Like My Milk Truck? 5 Quick Ways to Find Inspiration


Looking for ideas but not sure where to start? Give these ideas a try.

Inspiration and Milk Trucks.
It was sheer luck that I found my latest build. Searching for a LEGO sticker set, I happened across this Milk Truck. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to render it. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a sucker for old LEGO sets, although I like modern ones too. Lucky or otherwise, there is a method to my madness. Join me for a few minutes and learn the fives ways I discover new models to render.

[Image]645-2 Milk Truck with Trailer – Fixed by Steven Reid, on Flickr

Did they really deliver milk in cans?
Even when released in 1971, I doubt too many people were getting milk delivered this way. A reviewer on Brickset.com even commented on it. “What a cute luggage cart,” said my wife when I shared it with her. Yes, even I recognize the subject could be better. Heck, it doesn’t fit well with other themes of that era.

“What a cute luggage cart,” said my wife when I shared it with her.

All that doesn’t matter though. When I saw it, it spoke to me. Okay, not literally, of course. But all that quirkiness just resonated. For me, there was sense of charm, but also practicality. The model had the right bricks that I could render. Other factors, such as instructions, weighed into my decision. Added up, once I found the model it was exactly what I needed.

But finding one isn’t always easy. Although Luck played a part, there are a number of things I’m always doing that lend themselves to discovering these models. There are five things I do on a regular basis, and have been for many years. And you can too.

Five steps to LEGO inspiration.

1. Digging through old instructions.

If you’re like me, you kept all those old instructions squirreled away. Many of my early renders, like model 373 and 497, I built from my own collection. I bet you can find any number of sets, small or large, to choose from. Find your favorite and start building!

2. Search for LEGO images.

Pick your favorite search engine and do an image search. Don’t be shy, go do a few searches. LEGO is a good start. Scroll through the list and see what works for you. Find something interesting, refine the search. Here are some examples: LEGO City, LEGO Creations, LEGO Star Wars, or even LEGO Zombies.

3. Follow your favorite sites.

I’m still a big RSS user, Feedly and Flipboard being my current methods of getting my LEGO fill. I follow Brickset for news, often finding inspiration in their articles. The Brothers Brick just makes me cry with all the awesome MOCs they feature. You can even follow mine, although I don’t have a LEGO specific feed yet.

4. Check out social media.

Flickr is my favorite and LEGO photography is quite popular. I recommend joining a group—LEGO is good start, or following one of the many good artists out there. Twitter and Google+ are good options as well. Pinterest is great for obvious reasons. I’ve even begun using it to capture ideas. Although last on my list, Facebook is still a decent option.

5. Create your own.

I’m sure as a master builder, you’re already doing this step. Some of the first models I shared were personal creations, so why not yours? It doesn’t matter if they’re perfect, just get them out there. Heck, check out the first Milk Truck render:

[Image]645-2 Milk Truck with Trailer by Steven Reid, on Flickr

See the difference? The point is, the fun is in the building. It might surprise you how many people like seeing what others create—good or bad. Heck, my broken version currently has more likes than the fixed one. Wow!

Even if you just want to build existing models, you can still do original things with them. Add a unique background or imaginative surroundings. Try creative positioning or set a mood—humorous is popular, but somber works too. Did I mention Zombies already?

Okay, now what?
Go create something! What’s stopping you? If you’re worried about doing it wrong, don’t be. Just get out there and build a set, take a photo, or render a virtual model. Whatever it is, make sure you share it. I’d love to see your work, so message me @SafePit.



6 Comments on this article:

Mecabricks -> Blender newbie

Written on Sep 15, 2016 by apodistagon
This is my first week learning Mecabricks -> Blender but I have yet to get the hang of it. I can't get it to render in Blender. I must have miss some steps in the instructions video.

I have been building using LDD -> LDD2POV-Ray -> POV-Ray software combo for two years. I'm hoping Mecabricks allow more freedom for brick placements and building techniques compared to LDD.

Does Blender render transparent bricks faster than POV-Ray?

re: Mecabricks -> Blender newbie

Written on Sep 19, 2016 by Steven
Your models look great, thanks for sharing. Followed you so I can see more in the future. 😃

re: Mecabricks -> Blender newbie

Written on Sep 15, 2016 by Scrubs
Blender and the Cycles rendering engine is a modern and constently improved rendering engine. You cannot compare with old pov-ray 😉

So yes, no problem with glass. I even added some tweaks to the shaders so that it goes even faster.

Don't hesitate to ask on the mecabricks forum. I am sure that someone will quickly find what you forgot to do.

re: re: Mecabricks -> Blender newbie

Written on Sep 15, 2016 by apodistagon
I'll try to run through the instruction video carefully again when I have an hour or two to spare. Without anyone interrupting me. I have to know exactly where the problem is before I approach the forums for help.

I am relieved to hear Blender render transparent bricks faster. My PC is an old 1090T AMD from 2011. I was shocked when I tried to render transparent bricks in POV-Ray. It took more than a day.

I also feel models rendered in Blender looks more realistic than POV-Ray. Sometimes, so much more realistic it looks real.

re: re: re: Mecabricks -> Blender newbie

Written on Sep 18, 2016 by Steven
I was quite surprised as well and really enjoy the results. It took me a bit to get used to Blender, but once you get a hang of it you'll find faster ways to do things.

I look forward to see what you create on Mecabricks.

re: re: re: re: Mecabricks -> Blender newbie

Written on Sep 19, 2016 by apodistagon
Here's some of my LDD/POV-Ray renders that I've done in the past year. Nothing much due to time constraints. I look forward to uploading Mecabricks/Blender results from now.

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