30 days in Blender

I've challenged myself to spend the next 30 days learning the art of 3D graphics and rendering my own creations. I watch a lot of CGI related YouTube videos, particularly from Corridor Crew and Captain Disillusion, but until now I'd never given it a go myself. Luckily, getting started seems to be really accessible. Blender is a free and open-source 3D creation suite that supports the entire 3D creation pipeline.

Day 1 - A Simple Doughnut

Search 'Blender' on YouTube and Blender Guru's "Blender Beginner Tutorial" lands on top with millions of views. The goal of the series is to learn a wide range of what Blender can do by creating a doughnut and coffee animation. Part 1 has us following along with Andrew to learn the interface while sculpting a simple doughnut with glossy icing. I'm absolutely delighted with the results. I had no idea that something like this could be achieved in such a short amount of time.

Key Lesson Learned: Don't have a YouTube video playing while rendering. Blue Screen of Death!

A doughnut with pink icing

Day 2 - Sprinkles!

Today is all about particles. I created a few sprinkles at different sizes and used the hair mode to randomly generate 1000 on top of the icing. This is making me hungry.

The doughtnut now has sprinkles

Day 3 - Bread

I had to drive down to Greggs for an iced doughnut.

Now to make the bready part look less playdough-like. This involves displacement and bump mapping to turn a cloud texture into 3D bumps.

The doughtnut now has sprinkles

Day 4 - Low Poly Well

Rather than sprint into new concepts, I thought it would be beneficial to practice what I've already learned, particularly memorising the hotkeys. I started another beginner tutorial series with the aim to build a low poly well. I spent some time focussing on lighting, positioning the camera and tweaking render settings to get a nice workflow.

A stone well and the start of a frame

Day 5 - Building up the well

Just a little bit today since it's Saturday. I added a bit more to the frame and checked out a few object modifiers.

A well with a wooden frame

Day 6 - Finishing off the well

Man, those tiles were tricky! I think I'm finished with this well. If I were to carry on I'd probably work on the proportions. There's not much space to get a bucket out.

A well with a wooden frame and slate roof

Day 7 - Physics and Animation

My first shot at rigid body physics and creating an animation. Ran through another Blender Guru tutorial for this.

Day 8 - My House

I love how the well turned out so I've set myself a challenge of creating our house in a similar style. I have a long way to go...

The start of my house

Ooooh, ultrawide! 😍