Old 3D and Miscellaneous College Projects

I spent my evening plugging in old IDE hard drives to see if there was anything on them that I wanted still and came across some old projects/experiments from college and earlier. I figured I would stick a few of them up here for fun.

One of the first things I came across was this simulation that I made in 3Ds Max. I believe this was when Reaktor physics engine was brand new and the Brazil Render was in its very first versions. I probably rendered this on a core 2 duo for hours.

Sometime after this project I got my hands on an early version of Boujou. I remember back in those days you had to specify what your film back size was. This was no easy feat when it came to finding the size of a CCD in milimeters. One would also run out a non-distorted sequence of the footage to be tracked for your 3D Camera movement data. After that you would then overlay your models then redistort both sequences.

I also remember shooting an HDR image to help light this scene. I had gone down earlier that morning to the industrial district of town and picked up a 3 in diameter, mirror finish, ball bearing… It weighed about 8 pounds! Once complied I was pleased with the result, but really wished I had done a multi-pass render on this to tweak it further.

With the release of these new powerful rendering tools figuring out car paint was a big thing on one of the forums that I frequented. I free modeled this space car thing, loosely based on my 72 Lincoln Continental and then made a paint shader to try and match the color.

Brazil render, space car thing, working on a car paint shader.


One sprinkle of caustics, to rule them all.

Caustics was also huge at this point, messing around with all the photon bounces was massively processor intensive. Had it not taken forever, I’m sure I would have ┬ámade this a bit more extreme and possibly some fancy physics animation.




Low Poly car for a video game.

I wish I had the final model and game play animation of this one. I can’t remember the name of the game but getting the model into game and seeing it actually drive like a real car was very satisfying. I believe I made this for a friend, since he owned one of these cars.



Zif socket pic programmer

Other projects that I worked on involved hardware and microprocessors. At the time, the Pic series of microprocessors were quite popular. Unlike today where many project boards just plug in via USB and you can upload your code, the pic had to be put into a flashing device via serial (Zif socket), and then taken back out and put into your project circuit board.

An idea for a project came when I received a binary clock for Christmas that year.. I figured that would be a great project to start with. Below is a split screen video of my build and the commercial version. Mine kept time pretty well, I only did the seconds line of the clock here.


Then there were some Ideas that did not exactly go anywhere but they were fun to explore. This one was based off of shooting HDRI images. DSLRs were not quite shooting video then so I would walk slowly and take pictures and make strange image sequences that I would unwrap off of the ball.

Luckily I knew people who could interpret my nonsense blueprints.
I made unusual blueprints

Well that was fun, nice to remember all these old things as I am getting ready to go back for my masters degree.

John Hilbert Written by: