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September 17, 2012 8:00 AM

by Mikhail Rachinskiy

In addition to the Render of the Week Award, www.BlenderNews.org is featuring regular series, showcasing quality product vidz realized in Blender, 
selected from published artworks for (a) given week(s).  If you would like to have your works featured in this series, please submit your professional-quality product viz to 
www.blenderartist.org or to the Member's Gallery of this site, or Contact Us to show where your work is available on the internet.
This week, www.BlenderNews.org is happy to feature the story of Mikhail Rachinskiy--a technical consultant for "Diadema" a jewelry company in Russia.
- Editor in Chief 

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My name is Mikhail Rachinskiy. (But I prefer to be called "Mikee Rice," because people always have problems with reading/pronuncing my native name.) I'm a 23-year-old male currently living and working in Russian Federation in small uncharted city with name of Italian communist: Tolyatti.

How I Landed on the Job
In college and then in university I was studying architecture, by that time I thought that humanity will never come up with something more boring than architecture when I saw vacant 3D jewelry designer position. I had no experience in jewelry or product design. My interest in 3D was a game design, but I had pretty good understanding of 3D theory (a bunch of 3D packages and I already knew Blender for about a year). So I thought, 'why not?'
After a short interview and a test work (which I've done pretty well) I got position as a 3D Jewelry Designer (yay!). So I started to work at "Diadema" company with no experience, and the worst thing was that the last 3D designer left the company before I came in, so there was no one who was able to teach me. (I was pretty nervous for the first month.) After some time, I got my first apprentice (I got more students after that), and along with teaching, I built a new pipeline and workflow for the studio.
I gained all my knowledge about jewelry design from my job where I could meet with different jewelers, and jewelry designers (even the director of a local jewelry university) who taught me something new about jewelry design itself (tips and tricks).
Workflow at Diadema
At Diadema, we used Blender for everything, except cases where Blender failed: mesh decimation (MeshLab or Magics), works with text/complicated curves (Inkscape or Rhino), complicated boolean operations (Magics) and surfaces (Rhino).
Relevent Tools
My first 3D tool was 3ds Max 7, I was learning it for 3 or 4 years. I think it's the most powerful tool for modeling, I really envy some features like symmetry modifier or booleans with splines or node based particle system. Then it was "Maya 7." Back then and even now Maya is a tool which you can't use right out of the box, you need to write tons of scripts to make yourself comfortable, and I do not understand why some guys says that construction history in Maya is awesome. it's not! At least for modeling modifiers and geometry nodes are better. I'm just saying. Then I learned Cinema 4D, modo and Blender. Cinema is a good package, I can't remember why I didn't choose it. Modo has good modeling tools but has no any kind of parameterization (modifiers, nodes). I choose to learn Blender 2.45, because for me 3D was just a hobby. I couldn't afford to buy 3ds Max.
After I tried to learn Softimage, modeling was great, but I was not able to .... Softimage's 3D viewport looks very old, IMO. 
Jewelry industry has a several specific 3D packages like: 3Design, JewelCAD, Rhino (with addons), Matrix3D. But they all suffered from a lack of flexibility in my opinion. I can't change the diameter of the ring or size of the gemstones that easily, and Blender is much more hardcore, I like that.
Current Status & Plans
Now, I'm not working at that company as a 3D Jewelry Designer anymore. I decided to be a freelance jewelry designer for now. I'll be providing jewelry tutorials and timelapses on my channel on Youtube, sinc I think there is a lack of jewelry design tutorials. 
I'm still working at "Diadema" as a technical consultant and as a teacher, providing courses: "Jewelry Design with Blender." Beside the workflow which I used when I was working at Diadema company as mention above, now I use different pipeline because some piece of software cost too much for me. I'm using (1)Blender for modeling and rendering, (2) Hexagon for booleans, (3) MeshLab for mesh decimation, (4) nettfabb for mesh validation, (5) Inkscape for curves/text, and thinking about buying ZBrush. After job is done I send my model to a 3D printer.
Making of the Ring

Contact Info.:
1. wellmaderice@gmail.com
2. www.ifilgood.net

Related Links:
1. 3D Portfolio: http://mikeerice.deviantart.com/
2. http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?265553-Simple-fine-jewellery-1-timelapse
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