Pulling a goat from the right side of the brain

What a journey I’ve had this evening!

The self doubt crept in quickly over the last day or so and I’d managed to procrastinate on the art front completely avoiding anything arty yesterday. Indeed, I strayed so far from the righteous path that I even dragged my old HP Touchsmart TX2 laptop out of storage and installed Windows 8 Release Preview on it rather than pick up a pencil.

Anyway, I digress.

This evening after work I took a powernap then settled down with Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.

Cover of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

The introductory chapter explains some key concepts so once suitably informed, I took pencil in hand to create an illustration emphasising the key points. I was only planning to draw words in different fonts – loosely inspired by the 1000 days of Drawing kickstarter video by Chris Piascik – but by the time I got to Gestalt (the whole) I was minded to draw something that would encapsulate everything else. Here’s the result.

My first thought was to draw a brain but that created distracting lines within the text (an outline without some depiction of the brain matter didn’t seem to cut it). I also struggled with the brain matter’s folds to be fair. The goat was Plan B and it wasn’t difficult to find reference material.

It was a revelation to find there is a species of goat with a horn under it’s jaw. Turns out it was a CGI goat and the original artist had rendered the beard as a solid object. D’oh! Never mind, my goat has a horn under the jaw that can be easily mistaken for a beard.

With my drawing done for the day, I switched to 3ds Max and the 3ds Max 2013 Essential Training course.

I learnt about Shapes, Lofts, Bezier point types, scale deformations and extracted a few more tips about general 3ds Max use.

The biggest Eureka moment was (re?)discovering the scene explorer. It’s so frustrating trying to use Max without this but I’d completely forgotten it was there!

Once I’d completed the chapter I set about rendering the resulting model with VRay 2.0. The traditional V-Ray render took AGES to render with GI enabled even at 640×480 – most likely ‘cos I haven’t the first clue how to set it up. Luckily the realtime renderer VRay RT took seconds.

Vase from tutorial rendered using VRay RT with close to default settings.

So, that’s it! Very happy with the level of creativity tonight. Long may it continue.

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