My Books & Stories (Amazon Page)

Friday, November 07, 2014

Rising Early & Killing Time

I haven't always been an early riser, but the last few years I've made a habit of rising by at least 5:30am in order to get to work by 7am. Usually I'm awake sometime around 4am though. This gives me several hours to kill until I have to actually work on stuff for my day job. One of the things I've found I really enjoy is doing 3D art. I used to fumble around with a Japanese 3D program called DoGa, and then moved to Moray and POV-Ray. Lately though, I've been using Sketchup 8 (from Google and now Trimble) and learning SolidWorks. Sketchup is an extremely flexible and, in my opinion, powerful program and the extensions and sheer number of models available through the Extensions and 3D Warehouses truly expand the power and flexibility of Sketchup. I've been using it to do 3D models for machine setups at my day job. A 3D model is much more informative than a simple line drawing done in Word (which is how the setups were illustrated for years before now). I do the models in Sketchup and then render them using the POV-Ray plugin. Here's an example,
This is an example of a cylinder body being machined in APSCO's (Air Power Supply Company - my day job) HCN4000 horizontal mill. I also use Sketchup for concept images for my writing and I do 3D modeling as a form of relaxation and meditation (I guess you could say). Here's an image I did for the Fire On The Suns universe and which is my current screen background at work,
And finally here's an image I did using DoGa way back in the day,
The background here was done using a program called Universe. The background for the image just above this one was done using the Galaxy include file for POV-Ray. Universe is handy for doing planet images and backgrounds including planets, but I've found it more useful for lens flares, stars, and explosive effects in images (done using a combination of lens flares and stars - it gives a battle image a really dramatic effect). So, that's one way I kill time and "meditate" in addition to writing. Thanks, Greg

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