Friday, August 17, 2012

How I Got Blender


In a couple of my posts, you may notice some computer generated images or animations. They were created with Blender. In this post, I'll explain how I got it and started using it.

A long time ago, I wrote a BASIC program that drew a circle; the user would give the program a number, and it would draw a circle that size. There was a problem, though: the circle had a lot of holes in it. I solved the problem by filling the circle, but that was like cheating. I told my dad about the problem, and he showed me a book about graphics.

I looked through the book, but didn't find anything about my problem. I did find a section with nice, colorful computer-generated images, however - and some were so good they looked like photos! At one point, there was a series showing the construction of a photo-realistic image of a room, starting with the edges, then moving on to the surfaces, texturing, lighting, etc. Here's a similar series I made using Blender (but not photo-realistic):
Edges
Surfaces
Color
Lighting
Bump-Mapping, Reflections, Specularity, and Compositing
It looked so simple, I was hooked. I had to make my own computer-generated image that looked like a photo. I asked my dad to get me some software for 3D animations, so he searched on Google and found Blender. It looked like fun, and it was free, so we got it.

I followed some video tutorials I found on blender.org to make some nice images, and then I started making my own stuff. It was a lot of fun. I raved about it to my sister, but she just got sick of it and hated to even hear the name "Blender." Eventually, though, I convinced her to take a tutorial and make some balloons, and now she uses it to create images, like me. She uses it for art, but I also use it to show people how things work.

So that's how I got Blender. If you're interested in trying it out, just go to the download page on blender.org, and download it. Maybe you'll find it as fun and useful as I do.

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