Monday, May 17, 2010


I recently completed a piece entitled "Orbs in the Grass" done completely in Blender 2.5 r28678. A simple piece which used the new Cloud Generator script to create the clouds and a couple particles systems for the grass, and although it isn't perfect it's pretty good for me. You can see my BlenderArtists thread on it here.
I also just painted a little piece using MyPaint, a open-source painting program which is very simple but powerful. You can learn more about it (and download it) from their website here. It is very effective with a tablet, which sadly I lack, but you can still do amazing things with it using just a mouse. Allthough I wouldn't call my art amazing, I still think it's pretty cool. This is based on a concept sketch I did one day. I can truthfully say, it looks a lot better in the colour that you can get with MyPaint!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sintel Trailer Released

The Open Movie project "Sintel", codenamed Durian, has just released it's trailer. After starting in August 2009 the Durian team has been hard at work, modeling, animating, coding, rendering and doing all sorts of things. Finally we get to see some of the fruits of their labor, but not just in picture form. A 52 second long trailer has been released which includes all sorts of cool action and adventure shots from the movie.

One of the shots, the one where Sintel is in the alley, has been followed for a while. We first saw it in some indirect lighting tests after that was implemented into blender, and now we get to see the final product.

Other scenes we have been following even further back since Durian decided to keep us involved in the first minute of the movie, that is the first couple shots including a bit of sintel's battle with the Gatekeepers and her talk with the Shaman.

All in all the movie is shaping up very well and looks very good, especially with Jan Morgensten's amazing music to add that mythical feel to it. Although there are a couple things with the hair (You have to look very closely) overall that issue seems to have been cleared up, especially when we look at this post about some wacky bugs in Blender 2.5 that the team discovered.
The new logo is featured right at the end and does look very good, especially compared to the previous 3d text.

Download the trailer here and enjoy it! I am especially looking forward to the movie after seeing this taste, and apparently it is supposed to come out sometime in June right before SIGGRAPH happens.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blender Guru and the Compositor

Blender Guru just released its latest tutorial: Introduction to the Compositor. It looks like a very interesting tutorial, especially judging by the comments on the page of the actual video. Also the cover art is very nice, however I know from experience that although the cover art usually looks very nice (A tribute to the mastermind behind blender guru) the user's finished product is vastly different, as you will see if you try Blender Guru's Introduction to Texture Nodes tutorial.

However despite differences I do recommend trying out the tutorial as well as various other ones on Blender Guru:

I only wish that the author would present each tutorial in multiple formats or text only such as in the Creating Volumetric Cloud tutorial. In that one he had a video tutorial as well as a written tutorial included on the page. Even if the written one is too long or costly (images) to put on the webpage, at least allow the pdf to be easily downloaded.

When I went to download the much talked about, and very interesting looking Creating Realistic Fire in Blender 2.5 I was surprised and disappointed at all I had to do to get to the pdf. I thought a simple download this link was in hand but instead I had to sign up for the Blender Guru mailing list (Maybe he wants to show off how many people signed up??) and then I found (to my dismay) that the website he used (for hosting? or maybe just for the mailing list thing) was blocked by my ISP. Maybe this is only something I am experiencing, but I couldn't even find another place to download.

Hopefully the rest of his wonderful tutorials will be text based and easily downloadable. I have really enjoyed the ones I've read and wish to read more, especially about things like the compositor or making realistic fire/grass/clouds/whatever... 

Thanks for what you've done Blender Gure, please make it accessible for the rest of us! (Or at least the "us" who have these problems)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Google Refurbishment

A couple of days ago Google unveiled their new search engine look. They have gotten rid of the old rounded logo with a shadow and now have a newer one (which I quite like!), also instead of the old rounded buttons they have changed to a more square and less glossy look.
Here is the old logo:

and here is the new logo, and buttons:

Google also has a new way of showing searches. Much like the old way of selecting whether to show images, news, ect, on the top bar now there is a ribbon on the side where you can select whether to show images, blogs, news, whatever. I'm not quite sure what the difference is since the ones on the top are still there, but they only change the same selection on the sidebar. Hopefully those will be take off so that there is less clutter.

Underneath the information type, you can also select dates and times, such as "Past 24 hours", "Past Month", ect. And farther on down you can select other ways of narrowing (Or widening) searches down such as "Fewer Shopping Sites" or "Sites with Images".

Farther on down Google gives you some suggestions on "Something Different". These are related items, completely non related items, antonyms, and other things. For example when I searched "technology", related searches were "information technologies", "education", "agriculture", "infastructure" and "health". When searching for "funny" the different things were: "scary", "lol", "silly", "weird" and "cute".

Hopefully everyone will take these changes in hand and adjust quickly, because I don't think there's any going back.

Have fun with the new google!

Anim8or Scripting Tutorials

,So, you've started using Anim8or and now you're wondering (after seeing all those cool scripts here), how do I get into Anim8or Scripting?

Anim8or Scripting Language (or ASL) is a very easy to learn scripting language which is based on C and is very simple. If you haven't yet you should definitely check out the language specifications. ASL supports most major data types such as ints, floats, longs, strings, ect. There are a couple different types of scripts as well. You can make scripts to generate objects or materials while you can also write scripts which will move objects around in a scene. Because the Anim8or workspace is divided into 4 separate places to either model, skeletonize (If that's a word), animate and render, each script has to can only do certain things in certain areas. For example you can't generate a cube in the animation workspace.

There is a list of tutorials on ASL scripting which I compiled on the Anim8or forum. There are, sadly, only five tutorials that I have seen on this language all over the web, so it is important to tell as many people as possible about them all. I have written two myself, one based (in part) on another scripting tutorial I read and the other is a continuation to expand. You can find those in the list of tutorials or here in a separate thread.

One of my tutorials was also published in the March 2010 issue of DotAn8 Magazine, a magazine which publishes in spurts depending on the amount of articles written. You can download that issue and others on the issues page of the website (

Hope this helps you in your exploration for more knowledge (or just learning ASL).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day against DRM

May 4th is Day against DRM, if you don't know what DRM is check out the Defective By Design website and this link. Basically DRM, or Digital Rights Managment, allows software to block the user's ability to access certain things such as movies, music, ect. Most Mac and Windows software have DRM, as well as things like DVDs (Most DVDs are encrypted so only certain software can access it). Defective by Design is a part (or related to) the Free Software Foundation and their fight for digital rights.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS released!

Well the newest Ubuntu version was just released, Ubuntu 10.04 Long Term Support(LTS), codenamed "Lucid Lynx". You can download it here and check it out. I've heard lots of good things about this latest version, especially the groovy updates to the look, namely the change from the orange/brown look of 9.** to the slick purple we see in 10.04. Although a still a little dark for my tastes, I'm sure that there are plenty of other themes and backrounds with the latest version.

Ubuntu 10.04 does not include the GIMP anymore as it has been called to "professional" and the "simple photo editor" job has been taken over by F-Spot (which is also included in 9.10). F-Spot is alright, although a bit confusing seeing as you can't do "simple" things like go into edit mode from the F-Spot photo viewer, instead you must open the separate F-Spot photo editor.

Lucid Lynx also includes the Ubuntu One service, which gives you 2gb of online storage space. You can access this anywhere (from a computer running Ubuntu One). Another features is the Ubuntu music store now included as a default link in Rythmbox, where you can download DRM free music. (If you don't know what DRM free means check out this)

Although I have yet to install it on my normal computer, I am looking forward to seeing it in action with all my routine work.