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It promises to be even better in May. The librarian will show us how to actually operate the printer ourselves. Before May, we have had to give her our .stl and let her run the printer for us. That was nice, but I will be happy to learn how to run the printer myself.

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How's the 3D printing doing?

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I haven't printed in a month or so. I've been making Venetians to populate the city. I'm on #26.  I looked up portraits from Venice in the 1600s, and I've been going through them and making 3-D models that look somewhat like them. My models are really simplifications, but the style of the outfits and jewelry are somewhat recognizable. I'm trying to get 50 of them and then make small changes in hair color, clothing color, body type, eye color, and whatever else I can think of so that I have 100 to sprinkle about and make the place look somewhat populated.

I also forgot to mention that I made several ships to put in the Grand Canal. One of them that really confounded me was the Bucentaur (I never did get it really correct, because I started with a bad painting of it, and the basic structure is not quite right. Still, it looks enough like it, that people should recognize what it is trying to be.) I'm going to have my pigs sail into the Grand Canal on Ascension Day (which this year was on May 30), and lots of ships and gondolas of various types will be in the Grand Canal as the Doge (Duke) goes on the Bucentaur to the Adriatic Sea to have a wedding ceremony with the Lady of the Sea. (Every year, apparently, the Doge used to ceremoniously marry the sea, since it was so important to Venice.) The original Bucentaur was broken up for kindling during the occupation by Napoleon, but for 100s of years, this was a major event in Venice.

I'm hoping to finish Venice in a few months and then have a different ship of pigs go to Texas. That will be much more primitive at that time, and I hope I can finish that landing in two or three months. I may also have a ship sail to China with a few Chinese buildings and a ship sail to Hawaii. I had not intended to do all of this when I wrote my original story, but I included a cursory treatment there and now I want to follow the pigs of Donark to their ultimate destiny. Unfortunately, there are no swine civilizations today, so it won't be a happy story. Thanks to Hamlet's self-centered and malicious deeds to his neighbors, what might have been the foundation of a swine culture came to a premature end.

Thanks again for your ideas on how to improve the appearance of the Venice model. I am using the model of Venice in a book that has a much simpler style (since I started the illustrations for the book about 8 years ago when I was just beginning with A:M), so I will not be using the model of Venice with all of the bells and whistles in the book. The style will be a lot simpler throughout the book, but I learned a lot and will use the techniques in future projects. I also am able to use some of the techniques in the book in small ways that don't change the overall appearance of the picture.

How about you? Have you done any printing lately? I especially would be interested in how to handle large empty spaces well. I will attach a picture of a winged lion that I was considering for printing to illustrate the difficulties to which I refer. Have you discovered any technique which might make it easier to deal with all that empty space?

 

Winged Lion Statue.png

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It's the king of the Isle of Misfit Toys!

I don'thav a printer yet.  i'm getting tempted by some of the low cost ones.

 

If you are want if to create a modeled empty space inside something PushCPs might help.

 

 

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I'm really not thinking about an empty space inside something. I was thinking about the empty space under the trunk of his body where his legs are holding him up and under his tail. There will probably be some supports there, but I hope they will be easy to remove.

 

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I've thought about getting a 3d printer also, but I don't know if I would really do enough printing to make it worthwhile. We are short of storage space and I was wondering about the fumes from the melting plastic, etc. I am getting kind of old also. I feel funny about such indulgences for me. Here are the ones I've been looking at:

https://www.banggood.com/DIY-Creality-CR-10-3D-Printer-300300400mm-Printing-Size-1_75mm-0_4mm-Nozzle-p-1085645.html?utmid=8650&cur_warehouse=USA

 

and https://www.amazon.com/Comgrow-Creality-Printer-Upgrade-Certified/dp/B07GYRQVYV?ref_=Oct_BSellerC_6066127011_2&pf_rd_p=471a90b9-8a34-5dd9-a6f0-17598d2f0fae&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-6&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=6066127011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=GPJJS9YEA0HMSFEGM387&pf_rd_r=GPJJS9YEA0HMSFEGM387&pf_rd_p=471a90b9-8a34-5dd9-a6f0-17598d2f0fae

 

I wonder what kind Fuchur has and what he would recommend.

 

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Yeah I've been looking at the Ender 3.  I see it for sale sometimes for $179 even sometimes.

But, like you, I'm not sure I have enough to print. From watching the reviews i also sense that getting it set right is very finicky and you waste a lot of plastic until you do.

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I've seen some good reviews, but I don't know what the reviewers were trying to print. I would like to hear from some people who have printed. I thought this was interesting because it told me which printer they used, and I could see the products.

 

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It occurs to me that you once said that you wish your library had a 3d printer. That brought to mind that we have "Maker" centers in Houston and even in Humble that have 3d printers. For a small membership fee paid monthly, someone can use their equipment and sometimes software. I was thinking that maybe you have some "Maker" centers around you also. I think our 3d printing teacher at the library said that she had been to one in Humble (small town north of Houston) and had used equipment there to make a prosthetic arm for a little girl. She said they had heat guns and other equipment to help fine tune the sizing by making minor changes in the curvature. Hope this helps.

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There is one in a northern suburb of Dallas. It's rather beyond my conventional travel area, however.

 

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I use a monoprice iiip. Love the thing, and spend way too much time printing on it. Really, which printer you get will be decided by a few things. 1) print size ( mine prints a 7 inch by 7 inch by 7 inch model). Most of the cheaper ones are much smaller than that. 2) dual or single extruder. Don't spring for a dual, overkill in my opinion . 3) heated bed...get it! 

It takes practice, and even the most experienced users will have issues from time to time. If you have something you want to try and print, shoot me a message, I will be happy to help out when and where I can.

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Thanks for the criteria. I am especially glad to hear that the dual extruder is overkill. Hope everything is going well with you. I haven't printed much lately because I have been busy with other projects. I'll have to finish a few things before I can get back to printing.

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I've been working on ships and boats to go into the Grand Canal and people to populate Venice. I decided to have my pigs from Donark sail into Venice on Ascension Day 1600. There was a major annual celebration on that day for hundreds of years. The Doge would embark on the Bucentaur, a special ship, and go to the Adriatic Sea for a ceremony in which he would marry the Lady of the Sea, a mythical being. The marriage symbolized the close relationship between the people of Venice and the sea. Several artists have depicted scenes from this celebration. I have used their work as a jumping off point for the way the celebration looked. My scene is not a direct copy of any particular artist's painting, and I did not prepare it as an illustration for a history book. I am just writing a book illustrated by cartoons. I probably should mention also that I have made my own skydome after Robcat gave me the idea for making one and actually loaned me his. I made mine differently, because I am not nearly as knowledgeable as Robcat and needed something simpler. I made mine by creating a radial gradient in Adobe Photoshop Elements and applying it to the inside of a dome (half a sphere). Here is my latest effort:

 

Ascension Day Grand Canal July with people c0.png

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Yes, a gradient really does a lot to improve skies!

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Hi, Robcat! For some reason, I don't see any words in your response. Hope everything is going well with you.

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Sorry! Now it has lyrics!

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Here's a picture by one of my Facebook friends that shows how strong the difference in "blue" can be between horizon and zenith.

Photo by John Blommaert

skyblue.jpg

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That's really super! I haven't gotten the whole radial gradient thing really down yet. I need to figure out the settings for limits. Those clouds in your picture are quite remarkable also. I thought the ones you showed me how to make were a vast improvement over what I was doing before. One of the things I always worry about is whether my computer memory or processing power is up to the task. Sometimes, I worry about becoming better at this than my computer can support, but I'm willing to take the risk.

 

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For a lot of scenes you can just put a rectangle in the back that covers the camera view.

If you have something reflective (in your case you have water) then you may need a dome.

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I've been playing around with the gradient some more. I will also say that I spent 4 or 5 hours experimenting with various gradients before I posted the shot above. I have now experimented some more, and I don't see much, if any, improvement. There are two questions I have. First, the color of the gradient is 100% blue. There is 255 blue 0 red and 0 green, but when I render, it has a purple quality. Secondly, the raw dome has a gradient that goes from dark solid blue to almost gray, but when rendered there is very little variation between the top and bottom. Does the rendering engine or whatever average out and balance colors somehow? I don't really feel that what is rendered is what I put into the program.

Radial Gradient newi.png

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See if this answers any questions.

I forgot to mention, turn Cast Occlusion OFF also if you are going to use AO.

 

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Ascension Day Grand Canal July with people c0.pngThank you, Robcat, for the movie with the explanation and solution to my concerns. It was more than anyone could have ever expected. I made the changes you described, and I squashed the dome (as equally as possible by the horizontal sections) so that the complete range of the gradient would be expressed in a more compact space. I think the color of the sky and the gradient are much better. I hope you agree. I am attaching the revised picture and also a picture of the skydome as squashed.

 

 

Skydome squashed.png

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that does look better.

Looks like a traffic jam out front!

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Venice had a busy port with its own ships and with ships from other places.  Normally, the Bucentaur wouldn't be there, and most of the gondolas would be going through the various canals. Ascension Day was considered as much of an occasion as Carnival. It was like a water parade. Here they may be getting ready for it. Thanks for all of your help in showing me how to make the picture look better. I still don't quite know what to do about the style being so much different from the rest of my illustrations. The textures really add a lot. I may have to go back and texture the other water scenes and install skydomes in a lot of the other pictures. It gives me something to do in my retirement, I guess. Each time I post something here I learn quite a lot thanks to your suggestions and explanations.

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