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20. April 2012



As you may have noticed, I am somewhat excited about the addition of BMesh into the main Blender trunk in the upcoming release.  What you may be wondering is why? In the past I explained what an ngon is, but without seeing them in action their benefit can be a bit hard to understand. 


So that is exactly what this post is going to cover, it will demonstrate the new functionality that will be available in Blender 2.63 once BMesh support is added.  Each animated image is actually 1080p in size, so click on it to see more details.  Some of these features, such as the bridge edge tool, aren’t specific to ngons specifically ( and could be accomplished without BMesh ), however the internal changes to support BMesh made adding these features more feasible.






Dissolving face/edges/vertices





What are we seeing here?


Coupled with the knife tool, this is easily the biggest feature of BMesh.  Instead of simply deleting faces, vertices and edges, you can now dissolve them, which effectively turns the selection into a single giant ngon.  Therefore you can add detail where you need it, or quickly remove it where you don’t.  With traditional triangles/quads, retooling a mesh was an arduous process of deleting faces/vertices then rebuilding them one quad/tri at a time.  Now with BMesh it’s a heck of a lot easier.  One word of warning though, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should! 


Dissolve can result in some really funky geometry, especially if what you are dissolving isn’t planar.  In the end, when it is sent to the renderer, it is still triangulated, so if you have dissolved into an impossible shape, you will get some weird artifacts.  That said, some time with the knife tool can quickly fix up most problems.  One thing to remember, BMesh does not replace the need for a good topology!  It may make things easier, but in the end the same basic modeling principles hold true.


One last note, dissolve works slightly different based on if you have edges, faces or vertices selected.


How do you do it?


In edit mode, select your geometry.

Hit ‘x’.

Select dissolve.


Knife Tool





What are we seeing here?


The other major part of BMesh is the knife tool.  There is a knife tool in Blender 2.5x but it’s fairly awful.  First it has to tessellate as it goes because of the 3-4 vertices per face limit.  The new knife tool is much more capable and flexible and as you can see from the image above, can make pretty arbitrary cuts with ease.  Again though, good topology is still important, so use the knife with care!


How do you do it?


In edit mode, press K.

A green dot will appear where the cut will appear.

Left click to make cut, move mouse and repeat.

Right click to complete.


CTRL + Knife Tool ( centered cut )





What are we seeing here?


Quite often you want to cut at the halfway point, this is exactly what cutting with the Control key pressed down will do.  The green dot will snap to the halfway point between the two nearest vertices.


How do you do it?


Exact same process as the knife tool, just hold down CTRL to snap to midpoint.


Creating > 4 sided faces





What are we seeing here?


On of the big pains of working with polygons in Blender before was manually recreating faces.  You had to select 3 or 4 vertices in order then hit the F key, repeating for every polygon you need to create.  Now, select the bordering edges or vertices, regardless to their count and it will create a single ngon, which can be extrudes, scaled, etc… like a normal face.  Just like dissolve though, it is quite easy to create “bad” geometry.


How do you do it?


In edit mode, select bordering vertices or edges.

Press F to build ngon.


Bevel ( finally! )





What are we seeing here?


Blender 2.4x has a bevel, 2.5x replaced it with an awful modifier that I don’t think anyone was happy with.  Now, with BMesh, bevel is back!  It can be a bit buggy at times, especially with multiple edges selected and can result in some strange cornering geometry, but its really nice to see bevel back.   Bevel basically allows you to add more geometry evenly spaced and rounded, normally used for rounding corners.


How do you do it?


In edit mode, select 2 or more consecutive vertices, or one or more edge or face.

Hit spacebar, type “Bevel”. Click Bevel in popup menu.

On the left hand Mesh Tools menu ( hit T if not open ), select percentage or recursion level.

Percentage determines how big bevel is ( relative to next closest edge/face/vertex )

Recursion level determines how many times the bevel will be performed ( number of edges created )


Inset/Outset face(s)





What are we seeing here?


Inseting is basically identical to doing a zero distance extrude followed by a scale, but much easier.  Think of it kind like creating an edge loop, but instead its relative to the selected edges.  Inset causes the new geometry to be created within the selected geometry, while outset causes the geometry to be created surrounding selected value.  The above image illustrates an inset, followed by an outset.


How do you do it?


In edit mode, select the face.

Hit spacebar, type “Inset face”, select menu item.

In the tools panel, thickness slider determines the amount it is offset.

Check outset if you wish to outset instead of inset.


Bridge Edge tools





What are we seeing here?


This functionality was actually available via the loop tools plugin, but it’s nice to see it part of the main application.  Select two edge loops (within the same/connected mesh ) and it will create a “bridge” between those two points.  Sadly it doesn’t delete the interior face, so be sure to delete the face before bridging.


How do you do it?


In edit mode, select two edge loops.

Hit spacebar, type ‘Bridge Two Edge Loops.

Note! Both edge selections need to have the same number of edges.

19. April 2012



There is some question if the EULA even allows it, but I am wondering how many of you are interested in Playstation Suite specific content?  I am totally not looking for a reason to justify a Playstation Vita purchase, honest! Winking smile



Actually, it’s shiny and new and I am easily distracted.  I am quite impressed by what I have seen of the SDK so far, I like working with C# in general so I think I would enjoy writing about Playstation Suite SDK development… if only Sony will actually let me.



The question is, are the rest of you interested in the subject?

Totally Off Topic

19. April 2012




Just finished adding another book to the Unity Book round-up, this one being “Game UnityBook18Development for iOS with Unity.  As always the write-up includes book description, key links, the table of contents, etc.  The book is a few months from publication, here is the publisher description:


This hands-on guide delivers production-proven techniques and valuable tips and tricks needed to plan, build, test, and launch full 3D games for the iPhone, iPod, or iPad all the way to the Apple app store. It walks you through all the necessary procedures and features two iOS-ready games to explore, adapt, and play. The text presents all of the information necessary for beginning and intermediate users to build and publish iOS games using Unity Beginner. Topics covered include game design, 3D graphics, debugging, script optimization, and optimizing assets for file size and performance.


Full details in round-up here.



I intend to keep the book list as comprehensive as possible, so if you’ve written a book, or know one I’ve missed, let me know!


19. April 2012



We’ve been following the Playstation SDK for a while now, including the wonderful news it will be quite inexpensive about a month back.  Now the suite is one step closer, today Sonypssuitetgs2011 announced an open beta and it is completely free.






So, what exactly does Playstation Suiite SDK 0.98 contain?



PS Suite SDK is a software package for developing applications that can be run on the PlayStation®Vita system and PlayStation™Certified devices.

PS Suite SDK includes PC applications such as PC Suite Studio, as well as PS Suite UI Composer for laying out UI components.

Further, in addition to basic graphic and sound libraries, PS Suite SDK also includes GameEngine2D for games using 2D graphics, Physics2D for 2D physical engine, as well as superior libraries such as the UI component library UI Toolkit.

Rather than providing only basic samples for explaining each basic API, the SDK also gives you access to samples of games and applications using 2D and 3D graphics.




So, head on over to the developer page at and go get it!  The download weighs in at 287MB.  I’ll be playing around with it today and will hopefully have some impressions up shortly.



Hmmm, perhaps I wont.


You shall hold the PS Suite SDK itself and any other information provided, from time to time, to you from SCE or SCE’s affiliated companies designated as “Confidential” ("Confidential Information") in confidence, using reasonable care to maintain the confidentiality of the Confidential Information. You agree not to use, except for the purposes of this Agreement, any and all of the Confidential Information.


Well, that’s a bit of a bummer, I can’t review or disclose further information on the Playstation Suite SDK even though it is in open beta?  I am wondering if this EULA is left over from when it was in closed beta, as that makes very little sense.


Even more disturbing is the line after that one:

You shall not release or disclose to any third party Your Work or other product which is developed through use of the PS Suite SDK without SCE’s prior written consent (including by electronic means such as email). In the event that SCE requests to publicize all or a portion of Your Work, you shall use its best efforts to accommodate such request and cooperate with SCE in connection with such publication


So basically, you cant let other people see your work without Sony’s written consent.  Eww.


16. April 2012



First off, Jamaica is an absolutely beautiful country.



Second, the sun is hot.  Really hot; something I seem to have stupidly forgotten and now am paying a pretty serious price for.  Even SPF 70 sunscreen ( which I didn’t even realize existed until now ) didn’t help.



Third, the age of e-books is upon us!




The last part really shocked me.  I was considering picking up a couple “dead tree” books to bring down with me, so I didn’t look like a total dork reading my books on my Galaxy Note.  Inget_musty_smell_out_of_books the end I decided against it, I haven’t purchased a paper book in years and since when did I care about looking like a total dork anyways?



Well, turns out that fear was horrifically misplaced.  In fact almost everybody there that was reading was using an e-reader!  The Kindle Fire was easily the most popular reader, probably representing about 50% of readers that I saw.  This makes me kinda envious, as we sadly can’t get the Fire in Canada.  Perhaps even more odd, outside of the Fire, I saw almost no “old” kindles.  The Nook seemed to be the most predominant runner up to the Kindle Fire, although Sony seemed to be pretty well represented.



Yes… I really did spend my vacation gawking at people’s e-readers.  I was simply staggered at how ubiquitous they have in fact become.  You know how many good ole fashion books I saw during my time on vacation?   3.



Oh, and the number of books I actually ended up reading?  0.



Anyways, things should be back to normal with new content in these here parts shortly.

Totally Off Topic

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