It started when The Sims 3 came out. Rather than get The Sims 3 I decided to start playing The Sims 2 again. And then of course I needed to download new objects for it. And then I wanted to get back into making my own objects.
So I spent the better half of the afternoon playing around with 3D modeling. While the modeling techinques are pretty much the same as they were when I left off (about 8 years ago), the rendering is vastly improved. With nice enough lighting and textures even simple objects can look good, and lose that excessively smooth CGI look.
I started with a tutorial on how to make a screwdriver, and moved on to a slightly more adventurous model of the mechanical pencil I was using. I think lighting is one of the biggest things I’ve totally forgotten, setting up and aiming lights didn’t work at all how I expected. The tutorial had me use a dialectric material, which I had never heard of (not that I was ever really super into materials anyway), except unlike the tutorial all my materials came out greenish. You can see it in the screwdriver handle and the barrel of the pencil.
I don’t have any real reason to get serious about the rendering side of things, since most of my 3D modeling is for rapid prototyping a la Makerbot, but it’s fun to play with at least. And adding a Fur texture proves categorically that round + fuzzy = cute: