No, not flour biscuits in a cocktail blender. This is another update related to my campaign to harness Blender, the amazing computer graphics software.

I have said it before and I am more convinced than ever: Blender is a beast! As I write this, it’s burying both my CPU and GPU in a computational berserker frenzy. You may recall my router model which I was quite happy with; I was subsequently working on a related woodworking project involving today’s topic. I had a nice design and wanted to model the exact placement of my biscuit joints.

What is a biscuit joint? It’s a woodworking technique for joining pieces of wood together. A little slot is cut into the two pieces of wood to be joined and the slot is filled with a little lens shaped hardwood insert called a biscuit. (Some people think this technique is a waste of time, but that is a debate for another day.)

This is a real photograph of a biscuit joiner that I found on the internet — I feel like I need to clarify that since I totally could recreate this image virtually these days.


Anyway, I was going to just plan the geometric position of the biscuit cuts which is quite sufficient for my design purposes. But since I’m doing this in Blender, I got the dangerous idea: hey, these are simple little things, I can just model one of them, no problem.

And I proceed to model one. Since this object should never be visible by anyone in real life, I could just give it a boring tan color and I’m well beyond good to go. But nooooo. I have been practicing texturing so I figure this would be a simple enough, yet complex enough shape to be an excellent texturing exercise.

I then manage to texture it such that it looks pretty damn good! Certainly infinitely more photorealistic than the fluorescent orange arrows I was going to use to mark the positions. Ok, wow. I’m so impressed with how that’s looking I want to see it in some kind of action… One thing leads to another and the next thing you know I’ve gone down so many rabbit holes I could be the rabbit mailman. And I get this.


I don’t know what possessed me to explore Blender’s rigid body physics but I went down that rabbit hole and had a rigid body tea party with an entire family of rabbits.


The crazy thing is that I am still just scratching the surface of what this amazing program can do. I’m also in a kind of uncanny valley where I can not look at these renders without seeing the glaring (pun acceptable here) light problems and other defects.

However I am making progress and am pretty happy with what I have been able to achieve. If I keep up this kind of practice I am confident that I will be able to restore the modeling proficiency which I lost decades ago. The bonus of using Blender is that I get a high quality visualization and simulation platform. And a video editor and a compositor and a camera tracker and a 2d animation engine and a sculpting studio… And a seemingly infinite range of amazing features. I’m amazed and delighted!