate psot of it:

    Maybe, as a dab old hand at this kind of software, you might be able to explain the difference between a "drawing" app like Blender, and a ray tracing app like POV. To me, the end results seem similar, but are there any significant distinctions to be made?

    Alan

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    Re: Anybody use Blender?

    I have not seen POV, but a quick look at a web page, it appears to be a program to made drawings to appear as 3D. The likes of a CAD program where the model is true 3D and can be rotated and observed on all sides and surfaces. Then a drawing is defined by the angle(s) (direction(s)) one wants to view the object.

    I have worked on simple parts (fasteners) to complete products, (missiles and/or airplane).

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  11. #11
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    Re: Anybody use Blender?

    Hmmm... to me, the ignorant/ uninitiated, POV seems like it stores similar information to what 3D drawing programs must do. It allows, for instance, the rotation of 3D objects. OTOH, from the POV documentation <hr>"Is there a way to generate a wireframe output image from a POV scene file?"
    You have to understand the difference between a modeller like 3D-Studio and POV-Ray in the way they handle objects. Those modellers always use triangle meshes (and some modellers use also NURBS which can be very easily converted into triangles). Triangle meshes are extremely simple to represent in a wireframe format: Just draw a line for each triangle side.

    However, POV-Ray handles most of the objects as mathematical entities, not triangle meshes. When you tell POV-Ray to create a sphere, POV-Ray only handles it as a point and a radius, nothing else (besides the possible matrix transform applied to it). POV-Ray only has a notion of the shape of the object as a mathematical formula (it can calculate the intersection of a line and the sphere).

    For wireframe output there should be a way to convert that mathematical representation of the object into actual triangles. This is called tesselation.

    For some mathematical objects, like the sphere, the box, etc, tesselation is quite trivial. For other entities, like CSG difference, intersection, etc, it's more difficult (although not impossible). For other entities it's completely impossible: infinite non-flat surfaces like paraboloids and hyperboloids (well, actually it is possible if you limit the size of the surface to a finite shape; still the amount of triangles that needs to be created would be extremely high).

    There have been lots of discussions about incorporating tesselation into POV-Ray. But since POV-Ray is just a renderer, not a modeller, it doesn't seem to be worth the efforts (adding tesselation to all the primitives and CSG would be a huge job).

    (Of course tesselation could give some other advantages, like the ability to fake non-uniform transformations to objects like most triangle mesh modellers do...)

    If you just want fast previews of the image, you can try to use the quality parameter of POV-Ray. For example setting quality to 0 (+q0) can give a very fast render.<hr>This does seem to signify some kind of underlying difference between the two generic software types, but it's still not particularly clear to me. BTW Dave, what area of aerospace did you work in? I was involved in various materials aspects and remember more than a few of our drawing office staff shuddering at the prospect of being replaced by machines, when desktops + CAD programs started to appear. By the time I was at Marconi in Europe, there was hardly a T-square to be seen.

    Alan

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    Re: Anybody use Blender?

    Many thanks for all the information/ resources Alltaken. I see from the main site that you are a major contributor (maybe da man) to the project. My requirements started out simple here (I'm not involved with CAD, drafting etc.) but the Blender is one of those rare beasts that really roped me in. It certainly seems to be one of the successes of open source development. I'm learning a little day by day, and really enjoy being amazed by what can be done with it... well, by other users at least <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>.

    All the best with it.

    Alan

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    Re: Anybody use Blender?

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by DaveA on 20-May-04 08:22. Added URL code)</P>actually blender has a very solid documentation now.

    it is valid up to 2.32 and probably beyond for most part.

    http://www.blender.org/modules.php?op=modl...&file=index

    top one should be the correct one to use.

    i agree the community is a bit disjointed and things are somewhat hard to find, hence i volunteer to organise it and am in the process of doing so. (one of the joys of open source)

    have been using blender for a number of years, and have amazed a lot of people.

    p.s. for spining, screwing, and all that fun stuff the edit buttons are the way to go. also for subdividing sub surfacing and such you will find it good.

    a few tips that might make things easier are in edit mode the K key is pretty nice for chopping stuff .

    the interface from 2.30 is pretty standardised and somewhat customisable. its up to version 2.33a now and the interface hasn't really changed since 2.30, except for the obvious additions of new features.
    also getting Yafray for rendering work (where photo realism is needed) is pretty handy, good solid renderer developed by blender users and fully intergrated.

    www.elysiun.com is a good place to ask questions
    or #blenderchat on freenode

    the community is pretty helpfull.

    p.s. proper CAD features are being developed for blender, so some day ti will be able to handle modeling from a point/ radius which is very helpful and something i am counting on in my professional career

    good luck

    Alltaken

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    Re: Anybody use Blender?

    LOL na, not the man
    just help out in my spare time, i actually hardly use the software for any personal projects any more, don't have the time. but i do try to keep up with things

    http://www.elysiun.com/news.php?mode=display&item_id=15
    usefull list for anyone

    http://doug.mud-puddle.co.nz/gallery

    a lot of the work there (because it is my gallery after all ) is mine. although the bottom two albums are from other people (because i let them use my hosting). the last album in the list is a good friend who is pretty damn awsome.

    Alltaken

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