Blender Day 16 – Resizing UI

How I wish more software  developers put the effort in to make their user interfaces scale like this. Natural vision practitioners would be more successful. The “higher resolution equals smaller icons” way of thinking needs to shift… and it apparently has, thanks to smartphones.

Anyhow, take a look at this slick DPI setting, then grab Blender and play with it yourself.

Drone’s Riot Footage w/ RTS UI


TAKSIM GEZI PARK AERIAL / Taksim Gezi Park Havadan Çekim [Part 4] from Jenk K on Vimeo.

…with some this video game user interface overlayed:

Radial Menus

image via globalmoxie.com

Play games much? What’s your favorite way to choose your destination, toggle options, select items or swap weapons?

I prefer radial menus as the best way to turn “lists” of options into “branches” of option. Some say “touch means a Renaissance” for the radial menu and I agree! Unfortunately this leaves mouse users with the typical lists… which only get smaller and smaller with each increase in resolution. GAH!

I created a post on odforce.net about radial menus and how I’d love to see something like this in Houdini. Maya has something very similar that they call “Marking Menus”, which are great…  especially since they can be customized.

I’m a big fan of gesture based control as it helps eliminate mouse strain AND helps the digital artist stay more focused on the task at hand. I find lists to be very distracting, and I end up devoting too much energy into “searching” instead of “activating“. Radial menus create option gestures!

Speaking of gestures and radial menus, I just came across this update for the Leap Motion, where the artist is molding clay without getting his hands dirty. So much fun, though I’d have the weakest wrist of all clay sculptors. I can only imagine that UIs that are in development. Hopefully the big corps don’t pattent the ideas before they become widely available.

Wilson Miner – When We Build

Wilson Miner‘s talk is about the power in design, interface and simplicity. He realizes that a website is not just a website.

I discovered this talk at a perfect time in my computing career. From I.T. support and development, to animation and visual effects…   and now I am getting a little deeper into web development. I’m happy to see that the current world of web development is quite different from the world I turned my back on during the late 90s.

One of my favorite quotes that Wilson presents in this talk is from Alistair Smith.

“At times of change, the learners are the ones who will inherit the world, while the knowers will be beautifully prepared for a world which no longer exists.”

Thank you Wilson Miner.  Your talk was a quick n cheap therapy session that I needed to experience.

Digital Hands Unleashed in Samsung Galaxy SII’s Ad

Any example of dance driving visual effects catches my interest, and this specific video has me giddily bouncing around in my seat with each viewing.

via Fubiz video.

After some searching for “hand dance”, I found this video. with over 6 million views, I’m surprised I didn’t come across it sooner.

Venom’s Lab – Blender Training DVD Teaser

Did my bi-yearly check on Blender to see if a simplified customizable interface has been implemented yet. Looks like another open source movie is also in the works.  This one’s called Durian…   like the funky/stinky pod fruit**?  No associate intended, I hope.

Blender has some training DVDs coming that look presented, assuming as much work was put into the DVDs as was put into this trailer.  Venom’s Lab – Training DVD Teaser from Pablo Vazquez on Vimeo.

** I’ve had the durian fruit a few times.  It STINKS…  but tastes amazing.

3D curve sketching

With a tool like this, maybe there wouldn’t be such a strong aversion towards using NURBS in the entertainment industry.

ILoveSketch from Seok-Hyung Bae on Vimeo.

Thanks to Drawn! for the link.

UI Design: BumpTop 3D Desktop Prototype

Could this make file management tasks enjoyable? They just need to throw in some batch renaming tools and pretty much anything that ACDSee does, and it’ll be purrrrrfect.

Evoluent Verticle Mouse

your arm will thank youLast night was the first time in 2 years, where I could bust ass in Maya, with ZERO pain or tingling sensations in my forearm. Been using the Evoluent Verticle Mouse for about 2 weeks now. It took me about 4-5 days before I felt like my speed an accuracy were up to where it was with a traditional mouse. However, it felt comfortable the very first time I relaxed my hand on it. One thing they fail to mention on the website is how your wrist is less restricted when flapping, instead of trying to move side to side. This is a BIG factor in it’s comfortable use. Because I’m able to swing my arm around more comfortably, I’ve lowered the mouse speed so it’s not as sensitive. On a traditional mouse, I usually work with a pretty high sensitivity, to limit my wrist’s side to side motion.

The Evoluent V3 has just come out.


It’s been over a year now and I still use the Evoluent. I’m still a fan and I’ve seen a few popping up around the studio as well. When I’m forced to use a normal mouse, I shiver.

Voice Recognition in Linux

I’ve been using voice recognition, on and off, for over a year now. It has advanced way beyond what I would have dreamed. I mentioned it to my mother and she said, “Yeah, that’s great to hear. It’ll put me out of a job.”

I was sorry to hear that, but it sounds like we ALL could save our typing fingers from overuse. It also helps me practice at speaking clearly, as it doesn’t like when you mumble.

VoxForge was set up to collect transcribed speech for use with Free and Open Source Speech Recognition Engines (on Linux, Windows and Mac).

We will make available all submitted audio files under the GPL license, and then ‘compile’ them into acoustic models for use with Open Source speech recognition engines such as Sphinx, ISIP, Julius and HTK (note: HTK has distribution restrictions).

I’d be very disappointed in myself if I didn’t donate my time to this.

Wikipedia has a nice list of other Voice Recognition projects for Linux.

“Soap” pointing device

the fuzzy little friendAny research into improving our user interface devices is good research. Sharing how to make your own at home, that’s got you some bonus points.

I was able to meet the inventor at Siggraph. He was very friendly, but a little hesitant to let attendees test drive his last unit. Apparently everyone who picked up it squeezed too hard and broke a half dozen of his other units. A training session lasted a minute or two…

…or you can just make your own! Yes, please tell me how us how we can replace our 20+ year old pointing device, the mouse.

Please checkout “Soap”.

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