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13. March 2016


BDX is a 3D engine that is hosted inside Blender and uses Java and the LibGDX library for programming.  For more information I took a pretty in-depth look at an earlier version available here.  Basically BDX installs as a Blender add-on, which you use to create your games content and levels, but you use LibGDX and Java to program your actual game.  BDX exposes several Blender features to your game, such as physics properties.


Details of this release are available on /r/gamedev, but the heart of the release are:

  • Saving the meshes from Blender has been optimized, which can make the starting process a ton faster.
  • Rendering to a depth texture for depth-based 2D screen shaders is now possible.
  • Additional built-in screen shaders include: Outline, Invert, and Depth-Of-Field shaders.
  • You can now color, tint, and otherwise alter individual materials on a GameObject.
  • Camera functions have been added to allow for view changes (i.e. changing the viewport width of the camera view).
  • Various bug-fixes.

It’s an interesting project, especially if you are working with Blender and Java, and is one you should consider checking out.  It is complete free and open source, released under the Apache 2 license.

GameDev News

28. February 2016


I have done several complete Blender tutorials here on GameFromScratch on using Blender including this one and this one that take you from complete beginners to reasonably fluent.  Taking the next step however can be quite tricky.  So I’m going to do a series of quick and simple tutorials showing how to accomplish a specific task in Blender.  Keep in mind, this shows one way of doing things, not necessarily the right way.  These tutorials assume you already know how to operate Blender, so if you do not, be sure to check out one of the two earlier linked tutorials.

There is now a video version of this tutorial available here.


Modeling a Low Polygon Sword

In this tutorial I am going to model the entire thing as a single mesh.  You could of course model it component by component if you preferred.


Start with the default Blender cube.



Switch to edit mode, insert an edge loop (Ctrl + R), apply immediately.



Switch to Polygon editing mode (CTRL + TAB + 3), select the left most face and delete (X) select Vertices:



Now go into modifiers, add a Mirror modifier.  Select the appropriate axis to mirror along (Y in my case)



This puts us back to having a cube again:



Now, still in edit mode, select everything (A), then scale along X then Z axis ( S-X, then S-Z ), so your shape looks like this:



Select the end face (non-mirrored one) and extrude ( E ) it several times.



Now switch to the side view, then apply a Bend (Shift + W), like so:



This presents a small problem, our vertices left the mirror axis:



The easiest solution is to select the top vertices, then in properties (N), manually set the mirror axis value to 0, then repeat for the bottom vertices.



I’m going to be extruding the sword blade out next, but first I want the edge to be flat so the blade extrudes cleanly.  This is easily accomplished in a non-intuitive way...  select these edges:



Then scale 0 along the axis you want to align.  This can be accomplished with S+Z+0, aka, scale 0 along the Z axis, with the following result:



Easy enough...  now we need to make a few edge cuts so we have a nice extrude-able blade.  First make a pair of loop cuts like so:



By the way, when making your edge cut (Ctrl + R), before right clicking to commit you can use the wheel mouse to make multiple evenly spaced cuts.  Or new edge loops are a bit two far apart when evenly spaced, so move them closer together.  With both newly created loops still selected, simply scale on the X axis (S+X) and move the two edge loops closer together.  Then add another edge loop at the edge, like so:



Now simply extrude our newly created polygon  a couple times:



Grab the top most edge to make things pointy...



Now taper the edge however you like your sword to look:


Finally we need a hilt...  Everything we need is in place already...  If you look at the bottom of the sword, it should look something like this:



First less flatten the one polygon (S+Z+0) like we did with the blade, just this time with the single polygon selected:



If you prefer the look, you could have flattened the entire bottom of the sword.  Next scale along the X axis, then move it slightly down the Z axis:



And time for more extrusions...



Now move and scale things until it looks like you want...



TADA... one low polygon sword in about 3 minutes time.  Of course you probably want to add a bit of detail here and there...  Mostly this can be accomplished with bevels (CTRL + B), for example using a bevel we can add so detail to the hilt or handle should we wish, like so:



After loop cutting in and beveling whatever additional detail you wish into the model, leave edit mode and apply the Mirror modifier:



And tada:



11. February 2016


I have to say, I just came across this custom branch of Blender and it’s astonishingly good.  In addition to a number of improvements to viewport lighting, this Blender branch actually brings PBR (Physically Based Rendering) to the Blender viewport.  To really appreciate what has been accomplished here, you really need to check out the video.

Blender PBR viewport Branch v0.2 from Clément FOUCAULT on Vimeo.

You can also see a direct before and after shot below!

This is truly some impressive work. It is available on the Author's website. By the way, he is looking for work in the GameDev field... someone hire this guy!

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8. February 2016


This story coming care of /r/gamedev, BDX released version 0.2.3.  BDX is a game engine hosted inside Blender using LibGDX and Java for game programming.  Essentially it enables you to define and create your game in Blender, including complete physics integration, while generating LibGDX code.  I did a pretty in-depth tutorial on working with BDX a while back.

In this release:

Here's a short change-log:

  • Per-pixel sun, point, and spot lighting. As it was before, you can simply create the lights in Blender to have them show up in-game, or spawn them during play.
  • Ability to turn off per-pixel lighting for lower-spec targeted platforms and devices.
  • Improvements to the profiler.
  • GameObjects can now switch the materials used on their mesh. You can specify the name of a material available in the scene in Blender, or you can directly provide a LibGDX material to use, in case you have one custom-made.
  • Various fixes and QOL improvements.

Check it out! We could always use some more feedback and testing.

It’s a cool project and if you are working in Blender and LibGDX is certainly something you should check out!

GameDev News

1. February 2016


PBR, Physically-Based Rendering, is the new hotness in the CG world, especially with the increasing popular of Substance Painter.  The end result of that process is a number of textures specifically for channels such as Roughness, Metallic, etc.  Taking the results from Substance to Blender however hasn’t always been the easiest.  Now there exists a plugin for easily consuming PBR textures in Blender using the Cycles renderer.

From the product page:

Easy PBR right inside Cycles!

With the rise of PBR in the AAA game industry and Allegorithmic’s wildly popular Substance toolset, it’s about time someone created a simple solution for implementing PBR textures inside of Blender. Finally, no more fiddling for hours with material nodes trying to vaguely make something that looks good. Now there’s one solution that gets it right every time and in every lighting condition! Liberate yourself as an artist to focus on your art!

Plug and Done!

Based on a PBR Metal/Rough workflow, all you have to do is import your textures, plug them in, and you’re ready to go! This node group supports maps for:

  • Base Colour (Albedo, Diffuse…)
  • Ambient Occlusion
  • Roughness
  • Metallic
  • Normal
  • Emission

It adds a new shader node to Blender that makes it easy to wire up the appropriate maps:


While not free, it does cost less than 5$.

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