Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tighten focus even further?

So here is my quandary now.

I had decided I would focus on one narrow part of my village, a view out of a Chinese restaurant onto a city street in the downtown area of the city.

Now, I'm thinking, that may even still be too big for a first time 3D project.

See, I have been a 3D hobbyist for over ten years, and have experimented with Strata 3D and now with Blender, and have even played with Blender specifically for, we're 2008 now? ...for eight years. But I have really done very little actual modeling, because to compensate poorly for my ADD, I have tended to let myself get into a hyper-focus, where I do one thing to insane extremes.

In this case, the insane extreme was to begin with the landform of the city. From my story planning, when I decided to create this mystical village called Noumonde for my many different stories, I knew a great deal how the area was laid out physically. I knew there was a deep lake in the center of this area. I knew the village was mostly on one edge of this lake. I knew the opposite side of the lake had some pretty steep hills.

So I began with a 3D topography of the village, which I created by using Photoshop to build a shades-of-gray picture, with really black areas to define the deepest part of the lake, and with really white areas around the edge to define the peaks of the hills. Apply some gradient patterns, smudge a little, and import it into whatever DXF converter I could find, and voila! I had a huge, high-poly-count surface upon which to build my village!

Which I used on computers that were too slow and with too little RAM to do anything useful with it.

So back to the present. I can play with that landform today pretty easily, but I mostly just use it for reference. My task today is to actually find a good starting project. The theory is that, if I can settle on a few good starter projects, I can internalize the methods of doing 3D scenes and feel confident enough to tackle larger projects.

My ADD, (or if you don't believe that scientists have found neurological evidence for ADD, just call it distractedness or whatever) has always led me to tackle huge projects that never give me anything to latch onto, that are too large for me to do for a first project. And my question is, did I do that again in this project? By deciding against an aerial tour of several streets and focusing on one single scene, I'm finding, with all of the photo studies that I have done, that even this is a very tall order. I have cracks in the sidewalk and in the parking lot. I have paint on the road with chips and discoloration. I have weeds, for God's sake! If I'm going to aim for photo-realistic, I'd better focus on a smaller task......

So maybe that's what I'll do. Technically, by the terms I set for myself on this project, producing a rendered image is not an early objective anyway. I could very well just stick with note-paper and photographs for a year and I'd be okay. But I'm going to include some rendering projects, too, because I need to move from theory to practice, too.

No comments: