3D Max Reflection and Possibilities!

The past three days have been tough… I’ve spent three days learning how to use a totally new programme called Auto Desk 3DS Max.  I forgot how hard it is to do a whole course intensively and my mind struggled to adjust to certain things, but I managed to get through it!  After the first morning when I’d started working out where all the tools were I was actually OK!  It started to seem quite fun!  By the end I was working on my own project seen above!

This is the rolling pin that I wanted to have the text wrapped around it, either extruded or sunk in (intruded???).  What I had to do as part of the process was scan in the real text from the story (the recipe book talked about by my participant).  I then had to put in illustrator and live trace it to create outlines.  Annoyingly as it was it would not all fit around the rolling pin and so I had to rejig slightly to create longer lines of writing, which hasn’t changed the content, just the shape to be 13cm deep.  This means it will wrap perfectly round the rolling pin.

Looking at the recipe has made me reflect on it a few times and made me think that I need to make some of these gingerbread men using the recipe….that might be a job for this afternoon!  It feels like then I am fully embedded with the sights, sounds and smells of the whole experience.  Plus baking for my PhD also sounds brilliant!!!!

So anyway, back to 3Ds Max…..  I took the text in as an DXG file and Simon, our instructor put it on the big screen for me to see.  What happened was where it had been converted, he noticed there were thousands of nodes (anchor points etc) and so we had to try and get these down so it would process quicker and more efficiently.  In doing this however, the middles of some of the letters disappeared (which was confusing).  It made him realise that the line (vector) was actually duplicated so there was two versions of the line.  This meant that all the lines and also a fill that wasn’t visible had to be removed in Auto CAD first, which he kindly started to do and then I managed to complete before the end of the session.  He also showed me how to rotate it and create the curve and extrude, to which I have very crude instructions, but I intend to try and draw this up tomorrow afternoon.  I have really enjoyed learning how to use something like this.  I also want to try and create some plates to use with a press so I can emboss into the leather maybe in some cases?  Think this may be a nice application of a digital technology and also the conference in Plymouth Making Futures is all about the digital and how it is applied so I will be able to talk about my experience with that.

The rolling pin can then be 3D printed, which I can use as the final object or maybe cast it in silicone?  This process is now evolving a little bit as to what I had first envisaged.

The strange thing I found with this was at the beginning when I was learning how to do the process of deleting the extra fills and lines, I wasn’t thinking about the story….I was learning a process.  When I got into doing it, I started reading the words and remembering the story, so making allows us to learn a process and then when that process becomes second nature it allows for thinking or story telling…. or memories to be captured possibly?



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