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30. March 2020


Pixologic have released version 2020.1 of their long running sculpting application ZBrush.  Along side the ZBrush release they now have a fully functioning 30 day trial available for download here.

Details of the 2020.1 release:

  • XTractor Brushes - Convert detail from your model into a new alpha or texture for reuse elsewhere.
  • HistoryRecall Brush - Project a model’s Undo History to another model regardless of topology differences.
  • Sculpt & Paint in Morph UV - You can now paint and even sculpt directly on a model’s flattened UV shell.
  • Move Infinite Depth - Affect anything that is directly inline with the brush cursor, no matter how far from the camera.
  • Texture Adjust Color - Adjust the colors in a model’s texture on the fly, modifying hue, intensity, contrast, gamma or tint.
  • PolyPaint Adjust Color - Same as above, but for PolyPaint. These features include eight color channels to easily restrict your changes to certain areas.
  • Wall Thickness Analysis - Instantly know what parts of a model are too thin for successful 3D printing, or thicker than necessary.
  • Real-Time Draft Analysis - Easily identify and fix portions of the model that would lock up when used in two part molding or CNC printing.
  • Calculate Surface Area - ZBrush can now provide you with the bounding box size, mesh volume and surface area, check for watertight integrity and help calculate real-world material needs.
  • Cam View - Always know how your model sits relative to XYZ space. Includes one-click buttons for snapping to orthagonal views.
  • Real-Time Silhouette View - Turn on a picture-in-picture window that displays your model’s silhouette in real-time, or see how it “reads” from a distance.
  • ZeeZoo - Mannequins have gone wild, with a library of animal figures to help you compose scenes of all kinds.
  • Deco Curve Brush - The classic Deco Brush for 2.5D painting is now available as a 3D sculpting brush.
  • Model Paint Fade Opacity - If a model’s PolyPaint or texture is making it hard for you to see the sculpted details you can now partially fade the color or even hide it altogether.
  • No Back & Forth Mode - Zigzagging brush strokes can now build up in one direction, only. This mode also combines with LazyMouse Backtrack for unique effects.
  • New Import/Export Options Window - Easier control when importing or exporting and support for even more formats, all in one place.

You can learn more about the 2020.1 release and free trial in the video below.

Art GameDev News


28. March 2020


Buildbox, the recently made free no-code game engine, just released Buildbox 3.2 beta.  This beta takes a huge step forward in 3D usefulness with the abity to import and use animated FBX 3D models.  This is of course a beta release, so expect bugs and do not use in a production environment.

Details of the release from the Buildbox forums:

3D Animation Support

  • FBX files containing 3D model skeletons and animations are now supported in Buildbox.
  • New Brainboxes available for 3D animated assets:
    • Animated Platformer
    • Keyboard Controls
    • Mobile Controls
    • Keyboard Camera Controls
  • New Content Nodes available for 3D animated assets:
    • Sub Scene
    • Keyframe Animation

Worlds
  • 2D Worlds
    • To rotate an object 45 degrees, select the rotate tool, hold shift and drag an axis handle.
  • 3D Worlds
    • Ground object that covers an entire scene and provides a solid platform for dynamic assets.

Textures
  • Unused textures are removed when Buildbox opens a project.
  • Alpha channel support
    • Enabled transparency in textures
    • The texture area without the transparency can cast shadows onto other objects.

UI Changes
  • Color coded axis fields
  • Tabs and home button in the Navigation bar, along with navigation control arrows.

Nodes
  • Health node now contains Starting Health and Max Health attributes.
  • Script nodes now have a purple self reference output, and each input and output can now be color coded.
  • Move and Rotate nodes now contain a set of range attribute fields.
  • The following nodes are now available in the asset Node Map.
    • Sub Scene
    • Keyframe Animation
    • Rotate Towards
    • Speedometer
    • Self Attribute

Ad Monetization
  • Facebook Analytics in the SDK tab of the Project Settings window.

The Mac and Windows binaries are available at this link, however you need to have a registered Buildbox account and serial number to install the 3.2 beta.  You can learn more about the beta in the video below.

GameDev News


27. March 2020


In addition to the recently released NVIDIA Texture Tool, NVIDIA have released a pair of SDKs of interest to game developers.  The first is RTXGI, a global illumination solution for DXR compatible hardware, the second is DLSS 2.0 or Deep Learning Super Sampling.

Details about RTXGI:

  • Full Source Code. We are providing full source code so you can easily integrate RTXGI into your tools and customize it to your specific needs.
  • No Baking, No Leaks. Dramatically speed up your iteration time with real-time ray traced lighting. No more waiting for bakes. No more obsessing over light probe positioning either; no light or shadow leaking.
  • Any DXR GPU. RTXGI runs on a broad range of hardware. All DXR-enabled GPUs are supported, including GeForce RTX 20 Series, GTX 1660 Series, and GTX 10 series.
  • Tuned & Optimized. Easy to integrate and fast to provide results, right out of the box. Performance optimized to fit in 60Hz frame budgets.

Details about DLSS:

  • Superior Image Quality – DLSS 2.0 offers image quality comparable to native resolution while rendering only one quarter to one half of the pixels. It employs new temporal feedback techniques for sharper image details and improved stability from frame to frame.
  • Great Scaling Across All GeForce RTX GPUs and Resolutions – A new AI network more efficiently uses Tensor Cores to execute 2X faster than the original. This improves frame rates and eliminates previous limitations on which GPUs, settings, and resolutions could be enabled.
  • One Network For All Games – The original DLSS required training the AI network for each new game. DLSS 2.0 trains using non-game-specific content, delivering a generalized network that works across games. This means faster game integrations, and ultimately more DLSS games.
  • Customizable Options – DLSS 2.0 offers users 3 image quality modes – Quality, Balanced, Performance – that control the game’s internal rendering resolution, with Performance mode enabling up to 4X super resolution (i.e. 1080p → 4K). This means more user choice, and even bigger performance boosts.

DLSS 2.0 is currently only available for Unreal Engine developers and you need to request access to both SDKs.  To request access to the DLSS SDK click here, while the RTXGI application is available here.  You can learn more about both SDKs in the video below.

GameDev News


25. March 2020


Humble have just released a bundle targeted as musicians.  The Humble Music Producer Bundle is a collection of sound banks and VSTs.  As with all Humble Bundles it is organized into tiers:

1$ Tier

  • Angelicals
  • Frontier
  • AAS Player (Note, this is available free)

15$ Tier

  • Analog Essentials
  • UltraFX
  • Kitnetix
  • Journeys

20$ Tier

  • Strum Sessions
  • Lounge Lizard Sessions
  • Ultra Analog Session

This bundle gives you a key that you redeem as a single download from https://www.applied-acoustics.com/.  As with all Humble Bundles you can decide how your money is allocated, between charity, the publisher, Humble and if you choose (and thanks if you do!) to support GFS if purchased using this link.  You can learn more about this bundle including briefly seeing the 20$ Tier items in action in the video below.

GameDev News


25. March 2020


Serif, the makers of Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo are currently offering all of their products at a 50% discount.  Additionally they are now offering a completely functional 3 month demo download.

Full details from the Affinity announcement:

With all that’s going on right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in response to the many stories we’re hearing from the creative community about how they’re being severely impacted, we felt it was our responsibility to try to offer as much support as possible during this incredibly difficult time.

That’s why we’ve put in place three new measures which we hope will help at least some of you out there. These are:

  • + A new 90-day free trial of the Mac and Windows versions of the whole Affinity suite
  • + A 50% discount for those who would rather buy and keep the apps on Mac, Windows PC and iPad
  • + A pledge to engage more than 100 freelance creatives for work, spending the equivalent of our annual commissioning budget in the next three months (more details of this will be announced soon).

The introduction of the 90-day free trial and deeply discounted pricing is done in the hope that this will make life a little easier for people who rely on creative software to make a living, but may be stuck at home without their usual tools, or for students who might not have access to their Affinity apps on their personal devices.

In addition, by increasing our spend on commissioning work from freelancers we can also put some extra money into a part of the industry which will be particularly affected.

We plan to make the free trial and additional discount available until 20 April, but we’ll continue to review the situation as time goes on.

We know we’re not saving the world, but we hope these measures can at least provide some form of relief to those who need it. We’ll pull through this together…

You can learn more about the deal and promo in the video below.  If you want to learn more about Affinity products check out our hands on video available here.

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