100 Days, 100 Renders— Day 0

For the next 100 days, August 8 to November 16, I am going to produce one 3D rendered scene every day.

There are too many reasons to do this.

That’s the only conclusion I can come to after many false starts to this introduction. Do I talk about the university drawing course that drained my mojo years ago? Maybe the rabbit hole I’ve kept falling into where I build models only to become bored with them once I’ve finished? The embarrassing experiments of the past week that prompted me to decide to re-focus on my fundamentals? The fact that lately all I seem to want to do is massive, ambitious projects I won’t complete without a grant and a support team? Or the time- and commitment-based projects that inspired me on this one?

They’re all important, and they’re all interesting, and maybe I’ll go into all of them as time goes on. The one reason that fits into all of them is that I got into this line of work because I wanted to make cool pictures of spaceships, and it’s been ages since I produced enough images to count on one hand within a year. I want to tap back into why I started doing this, without worrying about any of the incidentals about what makes a good reel or sounds impressive in a job interview. The CG industry has not been kind to me, and I think it’s time I stopped worrying about what the industry thinks. As Douglas Adams wrote, “I’d rather be happy than right any day.”

So, what are the rules? Simple— The picture has to depict a scene of some sort. No area-lit models on soft gray backgrounds. Anything else goes. My hot-rodded Macbook Pro dates back to the last U.S. Presidential Administration, and based on Apple’s current pace of Mac upgrades, may end up outlasting the current one, so in the interests of actually being able to render a picture within 24 hours, I’m not placing a size minimum on this. I could end up with some crazy grainy postage-stamp picture if I aim for something with a lot of expensive effects, with layout screenshots so I can explain what it’s supposed to look like. I’ll try to keep my post-processing either non-destructive or well-documented re-renders at larger sizes are practical later on.

So. Here goes nothing.

Soft Opening

I’ve finally gone through with beginning to create a new homepage. Or is it “blog,” now? Vanity-internet-place-with-my-words-and-pictures. And it only took three and a quarter years.

I chose WordPress because it combined versatility with ease of use. Most importantly, it would give me an easy way to include primarily written articles in addition to image galleries, as I saw with sites like Modelers Miniatures and Magic and Craig Clark’s site. I’m looking forward to squaring the circle on that one, and using a blogging platform to host a site whose flagship feature will be image galleries, video files, and 3D model downloads.

My current plan for the site is to begin by duplicating and updating the content of my old site.

  1. Upload still image galleries
  2. Upload movie galleries
  3. Upload 3D models (I should probably check that the archives are up-to-date)
  4. Copy over any remaining oddball pages from the old site, such as my build-a-Stargate guide
Next comes the exciting part, the content I couldn’t have put on the old pages if I tried.
  1. Copy image old image and animation commentaries from various internet forums I posted them to, and provide links to each commentary with the corresponding image in the galleries. Backdate them to reflect when they were originally created. If all goes well, this will result in posts that are ostensibly older than the WordPress platform itself. This will be cheerfully ignored.
  2. Copy over other content along these lines, such as my recent and recently delayed Battlestar Galactica rewatch and review series. I can’t really think of anything else at the moment, but I’m sure something will come up. If you have any suggestions for the Best of David that should be copied over to here (and you probably do, since the only way you’d be reading this is if you were systematically going though the blog, since God knows it won’t be anywhere near the top of the heap once I actually announce this thing).
  3. Announce this thing! Open it up to search engines, pimp the link out to friends and forums, and set up redirects from the old site. Redirects that go to the corresponding pages, if I’m really feeling my oats that day.
  4. Regular publishing, including cross-posting commentary on new images, animations, and models, articles on whatever I feel like writing about, and, most importantly, a portfolio section to set apart my professional and personal work. I intend to cover that work to the same exhaustive extent I write about my personal work, to the extent which I am allowed to by my employers.
At some point, I’ll also have to find a proper theme for the site to rejigger the look and feel, but for now, content must be king. To the coronation we go…