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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.

GameDev News

26. May 2016

 

Houdini is a 3D content creation application with a procedural bent.  Substance is a Physically Based Renderer (PBR) for creating real world materials and texturing them.  The two products just came together:

VENICE, CA. – May 26, 2016 – Today, Allegorithmic announces the immediate integration of Substance Engine into Houdini 15. VFX artists can now import, visualize and tweak materials with the same freedom AAA game developers have enjoyed for years.

By employing the same nodal system as Houdini, Substance Engine arrives in a format Houdini artistsezgif-852304504 already understand. Materials can be created, customized and applied to any Houdini asset, including characters and environments. When finished, assets can be exported to the Unity game engine or sent to Mantra, Arnold or RenderMan (with a simple script) for a final render.

Using Houdini Expressions, variables can be attached to Substances, making the process of manipulating textures even more fluid for animated sequences. These expressions can also help artists produce thousands of randomized objects quickly, with all the scale and realism VFX requires.

“We’re thrilled to see this collaboration between SideFX and Allegorithmic spring to life,” said Rob Stauffer, Senior Production Consultant at SideFX. “Artists can now stretch the capabilities of both Houdini and Substance, with interactive workflows that cover the entire process - modeling, texturing and rendering."

“This integration makes Substance feel like it’s been in Houdini for years,” said Dr. Sébastien Deguy, Founder and CEO of Allegorithmic. “It’s truly plug-and-play.”

 

Pricing/Availability
The Substance Engine integration is free, compatible with Houdini 15.5 and available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It can be downloaded now via Allegorithmic’s website: https://www.allegorithmic.com/content/substance-houdini.

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