Friday, October 21, 2011

Finishing Old Projects

Well, I've been hunkering down and going through my half-completed folder and trying to finish up some old projects.  You can see these along with wireframes and the original concepts in the finished gallery on my site ( if you are directly on my blog).  It's been quite gratifying finishing up these old projects.  Some people say the hardest part of a project is starting it.  I disagree.  That is the 2nd hardest part.  The hardest is finishing it.   (And knowing when to call it done.)  After finishing these 3 up I still have a folder of about 60 half done projects.   I guess I have my work cut out for me!

Warner & Euclid
Warner & Euclid
I fell in love with the concept of this piece ages ago on Deviant Art.  It is the work of "Antz81".  Anyway, I modeled it ages ago, but kept running into issues with the hair of Warner (the top bunny).  Since it was just short of completion I just powered through it last week.  I'm not entirely satisfied with his hair, but I got to the point where I had to just call it done.  The funny thing was, that a lot of my frustration had to do with a bug in Blender that was fixed about 2 weeks after I finished the project:  Here is the change.  I've yet to test hair since this change, but I hope it becomes a bit more manageable.   I had a lot of trouble getting it to space evenly over the character and the child particles do not always go the direction that you want them to.   With enough tweaking you can get something close though.

This cuddly looking wolf is one of the Stainless Steel Timber Wolves from one of my favorite artists, Cory Loftis.  If you have taken a look at my finished projects, you might see that a number of the pieces concept art can be attributed to this very talented artist.  I can't get enough of his characters.   This is another piece that I started ages ago and just fell by the wayside for a chunk of time.  Poor Leeds did not have feet until this last go around to finally finish him up and get him composited with glowy eyes and all.  Having chrome/silver characters is especially nice because you don't have to go crazy with textures!

Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer
This project did not actually start as the Silver Surfer, but kind of just morphed into him.  This actually started as just a quick sculpting exercise in Blender.   I finished it up and did not think about the sculpt again for months.  Then when I was going through my old stuff I happened upon the sculpt and thought, "Wow, he looks like the Silver Surfer!"   So, without further ado I gave him a nice chrome material, made a quick surfboard and gave him glowy eyes.  (If you have not noticed, I am a an of glowy eyes.)  The only thing that gave me trouble really was the reflection of the bust was showing in the surfboard.  This made it obvious that it was just a bust, and not a whole character.  I had to add a quick arm object on the side of the model to show up in the reflection!   Oh, and by the way, if you are looking for great space backgrounds, is the way to go.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Matcaps and You

Well, a couple of days ago I found myself trying to remember a cool little program for creating matcaps that I had used a year or so ago.  So I went a searching old Sculptris forum threads until I found what I was looking for.   It's a program called matcrea created by Taron of CG lore.

Now you might ask, "What is a matcap?" Well, a matcap is basically a CG trick made popular by ZBrush to fake a material on an object by taking a image of a sphere with a material on it and then using that data to simulate lighting and reflection on another object.   It's great for sculpting as it helps you see the forms of your sculpt.

Well, you might now ask, "Well, how do I use these in Blender?"   Well, here is your answer!
1. Set the Shading Mode to 'GLSL' under 'Display' on the properties panel (n-key)
2. Add a material to your object
3. On the shading panel of the material tab set the 'Shadeless' option to true.  This makes it so that lights on the scene don't affect your object.
4. On the texture tab select 'Image or Movie' under type and then browse to your matcap file.
5. On the Mapping panel select 'Normal' under coordinates.  This makes it appear as if lighting is coming from the viewer.  So, basically any which way you look at the object, it will appear lit up.
6. Enjoy the good viewing experience!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

IvyGen for Blender 2.59

Hi All - I'd just like to point out an awesome tool that I saw being worked on in the #blendercoders IRC.  It is a port of the Ivygen found here:, so that you can make Ivy directly in Blender without going to an external program.  I always dig things like this that improve workflow.  Less app switching equals more time!

<--script download--> [Blender build 38768 or newer]
Work in progress forum thread

Quick Tutorial on how to use the tool

1. Enable the addon
2. To define the starting point of where the ivy should grow, place the 3d cursor on the mesh by
selecting a vert or face in edit mode and using "shift+s->cursor to selected"
3. From object mode, Use Shift+A->Add Curve->Add Ivy
4. Press F6 to modify the the ivy parameters, click "Update Ivy" to update the last ivy you were working on or "Add new Ivy" to duplicate the ivy you were were working on so you can modify the duplicate.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Non Obvious Tips and Tricks for Mypaint

Some functionality in mypaint is not all that obvious and I have not even seen some of it in the documentation. Here you'll get to see me reveal some of these tricks and get a sneak peak of the next Mypaint in development.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Quick Screenshots in Linux and Windows

Update - zscreen is now called "sharex"

So, one of the biggest hassles when working with other people on the web is screenshots. Often times a picture is worth a thousand words and is the best way to illustrate a point, but working with screenshots the manual way is a time suck and really boring work. Probably, for most people, the workflow goes something like this: Hit printscreen, open photoshop/gimp, open new file with the same size as your screensize, paste the screenshot, crop the screenshot, save the screenshot, upload the screenshot to an image sharing site, copy the link, paste the link to forum, facebook or whatever. It's tedious and makes me not want to do it at all!

Well, I found an excellent app for Windows a couple years back. Enter ShareX. You just ctrl+printscreen, then drag a box over what you want to capture, then paste a link to wherever you want the image to show up. Quick and easy, takes less than 2 seconds per screenshot. Yay.

Well, I've upgraded from XP to Ubuntu 11.04 and am always on the lookout for apps that will replace some of the gems I had access to in Windows. I tried a ton of different screenshot apps in Linux and was disappointed by all until I found a simple script. Pyshare. This works similarly to zscreen except it works from the right click menu->Scripts->SendWindowScreenshot and boom, instantly you have a screenshot uploaded to imageshack and your choice of link style. Oh, and it works with files and
videos too!

Go try them out and enjoy the extra free time not doing boring cropping and saving in big image editors!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sculpting Shortcuts for Blender

Just made a quick screen-cast on Blender Sculpting Shortcuts to adjust Size, Strength and Angle of the Brush. Good for those just learning the sculpting in Blender, but I made it for ulterior motives. I'm trying to convince the mypaint developers that it is a superior way for brush resizing and would love to see something similar in mypaint instead of having to hit the 'd' and 'f' keys dozens of times to get the brush size you want.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Multiselect Menu

Tonight I updated one of my older add-ons for Blender 2.58. It exposes functionality that has always been in Blender, but few people know about, the ability to have multiple selection modes at once. Additionally, this addon has been merged with the dynamic spacebar addon that ships with Blender, but I personally like my light weight version.


Thursday, June 30, 2011


Hi all, I'll try to post to this blog now and again on my current projects, endeavors, and life in general. Here is my latest mini-project. I've often found that I want to adjust certain settings in the Blender User preferences for just an action or two and then switch them back. But it's so inconvenient to do so in the regular user preferences! To solve the problem, I wrote a new Blender addon called that allows super speedy access to lighting and other user prefs. (The lighting is great for sculpting.) Anyway here it is:

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