Wow, it’s good deal time if you are an artist!

25. November 2011



In doing some link checking for a review I am working on, I started noticing that there are some pretty major sales going on… that whole Black Friday thing.  To non-Americans, Black Friday is a tricky thing to explain.  It’s name is routed in this Friday representing the day retailors traditionally went “Into the black” meaning they started turning a profit on the year.  To celebrate, there is an uber deal day around the world.  Traditionally ( and I am talking like 5 years worth of tradition here… ) online deals are on Cyber Monday, the upcoming Monday after Black Friday, but it appears some e-tailors ( did I really just say that! ) started early.



The roundup of great game related deals I have seen so far!



Corel Painter for 249$  180$ off and free shipping


I love Corel Painter, its great for replecating the analog art experience and I use the freebie version that shipped with my tablet all the time.  That said, 250$ is still a bit steep for my liking.  If you are looking for a natural media art package though, this is probably the best one.


PaintShop Pro and Corel draw are both on sale too, but frankly PSP used to be a nice cheap alternative to Photoshop, but since Corel purchased it, it has been more aligned as a photo touch up package.  That said, 30$ is 30$.  Corel Draw, and app I just can’t get into is 350$ down from 500$.  Again, personally not a giant fan.




Adobe has most products at 30% off too!


Photoshop for a 700$ instead of a grand… that’s a nice deal.  That said, 700$ is still 700$!  If you’ve been looking at buying PS5 though, this is probably the perfect time.  200$ for the upgrade price, although im not sure how much of a sale that is.




Sadly no deals at Autodesk ( Max, Maya, Softimage, Luxology ( Modo ), Maxon ( Cinema4d), Pixologic ( zBrush ) NewTek ( Lightwave ), so if you were in the market for a 3D app, no deals as of yet Sad smile



That said, Amazon does have Poser 9 on sale for 59.99$, which is 140$ off.  For those not familiar, Poser is a bit of a weird one, but remarkably capable.  You can make, animated, “dress”, pose 3D characters in a pretty much drag and drop environment.  Sadly Collada support is a pro only feature.


It’s still a very cool program at a very decent price, I wonder if there is still support for older exports like OBJ or 3DS?  Need to look into that more.





Speaking of Poser, while looking at their publishers website SmithMicro, to see if it supported Collada I discovered this:


It's that time of year again and we're offering deep discounts—60% off most software in our online store*—from now until November 30th.
Use coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY2011
*One coupon use per customer. Not valid with any other offers or discounts. Not valid on trials or upgrades. Not valid for SendStuffNow subscriptions. Sale ends 11/30/2011 at 11:59pm PST.

So, any single product 60% off?  They don’t make a ton of products relevent to game developers, but there are a few standouts ( in addition to Poser and Poser Pro ):


Anime Studio Pro 8  If Animes your thing, its 199$, that’s 80$ with the coupon.


Manga Studio EX In case you call your Anime Manga I suppose… frankly I don’t know the difference, but its 299$ so with coupon that would be @ 120$.


That is about all I found that might be relevant, but you can see the whole list here.




Amazon has Roxio Game Capture on for 65$.  Seems a little niche to me, but if you want to record or screenshot 360 or PS3 footage, this is your ticket.



Doesn’t really count as a programmer item, other than the fact this was they “cool kids toy” forAeron Chair by Herman Miller - Official Retailer - Highly Adjustable Graphite Frame - with PostureFit - Carbon Classic (Large) recruiting programmers to come work at your company a few years back.  The Aeron Chair.  Remember those?  Well now is your chance, marked down from 1200$ to 736$.  Ok 3/4 a grand for a chair is a bit excessive, but I have heard nothing but gushing reviews about these things.  That said, I’m not really in a position to drop that kind of money on a chair, but if you are, well the price is (relatively) right!








Last but certainly not least…  the ThinkGeek plush zombie!  What self respecting developer doesn’t have a plush zombie??  Actually, Think Geek has a ton of geek stuff on sale.




Actually, going through that list again, it looks more like a great day for artists… programmers kinda got the short end of the stick!

Totally Off Topic

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Scroll down and locate Bake.

In the UV Editor window, make sure everything is selected ( using ‘A’.  They should be highlighted in yellow ).  At this point, with your generated image and all the UV’s selected, it should look like:




Now under bake, set the following settings:


The key values being Bake Mode = Full Render and Selected to Active checked.  Now click the Bake button.


Up in your top part of Blender, you should see a progress bar like so:




Now if you go back to the UV/Image viewer, and select your image RenderedTexture, you should see:





Let’s save the result to an external ( game engine friendly ) texture.  Select Image->Save as Image.  Save the image somewhere.  Remember where.




Now lets modify the textures on our model to use only our newly generated texture map.  First in 3D View, switch back to Object Mode from Edit mode.

Then, open the materials tab:



Select each material and hit the – ( or killswitch engage! ) button.  So it should ultimately look like this:



Now hit the + button and create a new Material.  Then click the New button.



The default values for the material should be OK, but depending on your game engine, you may have to enable Face Textures:



Now click over to the Texture tab.  Click New.



Drop down the Type box and select Image or Movie.



Scroll down to the Image section and select Open.  Pick the image you saved earlier.



Now scroll down to Mapping, drop down Coordinates and select UV.



Under Map select UVMap.



Now if you go to the 3D View and set the view mode to Texture:



TADA!  A game ready model.


One word of caution though, if you render this scene in Blender you will get the following result:



Don’t worry.  That’s just a biproduct of going from Blender materials to texture mapping.  If you want the texture to be seen, you need to add some lights to the scene.  Or change the material so it has an Emit value > 0, so it will provide it’s own light source.


With Emit set to .92, here is the result if you render it:




Now, what about it game?


Let’s create a simple LibGDX project that loads and displays our exported model:


package com.gamefromscratch;

import com.badlogic.gdx.ApplicationListener;
import com.badlogic.gdx.Files.FileType;
import com.badlogic.gdx.Gdx;
import com.badlogic.gdx.utils.UBJsonReader;

public class ModelTest implements ApplicationListener {
    private PerspectiveCamera camera;
    private ModelBatch modelBatch;
    private Model model;
    private ModelInstance modelInstance;
    private Environment environment;

    public void create() {
        camera = new PerspectiveCamera(


        // Near and Far (plane) represent the minimum and maximum ranges of the camera in, um, units
        camera.near = 0.1f;
        camera.far = 300.0f;

        modelBatch = new ModelBatch();

        UBJsonReader jsonReader = new UBJsonReader();
        G3dModelLoader modelLoader = new G3dModelLoader(jsonReader);
        model = modelLoader.loadModel(Gdx.files.getFileHandle("robot.g3db", FileType.Internal));
        modelInstance = new ModelInstance(model);

        environment = new Environment();
        environment.set(new ColorAttribute(ColorAttribute.AmbientLight, 0.8f, 0.8f, 0.8f, 1.0f));

    public void dispose() {

    public void render() {, 0,,;, 1, 1, 1); | GL20.GL_DEPTH_BUFFER_BIT);


        modelBatch.render(modelInstance, environment);

    public void resize(int width, int height) {

    public void pause() {

    public void resume() {


And we run it and:



Wow, a model downloaded randomly from the Internet actually working in the game engine!  How often does that actually happen? ;)

Programming, Art , ,

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