Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Blender Dev WIP - Sneak Peek of Some Exciting Tech

At long last, it's taking shape...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Rabbit and Cat

This afternoon, I came across this pair in a nearby park/reserve...

It was surprising to see such a large rabbit just hopping around in the middle of nowhere with that cat close by its side. At the time, it looked like they were quite comfortable in the presence of each other, so I can only guess that they are someone's pets. That said, the cat, despite its fluffy tail, looks a bit evil...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Siggraph Report/Link - Pixar's Sketch/Silhouette Posing Tools

Some of the first reports are already coming out about the hot new stuff being presented at Siggraph this year. Perhaps of most interest to me personally has got to be the stuff discussed in this FxGuide article though, about the Dreamworks facial rigs and the new tools that Pixar has got in their in-house "Presto" software!

In particular, the most exciting parts of this are the sketch-based and silhouette based posing tools in Pixar's Presto. What probably isn't widely known (but which I have dropped hints about here and there) is that these are exactly the tools that I've been working on for Blender over the past few years. (Truth be told, if I didn't have to do anything else, right now, they'd be what I'd be spending most of my time working on). My first attempt at this was 3 years ago back in 2012 with the Pose Sculpting tools (experience gained from that work is now powering the new GPencil Sculpting tools). More recently, I've been looking into some more powerful/useful "line of action" sketching tools (though this is all still relatively early-stage work, so there's not much to see just yet).

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Birthday Silvereyes

I've been having a great time over the past few days (snow + great food + fun coding!), despite a few minor hiccups (an early morning start to tutor 2 labs yesterday, and a burst tire the day before). However, what really made my day yesterday was when the lovely silvereyes treated me to a special display of fluff-ball cuteness.

Cosmos Laundromat - Episode 1 Online

Congratulations and thanks to the Gooseberry team for the belated (due to timezones) birthday gift this year :)

Saturday, August 8, 2015


Woohooo! Tonight we've got snow for the first time in years! :D

Yay! Yay! Yay!  This epic weekend is already off to a freakin' awesome start! :D

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Fun with new tablet - Intuos 5 Pro (M)

As of this weekend, I now have a nice tablet (working pen pressure and a sane aspect-ratio mapping at last!) to start playing around with :D

I've been having a bit of fun this evening playing around with it, getting a feel for how the pen responds, and starting to see what those buttons (yay! more physical buttons to play with) can be used for. So far so good! It works really nicely out of the box (well, after I remapped MMB to get fired instead of doubleclick).

Friday, July 31, 2015

Winter Visitors - Late Afternoon Silvereye Feeding

This afternoon, I had some lovely visitors...

Aww... Isn't that one cute plump silvereye :)   Given that it's mid-winter here, with temperatures in the single digits (and often feeling a lot chillier) in the late afternoons, it's no wonder that they need to fluff up quite a bit to keep warm!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

GPencil Dev - Stroke Sculpting Demo 1

A quick update on what I've been up to with Grease Pencil development recently...

Hopefully Mr Snowman brings a smile to your day (especially anyone currently melting from the summer heat up in the Northern Hemisphere... I'm sending up some nice cool breezes from the --5 C overnight chills we have here ;)

This demo shows off some of the new "Stroke Sculpting" tools that I've been developing as another way for editing Grease Pencil strokes. In particular, the primary impetus for this work has been to introduce a tool for smoothing strokes to remove jitter/wobbliness, kinks, jaggies, and other undesirable artifacts affecting stroke quality (especially when zoomed in). Some other tools that are a natural fit include a "Grab" brush, and a tool to adjust the thickness of strokes.

To try this for yourself, checkout the "GPencil_Editing_Stage3" branch on the git.blender.org

(EDIT: The crash mentioned in the video should be fixed now... It turned out that I just forgot a small change when adding a bunch of new brush types)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Grandpa - Retro HK Commercial

Recently, my uncle sent us a link to a retro Hong Kong commercial from the 80's that apparently my Grandpa had featured in (at 00:20).

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Solar Impulse Pacific Crossing

Congratulations to all the Solar Impulse team and pilot Andre Borschberg on successfully completing the first part of the epic crossing of the Pacific Ocean from Asia to Hawaii!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Blender 2.75 Released

Good news everyone! Blender 2.75 has finally been released, with this lovely splash screen from the Gooseberry project!

On the animation front, there are several key features in this release:
1) New Dependency Graph - Most driver setups should now work
2) More tools and polish for the Action Management tools -
3) Time and Influence keyframes on NLA Strips now update correctly without lag

Other smaller improvements include:
* Proportional Editing in the Graph Editor
* Realtime Updates (Live Search) for Animation Channel filtering
* Added a new mode ("Selected Keyframes") for the Propagate Pose tool, as well as a shortcut (Alt-F)
* Numeric input now works for the Push, Relax, and Breakdowner tools
* GPencil: Status indicator for Strokes EditMode, and hotkeys for toggling visibility of layers

Full details about all of these can be found on the release notes page, which I've been keeping up to date with all the changes since the start of the release cycle. What I'm going to do here instead is to point out some of the more interesting points, specifically those which relate to things that people have been requesting!