Monday, December 4, 2017

Production Notes (From 150YOD Video Project) - Things to Fix in Blender

To followup on my earlier #150YOD video post. I had originally intended to release this a lot earlier (e.g. around September 13th), but various things have been taking up my time over the past few months, delaying the release of this.

As has become my habit after completing each Blender project, here are some notes about things (bugs, usability quirks, observations, and general todo's) I ran into that need attention. Though it's mainly a list for myself, hopefully these notes may be of use to other people too.

The Dr is In - PhD, BlenderDev, and Upcoming Project Updates

Woah! It's been over 2 months since I last posted anything here again :(

During that time, I've ended up being super busy with various projects/commitments (which I'll outline below). Unfortunately, this has meant that my todo list/postponed-project backlog had to take a back seat again, along with squeezing in time to write stuff here (Note: This post itself has ended up being rescheduled several times already even!). Hopefully I'll finally manage to get enough time to start making some progress on some of the things I've been wanting to do since early March (EDIT: actually, it's been since October June 2016)! Stay tuned...

Sunday, September 10, 2017

[Vote for Me] New Video Describing my PhD Research for #150YOD

Blender community batsignal!   

TL,DR: Please help vote for my #150YOD video (deadline is Thursday/Friday midnight, UTC+12)! Every vote counts!

Like, Share, and Vote (link below)

Vote for my video at the following link:

Voting Instructions (sorry, that it's a bit of a long-winded process):
1. Go to the competition website
2. Click the "Vote" button
3. Register on the site (Facebook or Email + Name + Password)
4. (If using email, check your email/spam folders, and Activate the account)
5. Back on the competition website, click the "Vote" button again.

Note: You haven't voted until the button says "Remove Vote" and your name appears on the list

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Oil Column Heater Model

As a little warmup exercise for a video project I'm working on, I went ahead and modelled Mum and Dad's old oil column heater. Why a heater you may ask? Well, a few nights ago, I caught sight of the the heater's light casting a lovely red glow on the wall, nicely complementing the deep blue light coming from the windows in the darkened room, and thought to myself, "Hmm... I wonder if I could replicate this scene in Eevee..."

Of course, what's a story without a little drama ;)  The one snag in all of this is that it turns out I haven't actually modelled anything in over 2-3 years! Sure, there have been Grease Pencil tests/animations and an occasional quick test objects, but models meant to look like something in particular? Zilch  (IIRC, the last time I did a lot of modelling was on Dad's ebook promo video, which was eons ago...)   Furthermore, I've mostly focussed on organic stuff (i.e. characters), so modelling an hard-surface object was a nice little challenge.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Update Time - Thesis Submitted

It's time to dust off the cobwebs and post an update! As you'll probably have noticed from the lack of activity here (and also in the Blender commit logs), I've been rather busy for the past few months </understatement of the year> ;)

Well, during the past 4-5 months, I've been bunkered down in my home office, pulling crazy hours 6.5 days of the week writing up my PhD thesis.
AKA *this* thing... All 268 pages and 100,000 words of it!
(It's no wonder that I haven't have much apetite left for doing any more writing/coding recently ;)

And as of last night, after 4 long years, I've finally submitted it! Woohoo!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Photos from April

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March Music - Musescore 2 Experiments

Over the past few weeks, I've been getting quite a lot of interesting melodic snippets popping up at random times (and much more frequently than in the past). So, I've taken to firing up Musescore and jotting them down while they're fresh (and also, since a lot of these just sound so neat when done this way). Plus, earlier in the month, I finally upgraded to version 2.0 at last, which has brought with it a lovely new Soundfont (based on Fluid; I especially love the Piano and Marimba sounds on this; the Flute could still be better on long notes, and I still don't dare to touch any of the Strings as they typically sound dreadful XD); that and the awesome "Continous Mode".

Here are two of the more "complete" pieces I managed to bash out using this (today's one is first, followed by an older one from week or two ago).

Monday, March 13, 2017

Breakdowner/GP Sequence Interpolation Ideas

While working on some recent improvements for the Breakdowner, I started daydreaming (as you do, when in full feature development mode, which is one of the things I love most about this process/work ;) about some ideas for how we could make these things even more awesome than they were already.

In case you haven't kept up with the latest developments in Blender, there are now two sets of tools with Breakdowner-like functionality:
1) The Pose Breakdowner (and the related "Push" and "Relax" tools)
2) The GPencil Interpolate and Interpolate Sequence operators

This post looks into what we could do for both of these - first common features, and then stuff that's more specific to the GPencil case (since it's newer functionality, which also has heaps more room that we can explore).

Oh, and just in case/before any gets confused, THE FOLLOWING CONTENTS OF THIS POST ARE ALL ENTIRELY HYPOTHETICAL/IDEAS ONLY. There's no guarantee than any of this will be implemented, though I'm curious how well they would turn out if I did :)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Start of Autumn - Music

Here's a bunch of lite tracks I recorded this afternoon - the first weekend of Autumn here (sob). It's been a sunny (if mild) day, though it's clear that Summer has ended...

My favourite is the second one (especially that light rhythm in the background), as it echoes some of the cool music out there in various non-Western-classical music traditions (i.e. all the very cool stuff)

PS.  After a few long weeks, I've finally finished data collection on my last experiment for my thesis. Yay!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Port Hills Fires - Violin Layering Tracks

Last week, a series of out of control wildfires raged across the Port Hills to the south of Christchurch, destroying houses, sending massive plumes of smoke billowing into the sky (and visible from space), and leaving thousands of hill-suburb residents temporarily homeless (after often getting only minutes to evacuate).

Feb 22 - Violin Layering Tribute

Today marks 6 years since the devastating Feb22 quakes here in Christchurch. Here are a bunch of tracks I recorded to commemorate the event this year.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Crazy Ideas Folder: OpenGL Renders in "Background" Mode via Mesa GL?

This evening, I caught a mid-conversation snippet that had me thinking, "Is that really so? I'm not so certain about that..."  (or perhaps my supervisor's frequent utterings during our meetings have been starting to get ingrained in my mind XD).  Anyway, the quote in question was:

"it's not possible to do opengl render in a background mode"

Really?!  I know it's not **currently** possible to do an OpenGL render in background mode, and perhaps there are limits to what we can achieve (especially if you're not allowed to spawn any windows and/or there's no graphics card on the rendermachine).

However, something from the vague hazy memories of the past tell me that this is not a cut-and-dried certainty.