Thursday, April 27, 2023

Finally! A 3D Rendering Application I can Afford and Use.

This began as embedded, non-transparent, solid objects in a CAD application.

Multi-color Glass Marble Created in Moment of Inspiration & Meshrender

 For years, I have drooled over images in the Moment of Inspiration Gallery that users have rendered.  But, as I explored the options to do the same, I was hit with (1) the cost or (2) the complexities of the 3D rendering options I could find.

But, this week, I got a huge break.

The creator of Meshmolder, a sculpting application that I have used for some time, released a brand new product called Meshrender.  I stumbled across a video announcing the release several days ago.

The Cost

Karlay Souza, the creator of Meshmolder and Meshrender has a unique approach to pricing.  In both cases, there is a free 'shareware' version and a full version for which he asks a small donation.  In the case of Meshrender, that is $20.00.  In both cases, the products are a true bargain.

The Ease of Use

I have no idea how easy the Blender rendering engine might be to learn and use.  The reason for my ignorance about the rendering engine is that the whole Blender interface sends me running in the opposite direction.  The same is true for the other rendering engines I have considered in the past.

Meshrender stands alone.  Every single button, widget or dialog applies to one thing and one thing only... rendering a 3D object in the simplest steps possible.,  Yet, it also offers advanced features that we can grow into as we use it.

I instantly found it comfortable to use.  

As could be expected by an early release, I had some startup glitches that were quickly address by Karley with a single email.  Now, it is working very smoothly.

An Excellent Companion to Use with Moment of Inspiration

One of the first things I teach new Moment of Inspiration (MOI3D) users is to name objects.  When MOI3d exports to a .OBJ file, a multi-part design is exported as a single file containing multiple components using the names we give to them.

When brought into Meshrender, each component is listed and we can assign materials and colors independently.

Here is a video of the process beginning with creating in Moment of Inspiration and ending in the rendered image.

Impact on Education

As most of you already know, I have a passion for teaching at-risk young people 3D design.  While I love 3D printing, the time it takes to print and the reliability of most 3D printers in school situations is a huge impediment to making 3D design available to the broadest spectrum of students.  A low cost rendering engine that is easy to use, it seems to me, has a lot of potential for greatly increasing the viability of teaching 3D design for ALL students.  Not just a select few.

And, this really has me excited!

Here are some variations....

MeshRender - MOI3D Beads Variation 1

MeshRender - MOI3D Beads Variation 2

MeshRender - MOI3D Beads Variation 3

MeshRender - MOI3D Beads Variation 4

As you can see, this could become addicting!

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