Thursday, October 29, 2015

Did You Know that You Can Direct Focus and Supsend Disbelief with Lighting Effects?

Did you know that with a little light knowledge you can create windlight sparkle without particles?
More coming soon for storybuilders, including information about how to build a working holodeck with characters, sound and light effects included.  Of course the following is for display purposes.  A more subtle effect would be more effective in a story world environment.
Glimmers in Evening Windlight

Glimmers in Day Windlight

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Developing a Blender and Substance Painter process that works for Open Sim.

Did You Know That you can develop a Blender and Substance Painter process that actually works to texture models for open sim?  After reading much about how it wouldn't work due to a Blender's OpenGL Licensing quagmire (or some equivalent snafu), I came across a blog article that nicely explained how to set up the nodes for cycling the materials baked and exported from my work in Substance Painter (SP).  It is necessary to know something about Blender Cycles and about how to use channels and layers in Substance Painter, but it is possible to get a like result.

Since I wanted to experiment with something I would really use I modeled a space crate I modeled from a cube for a community project.  The additional node is an emission node texture set.  It worked fine and baked well.

A 3 part process: 1) model in blender and export to SP, 2) paint and export model/UVs in SP and 3) return to Blender Cycles (provide render lighting). Note: While SP does not bake out a single composite map, Blender Cycles will.  Padding issues are resolved or of minimal concern.

For more information about how to use the workflow for an open exportable (collada) model, join our Waymarker 88221 community where you will find the tutorial.

Blog Article link using Suzanne Blender Monkey

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Settling on a Simple Blender Start File w/Toggle Lighting Options

Since my building fun began 15 years ago, I've wanted to design an Old Woman in the Shoe storybuild.  During my early years, my mother would let me lay on her bed and listen to her read from the Treasury of Verse.  My favorites were The Old Woman in the Shoe, and Wynken, Blynken and Nod, another poem about a shoe (flying wooden).  I haven't yet opened the build in Kitely, because I am taking my time working on this one region build. 

While much of the build is not yet complete, some parts of it are working out.  When it is finished the shoe will be the home of an older woman (non-player character) who reads aloud to guests.  So I wanted every furnishing and detail to be "fantastically believable," if possible.
One of the problems to solve was how to create my own textures for my models.  I needed a lightbox blender file that I could use for baking in light and painting textures.  After weeks of working with this and that complicated plan, I finally settled on a simple solution:  a lightbox blend file that could used with cycles.
 The following is what I came up with:
1.  3 Point Lighting - Each light can be toggled on and off in the outliner.
A.  Key Light.  Traditional gold lighting, angle directed at the model.
B.  Fill Light.  Traditional blue lighting, angle directed at the model.
C.  Back Light.  Traditional white lighting, directed at back of model.
D.  Sun Light.  Optional overall lighting, to be used for  generic, too dark, or overly shadowed scenes.
2.  Curved Plane that can be re-positioned for reflections and ambient occlusion lighting.  Toggle off if cluttering visual scene.  Delete if not wanted or before exporting.

I am Using this blender file over and over.  I can use it for building houses by either toggling off the curved plane or deleting it. 
3.  Using a "stages" workflow.
1st - Box Model, Extrude or Sculpt Model (Blender Render) - Save File.
2nd - Mark Seams, Unwrap (Blender Render) - Save File.
3rd - Set up Nodes and Bake using materials, textures and lighting (toggling on/off combinations of lighting options). (Cycles Render) - Save File.
4th - Export Process - Return to Blender render to check model's color for generic world use. Use Open Sim static export option. (Blender Render) - Save File.
5th- Optional - Texture Paint.  Texture Paint and/or add decals to diffuse map created through prior stages baking process.  Then use export process. (Blender Render) - Save File.
The SIMPLE LIGHT BOX BLENDER FILE is available for pick up at the Waymarker Community docs file. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Today, August 3, 2015 Did You Know That making cloth is an easy Blender process?

Using cycles makes it even easier.  2.75 Blender (please update, if you haven't already).

The first animation process I learned in Blender was to make a cloth tablecloth.  After watching a few videos that did not include something or other, I designed a workflow that I could use time after time.

Once I could make tablecloths, I realized I could make many other cloth items, including clothing, bedding and tents.  Did You Know That making cloth is easy and so useful?   And since intermediate classes are being offered again after a brief building vacation, I thought it best to start with cloth and some nice place to display the cloth.  How about over a comfy reading chair?  See following:

Live Intermediate Blender Classes are starting up again at the Waymarker  88221. 88221.  Then next two classes (one this week and 8/11 will cover how to box model a 1 prim reading chair and create a cozy blanket for it (Making Cloth).  Before class it is recommended you review the tutorial and download the elements for the model (available 8/3/2015 by 12:00 noon PST).  More information is available @ the Waymarker 88221 Google+ Community.  The tutorial be delivered via skype audio.

Although the tutoring will cover building the reading chair and texturing it in cycles, it is likely the class will continue over to the following week.  When the chair is completed, we can start the cloth process  - the blanket to drape over the chair.

**Note:  (optional) the chair legs originally modeled in sculpty paints will not be covered during the live tutorial, but information is included about how to lathe the legs, so that the legs can be modeled before class.  Since the legs can be built after the fact, you do not need to build the chair legs before the tutorial.

Class begins at 12:00 noon PST 8//2015.  See you there.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Off Sim Backlighting Creates Depth and Detail Interest

 Today's 6/18/2015 Did You Know That? you can add back lights to your Off Sim scenery to provide more depth?

As with everything we can do in Open Sim (liberal prim allowances and economical land masses), there is a tendency to overdo.  Today I've decided not to add any more objects into my westerly Off Sim view.  if there continues to be a need for more layering after I add views (that use some repetitive objects from the westerly view), I will then add details into those views. 

Adding water wave details, a lone bird that flies no higher than the horizon and depth allows, a narrowing walkway (that no one will be able to follow, but should be there anyway), and some additional effects like a timed setting sun, changed the windlight again.  The solution was set the sky for a darker hour, and change the color horizon color settings.
Color Change Back Lighting Example
 Depending on your windlight color, you can add a backlight into the Off Sim horizon.  Color change scripts will add an additional interest option.

Subtle Bar Light on Horizon
Providing a subtle backlight (bar of light) on the horizon will throw off enough light to illuminate the farthest away hills, and increase the color tension between the horizon and the sky.

Receding pathways and water details are often used by artists to increase a sense of depth and mystery about what exists beyond?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mixing, Blending, Whittling & Clarifying

View From Overlook
Today's 6/16/2015 Did You Know That? there is an older video about using cycle nodes that is very easy to follow, but difficult to see clearly.  So I wrote up a node follow along to go with your view.  The narrator's voice is clear enough to make sense of the film, if you know what node options he is making.  So here is the follow along outline.  Coming soon a blender file (stored in the Waymarker to accompany the outline).
In between finding this video I stored away awhile back and viewing it again, I managed to work on my off sim lighting experiment.  So far, so good.  I am still enjoying the process, and it is working to bring depth to my one region build.
Here are today's results - photos still facing the west from an overlook and the beach.  The objective is use mountain shapes repetitively (but not boringly) with textures that blend into the sunlight, water color changes and the horizon.

Reminder:  Once the off sim set up is set down by the storybuilder, visitors cannot "pull back the curtain, or head out into those seas.  They can pan about, but their views continued to be fixed views.

View from the Craggy Beach

Details Closer Up

Monday, June 15, 2015

"Hudson Valley River" Lighting (Off Sim) Experiment Continues...

Today's 6/15/2015 Did You Know That? it takes a good while to build off sim while considering  painterly perspective?  The baking for each hill, mountain or flat took most of the afternoon.  Then there were color choices that would blend with the horizon in some places and allow for highlights in others.  What I ended up with at the close of the days is Progress so far @ building in perspective to 3d world.  The challenge continues without resorting to gray or sepia (at least for now).
Yes, it would be less challenging, if we could use voxels, but I grew weary waiting around, so this experiment came about anyway.   Distance, depth, and horizon issues come with freedom to wander and views from all 4 sides - building a story in the round. Voxels would be of no help for these problems. Neither will routinely building in boxes (inside structures, behind walls).

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Storybuilding Walkabout Paths with "Hudson Valley River" Lights

Today's 6/13/2015 Did You Know That? is about where to place the objects we make with Blender or any other mesh/prims in our worlds, and how to set  up lighting conditions (within **limitations of Open Sim/Viewer rules) that spotlight our hard work within the story.

**1) one prim's light reflects off another object's surface, 2) a beam can be intentionally built to direct a separate light source (particles) over another object,  3) light glow yields apx results, 4) windlights are only reasonably effective, 5) every glow, emission, bump, texture added or directionally changed affects interior and exterior lighting, 6) interior lighting is affected by moon/sky and challenging to accommodate, 7) worlds have any number of horizons to consider  - is the center of a world the front of the world, since the gateway is not?

Without getting too technical I wanted to discuss the issue of lighting Open Sim Worlds.  Yes, we have windlights, yes we have "bulbs," we have a sun/moon day/night cycle and we have a few lighting options, if our graphics cards will tolerate their use & avoiding the annoying flicker. 
What we don't have is a flat canvas to paint, or even a rendered game, where we can force our visitors to walk down one path, through one gate, or focus on our points of view.  What we do have is a lateral build challenge to set a mood and immerse.  It is a challenge that many are not willing to take.  These naysayers continue to tell me it can't be done.  Why don't I give this nonsense of trying storybuild up and retreat to the game engine where I have more control over my storyline and the progress of the user.

Nope, I won't give up.  Not yet anyway.  I want to continue to explore ways that we could use lighting know how to better illustrate our worlds.  Now that we are building with mesh, and surfacing lighting into our mesh, how can we best use that mesh in world to tell our tales?

The first phase is comparing.  Since the outset of my storybuild, Midtown Arts Museum, a central hub to all my other storybuilds mostly finished or discarded, I've been talking about the Hudson River.  I've seen it several times while in NYC, rode across it on a few ferries, and finally seen drove over it, while visiting the Hudson River Valley.  I didn't decide to write about the river, because I knew the history of the river, although it does interest me.  I decided to include it in my storybuild, because my mother loved the artists who painted in that style.  Not photo realism that becomes a one canvas story.  And that is how I think of worlds with a lot of extra bells and whistles added to the soup.

Over the next few days I will be working on my little in world light table, along with my 16 region Brantley build that did not grow out of a "lighting plan" like I wanted to use.  That build started as a one region, then 4 region and finally 16 region build that will need some revision work for awhile.  It is still going to officially open on July 1, 2015, but I admit the off sim hills and dales not only need some resurfacing work, but some lighting adjustments too.

While I am working on those scenes, and another a scene dedicated to my own lesson one region lesson in Vickery's "fantastic believability," I will share what happens here - not to inform - instead to start a discussion about what we could do about off sim perspective, horizon lines that circle our illustrations, fake lights and bringing focus to our stories.  Lighting is as important to me as pathways into a story.  In fact I will follow the light before I watch where my feet will go.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Putting My Lightbox to Work & Personalizing Assets

Luggage Surface Comparison
Today's 6/11/2015 Did You Know That? you can use a Blender lightbox stage repeatedly to tweak various lighting bakes for inworld or storybuild objects?

Not too much to say about (talked about how to set up the lightbox in the last two posts, but I wanted to display the difference inworld between my 3 storybuild asset trunks.  My objective was to take the clean trunk and make it look like it was dragged through a few dozen wormholes and time travel stations.  If I were to do this again (likely) I would work with the hemi lights a bit more.  I wanted the trunk to look dusty, but it got a bit too dusty when I turned off the overhead light. But overall it worked like I expected it would.  The top of the trunk is light enough to show out the security lock, a detail important to my story.  And the decals (stencils)  were easy to apply to the map during the last texture paint phase.
Luggage Decals Added

By the way, using stencils is a brush pressure sensitivity task. 
Right Click Drag = Movement Up, Down, Left or Right
Right Click Shift = Scale stencil to size of face
Right Click Control = Rotate Stencil
Caution:  Be careful about using (label) stencils  - copyright issues may preclude you from using same, but if you write your own story, and create your own applicable stencils, you will have no worries.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Alternative Light Stage Set Up for Viewing Blender Mesh

Today's (6/10/2015) Did You Know That" you can bake textures into your **light box scene," that was started yesterday, so that you can see your lighted model through the materials option instead of render? 

Part II of my "finding a light @ the end of my workflow" journey continues.  Today I finished up my lightbox stage that I actually plan to simulate (somehow) @ the Waymarker 88221 (school for storybuilders). 

The stage is now set to light my models to be seen through the real time material look option.  Now I should be able to see what I am doing without resorting to the longer time taking render.  It makes the process more intuitive for me.  I don't nod off during the render.  In other instances, I don't mind using render for lighting, but I want to bake textures into my model, so it takes less time to render in world (in theory).

Building the set also confirmed what I knew about baking onto the stage floor and my replaceable model.  It was good practice.  Since I am adding the blender file to the Waymarker Community drive file, participants will be able to pick it up and replace the texture that is now glued/baked to the floor, and/or replace the object that is sitting on the display floor.  All the nodes are there and hooked up.  It does take some time to bake the texture to object's material, so I am not sure this 3rd stage set up will be useful for everyone.  I do think its an advantage to see how baking works, and in particular how we can bake/save lighting effects  into our surfaces without the use of additional tool. 

**Reference Andrew Price original informative video here for additional perspective

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Did You Know That? In Cycles Render You can Create Quite an Elborate Rendering Preview Stage to Use Over & Over

Today's, 6/9/2015 Did You Know That? Question is about creating your own "last process" cycles rending stage, so that you save time when you check out your specularity and bumps.
I got **tired of setting up my cycles rendering with lamps, so I created a quick change stage.  By using or not using, replacing backgrounds and camera lighting through the nodes, I can set up my rendering view port window in a few minutes, depending on how many adjustments I want to make to my world environmental options. 

In these slides you will see the difference between using the 3 kinds of stages I use all the time.  Of course the first stage uses less resources and rendering time is minimal.  The complex scene is slower to rend and seems to use more resources, but that could be me tapping my fingers while it takes several seconds rather than the one second it takes the normal use stage to render. 

So I usually add my household objects (the ones that are not going to be master works of art <she says with a silly grin>, and for more often seen models I use the complex stage with all the bells and whistles.  At this point I am not sure why?  Because when I take the model into my open sim, windlight world, my model's nuanced color will look different anyhow.  Nevertheless, I keep whittling away at the learning curve, and somehow it makes sense to plug in every bump and shine regardless of whether anyone sees a 1M storybuilding asset.

**Note:  I've noticed often that linear folks (one pleasant step after the other) will create a stage like the ones discussed here from the outset.  Me being a lateral person rarely thinks of doing these systematic operations until I am weary from starting over again and again, or until I know every other which away reason for doing something.   Family members refer to my malady as bullheadedness.  I like to think otherwise of course.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Today's (4/4/2015) Did You Know That? is about the Texture Paint Addon Zero Brush

Did You Know That? there is a low cost alternative to purchasing pricey texture paint addons.  And the addon is a Blender Cycles addon, so there is not an additional learning curve to leap.  For the next three days (give or take a day or two) I will be working with my new tool/toy, so this is a first of 3 part question and answer, but I wanted to slap some photos up here, so you could see how the addon works in real time.

Disclaimer:  I am not selling this product, no investment or interest in it (only in that it works to make my painting life more intuitive, immersive and less fussy).   This is a tutorial review.

While it doesn't entirely replace nodes (it sort of builds them for you in the background), it is a time saving tool that takes you places within texture paint navigation, adds some buttons you didn't have (or know you had), and conserves resources for what's important.  All for $29.99 or thereabouts.  The other "coating" applications are too messy in my opinion and too expensive for my pocket book.  This will do fine, and so far its doing very fine to get rid of my modeling scratches, particularly around the bevel areas and in the corners when I exceed my extrusion limit.  I do that a lot.  I love extruding.

So here are some initial photos (working backwards). I will be back with a more in depth tutorial like review within the next few days, and of course a photo of my finished Sholes and Glidden Typing Machine, circa 1870  or thereabouts.

(5 of 5) result so far, the uv texture surface is much better, bake on to the object and is ready for the next step - to have the decals and detailed paint added on to the surface.

(4 of 5) looks a bit more dramatic than it was, but uv issues (stretched vertices) caused scratches around bevels and in corners where holes were cut into extruded parts of the one piece model.

(3 of 5) In Blender the ground color (steampunk metal) was layered (multiply) into the ambient occlusion to create a new blended map, a process I formerly needed to do (earlier updates) in another image editor (GIMP).

 (2 of 5) One button ambient occlusion was baked immediately after opening the model I made the day before.  It took less resources than I usual, and I didn't have to generate a blank image to "print" the ao over.

(1 of 5) the typing machine model I made the day before, one piece extruded and unwrapped model.  My only editing involved the packing of textures after I unwrapped the marked seamed uv.  I then added a few loop cuts around the holes I made through some faces.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Today's Did You Know That Question is about a QD (quick & dirty) Way to Mesh a Wall

 Today's 5/28/2015 Did You Know That?  you can use a reference drawing (blue print) with your extrusion of a plane to draw your way to building a wall, house or whatever you can imagine?  In this case I needed a wall for my mountain that I built several months ago.  I did not want to start over.  Rare Find Mountain is itself a character in my plot, and she works well in my environment.  So:
1.  I took a screenshot of my original model in an orthographic top view and used it for the reference print. 
2.  To use a reference, key N and bring up the properties menu.  Choose Add image as shown in the slide and adjust as desired. Generally the only adjustments needed are resize, right or left (X or Y), and opacity.

Note:  if you no longer have your original model, you could take a photo of the build you want to reference while you are in your world (or someone's world) and use it for your reference print.
3.  Add a plane, extrude from one edge,  while constraining the Z axis, and carefully draw faces like you would vector lines from one point to the next.   This might take a bit of practice, depending on how much dot to dot (box to box) drawing experience you have. 
4.  Roll your view port into 3D view with your mouse, select all faces and start your extrusion.  You have a nice wall or walls. 

Note:  If you want doors or windows in your wall, don't extrude (deselect)  applicable vertical faces.  Or you can wait and delete those faces later ( a bit more work to case the openings). 
Personally, I think its fun to draw face to face or dot to dot (vertices), and you quickly get such nice clean geometry from the process. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Today's Did You Know That? is About Avoiding Quagmires

Shape Originated with a simple cube
Today's 5/27/2015 Did You Know That? Blender Modelers can avoid a quagmire by making friends with 4 tools/processes from the outset: 

1.  Box Modeling - In nearly every instance its possible to start with a plane or cube to model a sphere or cylinder.  Using the subdivision surface modifier to shape the cube, followed by object mode convert to mesh (alt C) nicely shapes a whole or part of a model, so that you keep your lo poly start, and your quads for less frustrating unwrapping and texturing.

2.  To straighten a group of face edges, use the combination (Key S), (Key X or Y or Z) depending on the edge direction, and (Key 0).

3.  Draw loop cuts close the edges of ornery holes, door or windows opening made with insets or deleting faces from spheres.  Much like you would do when you sew in a patch to a hole in your sock, you need to ease the patch into the hole.  Loop cuts do it automatically.  Use reason.  Loop cuts do add a few faces, but it well worth. 

4.  Check your normals (whether the face is facing in an interior or exterior direction) by using (Mesh, Normals, Recalculate Outside) after you box model, draw your loop cuts, and straighten your edges.  9 out of 10 times, there won't be a problem, because you avoided the issues in the first place. 
Coming next how to avoid unwrapping quagmires.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Multiple Textures for One Bowl (1 Joined Model) of Dinosaur Oatmeal

 The Waymarker 88221 5/20/2015 Did You Know That? you can use several imported textures on a model and import them all at once (on 1 prim) to Open Sim.  This question came up, because we never got this far in earlier tutorials, and some folks needed a bit of clarification about how different  textures are applied to a joined model in Blender before exporting. 

The process is a bit confusing, because nothing seems to work, but it does (even in Blender Render)  Adding a trip through the node editor to add specularity and other fringes is a nice elaboration.  But not entirely necessary.

To make matters wacky worse and more fun, when you edit the model in Open Sim (after you import the collada in the usual way)  you will see the multiple textures, and when you look those textures up in inventory, they will all be there 1, 2, 3, 4 or more.  No painting, no generation,  no baking (with exception of ambient occlusion)   You can change them around if you like. 

In this case the model I've chosen is a coconut bowl.  A little odd, but I needed one for a dinosaur who likes to eat oatmeal out of it.  Storybuilding first, then Blender wonking.
The Steps
1.  Create model and mark seams, so that your islands are separated in your UV Unwrap.

2.  OPTIONAL - Complete an ambient occlusion first, save that image, then choose a material and attach (import) that image to the material you chose for the "whole" model you occluded

3.  Select the Island by island (faces for each island) and assign a material for each different island you want textured differently.  The choice of different materials for each island is how you can know for sure your textures will "slide into place" over those faces.  Use your Outliner, not the UV image editor to see this.  Your UV image editor will likely fool into thinking that every island is being textured with the latest texture you apply.

Note:  Be sure you've checked textured solid and back face culling, so that you can see your model is textured in the way you like.  Save often in case you want to resort to an earlier version. 

4.  Export using Open Sim operator presets.  Import into world high LODs  (You can afford in OS).
Go into edit and check out the texture stack you brought in with the model.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Finding Blend Files In an Old Trunk

Ruby Checks Out a Bird Suit Blend File
Today's Waymarker 88221 5/19/2015 Did You Know That? the Ferd's Outworldz Site is a great place to find all sorts of wonderful ideas, concepts and scripts, but the zip file builders may want to pick up today is called Frankie's Assets.  The folder includes collada files (avatars and objects) that are free to use, and even better the folder includes blend files.  Opening the folder is like opening and old trunk in the attic.  Take out the costumes and wear.

The blend files are also good places to start, beginner to advanced. Since the blender files include rigged files, they make nice constructivist tutorials for those you who like to take things apart and put them back together again like I do.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Waymarker 88221 Did You Know That? is About Our Invitation to Access our Recorded Tutorials 24/7

Today's Latest Recorded Tutorial Added to Docs
Today's 5/15/2013 Waymarker 88221 Did You Know That?  there are now three ways for learning about building (Open Sim primitive and Blender Mesh) @ the Waymarker. 
  • Participants (including hypergrid) can join us for live Blender tutorials at the Waymarker on the Kitely Grid (see Kitely calendar).  Watch for G+ announcements.
  • Participants can join the Google + Waymarker community to access the Google docs files where MP4 video w/sound tutorials and PDF versions are stored, along with the applicable Blender files for quick starts and any images or resources needed to complete projects.  
  • Participants are invited to join presenters and tutorial creators in Google Hangouts to discuss the project or ask questions about the recorded tutorials. 
Of course there is a trade off for all of this community (greater Metaverse) minded spirit and participation.  Waymarker tutors invite participants to  take part in tutoring using a method that works for them.  This way we all get to share the work we see at the Show and Tells and inworld.  It is the encouragement of fellow builders that motivates tutors to continue creating new methods for reaching  3D illustrators.  It is not our effort  to cover the metaverse with Blender Mesh.  Rather it is an opportunity to be better builders in general. 

So, if you haven't received an invitation to join the community, one way or the other, please let us know.  We can get your sort of invite out to you. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Today's Waymarker 88221 Did You Know That? is all about improved Blender Mesh texture masking processes.

Today's Waymarker 88221 5/12/2015 Did You Know That? you can paint directly on your mesh model without it bleeding from one face to other by using UV masking?  And did you know that you could use control c and select faces to mask so that there is no excuse for not being able to paint in blender any longer?  See the two examples here.  1) used the face selection mask, painted to 5 sides of the cube with one left over for the stencil.  2) even more fun --- (forget about trying to paint on a UV in another program) Used masking with control c selection tool to paint directly to faces I wanted to paint and no other part of the bottle (curves and all).

For my friends who argue that wacky texture unwrapping and texturing is the reason they've not tried Blender there really is no excuse anymore.  While the cube painting and stencil texturing is comparable to do what we do in world (even less complicated than inworld),  we can't paint one prim organic objects using the select only some faces we want to texture/paint in world. No pile of textures for this or that to contend with either, albeit I do like to shuffle through textures from time to time :)

I can't wait for tomorrow's Blender Tutorial class.  It will be lots of fun and exciting to see immediate results coming from participant work. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015 Waymarker's Did You Know That? Blender Mesh Texture Painting is Fun and Efficient?

Lean w/easy Curve
 Waymarker 88221 5/11/2015 Did you know That? you can build a caldera (or other terrain) with a generator, decrease the polygons you generated, paint an original texture (even if don't call yourself a painter) and then add it to your world in 30 minutes?  Use Hi Poly (7938 tri) and Export Lo Poly (246 tri).  The Live Tutorial for this week is about the relaxed fun  you can have Texture Painting.  You can  take home your own caldera or snow capped mountain (and an illustrated step to step PDF).
---No wacom required either.

This week's live project tutorial scheduled for Wednesday at 9:am PST will help you unravel what you don't get from the summary tutorial shown here.  Prior to the lesson you need the basics of navigation, but the rest of the process is  a step by step follow along.
During  this month's Intermediary live Blender tutorials participants will produce - including texturing, export and import to Open Sim:
    week 1 -  caldera or a lake/pool/mountain  5/13/2015 9 am PST
    week 2 -  table cloth, curtain, bedding  5/20/2015 9 am PST
    week 3 -  flying machine or hot air balloon 5/27/2015 9 am PST
    week 4 -   3 prim 2 level (7 room) house from a simple blue print 6/3/2015 9 am PST

In between a basic UV Unwrapping tutorial and a Retopology survey tutorial offered. TBA

Friday, May 8, 2015

Did You Know That? 5/8/2015 Ponders the Matter of Going 2 Far.

Today's Waymarker Friday May 8, 2015 Did you know that? it is likely me the world and  blender mesh builder has gone too far when I decide all this plugging and baking is worth modeling a rock? My gut reaction is huh?  So I did decrease the tri count from 18,444 to 148, and it is texture painted with an important clue to decipher (1 land impact).  Truth is the practice might be worth it, but the rock not so much.

Blender cycle recipe - diffuse map, normal map (post sculpt), specular map, texture repetition,  all stirred nicely into a sheeny rock <sighs>.

I am thrilled it is Friday! and the last day to discuss baking metaphors.   I have all weekend to repeat over and over, it is not about the gold, not about the glory, it is all about the journey.  Over and over and over again. 

Editorial Comment:  It is my opinion that Open Sim is open to prim, Blender mesh and artists of all sorts and ilks, and while it perfectly rational to buy what is needed to stage a world, I hope that it never becomes a place of buyers and sellers who specialize in only one medium, cause or objective.   

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Baking or Cooking? There is NO argument. It is Baking.

LO Poly Ingredient Builds
Today's Waymarker 5/7/2015 Did You Know That?  that I am a baker and not a cook,  I don't like scurrying around the kitchen, while my starving family is staring back at me.  I like to conjure my goodies ahead of time (including getting the dishes done before I sit down to eat).  I also like getting anything done early in the process, so I can dance or nap later.

So for the somewhat more serious version...

Today's Waymarker 5/7/2015 Did You Know That?  is likely about what you can confirm you know.  Today's answer is about baking.  Baking is defined differently for the chef, the fine artist and the 3D artist, but baking shares a definition with all three artisans.  Baking is a process that blends ingredients or tasks now to save time and resources later.  So we look at the if's to see the differences between what artists do.

If you are hand-painting your own textures or adding shading or highlights to your textures, you are already baking.  Your visitors are not required to increase their graphics performance to see your model's shadows or shininess.

If you are you a 3d artist who uses Open Sim,  Blender mesh or other tools to enhance your surfaces you can bake in your shininess, fake bumps and cracks and shading ahead of time.  I suppose baking underwear onto a model is also a kind of baking.  Your model is not required to put its pants on, and it does take less performance time to render those pants, but pants is another way of thinking about baking (and not my way of thinking about baking) *caution here - sometimes baking does mean permanent

Baking does not mean your texture is glued to your model in Open Sim during import.  If you notice, your model's texture is added to your inventory (and can be removed) after being imported.  In fact some 3d mesh artists wait until their builds are inworld before they add the textures they textured painted, cycles processed or texture adapted in Blender (or other). 

Like the layers of a cake, the layers in a 3d bake could include a
1) specular map, the shiny highlights or an environmental filter that comes from some kind of manufactured light source,
2) bump maps that we normally see in black and white drawings that cause us to see edges (straight up or down)
3) normal maps that cause us to see colors/light reflected at angles and
4) ambient occlusion that causes us to see a model's shadows regardless of current light condition.   The baking process occurs at a point in time, and we can fix that photographic texture to the object like we do a texture.  Blend some colored  material or a texture into the occlusion and you've got a new texture without too much extra work.  Some will say an even more accurate shading than artists do on their own.
Blur Sculpting Brush
    *Note:  black and white brushes for sculpting are easily made for Blender work.  The black part of the image will not affect the model, while the white part will cause an effect on the model.  My gift to you today - 2 Waymarker brushes. Save image and use.

Button Sculpting Brush
A good baker will know how to bake ingredients that can hold onto their individual tastes but can also blend with other tastes === long before the party or the coffee break begins.

Link to best bread in the geographical world.   The Only Way to Bake Bread (can use stand mixer)