September 04, 2006

Another one in the can

Today is the Crusty Curmudgeon's third anniversary.

The fall of 2006 also marks the tenth anniversary of my presence on the WWW, as well as roughly ten years since I started fooling around with 3D rendering and raytracing for entertainment. (In fact, the first raytraced image I created for the Web is still in use - mainly since I haven't bothered to update that page in almost five years.)

In the last few years, my graphical efforts have focused primarily on the use of The Gimp and other Photoshop-like tools to composit complex images by arranging layers of simpler elements. So I thought that for this go-around, I'd set the Gimp aside (apart from some necessary post-processing) and let the renderer do the hard work. (Raytracing, for those who aren't familiar with the term, is a method of rendering photorealistic images that simulates light rays interacting with surfaces.)

I also thought that after three years of a predominantly blue blog design, it was time to let the Crusty Curmudgeon's other "official" colour, orange, take the front seat for a year. The particular shade of blue that I use on this blog was the corporate colour of a company I worked for a few years ago. During my tenure, they "rebranded" and abandoned blue. So I gave it a new home and saved it from a life on the streets. The orange is simply a contrasting colour I chose to complement it, and I keep it around because blue and orange drives certain conspiracy nuts batty. (They don't teach the conspirinauts colour theory, I guess.)

There isn't any particular significance to the soap sculptures, except that one of my first 3D images was a model of a soap sculpture carved into my name. At the time, I was forced to wear a nametag, so I decided to "customize" it a bit.

I'm still having trouble with the image. Realistic rendering of some surfaces can be tricky - pools of water should not look like diluted milk, for example. Well, I'm learning as I go, and since all the major elements are in place, there's nothing hindering me from tweaking it to try and improve the optical properties of the water and a few other things. Also, the bullets need a bit of work, and I'm sure I'll find a few other bugs that need repairing over time, as well. (Promises, promises.)

Best of all, I didn't forget my own blogiversary for two weeks, like last year.