I have been musing over the question of how to generate professional grade images of the ship in my stories, Konhor, for some time. It is the one element missing from my cover to Synergy Of Hopes, my blog image, and even my Author Cards.
My Konhor Board on Pinterest shows many of the diagrams and images I’ve developed to date, but none of them are clean enough to use in the manner described. I simply don’t have the artistic or graphic skills to take them to the next level .
In response I have attempted two very different tactics to acquire such an image. Method one had me contract a designer on Upwork. This got me a wonderful ship design that didn’t work for me once I’d had a chance to think it over and cost me too much money to try it again any time soon. Method two had me consider the option of creating a 3D rendition of Konhor which I could either render from various angles or 3D print an actual model. The latter has the added benefit of being able to put it out on display at Cons and other public venues.
My first intro into the world of 3D printing came through the powerful but free program Blender. It’s taken me hours of watching online videos to get a grasp on the basics of this program. My second biggest foray into 3D came after being pointed to Tinkercad. Though this online program appears primitive it only took a few short videos to give me the skills to build a first prototype of Konhor.
One thing Tinkercad doesn’t have is the ability to add a light and capture renders of my ship in that platform. Thus I turned to the idea of seeing what it would take to have a 3D model printed. This meant finding a service able to handle the job at a reasonable cost. Enter Hubs, a site where I could find local 3D printer services and collect quotes. Four days later I had my prototype. A model so small I could make it into a tie clip or earing as the picture above attests. Seems I still have a bit to learn about this whole 3D thing.
My next iteration will be 4 times larger, which in a 3D environment actually increases its volume by a magnitude of 64. This may cost me a wee bit more than prototype #1 but is still cheaper in time and cash than the other options I have at this time.
More to come.