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29. May 2018


If you are a pixel artist, one of the most challenging tasks you have to deal with is handling multiple resolutions and aspect ratios that your game might run at.  Thankfully if you are using the newest (Unity 2018.2b3 or later) version of Unity there is now a new component that makes this job borderline trivial.

Announced in the following tweet:

image


You can download the component and a couple sample scenes here on Github, and you can read more about it here.

The 2D Pixel Perfect package contains the Pixel Perfect Camera component which ensures your pixel art remains crisp and clear at different resolutions, and stable in motion.


It is a single component that makes all the calculations needed to scale the viewport with resolution changes, removing the hassle from the user. The user can adjust the definition of the pixel art rendered within the camera viewport through the component settings, as well preview any changes immediately in Game view by using the Run in Edit Mode feature.

Using the camera is simple, once the package is installed, it’s simply added to a camera and configure:

image

Your game should now scale gracefully across resolutions and aspect ratios.  To see the Pixel Perfect Camera in action be sure to watch this video, also embedded below.

GameDev News Art Programming


28. May 2018


Last month we reported that Blender Game Engine (BGE) was being removed entirely from the source code of Blender for the upcoming major 2.8 release.  Judging by the comments section this was certainly a polarizing decision, with replies basically falling into two camps.  On one side there was a lot of “good riddance to bad rubbish” type replies, while in the other camp it was mostly “I’m done with Blender if this happens”.  Clearly the decision impact enough people that something had to be done.  Well, that something was just announced on Twitter:

image


The linked article from the developer mailing list:

Hi all,

The Blender Foundation Development Fund has reserved a number of bigger donations (also on donator's request) for game engine and interactive 3D related features.

Now 2.8 is getting shaped up, it was time to check on this topic. Yesterday afternoon I met with Benoit Bolsee and a couple of Code Quest participants, to discuss the future of Blender's real-time 3D needs and "interaction mode".

The outcome is that Benoit accepted a grant to work as designer and lead developer for one year on bringing back a good real-time interactive 3D system in Blender. He will do this part-time, in average 1.5 days per week, starting July 1st.

Obviously all work and further discussions will be done in public; using our regular channels (mailing lists, code.blender.org, developer.b.o, devtalk.b.o). Help from other Blender developers is very welcome. This will be further announced when Benoit starts.

To summarise, work will first be done in two areas;

- Implement a high quality real-time viewport with physics/event handling. This should result in a pleasant & usable environment to setup and bake simulations.

- Design and prototype a new nodal logic system.

Related to this work is also to enable good support (export or some kind of integration) for external game engines such as Godot, Armory, Blend4Web, Unreal, Unity, etc.

I especially invite the first three (open source) projects to connect with us to find ways to keep a high level of compatibility.

Work on typical GE features such as super-fast drawing (LOD, etc) are welcome too but should be part of the regular work on Blender's viewport and our internal drawing engines. That way everyone benefits. Laters,

-Ton-

Blender Game Engine is not coming back, but a great deal of the functionality that was removed with it will be returning. Additionally Blender will be working directly to support Blender as a game development tool for existing game engines.

Art GameDev News Programming


15. May 2018

 

BForArtists is a special port of Blender aimed specifically at artists.  It aims to move from Blender’s keyboard focused memorization heavy user interface to a more streamlined, visual icon based approached.  The net result is a new interface that is much more mouse heavy and perhaps a bit slower, but also a lot easier to learn.  At it’s core, this is still Blender however, built on top of Blender 2.79.  There is even a Blender keymap mode in case you need tobForArtists1 follow along to an existing Blender tutorial.  On the topic of tutorials, BForArtist also has a comprehensive set of searchable PDF documentation that go step by step through using BForArtist.  Between the release candidate and the final 1.0 release, the follow functionality is new in the 1.0 version:

Release note Bforartists Version 1.0.0 - 10.05.2018

Tools tab - Edit Panel - Hide auto smooth angle slider when Autosmooth is deselected
Added snap icon to the autosnap dropdown menu in graph editor and nla editor

Release note Bforartists Version 1.0.0 RC1 - 04.05.2018

Removed double menu entries Undo, Redo and Undo History from the object menu.
Added the quickstart tutorial link to the help menu too
Youtube Link in Bforartists needs a hint towards Youtube
Added the Liquids material library to the Material Library VX addon
Iconize Brush panel in Particle mode
Removed confirmation dialog for deleting markers in animation editors and tracking editor
Materials Library VX - added basic material library
Missing Hotkeys in UI - changed hotkey for Delete Global
Missing Hotkeys in UI - changed hotkey for Center Cursor and View All
Missing Hotkeys in UI - changed hotkey for Toggle Maximize Area
3D View - View menu - two Toggle Maximize menu items. Renamed to Toggle Fullscreen Area
Merge remote-tracking branch 'blender/master' into sync_blender_master
Texture Paint - Brush Panel - Blend Mode dropdown box without icons
Fixed ... has no attribute draw_ ... error in edit mode
Moved the Transform menu from the object related menus to the tool shelf
Removed Objects and Wireframe subtabs in the object display panel
Added the experimental keymap
Material Library VX, updated the init.py to the latest name convention changes from Blender
Fixed Primitives Creation Modals addon - missing script files warning
Materials library vx - added the Foliage library
Separated the sections in the Create tab panels into single panels. Fixed the add menu in the Misc panel.
Increased the camera clipping default for a camera object
Materials Library VX - ceramic library added
Materials Library VX - added the glass library
Material Library VX addon - added the Metal library
Removed some not necessary texture linkings in the Paint library
Materials Library VX - added the Paint library
Fixed name convention warnings in the materials_library_vx/__init__.py
Fixed name inconsistency warning for the cycles bake panel
Fixed classes names to fit Blender name conventions for panels and menus
Node Toolshelf - Renamed the classes to follow the panel name conventions
Removed the bl_idnames from the panels in the space_node_toolshelf.py . They are not needed for panels
Improve Materials Library VX addon - added preview, made preview and apply buttons bigger
Viewport Display cleanup - put World background out of subtab, rename subtab to Object related
Rename Shading panel to Object Shading panel
Remove double menu entry tilt in curve menu, Removed Mean tilt submenu
GPencil Menu in Edit Strokes mode - Removed the Transform menu. It was a double menu entry.
Gpencil menu in Edit Strokes mode - remove double menu entry Undo, Redo, Undo History
Sculpt mode, Hide/Mask menu, readd hotkey ctrl shift lmb for lasso select
Particle Edit mode - Options panel - hide settings when corresponding checkbox is off
Fix error in materials library vx addon. See Blender commit: https://developer.blender.org/rBA8d3301f66c77e7b5a1f310a311d2055dbd473e09

 

BForArtist is available for download for Mac OS and Windows right here.  Unfortunately for Unix users, there is no current binary version and you need to build from sources.

 

If you are interested in learning the difference between BForArtists and Blender be sure to check out this video explaining the major differences.  I also looked at BForArtists in the past available here as well as much more briefly earlier today, also embedded below:

Art GameDev News


14. May 2018


Synfig Studio 1.3.7 was just released.  Synfig Studio is a free and open source 2D animation package available for Windows, Mac and Linux.    It is used to create 2D animations using both Vector and Bitmap graphics and removes a great deal of the tedium and labour involved in frame by frame animation.  This release is primarily a bug fix release, fixing the following issues:

  • Fixed bug causing FilterGroup layer not save Origin parameter (issue #505).
  • Fixed error preventing user to move keyframe at certain circumstances (issue #503).
  • Fixed crash on Windows when closed file is re-loaded (issue #521).
  • Fixed crash when you press Esc key during the rotation of the object (issue #470).
  • Fixed issue #485: Spline Tool tangent menu crashes Synfig.
  • Fixed issue #502: Attempt to run plugin cause to Synfig crushes.
  • Fixed bug which was causing Synfig fail to start on systems with Gtk prior to version 3.20. This error is caused by incorrect CSS errors handling (style parameter ‘min-height’ was introduced in Gtk 3.20, for earlier version need to use ‘child-min-height’).
  • Added static analyzers CLion and cppcheck (just Synfig Studio for now). Using them would be possible to fix some rare bugs and memory leaks. To run static analysis use analyze_cppcheck.sh or analyze_clion.sh inside synfig-studio folder.
  • Fixed some errors found by analyzers (planned iterated fixing of this sort of bugs).
  • Fixed compilation error on OSX with old GCC.


You can read a more complete change log of commits right here, while Synfig can be downloaded here, you will be prompted for how much you wish to pay as well as for an email address, but you have the option of entering $0.  The source code for Synfig is hosted on Github and is available here.


To learn more about Synfig, check out the following hands-on video:

GameDev News Art


7. May 2018


Autodesk Sketchbook, one of my favorite sketching applications, has just been made free.  That’s actually free, not freemium or subscription based, just download it and start drawing.  The one caveat is after 7 days you need to register an Autodesk.com account, but don’t worry, this is also free.  Sketchbook is also now free on the Image result for sketchbook logoAppStore as well as on Google Play store, so iOS and Android users also get in on the deal.


One fear you often have when a product is made free is over the future of the product.  Is this a sign Autodesk is about to pull the plug?  Thankfully it seems no:

No, SketchBook is not being retired. We will continue to develop SketchBook and SketchBook for Enterprise with a focus on adding functionality to enable designers, architects, and animators to capture conceptual art and designs. While not all functionality will end up in both SketchBook and SketchBook for Enterprise, you will continue to enjoy the robust capabilities of SketchBook and benefit from ongoing enhancements, free of charge.


In regards to the Enterprise addition which still currently has a price tag attached, here are the (vague) details about that version:

SketchBook for Enterprise supports deployment at larger organizations and is included as part of different Autodesk collections. The product has similar features, with the exception of specific cross-product functionality, as it pertains to other Autodesk software in our collections.


You can learn more about SketchBook becoming free watching this video, also embedded below.

GameDev News Art


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