Reid's For Fun


My personal blog for what interests this computer guy. Web development, LEGO ray tracing, ZX81 retro computing, writing and photography.

Adventures in Lighting and Improving My Lego Waterfall

LEGO Waterfall 2017, by Steven Reid

With my Advanced Blender script buy, I decided to revisit my Waterfall model. Created using various LEGO CAD software, it is a study in tools as much as rendering. As such, I thought it would be fun to compare its evolution to date, and review how it has improved over time.



I love my LEGO images—how I made them better with Mecabricks

Updated Greedo Brickheadz by Will Kirkby, rendered by Steven Reid

Yep, I did it. I purchased a template to render LEGO bricks. Given the many years spent developing my own, I never thought I’d say that. To be fair, it was about time. Mecabricks creator Nicolas Jarraud (aka Scrubs) developed a great product. Below are my first two renders and the results, as expected, are fantastic.



How To Render Beautiful LEGO Pictures In 5 Easy Steps

Infographic header

Infographics are a popular, and fun, tool to share information. I thought I’d give it a try using Canva’s infographic template, but I needed to choose something to talk about. Sticking to my current passion, the topic I chose was rendering LEGO images using Mecabricks and Blender.




Start the Year with LEGO Emoji, How I Lost and Gained Motivation

Lego Emoji Render by Steven Reid

It feels like 2017 is just kicking off, yet here we are at the end of January. Time sure seems to be getting away from me lately. I blame the the heater skelter of the holidays and uncomfortable weather. Well, and taking a not so great vacation didn’t improve my mood any. I got sick and all else fell to the side. Today is my opportunity to change that. Today is for LEGO!


Can you hack the computer and save the world?

Code IV Ready prompt ZX81 screen shot, Steven Reid 1985/2017“Agent 51, your goal is within reach, but there is a problem.”
“Understand,” you reply. Professional as always, you only allow a hint of annoyance in your voice. “Explain.”
“Well, the plans are in the room in front of you, but the floor is a trap. You need to deactivate it using the terminal to your right.”
You look down at the screen, a singular “READY” stares back at you.
“Sounds easy enough,” you reply.
“It isn’t. The interface is protected and, sadly, our operative died before he could tell us the code.”
“So what do I do?”
“You’re going to have to hack it. Our operative left a back door into the system, if you can find it. You can do it, Agent 51.”
You nod at the voice in your ear. You can do this.

Play begins with imagination.
Computers are great for role playing and Code IV was one of my programs that helped enable a story. As a kid, I often augmented my play using my ZX81. Although the narrative above isn’t exact, it embodies what I was thinking when I wrote this month’s ZX81 program. Fun, adventurous, and a unfair, can you crack the code and disable the floor?


How To Make And Break Big Bricks Using Little Ones

At the end of November, during some time off from work, I dabbled rendering a series of LEGO models I call Big Bricks. Starting out as a “can I do this?” effort, led to me building variations on that theme. To my surprise, the journey culminated with the blogging of Crime Scene on the Brothers Brick.