Thankful for this Lumen of Mine

I am thankful that I only have two months left of my undergrad. I am thankful for the friends and two families that I get to call my own. I am thankful for things like hot-chocolate and old sci-fi shows on rainy evenings. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn how to create in digital 3D.

3D modeling is at once both awe-inspiring and terrifying, driving me to both sing with joy and cuss in frustration. There are a dozen different routes to make something as simple as a barrel, and you can double that for more complicated scenes, such as the one I made earlier this weekend.

In my last post, you can see my first attempt at modeling intestinal villi. These were very complex models, which had the unfortunate side effect of being very demanding on my computer’s memory whenever I tried to render them, or even work in a file that had 100+ in the workspace.

My assignment this week was to create a scene, and I immediately knew I wanted to go back to the villi problem. I needed to do two things: 1) find a means to create a simpler villi which I could have in mass numbers without spending hours rendering, and 2) find a way to put said villi into a tube-shaped environment.

3D modelling sometimes drives me to fruit salad.I hate you. I love you.

The first image above shows my first attempt to solve these two problems. I had made the villi from a single plane, so that they were all one unit. The hard part was getting it into a tube-shape. After a dozen tutorials, and eventually using the files from one tutorial and essentially deconstructing their end product to figure out what they did, I finally managed to get the thing into a tube.  But things still weren’t right; if I ever wanted to animate this piece, I would not be able to with this style of villi. That’s why I ended up scrapping it and trying something entirely different. Long story short, this time I made a plain tube and “brushed” a simpler villi model along loops around its circumference.


Having filled my gut lumen with villi (and a few m-cells), I set about adding lighting, glowing particles, other special effects, and textures. Thanks to something called bump-mapping, I was able to give my villi their creased and folded surfaces without having to use complex 3D meshes.

Here are the final three renders of my scene (final touches done in Photoshop).

LauraUlrich_GutLumen1 LauraUlrich_GutLumen3LauraUlrich_GutLumen2Thanks for viewing- Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!!


2 thoughts on “Thankful for this Lumen of Mine

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