Weekly Digest

Blender – Paint Effects

Haven’t dealt with shots that involve footprints in the snow or walls being splattered with blueberry pies, my jaw hit the floor when I saw this.  If you’re quick with the mouse, it takes less than 1 minute to set up.

Here’s the instructions.


… and some examples.


Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

Creating Gollum

The Lord of the Rings – Extended Edition DVDs have a great section called “The Taming of Smeagol”, where they talk of the process used to create Gollums 3D character. Includes modeling, motion capture, rigging and animation.

If you don’t have the DVDs, these two videos cover much of the material… maybe all… or more!  Can’t remember.  There’s a bit of overlap between the two linked videos, but if you enjoy one, you’ll find both interesting.

Pixar’s Inside Out


I needed that. A wonderful surprise. Nice work Pixar!

On a related note, I just saw this sweet little animation about addiction and connection.

Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

Talking to Animals

Story of Anna Breytenbach, tracker & animal communicator.

Weekly Digest

R2-D2 model

IMG_3583Took my time with this one to avoid frustration.  I started rushing a few times and quickly realized that there’s no UNDO button this 3D model. Some pieces ended up breaking off and, fortunately, you’ll have to really look to notice them.

In the end, I’m happy I stuck with it as it’s a pretty slick little chunk of metal.

He’s even got a little wind-up bot buddy to chill with.

Thanks sis!

If you want your own R2-D2 Earth Metal buddy, you can get em online.


Python in Blender

It was only a matter of time before I started my journey into scripting in Blender. Learning MEL (Maya’s Embedded Language) was one of the most powerful things any Maya 3D artist can do.  When it came go giving advice to students that were looking to break into the industry, learning scripting was the piece of advice that I could dish out with confidence. Even if you only learn a handful of functions, you can perform (what seem like) miracles.  Spend a day going through a set of introductory tutorials on scripting (Intro to Python in Blender, perhaps) and you’ll feel what I’m laying down here.

My time with MEL has lapsed and now I’m in Blender.  There is a confidence that I am experiencing, knowing that I am moving in the right direction. Putting energy into a language (python) and animation software (Blender) that will never be taken away (till an EMP takes out all electronics).


Blender 3D: Noob to Pro – Advanced Tutorials – Introduction – I am guilty of having not spent as much time in the Noob to Pro series as I should. I guess I get a bit sucked into videos sometimes, too often forgetting the speed and efficiency of text + images. This series is quick n dirty.

Blender 3D: Blending Into Python – Includes optimization guide, cookbook, APC, quickstart, reference, etc

Blender Cookie – Python + Blender – On this Youtube channel, this crew has demonstrated an ability to create quality video tutorials.

Blender.org – Advanced -> Scripting – RTFM!

Blender.org – API documentation – There’s also a link to download the contents in a ZIP file, for localized reference.

Nathan Miller’s Blender Python Notebook – The Proving Ground – Procedurally built architecture?  Includes sections on mesh definition, modifieers, math mesh, random mesh and “supershape 3D”?  Looks like a blast!

Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

Blender – Muscle System

This video demonstrates a relatively simple muscle system that does not rely on blend/tweening shapes in order to correct for the collapsing volumes that are common with most skinning solutions.

For an idea of how this works, you can download from blendswap.com.

Blender 2.76 – New Features

Blender has a new version out, and the thing that first caught my eye was the image below.

The ability to smooth bone weight influences…   smoothly (without using a paintbrush).

When I started learning Blender’s rigging tools, I noticed the lack of a proper workflow for smoothing skinning weights. I spent days trying to replicate  a workflow that I have relied on for years in another software. DAYS. I even preparing a plan and was setting aside time to build a tool to handle this…  but then… BAM!  Here we go.

This is not the first time this Blender has  read my mind.


*10 minutes later*

Installed and tested this on Ubuntu.  Works!!!


I was so excited to see this feature added to Blender, I nearly put this as my Facebook Cover Photo.  Hey!  Don’t look at me like that.

Workflow is everything.  Key word being “flow”. Flow is a difficult state to reach when doing something as technical as rigging and skinning is a process that most everyone hates, even riggers. I’m one of the few that enjoyed the process as was able to get to a nice zen state and just… well…  flow!

I’m a big dork.  Where’s my badge?

This is also  not the only impressive improvement in the newest release.  Checkout the list of new features here.


CGCookie just released a short video demonstrating this new skinning feature, along with the Mesh Data Transfer tool, which simplifies the process of transferring skinning weights.

Weekly Digest

Unity Game Editor on Linux

Experimental build of Unity game editor is available for Linux.  Just installed it and looks good, so far.

Grab the experimental build yourself and give it a whirl.




Weekly Digest

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