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10. December 2019


Autodesk have just released their annual update to Maya, Maya 2020.  Detailed release notes are currently unavailable so all we have to go off right now is the press release features:

Maya 2020 highlights include:

-- Over 60 animation features and updates to the graph editor and time slider.

-- Cached Playback: Experience faster animation playback and more predictable results with new preview modes, layered dynamics caching, and more efficient caching of image planes.

-- Animation bookmarks: Mark, organize, and navigate through specific events in time and frame playback ranges.

-- Arnold GPU: Access Arnold 6 for production rendering on the CPU and GPU.

-- Bifrost for Maya: Significant performance improvements, Cached Playback support, and new MPM cloth constraints bring even more power to the visual programming environment.

-- Viewport improvements: Interact with and select dense geometry or a large number of smaller meshes faster in the viewport and UV editors.

-- Modeling enhancements: Spend more time modeling and less time cleaning up your models, with new Remesh and Retopologize features.

-- Rigging improvements: Simplify rig and character TD work with matrix-driven workflows, nodes for precisely tracking positions on deforming geometry, and a new GPU-accelerated wrap deformer.

While not currently updated, you will eventually be able to download a 30 day trial of Maya 2020 here.  Additionally Autodesk have released a short 4min feature video for Maya 2020 available here.  You can learn more about this release in the video below.

Art GameDev News


27. November 2019


Humble are running a new bundle of interest to game developers, specifically 2D animators.  The Humble Software Bundle: 2D Animation is based around two key pieces of software, Crazytalk 8 Standard and Crazytalk Animator 3 Pro, both from RealIllusion.  As always the bundle is broken into tiers, the tiers of this bundle are:

1$

  • Face Filter 3
  • Makeup PRO

18$

  • CrazyTalk 8
  • Dress Up Show Time
  • Dress Up Work Wear
  • Stylized Classic Avatars
  • Garry Pye’s Comic Faces

25$

  • CrazyTalk Animator 3 PRO
  • G3 Animals Dogs
  • G3 Human Motions – Smooth Moves
  • G3 Animated Props – Fun Stuff
  • G3 Elastic Motions – Come and Go


With Humble Bundles you can decide how your funds are distributed, choosing between the developer, Humble, charity and if you so choose (and thanks if you do!) to support GameFromScratch if you purchase using this link.  Check out the video below for more details on the bundle.  Stay tuned for more hands-on content with CrazyTalk and CrazyTalk Animator in the near future!

GameDev News Art


18. November 2019


OGMO is a free and open source level editor, written in Haxe by Matt Makes Games the makers of Celeste among other games.  The level editor is available on GitHub under the MIT open source license.  OGMO 3.1(.1) was just released.

Details of the new release from the changelog:

  • 3.1.1
    • Added entity image to entity palette
    • Move broken levels to trash instead of deleting them permanently
    • Fix image previews leaking out of the popup
    • Fix a typo in the popup box-shadow
    • Don't show the "delete" option for image popups
    • Added .ogmo file association metadata
  • 3.1.0 
    • Improved non-json file handling in the level manager panel
    • Added the ability to use an image for Entities

If you are interested in checking out OGMO, be sure to check the documentation, which also includes instructions on how to build the Haxe code yourself.  If you would like to see OGMO in action, be sure to check out the video below.

Design GameDev News


15. November 2019


Tiled, the open source map editor, the open source map editor just released version 1.3, the first major release in almost a year.  Details of the 1.3 release from the release notes:

Scripted Extensions

The biggest change in this release is the introduction of the scripting API, which allows you to extend the functionality of Tiled with JavaScript. Scripts can implement custom actions, custom editing tools and add support for additional map or tileset formats.

Almost everything that can be modified through the UI can be changed through a script as well. Scripts can also connect to certain events to automate actions, for example on loading or saving an asset. Any changes made by scripts automatically create appropriate undo commands, which can be grouped together using the Asset.macro function.

Scripts can be grouped in folders to make it easier to share them with others, for example by cloning a git repository into the extensions folder. Tiled automatically reloads the scripts when it detects a change to any loaded script file.

Issues View

A new “Issues” view was added, where reported warnings and errors are displayed persistently and can be searched. Many of the issues reported here can also be double-clicked to jump to the relevant location for fixing the issue. The error and warning counts are displayed on the status bar to make sure they don’t go unnoticed.

While Tiled may encounter many issues of itself, for example when AutoMapping or exporting to certain formats, issues can also be reported through the scripting API. This could be used to add sanity checks to make sure your map won’t trigger an error in your game.

Configurable Keyboard Shortcuts

The keyboard shortcuts of most actions can now be changed from the new Keyboard tab in the Preferences. Shortcut schemes can be imported and exported and potential conflicts are marked in red.

New Update Notifications

Tiled now features a native up-to-date check, which displays an unobtrusive notification in the status bar whenever it detects that a newer version is available. This replaces the previously used 3rd-party solutions Sparkle and WinSparkle. For those who don’t want it, it can be turned off in the Preferences, in which case you can still manually check for a new version by opening the “About Tiled” dialog.

The new system does not automatically download & install the new package. For automatic updates, I recommend installing Tiled through the itch.io app.

Be sure to check the full release notes for an in-depth change log.  You can learn more about this release in the video below.  Additionally we have done a complete tutorial series that will get you up and running with Tiled.

Art GameDev News Design


12. November 2019


Today Epic Games have announced the acquisition of Quixel, the maker of the massive MegaScans PBR texturing library as well as texture creation and management tools Quixel Bridge and Mixer.  The acquisition is a gigantic boon for Unreal Engine developers, as they will get access to the massive texture libraries for free!  Additionally, even non-UE4 users benefit from this deal, as Megascans subscriptions are being improved and Mixer and Bridge 2020 are both being released for free!

Details from the Unreal Engine blog:

Today we are thrilled to announce that Quixel, creator of the world’s largest photogrammetry asset library and bundled toolset, has joined the Epic Games family!
Founded in 2011, Quixel is based in Sweden, and over 100 employees across six countries worldwide are joining the Epic Games team. Quixel’s products include Megascans, an extensive library of 2D and 3D photogrammetry assets, supported by companion applications Bridge and Mixer.

[SNIP]

As part of making the Quixel Megascans library of more than 10,000 assets free for all use with Unreal Engine, ten high-resolution packs have been shared today for free on the Unreal Engine Marketplace, as well as assets from the popular Iceland collection used in the “Rebirth” cinematic short. Additional asset packs will be made available for free on the Marketplace at a future date within the Unreal Engine 4.24 release timeframe.

And more details from the Quixel blog:

Megascans becomes free for use with Unreal Engine

The Megascans library is now completely free for use with Unreal Engine.

That means that if you are using Megascans with UE4, you get free, unlimited, and instant access to all of Megascans through Bridge and Mixer, and a wealth of Megascans packs on the Unreal Engine Marketplace. Ten high-resolution packs have been shared today for free on the Unreal Engine Marketplace, with additional asset packs being made available for free on the Marketplace at a future date within the Unreal Engine 4.24 release timeframe. This way, you can access the content in whatever way you prefer.

If you’re using Megascans only with UE4, we’ll refund all of your subscriptions for 2019. If you have an active subscription, log in to find out how to obtain a refund. If you have made Megascans purchases in 2019, but do not have an active subscription, we’ll reach out to you regarding refunds.

Megascans subscription prices lowered for everyone

Furthermore, with the generous backing of Epic, we’re immediately slashing the pricing of Megascans, giving you nearly twice as much content to download, and removing the resolution cap—for everyone, regardless of what engine, DCC or renderer you love and rely on. We’re also giving you a refund for the remaining duration of your subscription period to allow you to hop onto one of our new plans. If you have an active subscription, log in to find out how to obtain a refund.

Bridge and Mixer 2020 will be 100% free for everyone

But that’s not all. Epic is helping us make the upcoming 2020 versions of Bridge and Mixer 100% free for everyone, with no subscription required and both fully featured. We are releasing these new free versions within a few weeks from now and I’m thrilled to finally be able to share with you the upcoming updates.

Excellent news all around!  If you want to learn more, be sure to check out our video below.  If you want to see Quixel in action, be sure to check out our earlier hands-on video.

Art GameDev News


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