Monday, December 29, 2014

Grease Pencil - Stage II Roadmap

With "Stage I" of the Grease Pencil revamps in master now, it's time to start talking about "Stage II" :) This list is currently still a very preliminary, but it should give an idea of what is planned. There may be one or two things I've forgotten off this list though...

Integrated keyframes display + editing in the Dopesheet

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Season's Greetings - Christmas Tree

Here's a small selection of shots showing parts of our tree this year :)

I've been having a lot of fun playing around with varying levels of focal blur and interesting angles to capture some of the interesting ways that light was interacting with the various shiny things on the tree - the particular twinkling "snazzle" of the tinsel is still something rather elusive to capture though!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pretty Things - "Dressed in Dew"

Phew! It's been a hot + humid day here in Christchurch (an especially rare combination, since it's rarely humid, and fortunately not too hot either most of the time). Heck, it even warmed up again around dinner time - having cooled off to 23/25 deg C mid-afternoon from 27 around noon, it went back up to 27 after 6, and was still 22-27 in patches around 10pm!  (Even now, at 1am, it's still hovering around 20 deg C)

I imagine that the opposite probably applied when the photo below (NOT mine) was taken!

"Dressed in Dew" by Stefano Coltelli, San Miniato PI, Italy 

Seeing this, the first thing I thought of were some of the characters/scenes from the Gooseberry project ;)  It's kindof amazing how it looks like both a waitress-insect in a white skirt, and a dragonfly/butterfly at the same time!

PS: On another note, I finally got around to having some fun setting up our Christmas tree today... with lots and lots of sparkly shiny things (Yay! Tinsel + shiny baubels FTW!), a different way of getting the chain of lights on to the tree (which seems to look quite nice too, with half the effort and pain), and strangely, not quite being able to fit an entire box of ornaments (ones which I usually include, though aren't really that "essential" I guess) onto the tree this year!

Sunday, December 14, 2014


The dates for the last two days have been quite interesting: 13/12/14 (or 12/13/14 if you're American) and 14/12/14 today. I'd originally been planning on announcing some new features or some sparkling new tools I'd been working on....

Having just pushed through the Grease Pencil changes for 2.73 (which, is only "Stage 1"... I've got a bunch of other cool features lined up for "Stage 2" when I get time, to take this up another level still), and currently knee deep in some intensive brain surgery for the new depsgraph code (which should be landing in the depsgraph_refactor branch in the next day or two), that idea kindof had to slide.

Instead, the little scene above (made using, you guessed it, the new GPencil tools - so that I could have a play around with some of the cool ideas I've been seeing for myself). For now, that's all there is to show, but hopefully I'll manage to squeeze out a little skit out of this :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

How Time Flies...

Wow... how time flies. Another year has almost passed!

Some strawberries from last year - This year we also had a bumper harvest which filled up an entire container. In fact, I'm writing this after munching my way through a sizeable chunk of those XD

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bye Bye Linux... For Now :(

After postponing for several weeks to let the dust settle down on several projects/commitments, and also to get hold of some external hard drives first, I've finally purged the Linux partitions from my HP Envy 17.

That "H" partition was where my 2 Linux partitions used to be... now reclaimed for storing all my stuff instead (and maybe home to some future Linux virtual machines instead).

Grease Pencil Art Demos

Since releasing the Grease Pencil improvements to master, I've been enjoying watching new demos and videos of artists playing around with the tools coming online. It's always amazing to see what happens when you place powerful tools in the hands of creative people :)

Mikhail Shablin

Jason van Gumster

I'm not sure how much the new tools were used, though I do know that he was using the branch at the time to sketch out the frames required. Check out the write up for the workflow used here

Friday, December 5, 2014

Depsgraph Glitches - The Eye of Blender

Presenting... "The Eye of Blender"!

... actually, just a buggy export of the dependency graph for Koro's rig file (from Caminandes). There are still heaps of dependencies which aren't getting hooked up properly still, which explains part of why this graph is degenerate in several parts.

"For You" - Grease Pencil Animation Test Released

Earlier today, Daniel M. Lara (pepeland) released his latest short film, "ForYou",  animated entirely using the new Grease Pencil editing tools (being released with Blender 2.73)!

"ForYou" two diferent versions and scene overview from psl on Vimeo.

It's a wonderful demonstration of what's possible with the new tools (see the demo at the end of the clip) and a fun film in its own right. For me, seeing this reminds me of why I love doing what I do - it's really inspiring seeing artists create amazing projects using the tools you've built in ways you never imagined.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Depsgraph - Dev Fund Work

Some of the eagle eyed out there may have noticed already, but today I can finally announce that I'll be doing some dev-fund work for the next 2 months on getting the new Depsgraph up and running. I'll mainly be concentrating on areas I know all too well - namely animation, drivers, constraints, bones, and object transforms. If there's time to spare, I'll also move into hooking up the rigidbody integration and various update issues :)

An example dependency graph (just the operation nodes), from an exploration of how exactly these should be getting cued up. Prizes for guessing what this shows, and/or what some of these nodes are (HINT: this diagram is taken from a draft doc I have posted online, and captures a number of things riggers have been moaning about for ages)

I'll have more updates later when there's some actual progress to report. Expect at least one on some of the dev workflows and/or setup work that needs to be done if you're planning to play around with this (which isn't recommended at this stage yet!).