My Hobby

I enjoy 3D modeling (as a hobby) and maybe in years to come as a late life career or just something more. Being able to create images using a computer that look like something believable is rewarding. At some point I will move on to more abstract renderings with the technology but for now I am just enjoying the process of learning and creating.

The renders below are a few "real" object renders that I have created using Cheetah3D. This is a Mac-only program that is fairly intuitive and easy to learn. It lacks a few bells and whistles of some of the major 3D rendering packages but for the price, the features and supportive user community are great.

Audio Compressor

Here is an object render of an audio compressor of some kind. This one is from a tutorial by designer and Cheetah3D user NoVolume that you can find here if you are interested in learning some of the same techniques. Just a caveat about that tutorial though is that Dave skips over some basics of Cheetah3D in favor of moving quickly. You should check out his other tutorials first to learn some of the basic techniques.

Audio Compressor Render

Modeling, texturing, lighting and rendering done with Cheetah3D

Note: You will not achieve a match to my image if you follow Dave's tutorial. I have added a few changes of my own to get this render to look the way I wanted.


This is a stick of lip-balm that I rendered after a friend and I started doing random renders. I modeled and rendered this all in Cheetah3D. I made the label in a bitmap image program and then loaded it into the image diffuse property of a texture in Cheetah. Depth of Field rendering can be very... very slow. You should get your renders to look the way you want without DOF first and then apply it during the final render or handle this using a bitmap image program (Photoshop, Pixelmator, etc...) by applying a blur / DOF filter effect.

Chapstick Render

Modeling, texturing, lighting and rendering done with Cheetah3D

Note: You can get the DOF render effect in Cheetah to go a little faster (usually for test renders) if you turn down the samples and drastically reduce the size of the image being output. (almost to a thumbnail size for preview) To do this:

  1. Click on your camera object in Cheetah3D
  2. Locate the "Render" section on the properties panel
  3. Change "Min. Samples" and "Max. Samples" to "1 x 1"
  4. Locate the "Output" section on the properties panel
  5. Change the "Resolution width" and "Resolution height" to something relatively small

If you follow the steps above, just scale the output size proportional to the ratio of the width and height your own image. For example if your ratio is 2:1 then use something like 100x50. However you decide to do it, I would not recommend applying DOF to the full-sized image until the very end of your process.


This was the result of another tutorial from NoVolume. There are some gaps in my design compared to the real thing but this was a fun project for me. I definitely learned a thing or two about concept art for electronics.

iPhone Render

Modeling, texturing, lighting and rendering done with Cheetah3D

In another recent post I have posted a few other images of objects that I have rendered using Cheetah3D. Two of those were also from Dave's tutorials. Feel free to have a look there and let me know if you have any questions or comments. Another great resource for getting questions answered about Cheetah3D is the community forum at There are a lot of helpful people who post on there and you are likely to get a response to your question very quickly.