Derakon's Library - Fun with rendering

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You know, there was a time when I didn't just do maille in 3D. I played with all sorts of different things, with varying degrees of success. Anything I think is particularly cool will end up on this page. Most of the stuff I've made was created with an ancient (6 years and going) program called Mechanisto. The program is, sadly, completely outdated, but it remains highly functional and very easy to use. It's for Macintoshes only. Someday I plan on making my own program that would be based on Mechanisto, but more advanced, and perhaps cross-platform (depending on how attached I become to Unix during my college years).

I also use POV-Ray and Infini-D these days. Both programs are more powerful than Mechanisto. POV-Ray is also free, but has an intimidating interface. Infini-D is definitely not free. I highly recommend POV-Ray to people interested in making 3D images; feel free to email me if you're having trouble with the program.

Thumbnail to come soon The latest version of my site logo. My primary goal in making this was to create a reasonably complete and realistic scene - something I had never really done before (islands on the ocean don't count unless they have beaches, rocks, trees, and so on). I did this entirely in POV-Ray, working entirely from primitive objects. If you like, you can look at the source code for the scene - just plug it into POV-Ray and tell it to render and you should get my scene.
Power Orb I came up with this idea as a simple toy to throw out to the people that read all the way through my first POV-Ray tutorial, then decided that it could do with a little extra tweaking. This is what I got. It's simple, but I really like it.
POVRay Isle A landscape I rendered in POV-Ray. Really a bit silly of me, actually; I have a copy of Bryce 5 that would work far better. But it was a good exercise in doing height fields, clouds, and a good sunrise-style sky gradient. Take a look at those sometime; the colors are actually very interesting.
Trizantine This is a nice little render of some Trizantine, in preparation for making instructions for the weave. I think this set turned out particularly well, with gold, silver, and bronze wire (or electronic equivalents) and a nice bit of atmosphere.
Torq One This is a very quick torq render I did for someone who didn't know what a torq is. It turned out quite well, in my opinion.
Silver Torq Another torq, considerably more difficult to make. POV-Ray (the program I used) does not have an easy way to put twists in objects. I had to break the torq down into 1400 minute boxes, each slightly different from the one adjacent to it. But I think that the end result was worth it.
POVRay Ship A nice ship made with POV-Ray, this was my first scene after a long time away from that program. Not bad, really. It only has four actual shapes; can you figure out what they are?
POVRay Fighter Another POV-Ray creation, actually a lot more difficult to create than that first one. This has many more complicated objects than are in the first one (which has all of four unique objects, I think).
Old front page logo This is the old logo that I used to have up on the front page. That nifty shadow effect looks nice if you have your gamma rating (screen brightness) set high enough, but most people don't. In other words, if you can't see the 'D', then you're like most people. The new logo still has the shadow, but it's not as dark. Besides, I changed the name of the site, so the logo had to change too. The new new logo doesn't even have the shadow any more, and it looks a lot better for it. Tackiness is a bad thing.
Serpent's Spine And after all that, the first thing that I put up here is maille-related. Ah, well. I was talking with Flinx in IRC and he described the Serpent's Spine weave. I didn't really feel like cutting a bunch of links to try it out, so I rendered it in 3D. It only took about two revisions to get it right, and then I played with it a little.
This thing was going to replace the byzantine chains on the front page, but I couldn't get it to tile well. The perspective effect along the chain is strong enough that things just don't mesh well at all. At any rate, here's the final piece I made. Tasty.
Serpent's Spine interior And this is Serpent's Spine viewed from the interior, just for fun. I can do this with any weave, but most of them don't have hollow cores, so they aren't very interesting. The only others I can think of right now are roundmaille and inverted roundmaille. I don't have a good scene file of the former and the latter looks boring in 3D. *shrug*
Blue Ball A nice abstract ball-thing. I got lucky with this one - everything worked the first time I tried it. The bends in those blue cylinders, the semi-exponential curves of the central pylon, everything. It was serendipity in motion.
Alien Fighter Some kind of alien fighter, I guess. This was harder to make than it looks; there's all sorts of funky bends and curves in those tubular things, and the tapers on the wings were devilishly hard to work out when I was first learning to use Mechanisto.
Dayglo Cruiser A battlecruiser which is, for whatever reason, made out in Day-Glo colors. At this point I was still a little frightened of real distortion effects - the only one I used here was a taper so I could make the triangles. Everything else was just scaling and translation (movement) effects.
Alien Fighter Ah, yes, this one. I don't know where the hell this would fit into future technology. Possibly as a combination cruise ship/circus. *shrug* There are a few fun things on this one - primarily the curves in the back strut and in the piece holding up the central orange cylinder (engine?). Nothing that I couldn't do with ease now, but back then it was a little more difficult. I used to be really proud of this one; I printed it out and used it as a bookmark for a while. For some reason the sheer bizarredness of the thing really struct a chord with me (and no, don't even bother to make the obvious joke).
Clawship This is a quick doodle I made in about thirty minutes, maybe less. That's a lathe object in the middle, surrounded by a few swept-forward cubes with tapers on the end. It's a tad cluttered but looks nice and sinister. There's a larger version of the image to the right here for use as a desktop image. Size: 1056x792.
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All items on this site are copyright 2002 Chris Weisiger (a.k.a. Derakon). That's right - I made everything on this site. Reproduction of any of my work in whole or in part requires my express consent.