Friday, October 31, 2014

What a day...

Following quite a tumultuous day, we had a nice and pretty sunset this evening (though it was starting to get quite chilly too)





Grease Pencil Dev - Filled Strokes

I've just committed an initial version of support for drawing filled strokes to the GPencil_FillStrokes branch on git.blender.org (NOTE: I accidentally pushed that branch to gbo in a bit of a sleepy haze, forgetting that it wasn't set to default to using the GitHub repo instead). No harm done though, since it'll all end up in master eventually ;)


It's still an initial implementation which just uses the native OpenGL "polygon" drawing mode, with the associated problems when trying to draw concave shapes (i.e. the cause of those overlap artifacts). But, for most cases where fills are required, this hopefully shouldn't be too much of an issue... Next up, checking if the Blender scanfill code can do a better job and for realtime usage :)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Grease Pencil Dev Roadmap

Since several of you have been asking, here's my roadmap/plan/todo-list of things which will be happening with Grease Pencil development in the near to short term (with the aim of release in 2.73). There are also some longer-term "wishlist" items which others are free to try picking up.


RIP Baby Silvereyes (WARNING: Graphic Photos)

Today is bit of a sad day... I woke to find a bird nest with two dead babies lying motionless on the ground lying by our back door. It turns out that this was the very same silvereye nest that had been high up in our tree just last night :(



Making it all the more galling was the nest was found on the opposite side of the house from the tree, the branch where the nest had been built was snapped at the base (and hanging limply from the tree - with small snapped branches all over the ground under the tree), and that there was a large splotch/splash of blood on the ground near one of the bodies.

I have little doubt that this was an act of savage cruelty on the part of some twisted, rotten soul. Whoever the perpetrators were (and it's likely they are the same culprits who have to date vandalised 4 chains of solar lights by tearing/ripping some of the protective covers off one of the LED's and proceeding to sever the cables), DAMN YOU! MAY KARMA AND THE LONG ARM OF THE LAW CATCH UP WITH YOU!

(WARNING: What follow are some somewhat graphic images... Carry on at your own discretion)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Yay! The silvereyes are here

For the past few days, I've been hearing the distinctive metallic chirping of some baby silvereyes crying near a tree in our garden, but couldn't figure out where exactly the nest was. This afternoon, I finally saw it: a really small, compact little messy cup, adorned with heaps of leaves from the tree, and rather well hidden high up on a flimsy side-branch of a side branch of the lychee tree. Woohoo!

A silvereye briefly resting on my pine tree - After so many years, they finally consider it a tree! Yay!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dev Test - Using GLU Quadrics for Drawing Grease Pencil Strokes

While playing around with ways of implementing stroke-filling, a thought occurred to try experimenting with using GLU Quadrics (specifically, the disc primitive) for drawing the 3D points too (and perhaps for the strokes themselves).

Without further ado, here's a little demo vid showing what the effect looks like:



If you want to get your hands on this to play with it, you can find this on my GitHub Blender Repo:
https://github.com/Aligorith/blender/tree/GPencil_FillStrokes

(Just to clarify things: the main branch for Grease Pencil stroke editing tools is still on developer.blender.org - https://developer.blender.org/diffusion/B/browse/GPencil_EditStrokes/
The GitHub branch is purely for experimental hacks at this stage)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Grease Pencil Stroke Editing - An Update

Here's another update on what I've been up to with the Grease Pencil tools:


See if you can tell what's different from yesterday's screenshot ;)


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Development Sneak Peek - Grease Pencil Stroke Editing

Here's a sneak peek at some stuff I've been having tons of fun hacking away on over the past few days...


You can try this out from the branch - GPencil_EditStrokes - on the git.blender.org repository. Beware that there may still be bugs (it randomly crashed at one point this afternoon). I'll have more details in a later post as it's getting late now, but hopefully this will give you a taste of things to come...

Ahh... it feels good to be going on a hacking spree in the Blender codebase again :)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blood Moon

Woohoo! I just got back from watching the total lunar eclipse (aka "Blood Moon") for the first time this evening. Usually, whenever there's stuff like this in the sky, there will be lots of cloud that night here in Christchurch. But lo and behold, tonight, it was perfectly crystal clear!






Saturday, October 4, 2014

Illustrations of Wing Movement Patterns

I just came across the following set of illustrations, which may be of some use to animators out there - especially if you've got anything with wings ;)

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/10/deconstructed-bird-and-insect-wing-patterns-by-eleanor-lutz/

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Blender Dev Tip: Modal Keymaps for Select Circle

Doh! The answer in retrospect seems so simple (and it was, if I'd remembered this quirk from the last time I'd encountered it several years ago), but you'd be stuck if you didn't know where to look...

For a bit of a fun break from the work I've been doing recently for my research work, I've been hacking some new features for Blender. However, this evening, I ended up wasting quite a bit of time trying to figure out why the circle-select operator I'd been working on was not working. Namely, it wasn't responding to any events once activated.

Long story short: If you're coding a "Select Circle" operator, you need to add the following line at the end of gesture_circle_modal_keymap() in wm_operators.c:
WM_modalkeymap_assign("<your_operator_id_name_here>");

This basically says that the modal keymap needed by these operator should be used when doling out events to your operator. Otherwise, the events simply won't get passed down, and you'll be left wondering why it's not working...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Canon 7D - Blue-Green Twilight Color Balance - Revisited

In a post last month, I discussed a new tool for fine tuning white balance in-camera: White Balance Shift. Since then, I've been playing around with this setting on a numerous occasions, with mixed results (notably, for the tail end of the sunset on Aug 20). Last week, an opportunity to use this came up, with a crisp clear night and the fickle blue-green twilight that had eluded me up till now...


Finally, I think I've nailed it! The shot above was all in-camera white balance (no tweaks applied, as far as I can remember). The settings for this are as follows:
  • White Balance Mode (aka "Base" WB) = Shade
  • WB Shift = B7, G6
  • Exposure Compensation = -1 1/3
Contrary to my initial belief, it was necessary to bias the WB towards blue (instead of amber) to really draw out those rich bluish-green hues. Otherwise, you just get purple blue, with all the green-bits turned to white or faint orange-yellow. So, there you have it! The recipe for capturing blue-green twilights.