Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

Blender – Day 9 – Cycles Render Engine

Who likes waiting?
I must confess that I was never a big fan of the rendering process. Clicking a button and then waiting minutes while an image (or portion of an image) appears, is… painful.

Perhaps it was all the years working in I.T.. I calculated it ounce, based on a few projects that I worked on. I spent over a year of my life staring at progress bars.

0%…. 10%…. 50%… 51%…. 52%…. 53%…

*passes out*


blender day 9 monkey in cycles
This brings me to Blender’s relatively new render engine, Cycles. Separate from Blender’s built-in render engine, this wonderful addition can create stunning lighting with photo real results…

… though don’t expect anything “photo real” coming from me anytime too soon, I’m still working to get there.

Blender’s Cycle render engine renders stuff on the fly, refining the render more and more, as time progresses. This is making it very simple for lighting setup.

Cycles can also utilize a GPU for faster render speeds, though installation of CUDA is required (for NVIDIA graphics cards). This isn’t something I’m going to mess with yet…   but double or tripling render speeds would be so so sweeeeeet.

Blender – Day 8 – rendering

Looking at this texture video and going to see what I can do in 2 hours. Full article is on BlenderGuru.

Later, use this to do some automatic corner shading.

And checkout the updates to this interesting point data transfer tool.

Weekly Digest

Blender – Day 7 – Rendering

Haven’t started messing with the new Cycles renderer yet, but have done some playing today with Blender’s default renderer.

The default renderer does have ambient occlusion and soft shadows, but light doesn’t bounce, so you have to be very creative and use a ton of lights to get the right look. Here’s my first tests, using some models I created using Blender’s modeling tools (which are fun to work with).

Oh yes. Learning a new 3D software is a humbling experience.


Robotic Defenses

Currently looking at the latest robotic tech demo from Boston Dynamics (now owned by Google).

Remembering the classic film, “Runaway”, with Tom Selleck.

Plan to fend those buggers off with my own micro-robots using some open source technologies, like PIXY.

Maybe fool the gait recognition using some of the techniques outlines Doctorow’s book, “Little Brother”.

Speaking of which, CITIZENFOUR is a must-see documentary on Snowden.

Thx to Bobcat for the reminder.

Razer DeathAdder

Configuring my mouse on Linux hasn’t been too important as I tend to be using my mouse on a desktop computer. More desk space means more elbowroom to move around, so I don’t do anything fancy with the mouse “acceleration”.

However, working on a laptop changes this because I’m typically working with limited space. To maximize efficiency, slow movements should be more accurate, easing (for example) the selection of text. Quick movements can jump the cursor to the other side of the screen without having to pull the mouse off the mousepad.

Another thing I had to accommodate for (while using a laptop) is that I usually have different devices plugged in, at different times. This means that the device ID changes, depending what is plugged in. This makes it a pain in the arse to automate.

This line lists the devices and then greps the lines to find the ID of the Razer Mouse.

razer_mouse_id=$(xinput | grep -m 1 "Razer Razer DeathAdder 2013" | awk {'print substr($7,4,2)'})

These lines then use the newly created $razer_mouse_id variable and sets up my deceleration settings. “Constant Deceleration” sets the overall speed (fastest speed), while “Velocity Scaling” sets the polling speed, how often we check (poll) the position of the mouse. The “Adaptive Deceleration” then determines just how much we effect the sensitivity of the mouse down when it’s moving… slowly (if I’m understanding this correctly).

In any case, these are the settings that are working for me… for now.

xinput set-button-map $razer_mouse_id 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2 2

xinput --set-prop $razer_mouse_id "Device Accel Constant Deceleration" 1
xinput --set-prop $razer_mouse_id "Device Accel Adaptive Deceleration" 2
xinput --set-prop $razer_mouse_id "Device Accel Velocity Scaling" .5

Weekly Digest

Blender – Day 6

Setting up a new Linux build w/ Ubuntu 14.04.

Have you tried it yet? Imagine booting from a USB stick and being able to test drive Linux. Without even having to install Ubuntu Linux, I was able to connect to my local library’s WiFi, read my Gmail and use my Wacom tablet. I then double-clicked the “Install Ubuntu” icon that was sitting on my desktop and let the installer run in the background…   as I continued to browse the internet.  If you haven’t yet, I recommend trying it.

I’m not a big fan of the Unity user interface, which is the default UI for recent versions of Ubuntu. However, installing Gnome Classic was stupid easy *clicks button*. This style of UI is more comfortable for most users.

Next, I’m testing out the graphics card using the Sintel character rig in Blender.  All looks good, and we’re mobile!

Oh yeah… isn’t this supposed to be about Blender?

To finish off the day, I felt I should actually create something…  anything. Why not follow a geeky trend on 3/14 and pay tribute to Pi?  I followed this tutorial and was able to being in an SVG file to extrude in to a 3D shape.  Not incredibly impressive, but for those that are spooked out about 3D softwares…   well, I say, “Ave no fear!  Iz EZ!


Weekly Digest

Blender Tutorial Collections 1

33 Brilliant Blender Tutorials



45 Epic Blender Tutorials


Tax time for me, which has to take priority. Plan on putting a bit more time tonight into testing out what I’ve learned by dumping a image online, no matter how crude it might look! o_O


Almost forgot!  Should have mentioned the obvious. There’s also a collection of tutorials right on the…

Tutorials on Blender.org


Blender Day 3

Saturday I spent some time with Frank, going through some modelling basics for about 30 minutes. The more I see, the more I like in this program. I’m staying open, and learning to accept the differences, focusing on what I’ve gained.

Already, the forced workflow difference is showing benefits. Some very intuitive gems scattered all over the place. “Ahhh…  freshness.

I just watched and really liked Darrin Lile’s intro to Blender. Nice light little walk, that covers a lot of basics in only 10 minutes. His narration is super-clear.

Today, I was learning camera navigation and was very impressed by all the options in which one can setup their cameras.  Pressing alt+b, then dragging a selection box over the viewport, in order to determine what objects are visible…   is odd and beautiful.

Capturing Movement w/ Connections Overlayed

Was just introduced to this…

…and through watching this…

…am guessing they used Brekel and for sure they used Houdini.

Blender – Everyday – Day 1


Talking about it enough, but time to “put my money where my mouth is”. I will never really know just how viable Blender is as a base 3D animation software, till I try it.

Once per day, for about 2 hours, I will invest time into learning Blender. One I get the basics down, I will challenge myself to producing sharable artwork.

Here’s some inspiration to drive me. Blender is no longer just a hobbyist’s 3D animation software…   and hasn’t been for some time. Seems that “first world” countries are the slowest places to catch on to a growing trend.

Started with some interface basics here.

Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

Test Renders in Arnold / Maya

Some digital landscapes from Lee Griggs, rendered in Maya with the Arnold rendering engine.


A TON more can be seen here, just make sure and full-screen them.

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