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27. July 2011

… so, go get it!  Download link.

For what’s new go here.  Lots of refinements and small fixes.


21. July 2011


Great news for C# developers interested in iPod and Android development, it appears that Attachmate, the company that inherited the rights to Mono/Monotouch from the corpse of Novell, has released the IP to Xamarin.  Xamarin was the company founded by Miguel de Icaza.


This is great news for C# developers, especially those interested in non-Microsoft platforms!


14. July 2011


In my prior descriptions, I had some not too nice words for the GIMP.  For those that have GIMPnever heard of it, The Gimp is a free art program, generally regarded as the closest thing to Photoshop that the OpenSource world has to offer.  In my prior use, I found the GIMP pretty much terrible and I resorted to using the much less powerful but more more enjoyable Paint.Net.





That said, I started running into limitations almost instantly, so I gave the GIMP another shot, and colour me impressed!  I managed to import multiple screenshots, into a single layer, resize and crop them all in one action, optimize and export for animated GIF in minutes.  This was an eye opening experience!


That said, I then spent 5 minutes and had to resort to Googling to figure out how to draw a line… so, yeah, the UI still needs a bit of work!  Fortunately that is what they are working on now.  All told though, I really shouldn’t have had such a negative view of this app, when using it to actually get something done, as opposed to just messing around in it, it came through brilliantly.


13. July 2011


Tweak is a neat feature in Wings 3D that allows you to do radius based editing, by setting a falloff radius of effect.  There is one confusing thing with Tweak though, when setting the radius, you get the following item in the info bar:



Here’s the catch, in order for the radius adjustment to be working, you need to be actively mousing over an object!

Tweak Radius modifier in action









Tweak radius modifier in action.


11. July 2011


You’ve probably seen me ( and many others ) mention ngons in the past and if you are drawing a bit of blank on why they matter, here is a bit of a demonstration.  An ngon is simply a face with more than 4 edges.  Let me illustrate.


Let’s say you have a object like this:



And you wanted to cut one of the faces in half like this:



Well, everything looks normal, but in reality you just created an nGon ( two actually ).  See, look at the number of edges in one of the faces you just created:


See, 5 edges.  In a app that doesn’t support ngons ( such as Blender without bmesh ), this simply isn’t possible.  In Blender, you would need to cut all the way around the object to make sure no polygons have more than 4 faces, like this:



This is purely a modeling feature though, at the end of the day, Unity will convert your object to triangles, like this.



This is why working in quads is always so handy, they convert to triangles in a very predictable way.  Working in ngons is incredibly handy, allowing you to model detail only where you need it.  It makes it a lot more difficult to screw you your topology with needless geometry.  But as illustrated by the final figure, it’s not the end of the world, everything ends up the same in the end.


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