Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rigging Tool WIP - ShapeKey Transfer Continued (Part 2)

After doing a bit more hacking, I've now got this tool working better for the remaining troublesome cases, and also substantially faster! How much faster? Well read on and download the script yourself to see :)

Same links as last time, but here they are again in case you need a reminder:  <-- the script itself.
It's probably possible to try and register/install this as an addon, but for now, I'd recommend just loading in a text editor and running to get it ready for use. <-- the test suite

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Macro Fun

It's been a while since I took my macro lens out for a play, so the other day, I did just that!

As usual, I started out with some of my favourite subjects: food! There's just so much interesting texture and colour out there (not to mention wonderful flavours!) to play with with this.

Google Summer of Code 2011 or Blender Summer of Polish ;)

Google Summer of Code


Rigging Tool WIP - Transferring Shape Keys Between Meshes

The other day I mentioned that I had started work on a mystery feature. Well, today I'll reveal that this feature is a tool to transfer shape keys from one mesh to another.

Now before someone gets overly excited and skips past the rest of this text, I am aware that a similar tool does exist in Blender trunk already. However, this and other tools which I've come across don't exactly fill the void that this tool aims to bridge. Let's look at a little example of the kind of situation that this aims to solve:

In this particular problem scenario, we have an original "source" mesh if you will, that had some shapekeys painstakingly defined (i.e. for facial expressions perhaps). Now, we then decide that we'd like to adjust the topology of parts of the rest of the body, or perhaps even add body parts (say, a gigantic 4ft long tail, or in the example above, hands and feet), so we go and start editing the mesh (having made a backup first of course).  The key thing to note here is that we're not touching the face or whatever part the shapekeys were on.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend Photographic Outings [Part 2]

Continuing on from the other day, here is the second part from today's adventures...

"Kia Kaha" - On the cordon at Colombo/St Asaph

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Weekend Photographic Outings [Part 1]

The weather this weekend has been really nice. And owing to it being a long weekend too as well as term break, what better time than now to go out with the camera and have some nice walks around the place.

Firstly, some highlights from Friday...

 Autumnal colours - simply spectacular
"Dux de lux" restaurant in the Arts Centre. Partial damage to the building can be seen here, though the full-extent of the damage is subject to a bit of a long-running spat (details inside)
Arts Centre. Closed to the public for the foreseeable future. It's impressive how they've gone and categorised into large piles broken pieces...
Graffiti at the edge of the "red" zone. Looking back at this shot, there's quite a bit of irony here, with the crumbling red-bricks and pile of silt behind a cordon fence.
Devastation in a snapshot. Despite this shot being a quick unfocussed and probably mildly motion-blurred shot out the window, we can see the critically damaged Hotel Grand Chancellor on the left, death-trap CTV building remains on the right (behind the parking sign), and yet more crumbled red bricks behind a hazy cordon fence, much like how the CBD and surrounding eastern areas will move forward from here...

The beauty of sunsets...

From time to time, the weather leads to beautiful sunsets appearing in the skies. These few days have been no exception...

I'm still not sure which white-balance setting works best for sunsets yet. It seems quite hard to capture the exact pinkish hue that the clouds often get bathed in. The first two were "Cloudy" IIRC, and the last was "Sun" (to try and draw out the blueness of the clouds, which seems to have worked).

Yesterday (Friday), also went out for a walk around town. Got a few shots I was quite happy with and saw some sights, familiar landmarks/haunts but also some interesting parts of town I admittedly hadn't really known much about before for all these years. A post collating these to come soon...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Death to patents!

There's just one word to sum this up: Disgusting

Shame on the obscure-patent-dredging-corporates and those who service their lazy+perverted wants. IMO, patents come from the same culture that promotes anti-productivity measures such as so-called "security".

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Would you like an aftershock with your exam?

So, this evening I had a little mid-course test back on the main Uni campus (it's the first time I've been back to that campus after several weeks actually).

Although it was just a short 1-hour test, it was quite eventful actually:
- the lights cut out twice during the hour. It was quite interesting to be scribbling frantically and then suddenly stopping mid-sentence as darkness suddenly enveloped the room. I blame the greenies for making us put them blasted power-saver things on the lighting systems (we used to have the same problem back at HS when using the music-block classrooms as warmup rooms for various concerts).
- an aftershock rattled through halfway through the test. Although we didn't really feel it, what I'm guessing to be the roofing iron certainly made us aware of its passing. Initially it sounded like someone (or a stray cat that had somehow gotten in) had knocked over a tin can in the projection booth at the back of the theatre, but then there was a sort of sheet-metal rippling sound.

Enough of the "layer animation" bugz already!

In recent days, there has been an "explosion" in the number of bug-reports about various aspects of "layer animation" (overnight, there have been 3 in rapid succession even!). Before going ahead and pressing the submit button on the bug tracker another several dozen times, calm down, read this, and figure out if you're just barking up the wrong tree as a result of incorrect terminology and understanding about what's going on.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Blasted quakes...

It's been quiet for a while now (a few weeks)... probably "too" quiet...

But over the past day or so, I've been feeling the occasional shake, or so it seemed.

And them voom! We've just had another long wobble a few minutes ago that knocked stuff off shelves again, and sent an old pendulum clock ticking again for the first time in years. In the middle of it, the lights flickered, threatening to go out at any moment. I suspect it almost caused the oil in those power transformers to slosh and almost cut power again. Apparently in parts of town the power has gone out after this.

Now that's got to be the second or third one that I've felt in my computer chair now, and it would've compared with the March 20 shakes. I'm calling a 5 on that one. Let's see what GeoNet says in 30 minutes time :)

EDIT: so, apparently it was a 5.3

Rain or shine, they come to dine...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blender 2.5 - What's going on with some "missing features" for animation

With the recent Blender 2.5 "first stable" release, previous experience tells me that we're going to see another wave of "missing features" complaints again (this post was originally written during one of these bouts of wine-o-mania), so I thought I'd take the chance to clarify the situation with a few more of these here now. If you don't find an answer here, try the other FAQ's too. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Google Summer of Code 2011

So, it's that time of year again...

Google Summer of Code


Since many of you have asked already, I'll now reveal the proposals that I've submitted for this year's SOC:
1) Animation System Polish
2) Next-Generation Animation Tools

Personally, I'm a bit more interested in #2 than #1 (if it comes down to "sexiness factor"), though #1 is some fairly important work that needs doing too, as recent bug reports would make you believe...

Of Liquefaction, Crumpled Heritage, and Demolished Sights...

This weekend, I've been making use of the relatively fine (though still increasingly chilly) weather and relaxed CBD cordons to "check out former haunts", taking a break from the world of Java and XML...

Battered and bruised - Music Centre on Barbadoes St.

Looking out the window - Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrement (next door)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

For the birds...

Congrats Hjalti Hjalmarsson on a great entry, but also for making good use of some of the assets from BBB!

I loved the saccades and the way that it looked quite convincing as a middle-aged grump. The mirror was perhaps a bit under-utilised though...

Monday, April 4, 2011

"New Normal" 2 - More Photos from Around Town

Working backwards through my recent photo collection backlog, here are some more shots taken from around town this weekend. It's amazing being in places that you see on the news... actually being the news for once is a strange feeling...

 Life carries on...
 Army and police still many the many cordons around the central city
And up close, the rubble still looks as confrontational as ever... (Carlton Corner Hotel, where the news crews often broadcast now, given that their HQ is now just a bunch of prefabs on a former car yard just meters down the road)

"New Normal" - An Eerie Homecoming and Travels in Strange Lands

It's been a few weeks since I've last posted much about the aftermath of the February earthquake here in Christchurch. What, with all the carnage in Japan, with the nuclear reactor, tsunami, and so forth, everyone has probably been having a bit of "disaster overload" recently.

A view down Colombo Street
(Taken "over the fence" after quite a few attempts)
Guts hanging out

Anyways, today I finally made it down to see some of the destruction in the CBD first hand (and with my trusty camera on hand of course). As they say, it's really not until you see some of these things first hand that you really can come to grips with the true extent of it.

(WARNING: more copious amounts of images within)

Horizontal vs Vertical UI's

This evening, the old topic of horizontal button layouts vs vertical button layouts popped up again. Here are just a few thoughts about the pros and cons associated with these choices...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Autumn Silvereyes

It's been a while since I've posted any photos. It's also been a while since the silvereyes have been showing up in force in my garden... that is until a few days ago!
My favourite shot of the series. This one perched on this branch, relatively closely (given how far away they usually stay) for close to a minute, letting me get quite a few good shots of it.