I think it was 2003 or so when I took part in the creation of my first 3D animated short film. We called it Five Days on account that we made the 3-minute short in five days. Along with my friends Mark Herbert and Jordan Greene we crafted a little story around some wooden dolls, animated the film in 3DSMAX, post production in Adobe Premiere and finally had the piece completed and showing in the local film festival in five days. Those were fun times. At some point I will upload the film to this site to share, in the mean time, on with the post.

Recently I’ve been playing around with Blender 3D. You can get your own copy of Blender from http://blender.org. It is free and open source and certainly a great modeling and animation package. It even has it’s own game engine and Python bindings for all sorts of good fun. There is a great community and just recently they released YoFrankie!, an open game for everyone to learn from and extend which is wonderful.

As a first project I decided to model my JP logo in 3D as we did for the Slipcase Media logo so many years ago. Slipcase Media is no longer around but we did some great stuff back in the day and I am sure I will talk about those adventures here at some point.

To get started, I imported the JP logo in jpeg format as a background image. This would give me a reference to trace the logo from. Using Bezier Curves I traced the logo one point at a time andjusting the curves to fit the jpeg as exactly as possible. With the logo being as simple as can be this was not the hardest thing to acheive and took about 20 minutes or so.

Blender 3D - JP Logo - Bezier Curves Blender 3D - JP Logo - Bezier Curves

This image was taken in Orthographic mode as opposed to the Perspective mode which is also available in Blender. Finally I extruded the final shape a bit to get into a real 3D shape for the logo. I set the extrude level to 0.5 and that seems to work well enough. Set the extrude level, in Edit Mode, under the ‘Curve and Surface’ section of the menu as shown in the following image.

Blender 3D - JP Logo - Curve and Surface - Extrude Blender 3D - JP Logo - Curve and Surface - Extrude

Finally, I played around with the environment settings, lighting, camera positioning, and some materials on the logo itself. Thus far, the following image is what I’ve come up with.

JP Logo from Blender 3D JP Logo from Blender 3D

Well, that’s it for now. I am sure I will spend a bit more time with Blender soon enough and I will keep posting on those adventures as they come up. Take care and I hope you like the logo.

Tags: 3D, Blender, Design, Modeling

This is the version I found on the web archive.