My Portfolio

My Portfolio Thumbnail

In this article I will take you on a journey through the creation of my portfolio website. This project allowed me to explore some exciting technologies and tools, such as Next.js, Chakra UI, Framer Motion, Voxel Generator, Blender and Three.js. In this article, I'll walk you through the key aspects of my website, the challenges I faced, and the lessons I learned along the way. I utilize the following tools and libraries in the project:

Next.js: A Powerful React Framework

Chakra UI: A Design System for React

Framer Motion: Bringing Motion to Life

Voxel Generator and Blender: Unique 3D Elements

Three.js: Interactive 3D Graphics

Taking It Live with Vercel

Tags: NextJs, React, Chakra UI, Framer Motion, Magica Voxel, Blender, ThreeJs, React Three Fiber

Next.js: A Powerful React Framework

The foundation of my portfolio website is built on Next.js 13, a powerful and popular React framework. I chose Next.js for several reasons, including its server-side rendering capabilities, automatic code splitting, and built-in support for TypeScript. These features greatly improved the performance and maintainability of my website. This is the first project I am building using Next 13 which has a different approach to the routing.

Visit NextJs
Chakra UI: A Design System for React

To create a visually appealing and responsive website, I integrated Chakra UI into my project. Chakra UI is a component library that provides a set of customizable and accessible React components. Leveraging Chakra UI's pre-built components significantly sped up my development process and ensured a consistent design throughout the website.

Visit Chakra UI
Chakra UI
Framer Motion: Bringing Motion to Life

Adding motion and animations to a website can elevate the user experience and create a more engaging interface. Framer Motion, a popular animation library for React, allowed me to effortlessly incorporate stunning animations into my portfolio.

Visit Framer Motion
Framer Motion
Voxel Generator and Blender: Unique 3D Elements

To make my portfolio stand out, I wanted to include some unique 3D elements. I achieved this by creating voxel art using a voxel generator and Blender. Voxel art, with its blocky and pixelated style, added an interesting touch to my website's design. I came across an open source light weight voxel art editor called Magica Voxel to create my voxel character. Blender is used to baked the voxel character and export as a gltf object.

Download Magica Voxel || Download Blender
Magica Voxel
Three.js: Interactive 3D Graphics

For the cherry on top, I integrated Three.js, a JavaScript library, to create interactive 3D graphics and animations. Three.js allowed me to showcase my creativity and technical skills by developing captivating 3D scenes.

View Three.js Examples
Deployment: Taking It Live with Vercel

After completing the development of my portfolio website, the next step was to deploy it and make it accessible to the world. Vercel, a popular hosting platform, provided an easy and efficient way to deploy my Next.js project.

Visit Vercel
Challenges Faced

Throughout the development of my portfolio website using Next.js 13, Chakra UI, Framer Motion, Voxel Generator and Blender, and Three.js, I encountered several challenges that pushed me to learn and grow as a developer. Let's dive into the obstacles I faced and how I overcame them:

Migrating to Next.js 13 with TypeScript and limited community support

Upgrading my portfolio website to Next.js 13 with TypeScript was a significant challenge. The newer version offered numerous benefits, but the lack of extensive community resources made the transition more daunting. Overcoming this obstacle required meticulous attention to TypeScript configurations and exploring official documentation to ensure a smooth migration.

Framer Motion's partial compatibility with Next.js 13

Framer Motion, an animation library, added flair to my portfolio website. However, integrating it into Next.js 13 came with certain limitations, particularly when attempting to implement animations during component exit transitions. Resolving this challenge demanded exploring the Framer Motion source code and employing alternative animation techniques to achieve the desired effects.

Inexperience with Blender for voxel model creation

Creating voxel art for my website was an exciting idea, but I lacked experience with 3D modeling in Blender. Tasks like generating shadows, creating textures with alpha layers, and exporting models in a web-friendly format posed significant hurdles. The learning curve was steep, but the satisfaction of bringing voxel models to life on my website made the effort worthwhile.

Transitioning from vanilla Three.js to React Three Fiber

While I had prior experience with Three.js using vanilla JavaScript, integrating Three.js into a React environment using React Three Fiber presented a unique challenge. Adapting my existing Three.js code to work with React components and hooks required understanding React Three Fiber's lifecycle and managing interactions between React and Three.js. This transition ultimately proved rewarding, offering a structured and declarative approach to 3D animation.

That's It. We Made It :)

In conclusion, building my portfolio website with Next.js 13, Chakra UI, Framer Motion, Voxel Generator and Blender, and Three.js was a challenging yet rewarding journey. Overcoming obstacles such as migrating to Next.js 13 with TypeScript, dealing with partial compatibility of Framer Motion, venturing into Blender for voxel modeling, and transitioning to React Three Fiber further fueled my passion for web development.I was inspired by Osaka based indi developer Takuya Matsuyama's work and his approch to his work. I have plans to enhance it further with a headless CMS in the future to make the website more dynamic and content management seamless. As I look forward to sharing my knowledge, I am excited to create tutorial articles for each tool used, hoping to inspire and empower fellow developers to embrace challenges and unleash their creativity in their own projects. Together, let's continue pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the world of web development.

© Copyright 2024 - Nirmal Fernando.

Privacy Policy