Here’s the “final” version of the TARDIS, designed in Blender. It’s made more or less from a single, lowly cube, with some additional geometry added on for the vertical door jamb, the handles and key hole, the lamp, and the four random-ass cubes at the top corners (what are those, stabilizers?). At any rate, I really enjoyed making this, as I ran into far fewer problems than I had working with 3D modeling in the past, and that makes me want to tackle additional projects. I don’t expect that I am now a crowned expert in 3D modeling — as I said, this was basically a cube, extruded to Hell and back, with some one-off castings — but I think I’d like to keep on with the modeling.

Now, as stated, the texturing…I don’t think that will ever not be a pain in my ass. I watched a video from CGCookie.com on how to take a very complex model, use it to create both a high and low poly version, unwrap it, do a bunch of unspeakable things to it, and get it ready for texturing and I cannot remember 99% of it, let alone understand what it all means or whether any or all of that is specifically necessary for all projects. That’s the kicker, isn’t it: it’s one thing to press the same keys and click the same elements as the instructor in the video does, but understanding why we’re doing it is something not easily communicated.

I thought I’d maybe skip the line and try Substance Painter again, as they offer a 30 day free trial of their entire suite (normally $30/month, which I guess is a Good Price if you know how to expertly use these tools). Once again, I was left saddened because I could figure out how to use the absolute most basic actions, but don’t know anywhere near enough about preparing the model in Blender to ship to Substance Painter, or how to tweak the basic drag-and-drop levers and knobs to make my project look any better .

Sans branding, but I did my best

This is a render straight out of Substance Painter, and they provided the environment which I felt was completely appropriate. Off the bat, I noticed some glaring issues that I know I know how to fix. The three panels and vertical boards are OK, but the horizontal boards need to have their textures horizontal, which means I need to go back to Blender, split horizontal elements away from the greater model, and give them their own materials so Substance Painter can address them specifically. I also need to install Photoshop and get the Police Box header in there, the call box instructions on the small panel, and the St John’s Ambulance medallion next to the door handle. Actually, I just noticed that the call box instructions is inset one last time. Dammit.

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