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17. April 2018


If you are a Blender Game Engine (BGE) fan, I have some bad news for you.  Earlier today BGE was removed from the Blender 2.8 branch of source code.  This means in the next version of Blender and beyond, there will no longer be an in-built game engine.  The game engine was never particularly popular and apparently caused a bit of a code maintenance nightmare, so the decision was made to remove it.  Then changes to the game engine are massive, touching 916 files in the code base.

Details of the change from the Blender code commit comments:

Removing Blender Game Engine from Blender 2.8

Folders removed entirely:

  • //extern/recastnavigation
  • //intern/decklink
  • //intern/moto
  • //source/blender/editors/space_logic
  • //source/blenderplayer
  • //source/gameengine

This includes DNA data and any reference to the BGE code in Blender itself.
We are bumping the subversion.

Pending tasks:

  • Tile/clamp code in image editor draw code.
  • Viewport drawing code (so much of this will go away because of BI removal that we can wait until then to remove this.

You can learn more about the change in this video, also embedded below.

Art Programming GameDev News


17. April 2018


Foundry, the makers of Mara and Modo among other CG applications, have just released Kanova in early access on Steam.  Kanova is a 3D sculpting application in the same vein as Mudbox and ZBrush, although designed for a VR workflow.  Using your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headset you can model in 3D like working with virtual clay.  Don’t worry desktop users, VR is not required to use Kanova.  The nicest part is, Kanova is also currently free as part of the early access release!


Details of the new application from Steam:

Kanova is a simple, easy to use, VR enabled, 3D sculpting application. It uses the patented 3D Adaptive Distance Field (ADF) technology developed by Foundry. Unlike other tools on the market, Kanova can be used in pure VR form, for creative exploration, or as a hybrid/VR desktop application. Artists can further refine and develop creations by exporting to Foundry's 3D content creation platform, Modo and Modo indie.
Sculpting in VR completely changes artists typically approach creating 3D objects. Freeing them from learning technical tools and terminology and allowing them to intuitively sculpt 3D objects in a natural fashion. The simplified nature of Kanova's interaction means that it appeals to first time users to 3D as well as seasoned artists and industry professionals, giving each a unique tool from which to create 3D artwork.
Feature highlights include:

  • Editing scenes using Kanova in desktop mode and within the VR environment
  • Selecting different modeling tools
  • Creating multiple layers
  • Sculpting and painting in color
  • Exporting to Sketchfab format


The Kanova User Guide provides details on the features available and how to access them using the Kanova desktop application and from within the VR environment.


I went hands on with Kanova in this video, also embedded below.  While early in development, it’s an application that holds a heck of a lot of potential.

Art


9. February 2018


With the release of Unity 2018.1 beta, Unity have developed a completely new programmable graphics pipeline.  On top of this new rendering technology Unity have a new shader tool called Shader Graph.  Shader Graph enables you to create shaders using a drag and drop interface by creating graphs of render nodes.


To get started with the new Shader Graph, you need to be running Unity 2018.1 Beta or newer.  Additionally you currently need to download this example scene.  You can see the Shader Graph in action in this video also embedded below.

Programming Art


6. February 2018


Today on /r/gamedev a new online tool for generating procedural 2D sprites was just released.  I did a quick video of Spritify in action you can check out here on embedded below.  Spritify is a free browser based tool for generating procedural sprites.   The tool is quite simple but could certainly use some improved documentation ( or… any documentatio for that matter! ) but it is certainly usable now.


Essentially you start by painting on a fat grid pixel display using these controls

image


Draw the contour and your shape, fill the body accordingly with optional mirroring like so:

image


Various controls are available about how your sprites should be generated:

image


And at the bottom of the screen, several different procedural sprites will be generated:

image


Pretty cool tool over all.


Art


30. January 2018


CoaTools, or Cut Out Animation Tools, 1.0 was just released.  Coatools is a free and open source plugin for Blender that enables users to create 2D animations directly in Blender, bringing IK based animation techniques to traditional 2D art.  It’s very similar in scope and function to other animation packages such as Spine, Spriter, Creature and Dragonbones.  The 1.0 release was quickly followed by a 1.0.1 update.


Details of these releases:

1.0 Release:

This is the first official stable release of the COA Tools.
It features a rich set of tools to create 2D Cutout Animation in Blender.

Some of the features that were in the Alphas and Betas available are disabled now. They can still be enabled in the Addon Preferences. But it is not recommended as they are going to be removed in the future releases. Thats the reason why I wanted to release an official release where they were still present, but deprecated. Some people may have used such features in older projects.

So here are the tools that probably won't work properly right now:

  • Experimental Json export (was used to export to godot. Will be removed.)
  • Spritesheet mechanics (Is replaced by so called Slot Objects. Will be removed)
  • Dragonbones Export( Many things have changed so this exporter will need a proper rewrite. Going to be modified in the future)

The addon features a complete new Addon Updater thanks to the CGCookie Addon Updater Module. Via this module I will make sure to autoupdate the addon in the future. So you can easily keep the addon up to date.

1.0.1 Release:

Trying to do publish new features/bug fixes now more often in maintainence releases.
Thanks to the new updater module people should get those features right away.

Additions:

  • Improve Sprite import (importing json files lets you choose which images should be imported. Updating images is now also integrated)
  • Improve Sprite Outliner (Sprites are now sorted based on the z depth. Rearranging sprite orders is now also included into the Outliner. AZ icon in the upper right corner)
  • Picking edge length for contour drawing in Edit Mesh Mode. Shift+Click on an edge will now pick that edge lenght for drawing contours.


You can download CoaTools on Github.  For more details be sure to check out this video, which is also embedded below.

Art GameDev News


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