Tuesday, August 30, 2011

GSoC11 - Pepper branch merged back to trunk!

As of revision 39792, the Pepper GSoC11 branch has been merged back to trunk. So, finally, many of the bug fixes which have been bottled up for a few months now will now be available as part of the main codebase leading up to 2.60

For a comprehensive (though maybe not complete) list of all of the tweaks I've been working on, please see my earlier post


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

GSoC11 - Final Evaluation Done...

Right, just went through and filled out final evaluation form for GSoC. This year they've made it much simpler/more compact than in the past, making it quicker to fill in. Cheers Carol!

Now, on to other paperwork that needs to be done around the place...
  • Filing another complaint to the tax department asking for my money back AGAIN... I'd hoped I wouldn't need to do this again this year after having had to do it last year and double-checking the stuff I sent in this time, but noo... Probably just another thing to blame on the quakes, ripping an unexpected shortfall in the public purse again ;)
  • Finishing up a report for an assignment I'd worked on all the way back in February (but didn't finish the report for, and have now nearly completely forgotten what I'd done), for a course which got cancelled then and has now been resurrected, with all of this now due in two weeks. Hmm...
  • Eyeballing some summer scholarship projects being offered by uni, and figuring out which/whether to apply with deadline looming in a few days time
  • Meanwhile, trying not to spend all the rest of my time on hacking raytracer assignment for the sheer fun of tackling some things I'd always have liked to see...
... if only it were all as simple as this... *sigh*

GSoC11 - End of "Summer" Report

I guess I'd better make a little summary of the stuff that I've been working on this year as part of my Google Summer of Code Project, so here goes...

Monday, August 22, 2011


Six months on...

So, today, it has apparently been 6 months since the February 22 quake here in Christchurch which has changed so many things for good. How time flies...
In a vacant lot on Victoria St

Animator Poll - Frame Change Undo

This evening, the old issue of when (and if) frame changes should get their own entries in the Undo Stack. The key question is: Is the current approach in Blender good, or if not, what should be happening?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rapid fire ranting

Just some ranting that needs to be done today...

1) Park Royal hotel latest official casualty of the Christchurch quakes

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Introducing Mr Snow

He's looking at you...

Winter Wonderland

The pictures say it all...

Monday, August 15, 2011

GSoC11 - Select Grouped by Keying Set

Just a quick feature update: I've just added tools to the "Select Grouped" operators (Shift-G) which allows you to select all the objects/bones that are affected by the active Keying Set.

Example Uses
In Object mode, this is mostly useful for selecting all objects that a absolute Keying Set includes.
1) for doing mass prop animation, you'd include all their location properties in a Keying Set
2) for checking which objects already have animation, change the active Keying Set to "Available" and run this operator. This will get you all the objects which have animation channels already, which can have further keyframes added

In Pose mode, the uses for this are more obvious:
1) Select all bones included in an absolute Keying Set to just move those which are keyable
2) With "Whole Character" Keying Set, use to check which bones it will affect

There are probably many more uses for this kind of functionality. But use your creativity!

Return of the snow

Overnight, we got another great helping from the polar freezer: a fresh dump of snow in the morning, and bitterly cold and gusty winds throughout the day, with intermittent hail showers.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

GSoC11 - Numerically editing keyframe properties

One issue which I know has been bugging people for a while is about how the editing the "Active Keyframe" settings in the Graph Editor properties panel is a bit clunky, if not downright nasty to use.

Since I started writing this post, I have had (long) since committed a fix for these problems.

AFAIK, there are were 2 major problems UI-wise:
1) Handle updates don't occur, leaving things potentially outdated
2) Units displayed for the key values don't match up with the visual representation

Blender 2.59 Released

So at last we're nearing the end of the 2.5 series... 2 or was it 3 years since it all began, with the past few effectively having been spent in "feature freeze". It's a bit of a pity that the tweaks I've been working on with my SoC didn't get merged for this release in the end, though on the other hand, perhaps that's a good thing to have "the next step up" with the upcoming 2.6 series :)

And now for a little piece of trivia: As nicely noted by ZanQdo, history has repeated itself with our splash screens...
2.59 splash, compared with...
2.33 splash

For me, this holds a bit of significance, since 2.33 was the version that I really started to using Blender all those years ago. Hopefully this version will sow the seeds for some more future greatness in years to come...

So, here's to a momentous release. Bring on 2.6!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

FAQ - Importing actions from 2.4x to 2.5

For the nth time in as many weeks, someone has run into (and complained) that they couldn't import their actions from 2.4x to 2.5.

The simple answer is this: Do NOT MIX 2.4 and 2.5 files.

If you need to do anything with 2.4x files in 2.5, go through and save copies of them in 2.5 first, and then work with the 2.5 versions.

A busy week...

What a week it's been!

Long days doing assignment hacking, holding meetings, attending classes, and also managing to fit in some R&D hacking in the midst of all that (*). Oh, and having my birthday fall in the middle of the chaos (BTW, it was a great day; with nice, sunny, warm weather; even the parking meters played nice and had free parking  but just on that day only :D)

Unfortunately, that has meant that Blender development work has had to take a backseat for a short while. Hopefully in just over a week, I'll finally have time to work on more Blender related stuff again. Perhaps even starting work on some long postponed projects there...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weekend photo break

From around the house...

All of these were just with natural light in a dark-ish room.

Linux Ranting - MMB Paste - Can it be disabled?

Recently I've been busy working on things (i.e. coding) from the Linux workstations at Uni.

During this time, I've also run into an annoying "feature" which has been causing me endless grief: MMB paste. I'd first encountered it about 3 years ago, but at the time blamed a particularly crappy little IDE for being that cause of that with some potentially weird keymappings. However, in recent times, this has started becoming a significant productivity killer, having struck on average 1-2 times a session over several days.

Here's why...

Friday, August 5, 2011

GSoC11 - Exploring and Improving Auto Clamped Handles

One of the long standing quirks of Blender's animation system for animators both new and old has been the handle types. In particular, "auto-clamped" handles...

Auto-clamped handles in action
Note how as the handles of the selected keyframe approach gradually taper off as they approach the neighbouring keyframe instead of "overshooting" (i.e. pushing the curve past the neighbouring extremes).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

GSoC11 - Animation Channel Renaming

It's taken a while (including being distracted with other work for a few days), but finally it is now possible to rename animation channels by Ctrl-LMB clicking on their names in the Animation Editors (just like in the Outliner).

For instance, it's possible to rename Objects...
Action Groups...

and more!