Monday, November 26, 2012

Variations on a theme: Slave II

While doing my usual perusing of MOC pages I came across this little doozy on the left. It's the Slave II (Boba Fett's spaceship from the Star Wars universe) but done entirely in a LEGO fire theme. There's so much good stuff on this build from an extendable fire ladder, to the original guns being replaced by water hoses. The build is by Giovanni Seynhaeve, and if you go to his MOCpage, you'll see that not only is he an accomplished AFOL, but he's got more of these variations on a theme (VOAT, for short) in his builds. All of them are equally wonderful and creative in their own way. Included are a construction theme, pink girly theme, Batman, castle, and Fabuland. In the comments for the fire theme, Giovanni has revealed that he's currently working on an ambulance version. I can't wait!

Friday, November 9, 2012

10179 in POV-Ray

10179 UCS Millenium Falcon Render
After yesterday's post, I wanted to try out some limits on POV-Ray. I had an LDD file of the UCS Millenium Falcon that I created in Lego Digital Designer (which took a few days of spare time) sitting on my computer. Using the LDD to POV-Ray Converter, I loaded it up and started POV-Ray. I started out with a small picture and messed around with settings, so each of the renders took about 20 minutes. Then I upped the resolution to 800 x 600 and cranked the quality settings all the way up and let POV-Ray work it's magic. 5 hours and 37 minutes later, this is what I got. It actually looks somewhat like a professional photo of a fully assembled Lego set, complete with shadows. I'm really liking this POV-Ray stuff!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

LDD to POV-Ray Converter

I explained in a previous post how to take a model in Lego Digital Designer and through several steps, create a realistic looking picture of your Lego creation via POV-Ray. While perusing MOCpages recently, I came across a very helpful article (LDD models rendering tutorial) that explains an easier way to achieve, in my opinion, better results. The method used in that article uses a program called LDD to POV-Ray Converter which, shockingly, converts LDD files into a format that POV-Ray can then use to render an image. It's very streamlined and you can setup almost everything you want (quality, lights, colors, etc.) in the Converter instead of fiddling with endless text files in POV-Ray. Once you have all the settings the way you want it, you just click Convert and let the program work its magic. Once it successfully completes, the Converter will even automatically launch POV-Ray and start rendering the scene right away. It's a great tool for both POV-Ray pros, and people who are intimidated by POV-Rays minimal interface. Depending on your quality settings and how big you make the final picture, it can take anywhere from a few seconds to an hour or two. With just a little fiddling with the controls, I turned this Turkey creation in LDD...
...into this glamour shot.
Not bad. Not bad at all. Now instead of the flat, shadowless colors in LDD, we now have shadows, textured surfaces on the sloped bricks, visible seams, and that shiny, plastic Lego brick sheen we all know and love. My favorite part of the finished results is that the light on the wing makes the LEGO logo easilty visible on the studs.

Monday, November 5, 2012

French Frigate Minerve

The Pirates theme was just starting to come out shortly before I went to college and didn't have much time to play with Legos, but I always enjoyed seeing pictures of the different sets. The sails and twine rigging were a new and welcome addition to the Lego system. Come AFOLs, like Bonaparte Napoleon on MOCpages, took the theme and ran even further with it like with this French Frigate Minerve. Instead of just settling with a bit of thread here and there to keep the sails in place, he went so far as to create rope ladders and  intricate rigging with block and tackle. Add to that 20 cannons and around 12 sails, and you have a very nice looking sailing vessel from years past.

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