Post has attachment
If you've been avoiding Cycles up until now, the next upcoming version of Blender may be a good time to finally jump in.

The new Principled shader (created by Disney) will make creating materials a lot easier in Cycles. 

Post has attachment

Post has attachment
Realistic Blender animation wth the best sound.

Post has attachment
New Blender Cycles Videos

These start at the Beginning and assume almost no knowledge of Blender.

On SLartist here:

Also on YouTube:

Post has attachment
Tachikoma project update. Trying to hand paint in some detail to save on geometry. I could do the full high/low polly normal map route, but just having the ability to 2D paint it on means it will work for those that don't or can't use ultra graphics. Plus it's very satisfying to do (or learn to do in my case).

Post has attachment
Tachikoma update, progress so far. I'm finding Matcap viewport shading is very good for showing up flaws in my mesh topology. I've also learned that it bypasses the normal rendering engines so puts virtually no load on anything, in other words it's blindingly fast. Downside is that it's viewport only rendering and only available with Blender rendering, The texture can't be baked out, which is very frustrating as making an object look like anything from Chromium Plating to a weird florescent green outline just involves the selection of a Matcap texture.

This model has really made me think about mesh unwrapping too. I've started to build up complex maps to try and cut down load time in world and hopefully make the texturing a bit simpler in the end. I know is how it should be done, I've just never attempted it before, always slipping back into all the bad habits gained through using prims :)

I also have another conundrum to solve. The Tachikoma are inteligent tanks and move on wheels as well as being able to walk. Wheels make life easy especially with making the anims, but making it walk using the idea I have in mind needs a big fudge to the geometry. So I may have to make two different models?

After reading up on how spiders walk I realised I can make 4 legs move with just 2 legs; as long as the SL skeleton will accept the gross misalignments I need?


Post has attachment
Just sharing this website
Hundreds of fonts to choose from, to use in blender. Unzip into the font folder, where blender is installed, to use in blender.

Post has attachment
Google is playing silly B*****s! with video again, this may not play in certain web browsers. Sigh!

Decided to share this as it illustrates a feature that exists with the SL animation system that is not well known to most people. It's great when it works properly, but it had me running circles for two days trying to find out what was going on when it didn't. Both animations are identical apart from the change explained below.

These problems always seem to surface after a creative splurge of animation success, pumping air and going "Yeess!.. Wicked!" Then suddenly finding all hell breaks loose when I try to import them into Opensim. This is just 'one' of the problems I had to overcome this time, not all of the ones I encountered.

I always like to leave certain bones unlocked so that the viewer can override them to give some of those involuntary movements that make things look less wooden and static.

Normally this is done by muting the said bone/s in Blender's Dope sheet or Action editor and job done. If you use Avastar, all will be fine and dandy, have no fear.

But I, am not using Avastar (unless it's easier for a particular purpose), so I have many unexpected things thrown at me.

All I wanted with viewer controlled movement, was the head, nothing else should have moved when it follows the mouse. But as you can see, the whole upper body moves among with it, and no setting the priorities at absurd levels would lock down the body.

Although it's not bad and still quite usable, there are things about it I would like to keep but the SL animation system will ignore or corrupt a lot of things I can do with ease in Blender.

I don't like things happening that I had not set up to be like that, this was a puzzle. I tried different viewers, servers and Avastar, to track down where the problem probably lay. Avastar worked, but nothing about the Avastar rig is radically different to my own, and even copying certain features across that I don't need made no difference.

I finally recalled from when I first got a taste for animation with Qavimator a few years ago, that all bones had to be rotated, by even a microscopic amount is enough, to override the viewer default animations.

That explained why the legs and arms were rigidly held in a pose but the body wasn't. So after a bit of juggling, sure enough, now only the head follows the mouse and all is behaving as it should and I can control what I want to turn on and off.

This will probably go over most peoples heads, but it helps me get my thoughts in order. :)

Quite how Avastar works around this problem I have no idea? Unless it's to do with the system of Targetless IK that it uses; I can't quite work out a reason for that to exist. However moving the tail bone in a chain would certainly displace every other leading to the chain root. It just seems to mimic the Blenders Auto IK, which does a better job providing there is a definite end to a bone chain. As Avastar's rig uses joining bones from the collar to the chest (and others from the hips to the pelvis), this maybe why they need this Targetless IK setup. Those additional bones mean the arm chains root is 'the' ROOT bone if Auto IK is used, not the collar; and as I found out, that renders Auto IK useless. and figure lurches about like a stoned drunk when you try to move a hand LOL

As I don't use those joining bones in my rig, collars are just parented with offset to the chest, not joined with a bone, Auto IK works as it should and I don't need a Targetless IK modifier on every bone.

As an aside, this has also raised questions about how the priority system is operating. Setting an animation to priority 5 should have rendered any pose just about unoverridable by any other animation, but it patently did not when I tried, the viewer defaults still seem able to override at will?

I also now have the animations associated with a given character model stored in the same blend file as Actions. This makes switching between animations and making different one's for the same character much easier to organise. Unfortunately flushed with my own cockiness at being able to do this, when I tried to make a duplicate sit animation and get rid of 99% of it to make fault finding easier, I ended up doing it to the original original as well somehow? There followed a very annoyed AARRRRRRGGGHH! moment and a lot of stomping about and brewing tea to calm the nerves. Fortunately all the complex stands I made are still OK, but will probably need modifying in the light of what I have just discovered.

Post has shared content
Blender 2.78a fixes 69 bugs - The 2.78a 'bugfix' release is now available for download. Check the full list of fixes, see the 2.78 release log if you haven't already or just jump straight to the download! The post Blender 2.78a fixes 69 bugs appeared first on BlenderNation.

Post has attachment
The new Blender is here. The new Blender is here. (ref. Steve Martin in The Jerk.) This Blender release has a lot of new tools and goodies. I'm most excited about these for building in virtual worlds:

- Drawing freehand curves!
- New bevel options
- Region select
- Carver - Let’s you use shapes to carve away at an object. Common tool in other 3D programs and really welcome.
- Archimesh - make walls, door, and windows easily. Will be interesting to see the poly count on complex windows

The usual cautions about polycounts apply on all of these tools. Before you bring a carved up object inworld, take a look at the geometry and poly count. Then reduce it. I hear there are some decimation tool improvements.

Here’s a nice overview of new 2.78 features by CG Masters.

See the release notes for the full story on changes in Blender 2.78
Wait while more posts are being loaded