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14. July 2011

 

In my prior descriptions, I had some not too nice words for the GIMP.  For those that have GIMPnever heard of it, The Gimp is a free art program, generally regarded as the closest thing to Photoshop that the OpenSource world has to offer.  In my prior use, I found the GIMP pretty much terrible and I resorted to using the much less powerful but more more enjoyable Paint.Net.

 

 

 

 

That said, I started running into limitations almost instantly, so I gave the GIMP another shot, and colour me impressed!  I managed to import multiple screenshots, into a single layer, resize and crop them all in one action, optimize and export for animated GIF in minutes.  This was an eye opening experience!

 

That said, I then spent 5 minutes and had to resort to Googling to figure out how to draw a line… so, yeah, the UI still needs a bit of work!  Fortunately that is what they are working on now.  All told though, I really shouldn’t have had such a negative view of this app, when using it to actually get something done, as opposed to just messing around in it, it came through brilliantly.

Art


13. July 2011

 

Tweak is a neat feature in Wings 3D that allows you to do radius based editing, by setting a falloff radius of effect.  There is one confusing thing with Tweak though, when setting the radius, you get the following item in the info bar:

image

 

Here’s the catch, in order for the radius adjustment to be working, you need to be actively mousing over an object!

Tweak Radius modifier in action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tweak radius modifier in action.

Art


11. July 2011

 

You’ve probably seen me ( and many others ) mention ngons in the past and if you are drawing a bit of blank on why they matter, here is a bit of a demonstration.  An ngon is simply a face with more than 4 edges.  Let me illustrate.

 

Let’s say you have a object like this:

ngon1

 

And you wanted to cut one of the faces in half like this:

ngon2

 

Well, everything looks normal, but in reality you just created an nGon ( two actually ).  See, look at the number of edges in one of the faces you just created:

ngon3

See, 5 edges.  In a app that doesn’t support ngons ( such as Blender without bmesh ), this simply isn’t possible.  In Blender, you would need to cut all the way around the object to make sure no polygons have more than 4 faces, like this:

ngon4

 

This is purely a modeling feature though, at the end of the day, Unity will convert your object to triangles, like this.

ngon5

 

This is why working in quads is always so handy, they convert to triangles in a very predictable way.  Working in ngons is incredibly handy, allowing you to model detail only where you need it.  It makes it a lot more difficult to screw you your topology with needless geometry.  But as illustrated by the final figure, it’s not the end of the world, everything ends up the same in the end.

Art


2. July 2011

 

As I noticed on Gamedev.net Design3 made a series of tutorials for Blender 2.5x UI navigation available.  Considering that the user interface may perhaps be Blender’s most difficult aspect for new users, these can be incredibly handy. 

 

However, Design3 have made available all off their tutorials available for free until July 10th.  Considering they cover Blender and Unity development, this should be of interest to all of you, so check it out.  You do have to sign up for a free account to access many of the tutorials however.

 

**

Big gotcha, their site SUCKS with Internet Explorer 9!  Badly.  Point blank, the registration process will not complete if you are using IE9. It worked flawlessly in Chrome however.

**

Art


28. June 2011

 

Often times, especially when modeling real world objects, you like to use a reference image to model against.  The following video shows how to setup a pair of reference images in Wings 3D.  The process is pretty straight forward.

 

Step 1:  With nothing selected, right click and select Image Plane…

image

 

Step 2: Select the file to use as your background image.

Step 3: You can now rotate,scale, etc… the image until it is in the location you want. When scaling or translating, make sure you are in body ( B ) mode, so it all scales properly.

Heres mine.

image

Step 4: Now you can add as many more as you want ( side profile, front, etc… )

Step 5: Now you can should lock the image planes so they cannot be selected.  Select nothing ( spacebar ), now Select(Menu)->Lock UnSelected Objects.

image

 

Done.

 

The following video shows this process, creating and sizing both a front and right side reference image.  Of course, there is a Vimeo link as well.

 

Creating reference images in Wings3D

Art


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