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Technology 101: Brilliant & Creative 3D Rendering Challenge

3D Rendering CAD Computer Design

I have always been fascinated by the brilliance and creativity of 3D modelling & rendering using computers ever since I have gotten freeware but rather primitive computer-aided design (CAD) software many years ago. Photo by Uzunov Rostislav from Pexels.

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Toying With CAD

By the way, this “freeware” CAD software was not an easy program to use as it uses a lot of mini programming and inputs. Further given that we used an unstable mouse input for the drawing, the outcome is plainly bad. I was pretty sure the developers used a proper digital pen to do complex designs & realistic with the same software.

We did not have 3D rendering software like how we have now and most of the work was done on the plain Ms Paint software that came with Windows.

I saw a professional, commercial CAD in action when I visited a glass manufacturing factory in Petaling Jaya and we were brought to the design department where they were using CAD for designing new glass designs. The computer system that was running this CAD software was huge with a digital pen and digital board for the designer to draw their designs on. In the centre of this “monster” was one lone staff, quietly sitting and staring at his design.

3D Rendering Challenge

Of course, with powerful computing powers and the development of robust software these days, one can see wonders in computer-aided designs and 3D rendering. And of the most fascinating examples of great creativity that I have ever seen that I encountered on Youtube is this 3D rendering challenge.

3D artists were given a simple template of a person walking in a form of dragging something in the back. The background has a large circular shape which the renderer can use in form of a global or object placement.

The results of this simply blew my mind with 2,400 artists creating the final artwork that if combined would have taken 18 years to complete. Here is the result with first the first 100 top rendering that was hand-picked and then a full video of all 2,400 renderings that was submitted.

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Frankly speaking, it is not easy to pick the top 100 from the huge 2,400 submissions as each of them is brilliantly done. You can just freeze each of the renditions, watch them closely and be able to pick a lot of details from the background itself. There are 2,400 amazing short stories to be told from each rendition and some have the same theme as blockbusters in the past. The artists are all around the world including from India and Singapore. I am not sure if anyone from Malaysia had participated but this is a good subject for a yearly challenge to all the talents – both famous and hidden ones to showcase their skills.

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The option for the background texturing and rendering seems endless and some of it does have a story to it which can be expanded into a short story on its own. Some like medieval warriors fighting off arrows is nicely done with an external component,s not in the original template. There is no limit to the theme used for the rendition of the background ranging from creepy environment, space and aliens to the world after a major disaster. Some are cute, especially the one made in the form of Japanese animation which reminded me of the animations from Studio Ghibli which made the award-winning Spirited Away.

There are other similar 3D rendering challenges and step-by-step guides for 3D and other computer designs at Clinton Jones aka pwnisher’s Youtube channel which is quite educational and amazing as well.

3D Blender Rendering Software CAD

Even though Blender is open-source software that is open to all to download and use, it is still complex and needs some time to learn all the commands and menus. Image source: Wikipedia

Blender & Open Source

Unlike those days when I had the time and interest in computer-aided designs and the available software in the market was either poorly designed or just too expensive, these days things are different.

One of the more prominent ones is Blender software which can be used for great 3D texturing and designs.  Of course, there is other free and open-source software that can be used to the great effect provided one has the interest, time and of course large storage to keep all the huge design files.  Another when it comes to open-source CAD is FreeCAD which allows you to do simple and complex 3D modelling based on designs and depending on how good is your imagination.

I downloaded the earlier versions of these open-source 3D rendering software before but since my line of work does not require the use of these types of software, it is at the best used due to some personal interest and nothing more. However, the 3D rendering challenge on Youtube shows how far one can extend these software’s computing capabilities to produce something beautiful and creative.

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