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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

News: 2.5 DVD Content update (LOTS of Trees in Wide Open Spaces)

I've finally established a good workflow for creating lots of trees in Blender that begin to approach some of the results that are possible in popular commercial software.

The results below are simple tests, but the results are very promising! I will be covering this workflow on the BlenderNewbies Blender 2.5 Training DVD, along with creating a much more interesting landscape (with better-looking trees and more variety).

Initial test

Tweaked settings with a larger landscape, more trees

Even larger landscape, more trees, atmosphere effects

A lot more trees

A LOT more trees added, got weight-painting to work with density (still not sure if I encountered a bug, or if I made a mistake somewhere but it's working now).

Even more trees with a tiny bit of node work to enhance the atmosphere effect.

Same settings with slightly different trees (I think the other trees looked better and more varied). No node effects.

Same shot with node effects to enhance atmosphere.

I look forward to experimenting with adding clouds, some water, buildings, etc. Animating through the scene introduces some minor flicker where some trees are too close together, but that shouldn't prove to be difficult to resolve. Also, some shadow issues to resolve.


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Monday, July 26, 2010

News: Surface Effects in Early Dev Stages for Fluids, Particles, and Animated Objects

Miika Hämäläinen is in the very early stages of developing some exciting new features to enhance the realism of interactions with fluids, particles, and animated objects.

"WetMaps"* allow for fluids to leave surface effects on objects contacted:

"Mesh Paint"* allows you to "paint" a texture with other animated objects or particles:

*tentative feature names

However, this project is still in very early stage so there is no downloadable build or patch available anytime soon. All depends on how much time I have and if I manage to keep motivated. :)

Please visit the developer's website for more info and to show some support to help keep him motivated.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

News: Blender 2.53 Beta 1 Available

The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.53 Beta. This release is the first official beta release of the Blender 2.5 series, representing the culmination of many years of redesign and development work.

What to Expect

  • Big improvements - This software has been used extensively in production of the Durian open movie project "Sintel".

  • Feature complete - Although some of the 2.5 targets have been postponed, such as multi-window support showing multiple scenes, a full RNA data level dependency graph, or radial menus.

  • Exciting improvements in Sculpting - Faster, much more stable and better brushes.

  • Missing/Incomplete Features - Although really most of it is there, not all functionality from 2.4x has been restored yet. Some functionality may work in a different way. Some features are still slower to use than before.

  • Bugs - We've fixed a lot lately, but there are still quite a few bugs.

  • Changes - If you're used to the old Blenders, Blender 2.5 may seem quite different at first. Be prepared to read a bit about this, how to reconfigure things, and learn to use the new built-in 2.5 search functionality!
Download Blender 2.53 Beta 1
Release Log

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Monday, July 19, 2010

News: 2.5 DVD Content update

Just a quick update on the pending BlenderNewbies Blender 2.5 Training DVD.

Tutorials currently in production:

  • Rubber Ducky (not textured, yet)

  • Grass Styles
  • Cartoon Modeling from Photos
  • Starting and Managing Personal Projects
  • Plenty of progressive exercises to really solidify your understanding of uv texture mapping (color, bump, specularity, reflection, ambient occlusion, dirt, etc.)
  • Crash recovery  :)
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

News: BlenderArt Magazine Issue #28 - Blender 2.5

Blender 2.5 [alpha] has been out and fairly stable for a while now, so in this issue we have a little fun with Blender 2.5 as we “kick the wheels” so to speak.

So grab your copy today.

Also be sure to check out our gallery of wonderful images submitted by very talented members of our community.

  • Creating 3D contents using Blender 2.5
  • I Love My Bubble
  • Up to Speed
  • Blender 2.49 Scripting
  • High resolution rendering @speed of the light
  • And Lot More…

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

News: More Bouncing Ball Lessons on the Blender 2.5 DVD

Learn more about the BlenderNewbies Blender 2.5 Training DVD

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

News: Bouncing Ball Lesson 1 on Blender 2.5 DVD

Here are the results from one of a few bouncing ball animation tutorials that will be on the BlenderNewbies Blender 2.5 Training DVD.

Other bouncing ball animation tutorials will include:

  • Multiple Bounce with Roll to Stop (yeah, I need a better title)
  • Ball Bounce (with Tail)
  • Animated scene with Ball & Tail character (EDIT: if there's time and disc space)

Also, there's been an announcement from the Blender Foundation that they plan to remove some features from the 2.5 release! Hopefully, this won't cause me to have to redo/rethink some of the tutorials. I definitely don't want tutorials covering features that were removed at the last minute. More info...

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

News: BlenderNewbies Blender 2.5 Training DVD Update

Development for the dvd has picked up since some previous bugs have been squashed in Blender. Texture painting and some aspects of dealing with materials are still a bit buggy, though. I experienced lots of crashes when using texture painting to clean up uv seams. The devs are aware of these issue, though, so I'm sure things will be ironed out sooner than later.

Here are a few draft examples of tutorials that will be on the dvd.

There will be several simple modeling tutorials that will involve simple uv-mapping. These will be designed to get you comfortable with the overall process.

This is an example of a project where the texturing is more complex. Yes, I will add some ketchup in the final tutorial! :)

This butterfly flight example is more involved than it might seem, even though the model is not meant to be realistic. There's 2d painting needed to prepare the wing graphics, a touch of uv-mapping, some magic applied in the graph editor, and some final touches added via the compositing nodes.

Also, close to 8 hours of reference videos have been recorded! And, I'll be including some tutorials on modeling in a cartoon style based on photo references.


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