Designing for a friend, Patreon and the last part of my Journey into 3D...

Final generated image and test print.

I managed yesterday to complete the design I said I'd 3D-a-fy for my friend Sarah, from her original sketch.

Clicking on either image should open them up to their original size.

I quite like doing this sort thing, of converting drawing and sketches to 3D.

Instead of making just a flat disc, I gave a bit more depth by making it curved, giving it a sort of 'talisman' style. If it can be called that.
Of course it meant that any designs to go on it, had to be curved afterwards in order to wrap to the surface.
For this I used a "SimpleDeform" modifier set to the "Bend" option. The one complaint about this modifier is that it always does its work on the z-axis. So if you want to apply it to an object in a certain way, you have to first rotate it, then apply the orientation. Other than that it works quite well.
For me anyway :)

I've also worked from photographs too, both are on MyMiniFactory, but here are the links to them anyway : Deckards Blaster - Bladerunner and Tauriel's daggers - Hobbit.

Patreon *echo, echo, echo,...*

In order to fund my designing I'm turning to a crowdfunding site called Patreon, I've started building up my 'Creator' page, with goals and rewards. I just need to complete my opening video, introducing myself, stating what Patreon is and why people should pledge support to me.
My intention is to just create 3D models designed for 3D printing and make them available for free to people who support me on the website (There are mechanisms in place on the website that allow me to do this).
Each of these design's will also be placed on my Shapeways shop, but as mentioned above, those that support me will have access to the files in order to print them themselves.
I think this is a fair way of doing it.
Gratuitous random scenery photo. Castle Cary, Somerset, UK. Taken today.

I'll of course be making designs for MyMiniFactory, which are all free to download anyway, but I'll reserve those designs to ones I create at weekends. Which brings me to the way I've defined how I'm going to work. The normal working week; Monday to Friday, will be Patreon 'funded' designs. While anything I start and finish at the weekends will be on my own time. Again, hopefully this will be considered fair.
I'll post when I'm going to be going live. I think there's a way to garner subscriptions before launching, but I still need to read up on that. Any advice from existing Patreon's will be much appreciated. :)

Oh, and I've also applied to be a Designer-for-hire on the Shapeways site. Not sure how I'm going to work that in, time-wise. I suppose I could message my supporters and let them know, that way they can alter their pledges to suit. If my application is accepted that is.

My journey into 3D, last part...

Continuing from last Sunday, sort of...actually I've kind of lost my thread of what I was going to say. So I'll continue from where I thought I was going to continue from. In future I think I'll do the complete write up of what ever I'm going to blog about, and then split it.
Just one of the daft pose tests of the main character.

Right, where was I...oh yes...

The rebels had just blown up the wait...that's not it...

The process of designing my game during 2013 took place while I was still actively looking for part-time and full-time work. I even volunteered at the local information centre, but I wasn't much use as I didn't know the area. :p
A Cattin. One of the first monsters encountered.

So with dwindling funds, I continued to struggle in earnest with my game. I'd put together some of the animation sequences of one of the monsters and most of the animations for the main character.


A test image of one the layers
But then came another one of many pit-falls; I had intended the main character's image to be built up of layers, in order to allow the swapping out of items. The overall idea was to be able cut down on the amount images needed. But this turned out to be too memory intensive (or bad coding on my part).
I made a work around that involved flattening all the layers to a single image and then using them, but this took time and there where still the memory issues and animation timing glitches.

Finally, near the end of 2013, I managed to get the game working in a stable enough fashion. I'd settled on the layout of everything and I could even play a 'mission'. It was at this point I realised just how much more work was required for all the rest of the content. I did some rough working out, and it was going to take another year. This was simply not workable with the current situation I was in. No game, no funds.

The character selection screen. A scrolling list, erm, scroll.
So with a heavy heart I decided to pull the plug. A game, which I actually had fun playing, was to be no more. All files confined to an archive file and sequestered to a corner of the hard-drive to gather electron-dust. There's only a few snapshots left that I took while the game was running, as I ended up deleting them at some point. Probably just so I could free up some space to download a film to my iPad or something.
Early concept of main character.

A glimmer of hope...

But in all of this, there was a glimmer of hope. I had gained experience and confidence with using Blender, and with trawling the net I eventually stumbled across MyMiniFactory. With them I took on design jobs and started building my portfolio, with the eager hope that I would soon be earning enough money to survive and be able to make up for my failure in not completing my game.
For those that have known me well since school; Making a computer game has been something I've been trying to do for over 20 years. To have that opportunity and then fail, was a bitter pill to swallow. But I continue. Learning new skills and moving forward.

One day I will contribute something worthwhile to this world, before I leave it :)


Anyway, enough of that deep stuff, have some wallpapers and random pictures I generated of the items from the game :)

Crystal axe
Crystal sword

Logo from the VitaBar item
VITAJAM!!! Spread it now!!
 I apologise if my names of items from my game translate to something offensive. I never did any language-suitability tests on them.

Right, time to publish this and go to bed. A fresh week awaits me!


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