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21. August 2011

 

When just starting out with Blender, figuring your way around the UI is probably the most difficult step.  One of the most difficult things to come to terms with is creating and closing windows.  This is something that changed massively from Blender 2.4 to 2.5, so a lot of the documentation out there is simply out dated.

 

This video shows you how to arrange Blender exactly how you want it.  Once you figure out the way things work, it is amazingly power, but it can be confusing at first.  The video is of Blender 2.59 and is shot at 1080p for maximum clarity.

 

 

Customizing Blender 2.59’s User Interface

EDIT (8/25/2011): Click here for Vimeo video.

Art


17. August 2011
 

I’ve been a little to focused on C++ I completely missed and forgot to mention that a new release of Blender, Blender 2.59 was release (*cough* 3 days ago *cough*). A ton of new bug fixes, include one specifically for exporting to Unity, have been addressed.  Additionally added support for 3D Mouse(s?), Custom Keymapping, an Ivy and Tree generator.

 

Click here to download now.

 

I will check shortly to see if it works “out of the box” with Unity.

 

EDIT: 8/17/2011  Nope, default export didn’t work.  Can’t say I’m shocked.

EDIT2: User woodn has provided an updated importer script.  Download it, extract the .py file and extract it to your Unity install directory /Editor/Tools folder, overwriting the existing importer.

After updating the import script it would successfully import dae files, but wouldn’t automatically process .blend files, at least for me.

Art


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:

ngon1

 

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

ngon2

 

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:

ngon3

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:

ngon4

 

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

ngon5

 

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.

Art


2. July 2011

 

As I noticed on Gamedev.net Design3 made a series of tutorials for Blender 2.5x UI navigation available.  Considering that the user interface may perhaps be Blender’s most difficult aspect for new users, these can be incredibly handy. 

 

However, Design3 have made available all off their tutorials available for free until July 10th.  Considering they cover Blender and Unity development, this should be of interest to all of you, so check it out.  You do have to sign up for a free account to access many of the tutorials however.

 

**

Big gotcha, their site SUCKS with Internet Explorer 9!  Badly.  Point blank, the registration process will not complete if you are using IE9. It worked flawlessly in Chrome however.

**

Art


15. June 2011

 

Earlier this week I described the process of building Blender for Windows using CMake and Visual Studio.  While I was doing I actually did a series of screen captures for the more visual learners amongst us.  Problem is, my machine decided editing 1080p video was a crime against humanity, so I wasn’t able to get them posted.  I can happily say, the problems have been rectified.

 

Compiling Blender ‘Avocado’ on Windows

 

 

Of course a great deal of the video will be unreadable in this resolution.  I recommend using an HD version on YouTube.  Or for the Vimeo inclined click here.

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