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4. January 2016

 

I was recently working with a tool that exported it’s level data as a directory full of obj files, literally hundreds of them.  You can import them into Blender using File->Import->Obj, unfortunately there is no way to do a select all.  Apparently in Blender 2.4x if you held SHIFT while selecting OBJ import, it would import an entire directory, but this doesn’t appear to work in modern Blender.  You can also SHIFT+Click multiple files to do multiple selection, but this gets tedious when you have hundreds of them.  Unfortunately CTRL + A doesn’t work…

 

Thankfully Blender is extremely scriptable, so let’s turn to Python for a solution.  The following script will import a directory full of OBJ files into the current scene.

import bpy
import os

def fileList(path): 
    for dirpath, dirnames, filenames in os.walk(path):
        for filename in filenames:
            yield os.path.join(dirpath, filename)

for f in fileList("C:\\file\\path\\here\\"):
    if f.lower().endswith(".obj"):
        bpy.ops.import_scene.obj(f)


Be sure to change the path to your directory and if on Mac OS or Linux, to change the path format /to/this/style. Otherwise this script will chug away importing the OBJ files for you. Hopefully at some point Blender gives you the ability to select all while importing and the need for this script goes away completely.

Art, Programming , ,

1. January 2016

 

A reader wrote in to share this bundle currently running on BundleStars, and I am glad they did.  Somewhat similar to a humble indie bundle from a few months back but containing a great deal more art assets.  I’ve actually used the tilesets from the earlier humble bundle several times here on GFS, so I will be picking up the $16 tier.

 

The ultimate Game Makers bundle:

image

 

For between $3 and $15 you can end up with a heck of a large volume of assets to make games with.

GameDev News, Art ,

17. December 2015

 

One of the major weak points for Blender, especially for game developers, is it’s FBX support.  You see, Blender is GPL licensed, which among other things means it can’t link to closed source libraries.  On the other hand, FBX is pretty much the industry standard interchange format these days, but it’s owned by Autodesk.  Autodesk have made an SDK available for years, but due to the GPL, Blender can’t use it.  This means their FBX implementation is a clean room reverse engineering of the format… and this results in… issues.

 

Thankfully, if you are like me and don’t give a damn about the GPL, there is a great option available.  There is a Blender add-on available that makes use of the Autodesk FBX SDK.  The install process is a bit non-intuitive though.

 

First download UmComv, this is a version of the Autodesk FBX SDK compiled for you.  Inside the archive, copy the folder umconv to the root of your Blender directory (same folder as the Blender executable).

 

Next download the addon zip file available here.  Extract the contents of this zip file somewhere, the file you care most about is io_scene_bos_fbx.zip.

 

Next in Blender, go to User Preferences…  Add-Ons and select Install From File…

image

 

In the resulting dialog box, locate and select io_scene_bos_fbx.zip.  Next locate the newly added add-on and make sure it’s enabled:

image

 

Now you will have additional import and export options available in Blender:

image

 

There may still be times where you want to use the built in FBX importer/exporter, but this certainly gives you more options and I have found does a MUCH better job supporting animation and other features.

Art ,

15. December 2015

 

Via BlenderNation a great collection of Blender materials came to my attention and I figured I would share.  Blender user Mackraken is a bit of a hoarder of materials and this certainly works to our advantage!  He has made a complete collection of shaders available for our use, all nicely organized using matlib.

 

To install, if you haven't already got git installed, install git and make sure it is available in your path.  Next in a terminal/command prompt, change directory to your Blender’s addon folder.  On my system it was D:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.76\scripts\addons

 

Next run the command:

git clone https://github.com/meta-androcto/materials_library.git

 

Now load up Blender.  Go to User Preferences…

image

 

Switch to the Add-ons tab, search for “mate”, click the enabled check box for the entry Material: Material Library Cycles, then click Save User Settings if you wish this setting to persist the next time you load Blender.

image

 

The materials will now be available.  First make sure the Cycles renderer is selected:

image

 

Pick an object you wish to apply a texture to and navigate to the Materials tab:

image

 

If the plug-in install worked properly, you should now have a new field named Material Library VX available:

image

 

In the dropdown, select the category of material you want:

image

 

Next select the actual material you want, then click the indicated icon to make that material active:

image

 

Tada:

image

 

Now keep in mind that Cycles materials will NOT export correctly to any game engines.  Instead you will have to bake your textures for use in real-time.  Don’t worry though, I already got you covered there!

 

Here is a video of the entire process.  Thanks to Mackraken for sharing the results of his hoarding nature!

Art

4. December 2015

 

SideFx software just announced the release of Houdini Engine for Unreal.  Houdini is a long standing procedurally based 3D modeling, animating and rendering application which was until recently a fairly poor fit for game development.  With Houdini 15 they added the following game oriented features:

To enhance the creation of procedural game assets, Side Effects recently released Houdini 15 with new modeling and texturing tools. Modellers now have access to a new tweak edit workflow, edge sliding, soft selection highlighting and new tools such as PolyBridge and PolyExpand 2D – ideal for road generation. For working with hi-res models, new retopology tools make it easy to build low-res geometry by drawing right on top of high-res geometry.

“All of the modeling and texturing improvements in Houdini 15 have been developed with game artists in mind,” says Judith Crow, Director, Games Segment, Side Effects. “These tools can be used for interactive modeling in the viewport or to create procedural assets which can be loaded into the UE4 editor using the Houdini Engine plug-in.”

Houdini 15 also includes texture baking and viewport support for UDIM textures, world-space normal maps, UV mesh boundaries and overlapping UV regions. Game developers can now import and export tangent-space normal maps and convert bump and displacement maps to normal maps. For a complete list of Houdini 15 enhancements, go to www.sidefx.com/H15 and for tutorials go to www.sidefx.com/start_here.

h15_model_polyextrude.jpg

 

Houdini Engine for Unreal is available now in Houdini Indie, Houdini and Houdini FX versions.  You can read more about the release here.

GameDev News, Art

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