Hello Everybody! You may recall I mentioned that the software I used to use to provide a basis for my designs, the Saberforge Adaptive Saber Parts builder, has recently undergone an upgrade. YAY!….Not! Unfortunately there are nice new parts to build nice copies of some famous lightsabers but the software specifications to run the application have also altered and my laptop can’t access it any more. This is a problem, but not one I cannot overcome. I had been planning for this eventuality for a while. I thought this might happen one day so attempted to learn how to do 3D modelling using Google’s SketchUp software, but there were a few hiccups. I did manage to knock out a couple of models but they were basic box-like buildings and a saber hilt that was very basic, as I couldn’t create curved parts (due to only having access to the free version).
Ok, these are modelled in SketchUp and some of you may think they look alright, but they took me over 2 weeks each to learn how to and then actually build them!
However I wanted to create parts that had rounded sufaces, similar to fluted wine glass stems, the problem was SketchUp Free couldn’t work with complex geometry like that. If I wanted to create a window on a curved section, the cut away feature wouldn’t act on the curved surfaces. I struggled for weeks. Then a friend of mine called Evil Genius 180 suggested I try a different 3D modelling software called Blender 3D. As I have mentioned my laptop is OLD and I didn’t think Blender would work on it so left Blender alone. Skip forward 7-8 months and here we are and I can’t use the ASP builder but another gentleman, Neo Trinarty from MakeRoomMakeRoom also advised me I should try Blender. He informed me I could download an older version too that may work on my machine! I had to do something so went and had a second look on the Blender website and sure enough there was a page dedicated to old releases of the software. I found that it wasn’t difficult to install or remove if it didn’t work. Long story short, I quickly downloaded, unzipped the files and opened up Blender 3D. It worked! After looking to see where the controls were I started playing. This is what I came up with, and again not the greatest but these were my first Blender steps…
I built this in under 30 minutes! And that included my orientation with the software to find all the menus. Actually the task that took the longest was working out how to align the camera to create these screenshots LOL! What I am REALLY happy with is that there are a few subtle “complex curves” in this hilt around the emitter blade socket and a flared pommel. (I also kinda like the fancy switch box section which I bevelled off). As you can probably tell I am very, very excited by this and am raring to learn more (like adding photo-realistic textures and glowing blade thingies). But there’s more….Blender 3D can also do animations! I even made this saber drop from the sky and land on the white “table top” but then it bounced off!
So I want to thank Evil Genius and Neo for convincing me to try this out, I am so pleased so a big THANKS GUYS. Now both Evil Genius and Neo as you can tell must have some 3D modelling experience, well they do and they both have blogs where they display their work.
Evil Genius enjoys building Star Trek inspired starships (and a few lightsabers) and you can find his site by clicking Evil Genius180’s Hobby Den.
Neo Trinarty is a big Whovian (Dr Who fan!) that likes Daleks. You can visit his site and see his creations by clicking MakeRoomMakeRoom.
I am running short of time on this post but before I go and learn some more 3D modelling, I need to say thank you to you all, my viewers and followers. I have just reached 7000 hits which crept up on me and my article about the Saberforge Forum closing was highlighted in a recent YouTube video, so I know you are out there and viewing my site. It means a lot and now I will soon be able to bring you more BRAND NEW designs, so I hope you will return to see those. Thanks and till next time.
Blender 3D is a free Open Source 3D modelling and animation suite owned by the Blender Foundation and Institute. “For Tyeth Editions” and all other material contained within this site is Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2018.