We just ended a three week 3D course last week. The 3D course focused on SketchUp and a renderer called Maxwell, as well as how to best upload traditional drawings in a mix with traditional 3D rendering, and a quick photography course as well. Most of us in my department have been using SketchUp for quite a while now, so besides som minor tips and tricks the course was basically a revisit to the elements of the program that we know. Of course there were also some who were new to the program as well. 

Now having said that much of the material in the course wasn't all that new to most of us, I have rather few things to showcase in this post. Since my renderings are nothing new (they look a whole lot like the pictures I took for my Light and Sound Art Center project - link to the project is at the bottom of this post), I've decided to show some other illustrations I've made instead. I have before done technical illustrations of projects as I believe I also have uploaded here on the blog, but since another important theme in this course was to experiment with personal styles in illustration of a project, I decided to try to make shaded and textured sections instead of traditional ones. I furthermore gave the illustrations some artificial soft shadows in Photoshop to give the illustrations a sort of 3D feeling and an illusionary depth.

As I also mentioned, we worked with the renderer called Maxwell (link bellow as well). Now as far as I understood, this renderer those a great effort to mimic a real-life camera. This is also very clear in its render adjustments and options. It seems indeed to be able to create photo-esque renderingers and many real-life camera adjustments such as aperture, shutter speed and ISO values are adjustable. Furthermore it is really quite easy to use - Even for more advanced settings it seems to be rather user-friendly. But then again comes the necessary evil. If I've experienced something, it's that almost all such programs have their issues, and this one is certainly no exception. The greatest problem with Maxwell is its ridiculousy slow rendering speed! 

I spent an hour for each image, and even after that sort of time, photographic grains plagued most of the renderings! Now I now that almost all renderers are required a great amount of time before the pictures rendered look really good, but never have I experienced a renderer as slow as Maxwell! That said, it really ain't worth the time if you ask me! I used to work with V-Ray and that worked just fine, being MUCH faster than most renderers and especially Maxwell! I do have to admit, that I am still in the fase of searching for a good CAD program and a good rendering program, but I guess that is quite normal for a first year student to be wondering about.

Further reading:

(P.S. I'll be sorting Courses under Workshops since I believe they sort of fall in the same category in our sense of work)

- Andy Minchev