Piranha4D's Learning and Practice 2022

Ha! That’s true for a lot of my learning; I just want to know how things work. But some things are an exception, like languages, programming, and 3D seems to also be one of them (I don’t always know at the start which way it’ll go).

That does sound like concept art is your thing, yes. I make up lore even for imagery that’s not mine, so story really matters.

2022-08-21 Weekend Challenge #1000: 1000
(did not enter)

So Weekend Challenge #1000 is very unlikely to happen for me. ^sad sigh^. I even have a pretty cool concept, but it’s been so bloody hot and otherwise crazy busy here that I didn’t find the time to work on my most demanding weekend concept yet. And I didn’t just want to hack something together. I still have a day, but my brain feels fried, I am slow, and am not sure how much I can cut it down to limit modeling.

But even though I probably won’t participate officially, I still want to do it.

This is the basic idea: A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step.

I’m thinking of making it an animation celebrating my 1000th model (if I ever get there). I want a single leg to come in from the left, kicking the default cube into the frame, which then rolls down the road that winds through a landscape dotted with models. The landscape becomes more and more varied, going higher and higher (with patches of different styles) as my skill level increases.

I could work on it pretty much in concert with my learning, so it’d not be an overwhelming effort at the end (I know myself; I no longer do overwhelming effort).


2022-05-14 Paen to the Default Cube

After that fountain, I wanted to practice more extrusions, insets, beveling loopcuts, and a little knife play.

28 cubicular variations, giving some love to the default cube.

That’s my first Workbench render – about which I knew nothing, but now I know that you can combine random colours and matcaps, which is pretty spiffy.


Hey! Just catching up here.
Too bad you couldn’t make it to the 1000th challenge. I would’ve voted for you! Maybe next time. The motivation would be enough to win me over :wink:

I’m doing this quite often, I just find myself .in the situation somehow. Health sure is paramount!

That looks pretty neat! Oddly satisfying, kinda. Could’ve been 1000 operations! I should’ve done something like that, like a collection of samples to show what each modifier does. Would’ve been some good visual library of it, so I don’t have to remember them by their names.
Nice to see the progression! It really is interesting; like looking at someone’s diary :sweat_smile:
Have a nice blenday!

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There were quite a few good entries this time; always cool to struggle with the vote, ^heh^. Good on you for participating! It was an interesting idea.

Oh, that’s also a good idea about the modifier samples! I might be stealing that. :wink: I haven’t even used most modifiers yet; just a few standbys.

Yes, I thought the cubes were quite satisfying; I might make that into a wallpaper (needs more cubes, but I have many more ideas – though maybe not 1000).


2022-05-17 Old Man meets Monster

And so we arrive at Grant Abbitt’s Blender 3 Complete Beginners Guide (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnj2BL4chaQ&list=PLn3ukorJv4vuU3ILv3g3xnUyEGOQR-D8J&index=1).

I did well with it, until it came to the lighting, then I struggled. I couldn’t get the mood to look like I saw it in my head. So that’s obviously something to work on, and I might sprinkle in a few dedicated lessons for it, but I’ll keep focusing on modeling for now. I feel like maybe I should decide on one renderer and concentrate on that, since constantly flipping between Eevee and Cycles means I don’t know either real well, I just know enough to kinda make things happen. Really, it should be Eevee, since my computer is a potato.

The final render:

Old man (block sheep and cow have company!):

And the homework:

I am quite fond of my cylonesque robot, though he might be a bit too detailed compared to the original, and his head placement is wrong, wrong, wrong. Also, his stance is not as expressive as it could be. Again I felt that I want to learn some very basic rigging so I can pose my characters more easily. But I like the concept of the image.

Old woman, twin of old man, separated at birth, but they obviously have a lot in common:

I did learn some new things, including the fog box, and it was all solid practice, and fun to make. I put the old woman together in no time, and even the “cylon” was done quickly, much more quickly than the original. I can’t recommend the course highly enough for a beginner, no matter what they eventually want to create.


Nice! I personally don’t do characters much at all. Some day …

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OMGGGG I love your sheep it’s so derpy and cute, I get that Minecraft clone game style and I love it! This is adorable


Thanks! It’s Grant Abbitt’s sheep design though, not mine; I followed it faithfully. But I have one of my own now too; I’ll post it later.

I took a bit of time out to learn something about geometry nodes so I could make the image I had in mind for this Weekend Challenge more easily; it’s a perfect application.

Followed a tutorial from @RyanKingArt (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrhlOBWXd7Y) who is another good teacher I found a while ago; check him out – he posts about his YT tutorials here which makes that even easier than subscribing on YT. This one is on distributing objects (single or collection) on a plane, exactly what I needed.

I ended up making objects to scatter instead of using stuff I already had just because it’s good practice and it won’t hurt to have some LP plants. I am making all these little single objects into assets in my own library.

There are so many identical grass objects because I wanted a lot more grass to be scattered than shrooms or flowers, and that seems to be the only simple way to do that while not having objects overlap.

I am not sure why the scale didn’t work the way I expected; I had to fiddle with it and the z-scale had to be much larger. Weird. I had scale applied for all my objects. I’ll need to dig into that; there’s something here I clearly don’t understand.

Homework is the Weekend Challenge #1001 – I’ll post that tomorrow. I’m also gonna follow Ryan’s tutorial on using geonodes with weight painting since that seems to fit really well at this point in time, and I like the idea of having finer control over where objects get placed while still using the randomness as a factor.

I like geonodes (well, duh, it’s procedural and I like everything procedural). So, so much is possible with them that would otherwise be a royal pain to create.


Thanks for linking my tutorial! Love those little stylized nature models you made. :+1:


2022-08-29 Weekend Challenge #1001

Since I’m still a long way from catching up, but I want to post some things like Weekend Challenges as they happen because that makes it easier to remember anything that stood out during the making of it, I’m just gonna put dates in each post to at least vaguely preserve the diary idea of this Sketchbook. I’m usually better organized… or am I? Ha.

Meet Schaapje (“little sheep” in Dutch), my first original character made of my own volition:

It’s not super original because I didn’t do it from “first principles” (pictures of actual sheep); I looked at a bunch of cartoon sheep, and cobbled it together from those, but at least it doesn’t actually look like any of them, or like a Frankenstein creature, it’s a cohesive whole, so that’s progress. The ears were the toughest part, I learned a lot about the order in which to shape things by doing them over twice. I gotta say, I am quite fond of her.

The wireframe is ^ugh^. I can get the poly count way down from what it is now by simplifying the eyes (had no time before the challenge), but the area around the nostrils really needs retopologizing. Ah well, that’s for the future. I learned how to do wireframe clay renders, from this tutorial – and to my delight, I figured it half out myself (to use bevels). It’s unfortunate that the Wireframe node in the shader graph does only triangles; I pretty much never want those, and it would be so much simpler.

And here’s the result:

It’s super simple, because I had very little time to do it in and most of that went to modeling the sheep. I prepped the plane by cutting out a wide circle around the poor black sheep, and making that its own object so it wouldn’t be affected by the geonodes. Then I used the geonode distribution setup from the previous post, but with two parts, one exactly the same for the grass, one for the white sheep. I gave the sheep only a slight rotation so they’d all still be marching in the same direction.

Rendered in Eevee with a mid-morning HDRI from Polyhaven and a low-powered single sun with a 40° angle for soft shadows. I can see ways to improve it, but I’m happy with the final image; it definitely gets the concept across.


These are so cute! I love them so much! great scattering of the objects, looks like the cover to a children’s book and that is great imo!

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Nice sheep, once again has the energy of a children’s book! The sheep’s geometry is friendly and cartoonishly styled, it’s all around really cute and great! :+1:

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Interesting entry! The breakdown is nice to see as always, neat wireframe render!
The wire frame render process has always been tedious as you say. There is one more way I know, other than the 3 shown in your linked video:

This one doesn’t have to do anything to the object itself, but can create artifacts when rendering very complex wires (or it just might be me). The node should have triangulate as an option, not the only.
The bevel method though, I think I saw someone utilizing it to make some edge-wear material, very unique way to use it, interesting stuff.
Congrats on the entry, again, and I will be voting! :wink: cheers


You give the best compliments!

Yeah, you know, now that you mentioned it I can see that sheep picture as a cover for a children’s book. Thanks for the idea – I might come up with a story to make more images for such a book. On the list it goes…

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Default Cube is a wild man. I find him interesting but have mostly avoided him because he’s usually way above my level. But I actually got what he is doing here. It’s more complicated than the bevel solution, but it’s always good to know more ways of doing things, and this one is pretty flexible as to creating more effects than just a wireframe. Thanks!

Oh, I also found out about freestyle today, which means there is probably yet another way to do this. I :heart: Blender.


2022-05-19 Low Poly Animals

More Grant. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mT4XFJYq-4

Giraffe from the tutorial:

Homework elephant:

This was harder for me than any of the previous low poly work, and I definitely need to do a lot more of these, but I didn’t at the time because I was busy/tired and wanted to move on. But honestly, I should have lingered. I kinda like the look, it’s clearly become a retro artstyle of its own, and I think with more practice I could get quite good at it. I want a whole menagerie, 3dprinted.

For some odd reason (this happens sometimes) my mind got locked into this idea that I had to extrude the entire animal from a single primitive. Shaking my head now. I should have done the elephant ear separately because I had trouble shaping it and it’s not very good; it should really be slightly convex the other way, and have a couple more loopcuts to break up those giant quads. Well, I learned from that for Schaapje; that ear was its own mesh and it was much easier to shape.


About instance scale problem did you tried to set Relative in your Collection Info node?

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Love the energy of your sketchbook: it’s so positive and fun :heart: Great work!