LEGO Renders

Articles on how I build and render virtual LEGO bricks—plus pretty pictures.
The Long and Short of Rendering Lego Blades

Wandering through Mecabricks the other day, I ran across a fun pair of Mini-Katana’s by Shipmaster. Digging deeper, I also discovered his excellent Katana. Both models really appealed to me. Given my recent binge watching of Forged in Fire, both made for excellent subjects to render. As is usual for me, I promptly saved the models and fired up Blender.

Posted Feb 17 by Steven 3 min read

A Cold Chalet Render to Kick off 2022

Having spent spent my time with physical LEGO builds lately, my render output has dropped quite a bit. Getting around to visiting Mecabricks again, I ran across a nicely designed model by Furbysims of a Chalet. Since it lacked a render, I thought to myself, “I can add one!” So I did.

Posted Feb 03 by Steven 4 min read

Revisiting Running Blender in Apple Silicon Using a MacBook Pro M1

While watching a review for the new M1 iMac, they ran the typical Blender test as a benchmark. That wasn’t overly surprising, but the reviewer did say something that peaked my interest. Apparently, the latest version of Blender now supported Apple Silicon. Tucking that tidbit away at the time, I got around to downloading LTS 2.93 today and giving it a whirl.

Posted Jun 20, 2021 by Steven 3 min read

My Adventure with Apple’s M1 and Blender

Although my late 2013 MacBook Pro still works well, it was showing it’s age. Sadly, I found it freezing from time to time and generally not running like it used to. Given that my Window’s laptops lasted only a few years, I’ve been very happy with longevity my mac. Yet, this was going to be the last year it received an OS update. With the release of the M1, I took the opportunity to upgrade and try it out. That means it was time to render some LEGO bricks!

Posted Jan 01, 2021 by Steven 4 min read

Happy Holidays! Here Is a Fun Render to Close out the Year.

Tis the season to render Santa. Well that wasn’t really my plan, but it worked out that way. I was browsing around Bricklinks, mostly trying to update some of the recent sets. Searching for a small reindeer figure, I ran across LEGO set 1628 Santa with Reindeer and Sleigh. A great set from 1989, it looked like it would be a fun set to render.

Posted Dec 24, 2020 by Steven 7 min read

More May Fun With Blender And Lego Bricks

I’ve been having a lot of fun in May, rendering images and trying out some new techniques when I can. I’ve also been trying to learn Blender, work on decorations for old models, and try out new sites. Although still learning, here are four of the renders I made during the middle of the month.

Posted May 25, 2020 by Steven 4 min read

Planes, LEGO and Motion, What Could Be More Fun?

As May kicked off, I got to work finishing the decorations for set 6444 Outback Airstrip. Because I had a few different decorations to finish, I got distracted. That distraction was with a much older LEGO Airplane. Both renders gave me a chance to revisit motion blur in Blender.

Posted May 17, 2020 by Steven 4 min read

Cheers To April and a Month of Great LEGOs

Shifting from POV-Ray back to Blender, I'm playing around with Mecabricks again. Taking a break from blogging about images, I decided to shift my focus. During the last week of April, I decided to clean up models and make new decorations. The journey weaved a bit, starting with an old model, but ending with something new. Below are the results of that virtual trip.

Posted May 02, 2020 by Steven 9 min read

A Flash to the Past, Here Is the Latest Render of My 588 Police Station

Following my Blender renders for 588, I started work on rendering the POV-Ray versions. Not quite the original versions, these renders use radiosity with an updated environment. Besides being a larger render, I turned on some of the features I usually don’t. The images came out pretty good, even if I’m always looking to improve them.

Posted Apr 23, 2020 by Steven 8 min read

Here Is the Refresh of My Favorite LEGO Fire Station

Last week, I shared my POV-Ray version of LEGO 590. Now, it seemed like a good time to build a Blender version. Starting in Mecabricks, I was fortunate to find that awesomo had recently built the model. Although missing a few parts, it gave me a shortcut into building a realistic render of the box art. Starting as a simple idea, my journey towards the final image wouldn’t be a straight one.

Posted Apr 20, 2020 by Steven 8 min read

Here Are the Results of My LDraw and Blender Experiments

Not quite done trying things out, I spent time the futzing around with Blender the other night. Looking around for LEGO materials, I ran across a Blender importer for LDraw files. I didn’t know such a thing existed. Intrigued, it resulted in a night of experimentation and the results look pretty good.

Posted Apr 16, 2020 by Steven 4 min read

Learning New Tricks With LeoCAD and Blender

On Monday, I decided to hack around with Blender a bit. I’d been playing with POV-Ray and looking for a way to convert my LEGO scenes to Blender. I was unable to export SDL to a mesh. Loading up LeoCad, I discovered that I could export my models and import them into Blender. Before I knew it, I’d spent the night futzing around with shaders and modifies. The results weren’t half bad.

Posted Apr 16, 2020 by Steven 6 min read

Here Is a Police Set to Delight Your Inner Nine Year Old

Ah, can’t you smell sweet nostalgia of this LEGO set from 1979? One of my larger town sets as a child, 588 Police Headquarters was also one of the first ones I built in POV-Ray. Looking for something else, I ended decided to check if 588 was in Mecabricks. To my surprise, it wasn’t. This gave me two opportunities. The first to build the set again, and the second was to render it with Blender.

Posted Apr 10, 2020 by Steven 5 min read

Featured Lego of the Day: 590 Engine Company No. 9

When I saw that the featured set of the day on Brickset was Engine Company No. 9, I was excited. LEGO set 590 is one of two large city sets I owned as a child, the other being the 588 Police Headquarters. Even better, I had built the set in POV-Ray some years back. Realizing I’d never published it, I decided it was time to right that wrong.

Posted Apr 08, 2020 by Steven 7 min read

Now It Is the Time to Give My LEGO Renders Some Love

I can’t believe how many LEGO sets I built and rendered using POV-Ray. Over the years, starting in 1996, I’ve built 125 different models—yes I counted them. To note, that doesn’t include the variations or alternate scenes within each set. Around the same time, I started to share my models online. To my surprise, many of my models were never shared! It’s time for me to fix that!

Posted Apr 05, 2020 by Steven 6 min read

Struck by Random Inspiration, Here Are the LEGO Renders From Last Month

Sometimes inspiration arrives from odd places. For years, I have subscribed to BrinkSet’s newsfeed which serves up a random set of the day. A recent airplane set got me interested in playing with Mecabricks again. Plus Scrubs had released an update for his Advanced Blender Script. How exciting is it to flip through your feeds and end the day creating something. Even better, it sparked more renders that allowed me to escape pandemic news, if only for a bit.

Posted Apr 03, 2020 by Steven 6 min read

A New Pair of Images to Test out Mecabricks

Over the weekend, Mecabricks released an overhaul of its parts system. As noted in his announcement, it culminates over six months of research and development. Not wanting to lose the opportunity, I took the time to model and render a couple of images using the new system. So far, I’m enjoying the changes.

Posted Jan 22, 2020 by Steven 2 min read

A New Year Dragon for the New Decade

I’d taken a bit of hiatus from my LEGO rendering in the later half of last year. Life sometimes kick you in the teeth and some pleasures fall to the way side. Rendering was one of them. To my benefit, other interests flourished. But my heart was still yearning. Trying to kick off the new decade, I grabbed a model of the latest LEGO mini-build and set to work.

Posted Jan 14, 2020 by Steven 4 min read

Spring Is the Time for Fun with LEGO Bricks

Spring is in full swing and I’ve taken time away from running to complete a few LEGO renders. The topics range from movie blockbusters, old BASIC sets, to random sets from Pinterest. I even did some experimenting with Mecabricks rendering to see how it compared with mine. Here are four images to show off this Spring.

Posted Jun 02, 2019 by Steven 4 min read

Have a Super Happy Blocky Easter!

With the arrival of Spring and warmer weather, I found myself inspired by the cheerful colors. Looking through my pins for ideas, a rainbow sparked my creativity. Thoughts of an Easter hunt with eggs and grass completed the theme. The blocky nature of the LEGO bricks invoke adolescence and whimsy.

Posted Apr 19, 2019 by Steven 4 min read

Here Are the Two Faces of Moai on Rapa Nui

After posting my artistic image of Custombricks’ Moai, I decided to share the models on Mecabricks. I probably should have checked first, as I found others had already shared. Oops. Nevertheless it was also an opportunity to download and render the models for a more realistic image.

Posted Mar 29, 2019 by Steven 1 min read

Moai on Easter Island

Although I posted this on Flickr awhile back, I’m getting around to sharing on my blog. I was looking for something quick to render and had this Moai of Rapa Nui from custombrick in my Pinterest. Not thinking twice, I was off to Mecabricks to build the scene.

Posted Mar 27, 2019 by Steven 2 min read

February Fun with a Sleeping Lego Caterpillar and More

As February closes, I thought it fitting to recap my renders this month. Four in total, although not quite one a week. Added to last month’s render, I’ve almost shared as many as last year. Hopefully this means a lot more LEGO fun is in store for the rest of year. Let’s walk back through them and see what I’ve been up to.

Posted Feb 25, 2019 by Steven 4 min read

Time to Kick off 2019 with a Render

It’s been awhile since I rendered a LEGO model. Checking into Mecabricks, I noticed a comment that the name plate for my Sydney model had been added. Although someone had been kind enough to add it to the model, the render was now out of date. So, I got to work updating it!

Posted Jan 30, 2019 by Steven 2 min read

Time for More Ocean Fun in Blender and Mecabricks

I generated water in a previous model, but I wasn’t overly happy with it. It was a bit too smooth—more like bath water. So, I tried again with a different LEGO model. And, this time I’m pleased with the results.

Posted Feb 18, 2018 by Steven 3 min read