Tuesday, May 31, 2011

End of May Musings

Assignment season is in full swing again this week, leaving hardly any time to do any more coding than I'm already committed to for coursework.

Being the last day of the month, but also more importantly a Tuesday, I was up early this morning for a change. Over the past few nights, it's been quite chilly here (-2/-1 deg C) but warming up quite nicely during the day. Here are some shots taken between staggering out of bed, and rushing out the door ;)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Photos from Hagley Park

It's starting to get cold here as winter sets in, even on days like today when the sun is out and shining brightly, with barely a cloud in the sky.
Here are some more photos taken during an outing in Hagley Park a few weeks ago (i.e. on the same day the earlier duck shots were taken) when the weather was still (quite a bit) warmer. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

GSoC11 - A Delivery from Afar...

After a failed rendezvous yesterday when the courier got scared away by the front gate, I got a delivery today...
Some fancy bling 

Unlike in previous years, they've used a pizza-box this year instead of the usual padded bag, oh, and nice thick paper with the company letterhead on it too inside ;)

And on this same day, the NZD/USD exchange rate surges past the 80c mark again, after having finally been on the way south again last week. Drat that!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

GSoC11 - Greeting Goodies

So as many of you will know already, yesterday was the official start of this year's Summer of Code coding period. After waiting on the branch setup situation to get cleared up yesterday, and attending the earthquake-induced-single-day-a-week lectures-marathon, tonight I could finally start coding!

As a warmup, I decided to implement a few simple todo's that I've been gathering up for the past little while. A few goodies:
  1. Added operator, "Animated Transforms to Deltas" (available from Object->Transform menu), which converts object transform animation to delta transforms. If you've ever done motiongraphics type stuff and/or have run into the "my duplicates of an animated object disappear" scenario, this operator is for you! (r.36859)
  2. Distance Limit Constraint now supports the "For Transform" option, so no more controls with mysteriously large values even though they're not moving anywhere, and also fixed some bugs I discovered while adding this. (r.36862)
  3. For the Paste Pose tool, "On Selected Only" option is now on by default. Stored poses only get
    pasted on to bones that are selected when pasting, instead of on the bones that were selected when copying, which can be useful for masking where your pastes end up. If you don't select any bones when pasting, then old behaviour still applies (or you could disable this option manually after running the operator). (r.36857)
Tomorrow I'll probably start moving on to some of the larger refactors that need to take place. Since those will take a while before they're stable, I'll be trying to use Git to manage these locally until they're ready. In the meantime, I may also manage to chip off a few of the other smaller todo's I've got lined up.

Enjoy the candy ;)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Feeding the ducks

Today I present photographic evidence of the cut-throat arena of feasting on free bread raining from the heavens...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Spooky" coincidences...

Note the highlighted numbers in the screenshot below:

Last week, shortly after posting this set of photos, Blogger's now infamous meltdown occurred, with the system becoming read-only all through Friday 13th as a massive effort to create and restore backups went on in Google HQ's.

And apparently all this was caused by a "data corruption bug" in a "maintenance release". Let this be a sound and timely reminder to all software developers of the value of thorough testing and quality assurance work. Yes, I've been guilty of neglecting this from time to time too, but it's in moments like this where we're reminded to take a second look, and to remember to take adequate precautions.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Macro time again!

Last night I finally finished that blasted assignment, and the weather today was really nice: warm and sunny. So what better to do than to have a change of scenery, and go for a little walk with the camera again.

Here are some of my favourites...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rigging Tips - Setting up your rig for easy linking into shot files

Following a question from Michael in my previous post about the "Cartoon Guy" rig and seeing how this is quite an often overlooked aspect in quite a few of the otherwise great rigs being released into the community these days, I thought I'd take the time today to discuss how to set up your rigs so that they can be easily linked into shot files by animators for animation, allowing you to keep tweaking them still without having to relink the rigs into the files again.

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Rig Tests - Cartoon Guy

Just a little test with a newly released rig floating around...
See this thread (http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?217823-Cartoon-Guy-Rig) over at BlenderArtists for details.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

All hail Sumatra PDF

Following on from my previous battles with Adobe Reader (http://aligorith.blogspot.com/2010/09/stupidity.html) regarding it's stupid file-lock, I've finally found a nifty little PDF reader today which seems to work quite nicely.


I've been tested this over a few files so far, and it seems to display them all fine (including the LilyPond scores, which have caused some readers grief in the past), with a nice quick startup (which cannot be said for Adobe), relatively smooth navigation (unlike a few other free ones), and a single file app (I've always said that apps should ideally be single-file like this... portable and compact). 

Heck, it's even GPL'd.

Matters of Understanding Earthquakes (or the Understanding the Role of Suitable Data Representation)

I've probably moaned about this enough already, but it's not nice sitting down having lunch to suddenly get jolted by a quake rolling through. That's exactly what happened today: a nice sharp north-south "wide" jolt, like having a train run into your house, after a relatively peaceful few days.

If only we could reliably have some indication (other than 2% change of > 5.0, 40% chance of > 4.0, etc. etc.) when these might strike...

Back again soon...

The past week has been quite quiet on the updates front, though it's not to say that there haven't been things going on. Rather, a lack of time to tackle them all!

Over the past week, I've been busy bashing away at an assignment that's tricky to get traction on, what with units handling and Java+XML to contend with. Hopefully I'll finally manage to put this to bed by the end of the weekend, so that I can get on to some far more interesting matters. Such as...