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29. April 2012

 

 

One of the biggest points of confusion for people new to Blender seems to be navigating the UI.  The UI layout of Blender is amazingly powerful but it is extremely easy to find yourself lost in a sea of windows and panels you’ve opened with no idea how to close them.  This video tutorial shows you how to customize the Blender layout exactly how you want it and once you get the gist of it, it is an extremely powerful system. The video is for Blender 2.59, but should be equally valid in 2.6x.

 

 


 

 

There is no audio, it is entirely narrated on screen.  The video is probably illegible in the embedded window above, however it was encoded at 1080p and hosted on YouTube and Vimeo in HD ( although for some reason the Vimeo encoding looks much worse, so use YouTube for the best quality ).

 

 

If you are just starting out with Blender, I highly suggest you check it out. Once you realize just how much flexibility you have in deciding how you want to work you will become much more productive.  Oh and if you are lucky enough to have multiple monitors, Blender is amazingly flexible in this regard too!

Art


28. April 2012

 

Somewhere between 2.63RC and 2.63 release the Knife tool was changed so that you need to press Enter or Spacebar to commit the changes.  Previously you could commit using the right mouse button, which I preferred.  Lucky enough, it is easily addressed.

 

In Blender, selected the menu File->User Preferences…

 

Switch over to the Input tab, expand 3D View->Mesh then Knife Topology Tool then finally expand Knife Tool Modal Map, like such:

 

image

 

First we need to delete the existing Right Mouse binding, locate it and click the X to the right:

 

image

 

Now scroll down ( within the Knife Tool Modal Map panel) and locate the Add New Button:

 

image

 

 

 

It will insert a new empty record like such:

 

image

 

Expand the arrow to the left of our newly added entry, and it fill it in as follows ( or set by right clicking to the right of the Mouse dropdown):

 

image

 

 

Now locate the Save as Default button in the button left corner of the Window and click it:

 

image

 

Voila, right click should now cause your cuts to commit when you right click.

Art


27. April 2012

 

 

This is the release of Blender I have been waiting a long time for, as this is the release where BMesh has finally been integrated into Blender!  For those of you unaware of what exactlyblender_263 BMesh brings to the table, take a quick look at this post.  Having worked in Wings for so long, and Nendo before that, I have been dying to see ngon support added to Blender.

 

 

 

Expect things to be a bit buggy for a while, the switch to the BMesh engine is a pretty massive change.  That said, expect to see new and more powerful tools coming out, as in many ways BMesh impacts Blender developers as much as it does end users.

 

 

KnifeTool

 

 

 

However, it isn’t only about BMesh.  Cycles has also received a lot of love in the 2.63 release, with new rendering passes for Ambient occlusion and shadows, as well as a mask layer for “masking out” objects in the scene.  Environment mapping has also been improved to support float precision textures.  A mirror ball project mode has been added as well, but frankly, I don’t really understand the use.  Additionally, there is now a panoramic camera, which will render a panoramic view of the scene around the camera’s location.  There have also been improvements to viewport rendering, allowing it to show background images as well as the ability to show the currently active rendering layer in the viewport.

 

 

There are other features as well, including the ability to hide portions of geometry while sculpting, a very handy feature.  There were some additions to the motion tracking tools, as well as over 150 bug fixes.

 

 

One of the biggest releases in a very long time and the one I’ve been most eager to receive.  Kudos to the Blender team for this excellent release.

 

Go download it now!

Art News


23. April 2012

 

 

Photoshop has always been the big boy in the 2D imaging world and I have always found it a bit too expensive at the @ 800$ a license.  What would you say though if you could insteadimage buy Photoshop CS on a subscription basis for 50$ a month?

 

How about if I threw in some cloud based features like online storage?  Still not sold?

 

Ok, how about if I threw in Photoshop Touch as well?  Still not convinced?

 

Oh, how about I threw in say… Illustrator, Lightroom, InDesign, Muse, Acrobat Pro, Flash Pro, Flash Builder Premium, Dreamweaver, Edge, Fireworks, Premiere, After Effects, Audition, SpeedGrade, Prelude, Encore, Bridge, Encoder, Proto, Ideas, Debut, Collage and Kuler?  Did that get your attention?

 

 

Because that is exactly what Adobe just did!

 

 

The newly announced Creative Cloud appears to be a an all you can eat subscription to pretty much everything Adobe makes, coupled with their fairly new web services, like 2GB of cloud storage.

 

Pricing starts at 50$ on a annual commitment basis, rises to 75$ on a month by month basis.  If you are already paying for one or more CS products, this represents a massive discount.  Oh, speaking of already paying, if you are an existing subscriber, it is available until August 31 at 30$ a month!.

 

 

 

Tempted yet? Winking smile

 

 

 

EDIT: I suppose I should point out, you can’t actually buy it yet, its in pre-order at the moment. 

General Art


22. March 2012

 

 

Adobe has recently made Photoshop CS 6 available as beta, which will last until CS6 is PSCS6released.  In order to activate, you need to have an Adobe ID ( freely available ) within 7 days of installing.  The Mac installer is now 64bit only and weighs in at just under 1GB, while the Windows install is closer to 1.7GB.

 

 

 

The biggest new features in Abobe’s own words are:

 

  • Content-Aware Patch — Patch images with greater control using the newest member of the Content-Aware family of technologies. Choose the sample area you want to use to create your patch, and then watch Content-Aware Patch magically blend pixels for a stunning result.
  • Blazingly fast performance and a modern UI — Experience unprecedented performance with the Mercury Graphics Engine, which gives you near-instant results when you edit with key tools such as Liquify, Puppet Warp, and Crop.* Plus, a refined, fresh, and elegant Photoshop interface features dark background options that make your images pop.
  • New and re-engineered design tools — Create superior designs fast. Get consistent formatting with type styles, create and apply custom strokes and dashed lines to shapes, quickly search layers, and much more.

 

 

The content aware tools are easily the biggest new feature, and look pretty impressive as demonstrated in this video:



Another good video showing off the new features is Russel Brown's 6 favorite new features:

 

 



Lynda.com have also made a number of tutorials freely available for CS6.


So, if you are interested in Photoshop CS6, or just want a free copy for a limited time, head on over to labs.adobe.com and give it a download.

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