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23. May 2019


Today GitHub just announced GitHub Sponsors, a new funding model that just may change the way a lot of open source projects get funded.  Instead of relying on third party services such as Patreon to fund open source development projects, GitHub sponsors will enable users to financially support their favourite open source projects directly on GitHub.

Details from the GitHub blog:

Zero fees

Open source is the heart of GitHub. The developers who build our shared digital infrastructure are what make this community so strong. As a thank you for these valuable contributions, GitHub Sponsors charges zero platform fees when you support the work of other developers. We’ll also cover payment processing fees for the first 12 months of the program to celebrate the launch. 100% percent of your sponsorship goes to the developer.

A global team

GitHub Sponsors supports payouts all around the world, in every country where GitHub does business. We are all part of a global software team. Expanding opportunities to participate on that team is at the core of our mission, so we’re proud to make this new tool available to developers worldwide.

All contributors welcome

Many contributions that are crucial to a well-functioning project are not visible in code review. GitHub Sponsors is built for funding all types of work that advance open source software. Anyone who contributes to open source—whether through code, documentation, leadership, mentorship, design, and beyond—is eligible for sponsorship.

One more way to contribute

GitHub Sponsors is one more way to contribute to open source: financially supporting the people who build and maintain it. Funding individuals helps them keep doing important work, expands opportunities to participate, and gives developers the recognition they deserve. Starting today, any GitHub user can sponsor an open source developer in the program.

Native to your GitHub workflow

You can now sponsor developers as a seamless part of your familiar workflow. When a contributor answers your question, triages your issue, or merges your code, you can head to their profile—or simply hover over their username—to sponsor their work.

Currently the system is launching on a waiting list system, you can join the wait list here (GitHub login required).

In addition to launching GitHub Sponsors, they have also launched the GitHub Sponsors matching fund:

To supercharge community funding, GitHub created the GitHub Sponsors Matching Fund, which matches up to $5000 per sponsored developer in their first year of sponsorship. In the first year, GitHub will not charge any fees, so 100% of sponsorships will go to the sponsored developer. In the future, we may charge a nominal processing fee.

With direct GitHub integration, global support and zero fees (at least for the first year), I imagine quite a few projects will transition over from a Patreon funding model.

GameDev News


6. May 2019


If you are looking for a tool to quickly create complex shaders by mixing and matching existing shaders, ShaderFrog might be the perfect tool for you!  Running entirely in your browser, ShaderFrog can be used to create WebGL shaders in two ways.  First you can create a shader by connecting together existing shaders, to create a new composite shader.  Shaders can even be imported from ShaderToy or the GLSL Sandbox.

image

In addition to the composition based approach, there is also a full blown GLSL text editor with automatic compilation/error reporting, syntax highlighting and more.  Once you are happy with your created shader, you can save it, share it, or export it to iOS, Unity or Three.js.

Check out ShaderFrog in action in the video below.

Programming Design Art


1. April 2019


Instead of reporting the April 1st “news”, today we are instead going to look at a pair of excellent free texturing tools that run entirely in your browser, Normal Map Online and Texture Generator Online.  Normal Map online can be sued to create normal, displacement, ambient occlusion and specular maps from a simple height map image.  Texture Generator Online is used for creating simple procedural textures like patterns, noises, terrain and more.

While both tools are easy to use, you can see both of them in action in the video below.  You can also learn more by clicking the question mark icons found within the website.  Chrome is the developers recommended browser, although I ran it without issues in the Firefox browser.   Both services are also available from this homepage.

Art


12. March 2019


SpriteStack.io is a tool for creating 3D pixel art using the technique known as Sprite stacking.  Basically it’s a matter of creating a 3d object by making stacks of sprites.  Sprite stacking is described as:

Sprite stacking is a simple technique that allows you to get 3D models by making a stack of 2D images. Each image is offset by 1 pixel and represents a horizontal slice of a 3D model.

The tool runs entirely in the browser and is very simple to learn.  The help/documentation is available here.  The tool is free to use but requires a $1 payment to enable exporting outside of the public gallery.

You can see SpriteStack in action in the video below.  To get started in SpriteStack click here to launch the editor.

Art


23. February 2019


It’s simply amazing the amount of free software available these days for game developers, and SculptGL is no exception.  It is a 3D sculpting application similar to ZBrush, Sculptris or Mudbox, but it runs entirely inside your browser (or locally via Electron if you prefer).  Features from SculptGL include:

  • Sculpting tools
    • Standard tools : Brush, Inflate, Smooth, Twist, Drag, etc
    • PBR Vertex Painting (color, roughness, metalness)
    • Alpha texture support for each tools
  • Multiresolution sculpting
    • Quad-tri Subdivison (catmull-clark/loop)
    • Reversion (compute opposite of subdvision if possible)
    • Navigating from low/high poly level subdiv will retain sculpting changes
    • keep UVs (both reversion and subdivison)
  • Voxel remeshing
    • Uses SurfaceNets meshing algorithm (produces quad-only mesh)
    • Uniform remeshing (quads will have the same size)
    • Can also create non-manifold vertex :(
    • In case of a non closed mesh, a naive holefilling algorithm is performed first
    • Deletes UV
  • Dynamic topology
    • Triangles only
    • Operates in real time
    • Local subdivision (create new triangles)
    • Local decimation (deletes triangles)
    • Deletes UV
  • Supports OBJ, PLY, STL import/export
    • Reads vertex color
    • Optimizes post and pre transform cache (tipsy algorithm)
  • Undo/Redo support

It is an open source MIT licensed project with the source available on Github.  Check out SculptGL in action in the video below.

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