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This website is a log of my many hobbies and passions with art, illustration and computer graphics. It will hopefully over time
fill up with helpful advice to encourage, inspire and guide others with similar interests.

April and May 2022 - rab3D Home Page

3D Computer Graphics Using Blender 2.80 - Modelling Methods, Principles & Practice 3D Computer Graphics Using Blender 2.80 - Modelling Methods, Principles & Practice 3D Computer Graphics Using Blender 2.80 - Modelling Methods, Principles & Practice 3D Computer Graphics Using Blender 2.80 - Modelling Methods, Principles & Practice

This has been a crazy couple of months, not only for me, but for the whole world. Since the attacks, invasion and war against Ukraine waged by Russia, we are seeing daily scenes of death and destruction most of the world thought had been consigned to history. The indiscriminate bombing and shelling of cities and towns across Ukraine has caused many thousands of civilian deaths and turned cities to rubble. This is reminiscent of when Hitler waged the Blitz again UK during the second world war. When our cities became too dangerous many people were moved to safer rural areas. My mother as a child remembers being evacuated to the small rural town of Chirk on the Welsh borders. Seeing the similar plight of millions of women and children fleeing Ukrain, we have opened our house to give safe shelter to the family of a Ukrainian friend.

Robert Burke - Portraits & Art

With the UK government declaring we must now live with COVID19, it is likely the art fairs, exhibitions and the art societies that have survived the lock downs will be getting back to full programs. As most of my new work is done for commissions, I don't have many soft pastel or acrylic artworks to show. So to build a portfolio to show at exhibitions, I have started to build a collection of my own work. The first acrylic painting in the collection is Dotty our Sprocker Spaniel.

Robert Burke - Portraits & Art - Dotty my Sprocker Spaniel Pet portrait - Acrylic on Canvas
Dotty our sprocker Spaniel Pet portrait created with Acrylic on Canvas

I am continuing to improve my traditional art skills and frequently work in pencil, soft pastel and acrylic paint, mainly producing pet portraits. If you would like to commission a portrait please visit my Robert Burke - Portraits and Art website for more details, or use the Contact form from the about drop-down of the top menu.

Robert Burke - Portraits & Art - a collection of pet and animal portraits
A Collection of Some of my Traditional Animal Portraits

It would help me Immensely if you would like my "Robert Burke - Portraits and Art" Facebook page and share it with others. The further my websites are spread throughout the web the better the chance I will have of maintaining and continuing with future Blender and drawing tutorials.

Robert Burke - Portraits & Art Facebook Page

Robert Burke - Illustration

My technical Illustration website showcases a little of what I can do towards the creation of the more technical type illustration, graphics or animations.

If you are in need of technical or engineering type illustration for your technical manuals, training or sales literature and websites, please don't hesitate to contact me via the contact link on the illustration website www.robertburkeillustration.co.uk.

Robert Burke - Illustration

Follow my Technical Illustration page on Facebook

Robert Burke - Robert Burke - Illustration Facebook Page


March 2022

Different Angle 3D

Continuing on from last month, the next two videos in the Plasma Cutting Table project have now been put online.

Video No 17 assembles the legs and base of the Plasma Table using the wire frame reference cube to size and position the angle iron. The tutorial uses the knife tool together with magnet snap to cut accurate mitres on the base frame.

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 017 DA3D Design and Model a Plasma Cutting Table

Video 18 explains the use of Blenders Boolean Modifier then uses the Array modifier to create an array of table slats. The table slats are created using the array modifier and then used to cut the slots in the top frame using the Boolean Modifier.

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 018 DA3D Design and Model a Plasma Cutting Table

The next video in the project will look at adding castors to the base frame of the table together with the bottom shelf.

Don't forget to subscribe to the Different Angle 3D channel so you are informed when the new videos are put online.


February 2022

Different Angle 3D

This month I have managed to get the first two videos online for the Plasma Cutting Table project.

The first Video No 15 looks at the design considerations and sets up a wire frame reference cube that encompasses the external dimensions of the table. This reference cube can be used to layout the steel sections without having to consider the individual components size, as this is automatically constrained by the wire cage of the cube.

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 015 DA3D Design and Model a Plasma Cutting Table

The second video in the project uses Blenders Asset Browser to import a length on 75 x 50 box section steel which is positioned within the cube using Blenders powerful magnet snap tool.

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 016 DA3D Design and Model a Plasma Cutting Table

Don't forget to subscribe to the Different Angle 3D channel so you are informed when the new videos are put online.

Robert Burke - Portraits & Art

This is Ralph a Labrador drawn in soft pastels and commissioned recently as a birthday present. I am hoping to concentrate more on traditional artwork this year with a growing list of personal works that I will hopefully complete as the year progresses.

Robert Burke - Portraits & Art - Golden Retriever Pet portrait - Acrylic on Canvas
Black Labrador Pet portrait created with Soft Pastels


January 2022

Different Angle 3D

Though I have been working on content for the next batch of videos, I haven't yet got any ready to put online. It's quite a time consuming process mapping out the best way of presenting information so the viewers get the best learning experience and then writing scripts and creating content. Hopefully the Plasma Cutter Table videos will start to be uploaded next month, but it's all dependant on how much paid work I have to take on to keep putting food on the table.

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. Plasma Cutter Model

Don't forget to subscribe to the Different Angle 3D channel so you are informed when the new videos are put online.

Robert Burke - Portraits & Art

I am really enjoying working with acrylic paint on canvas, and still learning a few new techniques with different acrylic media. This is a recent Golden Retriever portrait created for a commission that was sent to South Africa.

Robert Burke - Portraits & Art - Golden Retriever Pet portrait - Acrylic on Canvas
Golden Retriever Pet portrait created with Acrylics on Canvas

Robert Burke - Illustration

I have continued with the updates on my Illustration website this month. A new Case Study of the illustrations I produced for the Domestic Building Services Panel (DBSP) of the Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers, to update their Domestic Heating Design Guide. 100 illustrations were created for the guide ranging from complex schematic drawings to simple wall construction sections with a number of 3D visualisations as well.

As an engineer with over 25 years experience in the construction and heating industries, I was able to return the high resolution images to the DBSP on time and without the need for guidance on the technical correctness of the illustrations, that an illustrator without engineering and heating system experienced would have required.

Robert Burke - Illustration
Click on the image to go to the Case Study

A few more case studies will be added over the coming year.


December 2021

Blender 2.8 Book - Update

This month I have added a new Appendix to 3D Computer Graphics Using Blender 2.80 - Modelling Methods, Principles & Practice, the new Appendix 5 shows the small changes that have been made between Blender 2.8, Blender 2.9 and Blender 3. These extra seven pages will give the reader an understanding of what to look out for when following the book using Blender 2.9 and Blender 3.

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. Plasma Cutter Model

Back in March 2020 I rolled back to the pre-introductory price of $15 from the normal price of $24. This was to help people who had just gone into the first COVID19 lock-down afford the book and be able to use their forced free time to learn Blender. As COVID19 has not been contained and has ran on much longer than first predicted by experts, the world is having to learn how to live with the virus. Most people have returned to full time employment and with this in mind, the book is likely to be returned to its normal price of $24 early in 2022.

Robert Burke - Illustration

I decided to do some updates on my Illustration website this month. With a lot of work done over the past few years I have decided to add a few Case Studies of projects I have worked on. the first of these is to take a look at my Spitfire Mk IX model and how it went from a learning exercise to be used on UK's prime time television.

Robert Burke - Illustration
Click on the image to go to the Case Study

A few more case studies will be added over the coming year.


November 2021

Different Angle 3D

With Blender 3 due for release in the first week of December, I have decided to wait for the release and use Blender 3 for recording the plasma cutting table video tutorials. In preparation for the tutorials I needed a few props to demonstrate the design principles used in deciding the tables size and design function, and one of the props will be the plasma cutter used with the table, so I set about modelling my Cut 50 plasma cutter.

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. Plasma Cutter Model Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. Plasma Cutter Model

Their is a work in progress thread showing the modelling sequence of how the plasma cutter model was constructed on the Blenderartist forum


October 2021

Different Angle 3D

With the continuing progress of Blender 3's alpha builds, the program became stable enough to demonstrate what will be possible in the new Asset Browser. In video 14 I demonstrated how to model the main hot rolled steel profiles of angles, channels and "H" section beams. It looks straight forward, but accurately modelling the inner profile of a taper flange channel or beam requires more advanced techniques than you would think. The video therefore includes the use of custom orientations. The video ends with a demonstration of how to append the steel stock models into Blender 3 alpha and set them as assets for use in other projects.

Blender 3 is Alpha software and still in heavy development. The program is unstable at the moment and will crash and may cause damage to your computer - Use it at your own risk.

Second Video in the Steel Stock Library Project
(Video 14 opens in a new YouTube window).

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 014 DA3D Construct a Steel Stock Library

For anyone who doesn't want to take the excessive amount of time modelling their own steel stock profiles, I have uploaded mine to my Gumroad page and they are available for a small fee to help cover some of the costs involved in creating the video tutorials and maintaining the website.

The individual steel sections in the library are:


September 2021

Different Angle 3D

This month was back to researching information and recording new video tutorials. Project 2 is the creation of a Steel Stock library of useful steel sections that will be typical of steel often used in DIY and hobby project. Video 13 in the Different Angle 3D Video Tutorial Course looks at where you can gather accurate information on the available sizes of steel section. The video then goes on to show a few precision modelling techniques to create different profiles of hollow section steel and highlights problems you can encounter along the way. It closes with a demonstration of how quick and efficient appending the steel stock sections into a new fabrication project can be.

(Video 13 opens in a new YouTube window).

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 013 DA3D Construct a Steel Stock Library

With the Blender 3 launched scheduled for later this year and the new version including an Asset Browser, this is an excellent project to pre-empt the launch and create the steel sections in the stable Blender 2.93 ready for the first stable release of Blender 3. The second video in the project will include precision modelling techniques for hot rolled steel section and take a look at Blender 3 using a development build and how the Asset Library can be setup with the steel sections. At the moment the Library feature is still very experimental and buggy causing blender to crash, but hopefully will be stable enough to demonstrate when Video 14 is released in a couple of weeks time.


Early Build of Blender 3's Asset Library


August 2021

rab3D Website

It's nearly 15 years since launching the rab3D website in January 2007, initially content was brought over from my even earlier Robert Burke studio Ceramics website which went online with NTL-World mid 1990's. Its quite a long time to maintain a free personal website based on sharing the varied knowledge I had gathered over the many decades. Over this time however the one area I never dedicated enough effort to learning was web development. Over the past couple of decades web standards have changed significantly, moving from initially html pages, then splitting styles into css style sheets and more recently driving webpages from databases and php.

As some of the content dated back 20 years or so and even though I have updated the look of the sight with changes to the page layout, I never got around to updated the underlying code. 14 years ago the site topped out many search keywords bringing in thousands of visitors from search engines each month. Back then search engines relied on <meta keyword=""> tags and popularity of back links, which I was doing well with. The precision modelling tutorials were extremely popular with the Blender precision Modelling .pdf guide being downloaded over 1,000,000 times. However, since then things have got a whole lot more complicated, coding conventiones have changed, what was best practice is now frowned upon and search engines regularly put up new hurdles and require frequent changes for a sight to remain popular. Over the last few years I have noticed the site slowly sliding into search engine oblivion, and a significant drop off of site visitors.

Not one to give up easily, this month I decided to do something about it and try to correct much of the sites old coding and clear up the dross of the past two decades. In 2019 I updated the homepage, menu and a few other pages to a new mobile friendly template, but much of the site was still based on html tables for site layout and had many depreciated html tags. The only option was to try and stop the slide was to get stuck into learning about Search Engine Optimisation SEO and get to work on the 50 plus pages and bring them across to the new template. It's been an arduous task moving text from table cells to <p> tags </p> replacing depreciated <center> and <br> with the css equivalent and correcting all the header tags. I have even discovered what a canonical link is :-)

It's taken all my spare time this month, but I have managed to raise the SEO rating from 40 to 89 using one online SEO checker. Hopefully this together with the new range of tutorials I am working on will bring in a worthwhile volume of traffic.

There has been some casualties of the process though and quite a few older tutorials and less relevant pages, over 50 pages in total have had to be cleared from the site. I think I have added 301 redirects for all the pages, but you can never be 100% certain, so I have created a custom 404 error page. A little blast from the past for me, should be appreciated by any geeky Monty Python fan.

custom 404 page

Different Angle 3D

Sadly the work on website SEO this month has meant no time for more tutorials, but as part of the reorganisation I have catalogued the video tutorials so far on the tutorials area of the site. This work will give me a solid foundation to keep reporting on my projects and adding tutorials based on them.

Robert Burke - Portraits & Art

If you would like to commission a portrait please visit my Robert Burke - Portraits and Art website for more details, or use the Contact form from the about drop-down of the top menu.

Robert Burke - Portraits & Art - a collection of animal portraits

It would help me Immensely if you would like my "Robert Burke - Portraits and Art" Facebook page and share it with others. The further my websites are spread throughout the web the better the chance I will have of maintaining and continuing with future Blender and drawing tutorials.

Robert Burke - Portraits & Art Facebook Page


July 2021

Different Angle 3D

With other projects and work, I haven't managed to get any tutorials uploaded to the Different Angle 3D channel this month, though a fair bit of work has gone into preparing materials for the next few videos.

Project 2 - Plasma Cutting Table Design & Build


I mentioned last month that the next video will show you how to accurately model your own steel stock library, for use in future projects. This has meant I needed to put together my own organised library from the many blend files I currently use.

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. Manual Plasma Table Design and construction

I have also looked a little closer at metal materials that can be used with the parts we model.

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. Manual Plasma Table Design and construction

Keep an eye out for the next videos that will be coming soon and don't forget to subscribe to the Different Angle 3D channel so you are informed when they are put online. If you are finding the videos useful, click on the like button, it all helps others find the videos on YouTube and and will help keep me motivated to make more.

Robert Burke - Portraits & Art

Having spent some time practising my traditional painting skills, I have this month painted an acrylics on canvas portrait of my sons dog Asher, that was given to him as one of his birthday presents. My ability with traditional painting and drawing is growing with each portrait I do, it will soon be time to update my www.robertburkeart.co.uk website with the new range of work.

Acrylics on canvas portrait of Asher


June 2021

Different Angle 3D

Project 1 - From Blenders Cube to a Hay Barn

The first project in the Different Angle 3D Video Tutorial Course "From the Default Cube to a Hay Barn", is now now complete. The project has 4 videos covering the design and construction of a Dutch Barn style model, working from Blenders Default Cube to create all the features of the Barn.

The tutorial project is an ideal introduction for anyone new to Blender and looking to get an understanding of mesh modelling so they can progress on to their own models and designs. The four project videos combine over 2 hours 40 minutes of guidance and instruction. Combining this project with the "Getting Started" videos, the Different Angle 3D YouTube channel now has over 6 hours of free Blender video training content.

Different Angle 3D - Project 1 - From the Default Cube to a Barn

(Click image to open in YouTube)

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 009 DA3D Making a Reference Image in Gimp Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 010 DA3D Cube to a Barn Part 2 modelling the RSJ Frame Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 011 DA3D Adding the Corrugated Roof Sheets Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 012 DA3D Adding the Side Sheets and Rendering an Image

With the "Cube to a Hay Barn" project using a barn reference image created from photographs in the Gimp image editor, I have also created a project asset pack with the barn photos, reference image and Key-Map showing the shortcut keys used in the project. The pack can be >>downloaded from Gumroad<< for free, or if you would like to support this and future project videos, you can make a small donation for the pack.

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 012 DA3D Adding the Side Sheets and Rendering an Image

Project 2 - Plasma Cutting Table Design & Build

The next project will look a little deeper at using blender to help create real world objects and continues the Steel Frames and Fabrication theme with the construction of a manual Plasma Cutting Table. All the components will be modelled with precision so they can be used to create blueprints for use in workshop to construct the table.

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. Manual Plasma Table Design and construction

The first part of the Plasma Cutting Table will be a look at where to find details on different steel profiles that are readily available and how to recreate these as 3D mesh models scaled with precision to real world sizes. This will allow you to create your own virtual steal stock library

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. Manual Plasma Table Design and construction

Don't forget to subscribe to the >>Different Angle 3D channel<< so you are informed when new videos are put online and if you are finding the videos useful click the like button, it all helps others find the videos on YouTube and will help keep me motivated to make more.


May 2021

Different Angle 3D

I just managed to squeeze in two more video tutorials and rather than starting the practical based tutorials with difficult CAD like numerical precision, I decided to make the first project a little easier and model a scene prop. The following few projects will based around the theme of Steel Frames and Fabrications .

The first of these projects is a simple walk through of how to turn Blenders default cube into a Dutch Barn using only a reference image. I needed a reference image for this and took some photos of a local hay barn, so the first video of this project is using the Gimp image editor to turn a couple of the photos into a useful reference image. With the reference image available, Part 2 of the project (video 10) uses the reference image to layout the barns RSJ supporting framework.

Different Angle 3D - Project 1 - From the Default Cube to a Barn

(Click to open in Youtube)

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 009 DA3D Making a Reference Image in Gimp Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 010 DA3D Cube to a Barn Part 2 modelling the RSJ Frame

Hopefully this month I will be able to finish the Cube to a Barn project with a couple more videos and once happy I will probably make the reference image and blend file available to download.

Don't forget to subscribe to the >>Different Angle 3D channel<< so you are informed when new videos are put online and if you are finding the videos useful click the like button, it all helps others find the videos on YouTube and and will help keep me motivated to make more.

Robert Burke - Portraits & Art

I have a couple of pet portraits to show this month one in graphite pencil and the other in soft pastel.

Pensil portrait of Bently Pastel portrait of Smudge


April 2021

Different Angle 3D

This month I have managed to complete the Getting Started section of the Different Angle 3D tutorial series (Blender course). The two new videos are 007 Fundamentals of Edit Mode and 008 Edit Mode Tools.

>

Different Angle 3D - Getting Started Videos

(Click to open in Youtube)

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 001 Introduction to Different Angle 3D Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 002 DA3D Installing Blender 2.9 Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 003 DA3D Understanding Blender 2.9's Interface Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 004 DA3D Understanding Blenders Cartesian Coordinates Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 005 DA3D Customising Blender2.9's Interface Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 006 DA3D Working in Object Mode in Blender 2.9 Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 007 DA3D Fundamentals of Edit Mode in Blender 2.9 Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 008 DA3D Understanding Blender 2.9's Edit Mode Tools

With the Getting Started section now finished, my thoughts are moving on to the first practical project. As this needs to be both simple enough for a first time Blender user, but also interesting enough for an improver to learn new techniques, I am going to focus on a small engineering project to design and model a Plasma Cutting Table that I want to make for myself. Hopefully this will also be useful for anyone interested in product design and engineering as well as people just wanting to learn about using Blender for home/hobby engineering.

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. Next Project - a Manual Plasma Table

I recommend you subscribe to the >>Different Angle 3D channel<< so you are informed when new videos are put online.


March 2021

Different Angle 3D

I have managed to get another two videos out this month, with video 5 demonstrating how to customise Blenders Workspace and video 6 looking at the fundamentals of working in Object mode.

The videos are quickly turning into an organised Blender course, building knowledge sequentially video to video. If you jump in at a later video and don't understand what is happening, go back and look over the previous videos, you will most likely find the answer.

There is already almost two hours of content in the videos and we are still only giving the necessary background information that every new user should know to fully understand what they are doing.

Video 5 - Customising Blenders Interface & Video 6 Working in Object Mode

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 005 DA3D Customising Blender2.9's Interface Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 006 DA3D Working in Object Mode in Blender 2.9

The videos I am planning for April will look at the Fundamentals of working in Edit Mode and using Blenders native tool set.

It's unlikely that the videos will be released on a regular basis as they have to fit between other work and projects. I therefore recommend you subscribe to the >>Different Angle 3D channel<< so you are informed when new videos are put online.


February 2021

Different Angle 3D

February is a short month, but I have managed to get another 2 "Different Angle 3D" videos online. The third video is a look at what the different areas, controls that are presented on the Blender default screen. The fourth video explains how blenders Cartesian coordinate system works. Cartesian coordinates are the first of the fundamental principles you need to be aware of to properly understand 3D principles. Over the coming months I am hoping to build this channel into a full video series, teaching viewers to understand 3D concepts in enough depth to create anything they want to with Blender.

Video 3 - Blenders Interface & Video 4 Blenders Cartesian Coordinates

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 003 DA3D Understanding Blender 2.9's Interface Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 004 DA3D Understanding Blenders Cartesian Coordinates

Next month I will hopefully be adding videos on "Customising Blenders Interface" and the basics of "Working in Object Mode"

It's unlikely that the videos will be released on a regular basis as they have to fit between other work and projects. I therefore recommend you subscribe to the Different Angle 3D channel so you are informed when new videos are put online.


January 2021

Different Angle 3D

I am pleased to say that I met my target to get the first video of the Different Angle 3D series online around mid January. The first video introduction looks at what Blender can do in experienced hands, then looks back at how blender was born from a crowd funding campaign to release what was commercial software to the open source community and finishes with a look at where I hope to go with the video series.

Video 1 Introduction to Blender

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 001 Introduction to DA3D

This has been quite an interesting few weeks brushing up on using Blenders compositor to add some green screen footage to the videos. It's also been pleasing to see how many improvements have been made to the Video Sequence Editor, it seems so much more refined than when I used it last a couple of years ago.

Besides the Introduction video I have also managed to squeeze in video 002 DA3D Installing Blender.

Video 2 Installing Blender

Free Blender 2.9 detailed video tutorial course. 002 DA3D Installing Blender 2.9

It's unlikely that the videos will be released on a regular basis as they have to fit between other work and projects. I therefore recommend you subscribe to the Different Angle 3D channel so you are informed when new videos are put online.