Subscribe to GameFromScratch on YouTube Support GameFromScratch on Patreon Join the GFS Discord Server!
6. July 2020

Sprytile is a free tile map editor that runs entirely inside Blender, similar in functionality to the recently covered Crocotile 3D.  Over the weekend, Sprytile for the most current Blender 2.8x versions was just released. Details from the Sprytile page:

Sorry for the long long long delay, but finally the official release of Sprytile for Blender 2.8 is out!

All of the work porting Blender to 2.8 was handled by Yonji and Ologon, with Ologon taking the work to the finish line.  Ologon has written a guide on the changes to the Blender 2.8 workflow on the forum.

A major change to the workflow is the use of the Sprytile tools tab in the Tools Sidebar. Open the sidebar by pressing the arrow button on the right of the viewport, or pressing the T key.  Another optional workflow change is setting up the pixel viewport. By default, Blender 2.8 will make your textures look darker without this step, but you might want to skip this if you will be using the color correction functionality of Blender.  Sprytile tools are now part of Blender 2.8's toolbar. To use the 'Get Normal' mode, you just need to press 'N' on the keyboard while in Build mode.

I'm very grateful to the community for porting Sprytile to Blender 2.8 and continuing to showcase the work they make with Sprytile.

Sprytile is available as a free download here, with the documentation available here.  Be sure to note that many things have changed for Blender 2.8, shown in the guide above, or by watching Sprytile in action in the video below.

Art GameDev News

2. July 2020

Allegorithmic (now Adobe) are well known for their excellent Substance Designer and Painter texturing tools have recently released a major update for Alchemist, their Quixel Mixer competitor.  The biggest new feature to Alchemist is the AI driven Image to Material, an image importing option along side the existing B2M functionality.  From the release notes, Image to Material is describe as:

Bring the outside world into your creations. For the first time, tap into the power of AI to convert a simple photograph into a full material with incredible accuracy. No need for complex and expensive photogrammetry equipment; use pictures taken on a holiday or in your backyard, in any lighting condition.

The Image to Material filter will generate a perfect albedo, as well as normal and displacement maps which closely match the original real-life surface.

The release also adds new filters, texture importing and management tools and more.  Substance Alchemist is available as part of a Substance Subscription, and there is a 30 day fully functional trial available here.  You can check out Substance Alchemist and the new features in the hands-on video below.

GameDev News Art

10. June 2020

Pixologic have just released a new free version of their ZBrush sculpting application, ZBrushCore Mini.  Details of the software from the homepage:

ZBrushCoreMini is all about sculpting. Start with a simple sphere or a stone block, then use a select group of the most popular digital sculpting brushes from ZBrush to add or remove material and simply... create! ZBrushCoreMini frees you to explore your imagination.

Once you are happy with your creation, it also provides an exciting new way to share your work with others, through the iMage3D format. On any website, this will simply appear as a regular 2D image. But other users of ZBrushCoreMini can open the file in full 3D!

And with 3D printers increasingly coming into their own, ZBrushCoreMini includes the ability to export your model for real-world printing.

Interestingly however, nowhere do they mention the major limitation of the Mini version, not even on the version comparison page.  From the EULA:

       2.5 ZBrushCoreMini 

ZBrushCoreMini is intended for educational purposes. It may not be used for commercial, professional and other for-profit purposes. 

This non-commercial license will greatly limit what you can use ZBrushCore Mini for and is something you should be made aware of immediately.  You can learn more about ZBrushCore Mini and see it in action in the video below.

Art GameDev News

10. June 2020

Blender 2.83 was released last week and one of the new features is tentative support for Virtual Reality headsets in the form of Scene Inspection:

Scene inspection refers to the ability to inspect the scene in VR, without interacting with content. Essentially this means head-mounted display (HMD) support as well as some simple settings (controllable from outside the VR view) to control the experience.

Examples of supported use cases:

  • VR as a way for directors or clients to inspect scenes and give feedback to artists.
  • Pre-visualization for artists working on VR games.
  • Samsung GearVR/Google Cardboard movie making and app development.

Blender VR support is via OpenXR, which unfortunately isn’t currently supported by HTC or Steam VR headsets.  Details about supported headsets are available here.  Check out the new Blender VR functionality in action in the video below.

Art GameDev News

5. June 2020

Embergen, by JangaFX is a real-time fluid simulation software for creating fire and smoke effects for game and film projects.  You can create and modify fluid simulations in real-time on consumer class graphics hardware and export your results in flipbook or image sequence formats for use in games, or export in OpenVDB format, an open standard Blender 2.83 just acquired the ability to import.

Details from the 0.5.3 release:

  • Improved the fidelity and simulations of ALL presets and added 9 new presets.
  • Pressure solver improvements:
    • Improve base pressure solver accuracy and performance.
    • Slight memory reduction.
    • Expose more pressure solver controls.
    • Increasing the parameters will improve the accuracy and produce better motion, but are more expensive.
  • Volume masking/Simulation post-processing (only visual, not affecting the simulation): Motion blur, Sharpening, Dilate, Stylized.
  • Basic navigation gizmo in the lower left corner to show orientation.
  • Fixed crashes and freezes when previewing some output modes.
  • Fixed the Simulation upscaling parameters being incorrect when loading from a preset.
  • Improved tooltips.
  • Sixpoint and normals fixed for upscaling.
  • Improved background color with transparency.
  • General rendering improvements and speedup.
  • Simulation looping:
    • No longer cuts on the first loop wraparound.
    • Fixed an off-by-one error where later loop iterations did not sync properly.
    • Fixed parameters not animating correctly.
  • Improved accuracy of turbulence advection.
  • Made the ExportVDB node work similar to the ExportImage node. Certain widgets will “multicast” when multiple nodes are selected, e.g. timing controls and export masks.
  • Displays tick in the timeline indicating which frames will be exported.
  • Automatic frame timings when looping.
  • Fixed colors and forces when using multiple emitters and shapes for colored smoke.
  • Fixed a difference in lighting between the basic mode and combustion.
  • UI Improvements: Informational text displayed when necessary per node, e.g. if the license or trial is expired.
  • Disabled buttons now have a red border.
  • Fixed bug preventing timeline key editing.
  • Small visual tweaks to the timeline for user experience and consistency.
  • Stop sliders from keeping focus after submitting.
  • Tooltips no longer display when their respective UI element is occluded.
  • Fix incorrect behavior for color picker widgets.
  • The color picker will no longer lock up and become unresponsive.
  • A bunch of smaller bug fixes.
  • Miscellaneous Improvements: Lots of refactoring and delicious code cleanup.

Embergen has a fully functional 2 week trial available here as well as several free OpenVDB datasets to start with.  You can learn more and see Embergen in action in the video below.

GameDev News Art

See More Tutorials on!

Month List