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24. June 2011



One thing you are going to find very different when working with Wings 3D is that there are very few hotkeys.  It’s very much user driven and it is expected that you will define hotkeys all of your own.  Right off the bat, there is one you should define, that of Cut->Edge.  This shows just how simple the process is.


First off, bring up the menu containing the item you want to hotkey.

Hit the insert key.

Look at the status bar for instructions or further details. 

Hit the key you want to assign as a hotkey.





I highly suggest assigning Cut to it’s own hotkey, it will greatly increase your speed.  Really, the key thing to remember here is, when using Wings 3D, hit the Insert Key to bind a hotkey.  Should you screw up, you can always fix your mistakes using the advice in this thread.


24. June 2011


Saved a hotkey you wish you hadn’t?  Want to go back to default settings?  It’s easy enough.


In Windows 7, follow the following steps.


Hit the Start button

Type “   %appdata%   “ then press enter

In the explorer window that opens, select the Wings3D folder.

Now either delete or edit the preferences.txt file to match your new settings.  Next time you run Wings this file will be recreated if deleted.


17. June 2011


So there is a blog post up on showing what’s coming down the pipeline.  There’sunityLogo some pretty interesting stuff on there.  Apparently Unity 3.4 is at the release candidate stage and there are a few major announcements.  Terrain support in iOS and Android is a biggy, execution order on scripts, procedural texture support and 2-3x improvement in skinning speed are all very nice new features.


The post goes on to describe what is in the upcoming 3.5 release, with tons of new features but perhaps the most interesting to me are the new UI framework, pathfinding and LoD support.  Some really interesting stuff coming up, I highly recommend you check out the full post.


15. June 2011


Earlier this week I described the process of building Blender for Windows using CMake and Visual Studio.  While I was doing I actually did a series of screen captures for the more visual learners amongst us.  Problem is, my machine decided editing 1080p video was a crime against humanity, so I wasn’t able to get them posted.  I can happily say, the problems have been rectified.


Compiling Blender ‘Avocado’ on Windows



Of course a great deal of the video will be unreadable in this resolution.  I recommend using an HD version on YouTube.  Or for the Vimeo inclined click here.


11. June 2011


EDIT: Now with video!


After yesterday’s post, I noticed there wasn’t a recent build of Avocado available so I got to wondering how much work it would be to build a Blender branch.  In the end the answer is “not much”, with a bunch of caveats.  Frankly the hardest part is configuring your environment.  This guide shows but one way, there of course are other options.


First of all, I already have Visual Studio 2010 Professional installed, but many of you may not have professional and there is a big snag with Express C++ in that there is no command line 64bit compiler.  At this point you have one of three options, build for 32bit, download and install the Platform SDK which includes a 64bit cross compiler or you can download and use mingw.  The last two options are beyond the scope of this post and the instructions will assume you are using VC++.


Next up you need SVN, which is what you use to get the code from Blender’s repository.  In my case, I am using Cygwin from the command line.  For those of you with a command line aversion, you can use a GUI tool like Tortoise SVN.  Again, my instructions are going to assume you went the Cygwin route, but should still make sense a different SVN.


Now, to get Cygwin, run the Setup.exe ( from here ) and choose the default ( install to a directory without spaces! ).  You can add other features, but don’t do this now as some download locations don’t have all the packages, so it could result in your install failing.  Once setup.exe has completed, run it again and search for svn, if it is not installed ( as pictured below ), in the New column, instead of keep it will say “Skip”, click this and it will set it to download.  Then click next and it will figure all of the requisites and dependencies, download and install them.




Assuming all went well, you now have svn.  Only one more file to install, CMake, a cross platform make tool.  The install process is pretty straight forward, now time to grab the sources.  You are going to need to make two directories on your local computer, one where the code is going to be downloaded, then one where the code is going to be built.  In my case ( and in the instructions ) I used C:\Temp\Blendersource and c:\temp\BlenderBuild but you can of course use whatever you want.


Now its time to get the source.  Launch “Cygwin Bash Shell”, it should be located in your Start Menu.  Otherwise you can run it from [Cygwin Install Directory]\Cygwin.bat.  Now you need to choose which repository you want to build.  The list of branches is available here.  In your browser navigate to the one you want to build, then into the blender directory and copy this address.  In this case I am building Avocado, so I copied to my clipboard.

SVN works in the form of:

svn checkout [ paste your clipboard ] [where to copy to]


One gotcha is you need to point BASH to a directory on your computer, in this case C:\temp\blendersource.  In order to do this, we use the /cygdrive link.  So, the actual command looks like:


$ svn checkout /cygdrive/c/temp/blendersource/


That will go ahead and download all the blender code.  You will probably get an error stating server certificate isn’t trusted, check type “t” or “p”.  Later on you are going to need the precompiled binaries from the trunk repository.  They are located at in the windows/ and win64/ folders.  Warning! This takes a long time, like go make and drink a pot of tea long time.  We want them copied into the /lib/windows directory of the newly downloaded source.  The command for this is:


$ svn checkout /cygdrive/c/temp/lib/windows

followed by:


$ svn checkout /cygdrive/c/temp/lib/win64


At this point, you have all the sources and libraries you need.


Now fire up trusty CMake you downloaded earlier.  In the “where is the source code:” text field put C:/Temp/blendersource/ ( or the location of CMakeLists.txt if you are using a different path).  In the “Where to build the binaries:” text field put c:/temp/BlenderBuild.  Now click “Configure”, the following window will appear, select your compiler:





Click Finish once your compiler is selected from the list.  Now your CMake window should look like this:



Now you can optionally enable/disable features.  If building Avocado, disable WITH_IMAGE_OPENEXR! It will currently cause your build to fail. Once you finalized your selections click Configure again, then Generate.

Now if you look in C:\Temp\BlenderBuild, you will see that CMake has built the proper native build files, in my case for Visual C++ 2010.  There is even a solution file if you want to build using the VC IDE.  In this case I am going to use the command line, launch the Visual Studio X64 64 Bit Command Line.  Now type:

cd \temp\blenderbuild

msbuild Blender.sln /property:Configuration=Release


And off to the races…   See, nothing to it! Open-mouthed smile


After 5 to 20 minutes later, copy your new Blender.exe ( from bin\release ) into a Blender install and…




AHHHH crap, seriouslyjQuery152044251238950528204_1314637985251?  Well, we apparently have a very streamlined version, perhaps a bit too streamlined.  What exactly is going on here?  Well, truth of the matter is, if you followed along at home and aren’t using Windows 7, nothing, it probably works perfectly fine.  However, if you are like me and are running Windows 7, this post is very interesting.


There is some annoying permissions issue with Win 7, depending on who/how/where you install as. A known problem, being worked on. Maybe already fixed. (can you tell I'm not a windows guy?)
Easiest work-around for now is to download the .zip version, unzip it and run from that folder.


Welcome to life on the bleeding edge!  It’s called the “bleeding edge” for a very good reason!  Anyways, head over here and download the 64bit ZIP install, extract it and copy your new Blender.exe file over.   Voila!





A fresh new 64Bit version of Blender—Avocado, bmesh tools and all.  It may have looked difficult, but in the end, it really isn’t, with the exception of figuring out the most recent bug ( thanks Google ).


Seem like too much work?  You can download the blender.exe I generated.  Simply download and install the current 2.57b ZIP from Blender, extract it then extract my over top.

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