Update: I Started Using Blender

Joseph Mellor
6 min readDec 17, 2022

I also have finished the next article in the Road to Quantum Mechanics series.

Earlier this year, I published An Intro to Topology, which was notable for two reasons:

  1. There was a huge gap between the stretching/squishing presentations of Topology and the axiomatic definition of Topology that I think the article did well to fill.
  2. That was the first article where I drew most of the images using Krita instead of generating them with manim CE.

A lot of you seemed to like that article particularly because of the artwork.

For this reason, I wanted to start incorporating more hand-drawn art into my other articles. I’m still learning to draw, so I planned to use manim to generate images as a base similar to how artists will use references or have people pose for images.

Like this, but with doughnuts and planes. Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

While that plan works moderately well for still images in my “style”, it leads to too much noise in animations to do it consistently. While I came up with some ways to fix part of this problem using some of Krita’s more advanced features, I realized that I was spending way too much time for things that should be trivial. In simplest terms, I wanted to rotate the camera around a torus with a tangent plane on it. Programming that in manim isn’t that hard and correcting some errors with drawing order isn’t too bad, but I wanted to add some texture to the objects. While I was able to fake the torus rotating, I couldn’t get the tangent plane right. So I looked through my options before eventually settling on Blender as my main renderer. It’s free, powerful, and an industry standard. It took some time to get used to it, but I’m starting to like the results.

A Programmatic Approach

Joseph Mellor

BS in Physics, Math, and CS with a minor in High-Performance Computing. You can find all my articles at https://josephmellor.xyz/articles/.