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31. July 2019


At SIGGRAPH 2019, Maxon announced details of the upcoming R21 release of their Cinema4D 3D DCC application.  The release isn’t actually coming until September of 2019 we have details of the upcoming new features.

In addition to new features, there were two major announcements, a change to a single version and a change in pricing.  First details on the new single SKU approach:

  • Only one version of Cinema 4D:
    • No more Prime / Visualize / Broadcast / Studio / BodyPaint editions. 
    • All functionality is in the one version, no separate editions anymore.
    • Demo and Educational versions are no longer separate downloads. 
    • Demo and Educational can be upgraded to a commercial version.

    With a single SKU, there is now also a single price tag, however there are now several subscription options, detailed here.

    Cinema4D pricing details

    Essentially you can now pay for Cinema4D via subscription which are cheaper when paid on an annual basis.  Additionally you can continue to purchase Cinema4D with a perpetual licence, but unfortunately it is 3x more money that the most affordable version available currently.  Learn more in the video below.

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    30. July 2019


    After 4 years in development the biggest version of Blender ever has just been released, Blender 2.80!  Blender is a comprehensive open source and free 3D graphics application with 2D, 3D, sculpting, texturing, rendering and compositing support.  The 2.80 release brings massive new features to Blender including a complete UX redesign, a new real-time PBR viewport renderer EEVEE, 2D drawing and animation support and much more.

    A quick list of major new features include:

    • Completely redesigned user interface/experience
      • Pie Menus
      • Collections replacing layers
      • Redesigned tabs and toolbars
      • Adaptive interface based on resolution
    • Grease Pencil brings 2D support to Blender in a huge way
    • EEVEE real-time renderer
    • Cycles improvements
      • Hair shader
      • Cryptomatte
      • Random Walk Subsurface Scattering
      • Subdivision and Displacement
    • Multi object editing
    • Pixar OpenSubdiv Support
    • Improved COLLADA and glTF support
    • Much, much, much more


    Blender is available for download on all platforms at Blender.org.  You can check out more details of Blender 2.80 in the video below.

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    30. July 2019


    Amazon have just released beta 1.20 of their Lumberyard game engine.  The release contains over 200 improvements, fixes and features with the biggest features being every day quality of life changes.  The lead two features are improved Asset Processor performance as well as performance improvements to the Event Bus system.

    Highlight features from the release notes:

    Asset Processor
    • Asset Processor Faster Scanning Mode significantly reduces the time required to analyze the asset cache on startup. This enables Lumberyard to launch more quickly.

    Event Bus (EBus) System

    EBus performance improvements have reduced the overhead of invoking functions through the EBus API by at least 20% in most cases. Using EBuses to send events between different game systems and components now performs closer to that of calling the event as a raw function call, thus reducing update time.

    Audio

    Audio has the following new features:

    • Wwise External Sources – You can now use the Wwise external audio source feature to specify a loose collection of audio files to be played back dynamically.

      Note

      The Wwise External Sources feature isn't supported in Wwise LTX.

    • Audio System Component – You can now perform audio operations at a global scope (as opposed to entity scope).

    • Input Streaming Support – You can now stream data from a variety of input sources for playback by the audio system. For example, you can play back the audio stream from a video file.

    • Sound Duration – You can now obtain the duration of a sound at runtime by registering with the AudioTriggerNotificationBus function and overriding the ReportDurationInfo function.

    • Setting the Panning Mode – You can now use the Wwise SetPanningMode method to shift panning between speaker mode (60 degrees) and headphone mode (180 degrees).

    Animation Editor

    The Animation Editor has the following new feature:

    • Interrupting Transitions – You can now interrupt a transition that is in progress with another transition and smoothly blend into the new state. With this feature, you can quickly blend towards a new state without waiting for a transition to complete. A purple line shows the transition being interrupted. A green line shows the new transition in progress. The ability to interrupt a transition is useful when you want to rapidly interrupt a character attack with another attack, or interrupt a jump with a run forward motion.

    Mobile

    Mobile has the following new feature:

    • AWS Device Farm Integration – AWS Device Farm can now be used as a deployment target in the Deployment Tool.

    PhysX

    The PhysX system has the following new features:

    • PhysX Force Region Component – You can use the PhysX Force Region component to specify a region to apply physical force to entities. The component applies force at each frame to any entity that is in the bounds of the region. For example, if an entity moves into the force region of a sphere, force is applied to the entity.

      For more information, see the PhysX Force Region component in the Amazon Lumberyard User Guide.

    • In Script Canvas, you can obtain the value of the net force exerted on an entity by using the On Calculate Net Force method of the PhysX Force Region Generation Notifications node. This callback is invoked when the force region calculates the net force exerted on an object.

    In somewhat belated news, Amazon also released Project N.E.M.O, a complete demo game showcasing how to use slices and script canvas.  This is the source of the game data in the video below.

    GameDev News


    29. July 2019


    Humble are running another e-book based bundle, a collection of books from O’Reilly, the Humble Book Bundle: Data Analysis & Machine Learning by O'Reilly.  The Bundle is split into 3 different tiers, containing 5 books each.  If you buy a higher dollar amount tier, you get all the content below it.

    The tiers in this bundle consist of:

    1$ Tier

    • Graphing Data with R
    • Practical Statistics for Data Scientists
    • Deep Learning Cookbook
    • Practical Tableau
    • Learning TensorFlow

    8$ Tier

    • Learning Apache Drill
    • Visualizing Streaming Data
    • Applied Text Analysis with Python
    • Getting Started with Kudu
    • Advanced Analytics with Spark

    15$ Tier

    • Architecting Modern Data Platforms
    • Foundations for Architecting Data Solutions
    • Kafka: The Definitive Guide
    • Natural Language Processing with PyTorch
    • Streaming Systems

    You can learn more about the bundle watching the video below.  As with all Humble Bundles, you can decide how your money is allocated, between Humble, the publisher, charity and if you choose (and thanks if you do!) GameFromScratch.  We are also in the final 2 days of the Humble Learn Game Development Bundle, a collection of video courses on Unity, Blender and other game development topics.

    GameDev News


    29. July 2019


    Today we are checking out Laigter, a free tool that enables you to perform special effects on sprites quickly and easily.  Even better, the source code is available on GitHub under the GPL 3.0 license.

    Laigter is described as:

    This tool lets you generate normal maps for 2D textures, with little effort. Specially designed for Sprites in 2D games. Specular map generation is possible too, which gives your sprites the shininess they need to look PRO! It also let's you create parallax maps, mainly intended for backgrounds, to obtain a nice 3D effect in 2D games!

    Normal Maps lets you create awesome realistic lights for games. This tool is primary intended for illuminating 2D sprites for 2D games, although can also be used for 2D textures for 3D games.

    Specular Maps lets you make realistic shine into your sprites.

    Parallax Maps lets you "deform" the texture depending the point of view, so you can create, for example, depth effects in backgrounds like brick walls.

    Ambient Occlusion maps lets you define to which parts ambient light should reach weaker. Adds realism to lights.

    Laigter is available on Itch.io under a name your own price system (with an option of free available).  Laigter is available for Windows and Linux.  Check out the video below to see Laigter in action.

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