Saturday, August 6, 2011

Graphics: I think I have too many projects...

I have a lot of hobbies. Sometimes I think I have too many. For a while now I've attempted to stay on topic with my blog so I don't give readers whiplash, but today I decided to change that. I'm going to try to start blogging about all of my random hobbies and projects as they are born, die, or are just forgotten about for a while.

Today my hobby is Graphics. I realize that is a large umbrella to be lumping things into, but I think the category will work for now. The truth is that I can't be more specific because I don't actually know what I want to do.

Coming from a computer science background most of my hobbies, and even my day job, drifts toward coding and technology. In the last few years I've written smart phone apps, web apps, linux admin scripts, firmware for micro-controllers, hostware to talk to the firmware, 3d objects for printing on my 3d printer, and the list goes on. One thing I haven't done since college is write 3d graphics / rendering applications. I feel like it's a muscle I need to stretch. I don't know what I want to do with the added muscle yet, but I've felt this way for a while. That's it... time to start a new hobby.

As a fun way of getting started I've decided to make a simple 3d game, but what technology stack / tool set should I use? At the moment all I have are requirements. Everything must be opensource because I believe in opensource. The rendering engine must be written in C++ because I want it to be as fast as possible, but not be a dead end.

With these requirements I am currently digging into Blender for artwork and OGRE for the rendering engine. God help me. Blender is the least intuitive application I have ever used! If anyone has some good tutorials, send them my way! OGRE, on the other hand, is a gem.

Finally, when starting a new project I find I need a constant source of motivation and inspiration. I just found it in a project called Overgrowth

These guys are good! I have to preorder to support their brilliance!

Update: Allan Ecker was kind enough to send me some cool blender links. I'm sharing so the world can benefit:
"Here are links for Blender: This is the basic, stop-pulling-your-hair-out tutorial that explains how not to be totally dumbfounded by the 3D view, which makes sense once you get the hang of it, but is totally baffling otherwise. has a long list of very good video tutorials which go from some excellent basic tutorials straight up to some pretty esoteric stuff, but is where you want to go for photo-realism. Once you're ready for that kind of thing."

Thanks Allan!


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