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15. June 2016

 

Spine is a 2D bone based animation system compatible with almost every modern game engine.  I recently covered Spine in this detailed review a couple months ago.  Esoteric Software just released version 3.3.0 today.  The biggest features of this release are certainly animatable paths and path constraints.  That said, there are several changes in this release:

  • Added paths (cubic splines) that are keyable and weightable.
  • Added path constraints so a bone can follow a path.
  • Bounding boxes are now keyable and weightable.
  • Bounding boxes now have a color.
  • IK and transform constraints now appear under the target bone in the tree.
  • Added constraints to tree filter.
  • Constraints can now be created by clicking New... on a bone's properties in the tree.
  • Can drag/drop or copy/paste to copy transforms for bounding boxes and paths.
  • Fixed root bone translation not following parent or world axes.
  • Changed automatic backup file names to include the Spine version number.
  • Icons for clickable bone labels.
  • Added Match button for transform constraints to set the offset values to match the bone's current transform.
  • Fixed vertices in selection groups sometimes not working after a project reload.
  • Selection group internals have changed, selection groups in older projects have been cleared (sorry).
  • Fixed position of self intersecting bounding boxes.
  • Local shear is disabled on IK parent bones. The math is insurmountable. Local nonuniform scale is fine and it can still inherit nonuniform scale and shear.
  • Fixed exiting edit bounding box mode without creating vertices.
  • Dopesheet Select bones button now also selects the bones in the tree.
  • Fixed single bone IK with nonuniform scale.
  • Fixed automatic backups being created even when disabled.
  • Import Data and Import Project are now available in the trial.
  • Faster image export when loading many different images.
  • Fixed exporting multiple skins not loading the images correctly.
  • Fixed mesh, bounding box, and path tool origin from jumping after manipulation and undo/redo.
  • Increased zoom in amount.
  • Weights view doesn't lose selected bones when undo/redo is used.
  • Added a Set Parent button when multiple images are selected.
  • Higher contrast for selected dopesheet bones.
  • Pose tool translation no longer loses the current selection.
  • Fixed horizontal scrollbar scaling in lists.
  • Fixed file dialog on OS X, no longer shows full path as file name.
  • Slightly smaller project file size.
  • Fixed a number of hotkeys when a non-English language is used.
  • Tool and bone selection colors aren't drawn when using color dialog.
  • Added bone transforms to Metrics view.
  • Fixed IK mix from rotating the wrong direction in some cases.
  • Can now paste keys from one IK/transform/path constraint to another.
  • Fixed transform constraints showing as edited but not keyed (yellow).
  • Click + drag on multiple visibility dots now uses a single undo/redo step.
  • Fixed Events node visibility when there are multiple skeletons and when duplicating a skeleton.
  • Hovering over a bone or slot label highlights it in both the viewport and tree.
  • Attachments and bones can now be selected via the tree even if hidden or selection is disabled by the Options panel on the main toolbar.
  • Fixed tree not scrolling to correct location in some situations.
  • Fixed color chooser slightly changing some color values.
  • Increased time to show image preview for region and mesh attachments versus image files.
  • Improved constraint icons and colors.
  • Improved tree selection when shift and/or ctrl are held.
  • Tree expands and scrolls to selection when filters change.
  • Enforced inherit rotation and scale for IK constrained bones.
  • Entering mesh/bounding box edit mode no longer shows images/others.
  • Constraint bone/slot/attachment labels truncate long names in tree properties.
  • When changing attachment visibility, if the previously visible attachment was selected in the tree, the newly visible attachment is selected.
  • Fixed select box list display location.
  • Fixed FPS label color.
  • Dopesheet now highlights rotate, translate, scale, or shear timelines depending on which tool is selected.
  • Darker triangles lines in mesh edit mode.
  • Bones are only shown with weight colors when the Weights tool is active.
  • Fixed Create tool mouse cursor icon disappearing after deselection.
  • Transform constraints can now constrain multiple bones.
  • Arrow keys can translate in mesh edit mode.
  • Arrow keys work when vertices are selected with the Rotate tool.
  • Hold shift with the Create tool when creating a new bone to keep the parent bone selected, to more easily create many siblings.
  • Bone and image compensation buttons are now highlighted when compensation is applied.
  • When no bones are selected, the Create tool selects the root bone if the project contains only one skeleton.
  • Better relative path calculation, preventing ../ back to the drive root.
  • Set Parent works for multiple slots or bones.
  • Numeric transform entry is applied as you type.
  • Prevented double clicking launcher buttons.
  • Better horizontally tree scrolling when viewport objects are selected.

GameDev News

15. June 2016

 

Today Trimble just announced the beta of My.Sketchup, a version of their popular 3D modeler Sketchup, that runs entirely in the browser.  Previously owned by Google and used to make 3D models for their Google Maps solution, Sketchup is a 3D modeling application that makes modeling extremely quick.  Sketchup also has the 3D warehouse, a massive collection of models that are free to use directly in Sketchup.

My.Sketchup is currently in beta, if you are interested in joining you need to sign up and wait for an invite.  They aim to bring the entire Sketchup experience to the browser.  From their own announcement:

What is my.SketchUp? Why my.SketchUp?

One of SketchUp’s greatest strengths is its accessibility. Pretty much anyone can sit down in front of SketchUp with little or no prior experience in 3D modeling and be up and away in a few minutes. A little experience with drawing helps, and it is always motivating to have a project in mind that you want to model… but SketchUp is about the easiest tool available today if you want to visualize your ideas in 3D.

Since the beginning, SketchUp has relied on the presence of a desktop computer running an operating system from either Microsoft (Windows) or Apple (Mac OS X). And while that has been a great platform for SketchUp for the last fifteen years, it just doesn’t cover today’s spectrum of computing platforms like it used to.

For the last ten years, we’ve seen the inexorable rise of the Internet as a full-fledged platform for development. In our time at Google, we learned a new way to think about computing -— cloud first, respecting the power and ubiquity of the browser. And the Internet has (finally) matured in the last few years to provide a platform for development to support something as technically complex as 3D modeling.

Today, I’m pleased to announce the next big thing for SketchUp. We’re extending it to the cloud, bringing a full 3D modeling tool to anyone with a modern web browser.

My.SketchUp is a full implementation of SketchUp. All the tools you know, working exactly the same way they do on the desktop. This isn’t a watered-down, partial implementation. It’s the full shebang, running in your web browser with no special plugins or extra stuff to download and install. Just good old SketchUp.

My.SketchUp is also something entirely new. Working together with Trimble Connect, it is the most connected and collaborative version of SketchUp we’ve ever shipped. Your models are automatically stored in the cloud, available from anywhere. You can easily share them with others, combine your models with others, and manage changing versions, clashes, and comments over time.

If you’re already using SketchUp on your desktop computer, this isn’t meant to be a replacement. my.SketchUp is 100% compatible with SketchUp on the desktop, and you’ll have no challenges moving your models back and forth. They are just plain vanilla “.skp” files. We’re committed to keeping that true forever.

All that said, we’re still working out some details, polishing up the UI, and tuning the performance. Our release today is a public beta and a preview of my.SketchUp. We’re not done with this thing yet. Here’s a my.SketchUp FAQ that will give you a clearer expectation as you get started.

 

You can request an invite here.

GameDev News

2. June 2016

 

Substance Painter is an extremely popular PBR (Physically Based Renderer) texturing tool, now integrated into just about every single modern game engine.  They just released Substance Painter 2.1 with a host of new features including:

  • Linux Support
  • Support for 4K displays
  • Support for 8K texture map export
  • ability to import UDIM based assets

Plus several smaller additions and changes including:

Added:

- [UDIM] Import UDIM Tiles from a mesh as Texture Sets

- [Linux] Added support for CentOS 6.6 and Ubuntu 12.4

- [Export] Add 8K resolution (experimental)

- [Export] Allow to choose the bit depth during the export

- [Baker] Allow to bake multiple texture sets at once

- Support high resolution monitors (High DPI scaling)

- [Scripting] Set custom resolution and padding per texture at export

- [Viewport] Allow to switch between texture set by clicking on the mesh (via Ctrl+Alt+Click)

- [Viewport] Go where the mouse cursor is when zooming with the mouse wheel

- [UI] Update default background color and environment map display

- [UI] Add tooltips with original names for User channels

- [UI] Change background color for channels that can't be renamed

- [Tool] Remove checkers when using the quick mask

- [Shader] Allow to define groups for shader parameters and materials/masks

- [Engine] Optimization of small size stamping

- [Stencil] Add "W" as shortcut to temporarily toggle the mask

- [Shelf] Add a cross button to clear the search field

- [Shelf] Load Alpha with a single click

- [Shelf] New export preset : Vray UDIM, Arnold UDIM, Spec/Gloss from Metal/Rough

- [Shelf] New alphas : geometric shapes, veins and signs

- Add name and version in the properties of Substance Painter executable

Fixed:

- [Substance] Impossible to use the normal channel and additional map at the same time

- [Iray] MDL refraction and absorption setting don't work

- [Iray] Original scene scale is not preserved

- [Shelf] Specular/Glossiness template use an incorrect shader

- [Export] Default export preset doesn't export some maps (like AO)

- [Viewport] Pivot point doesn't update when clicking outside the UVs in the 2D View

- [UI] Slider values are rounded

- [UI] Sometimes when editing sliders values there is a very small free space

- [New Project] Template dropdown list is not correctly updated (from 1.x to 2.x)

- [Scripting] Fixed "hover" behavior on custom buttons

- [Mac] Undoing on an empty project locks the camera

Known Issues:

- Crash report is not available on Ubuntu

 

You can see a walkthrough of new features in this video:

 

You can read more about the release here.

GameDev News

31. May 2016

 

Krita is a free and open source 2D sketching and painting application released under the GPL license.  They just announced a milestone with the release of version 3.  The focus of Krita 3 is animation, with the following animation focused features:

You can now do proper frame-by-frame animation in Krita. Multiple layers, all sorts of playback speeds, onion skinning, on top of all of Krita’s existing paint tools: It’s enough to make any animator’s fingers itch!Kiki_Krita_86

  • Animatable raster layers – Animated raster images with frames, and use the time-line docker to order them. Works in all color spaces and depths as well!
  • Onion skinning – This allows you to have an overlay of the previous and next frames, an important assistant when going from rough animation to smooth animation!
  • Importing image sequence – Import any set of images as an animated layer, automatically sorted by naming scheme.
  • Exporting image sequence – Export the whole animation as an image sequence, for further processing in other programs.
  • New dockers – timeline docker, animation docker, and animation workspace
  • CSV import and export – for layered animation, for use with TV-paint, or Blender via a plugin, courtesy of Laszlo Fazekas
  • Spriter scml exporter – Make the base image in Krita and then export it to this powerful cut-out animation tool for games.

 

(Image author link)

 

Of course, this is only a small subsection of the new functionality in Krita 3.  Krita 3 also adds Instant Preview,  improved layering functionality, an improved layering UI, better shortcuts, a unified grid UI, improved filters and much more.  For the full release notes click here.  Or you can preview the new features in the view embedded below.

GameDev News

27. May 2016

 

BrashMonkey just released Spriter Release 8.  Spriter is a 2D boned based animation system, very similar in scope to Spine that we just recently covered.  It enables you to animate 2D images by creating and posing a series of bones, much like armatures in the 3D world.  Release 8 brings a number of new features and bug fixes, including:

Additions and Enhancements

  • Image packing dialog now remembers previous settings
  • Added ability to add padding (transparent pixels surrounding each image) to spritesheets
  • Added ability to embed spritesheet information into the scml or scon file. The embedded information is not loadable by Spriter, but this will allow developers to create implementations that don't require a separate file for texture atlas information.
  • Added the ability to choose whether to save spritesheeted projects as scml or scon
  • Changed 'overwrite default pivot' to also automatically sets the sprite to default pivot point mode in the current frame

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug where right-clicking a pivot point and choosing Set to Default Pivot Point, would only set the pivot point to the default value, but not apply the default pivot point state to the sprite
  • Fixed a bug where you couldn't drop objects outside of the hierarchy in the hierarchy window to remove them from all parent bones
  • Fixed bug where you couldn't edit the pivot point of a spritesheeted image from the file dialog
  • Fixed bug where creating a spritesheeted project from the imagepacking dialog with multiple spritesheets would create a project that would load correctly, but had the incorrect folder structure within the file
  • Fixed a bug where double-clicking a spritesheeted folder in the fileview would open up an empty pivot point editing widget
  • Fixed crash when adding a skin to a project
  • Fixed a bug where right clicking on skin controls would cause the right click menu to pop up. This bug also prevented the uv skin controls from popping up when double right clicking on skin controls

 

The original release announcement is available here.

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