3D models and the wind turbines of my mind

I was struck today by how much our illustration work has changed. I needed graphics for a presentation on wind turbines. The old one is a no-nonsense isometric drawing – exactly what the client asked for back in 2010. Today, the same content is a clear and stylish illustration rendered from a 3D model.

Beyond looks, the chief benefit is versatility. We build models of unusual equipment from scratch. Others we buy off the shelf and then adapt. This one cost a few hundred dollars. Once readied for action, it can be manipulated easily by, for example, changing the lighting and the angle, or rendering it into a (4D) video. Changing the angle of the old illustration would have meant totally redrawing it.

We have been doing this sort of work for many years, but the possibilities still dazzle me. It reminds me of the song The windmills of your mind composed by Michel Legrand and with English lyrics by Marilyn and Alan Bergman:

Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel

Never ending or beginning on an ever-spinning reel…

…As the images unwind

Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind!