gathering dust

September 27th, 2007 . 1 comment

Three months since the last post here, I think that deserves either an award or a slap on the wrist. Things have been busy, and I’m sorry to say I’ve been much more inclined to spend my free time in other ways than writing here.

Work has been through alternating bursts of slow r&d time and busy projects, the latter being where I find myself at the moment. We’re using Blender more and more, currently we’re doing an immensely complex animation of around 12,000 frames, without much time to do it in. It’s the first project of this scale that we’ve done in Blender as a team, and although it’s a lot to manage and keep track of, it’s been pretty good.

Blender’s linked library / group / scene / action system has been great, and much easier than they were doing previously for similar projects in Max. I’m keeping a master scene file that contains everything, however most of the models/rigs in there are coming in from linked groups in external files, that any of the others can add to and update. Not only does this keep things easy to modify and ripple through, but it allows us to distribute the workload well between all of us by segmenting the files finely. I’m afraid I can’t give much more detailed info at this moment, perhaps some time in the future.

The work I was doing on glossy reflections/refractions was finished a while ago, the end product being much more robust and advanced than in that last post, and also including all sorts of extra nice things like using QMC sampling for ray shadows and ambient occlusion. These changes are now officially in Blender’s SVN repository and will be in the next major release, however I’ve already been making use of it extensively. This not overly interesting illustration I did for a magazine cover made it into the Australian Creative magazine gallery and uses a lot of anisotropic blurry reflection.

I made some nice docs online here: Glossy Reflection/Refraction / Raytraced Soft Shadows / QMC Sampling. Thanks again to Brecht van Lommel and Alfredo de Greef who both gave me some great guidance and help along the way, and I look forward to doing more work in this area in the future. A few other changes I’ve made recently have been extra lamp falloff options, including custom curve, enabling different curve tilt interpolation types, and I’ve also committed a bunch of ex-tuhopuu UI related work to the ‘imagebrowser’ branch, to work on separately in there until I can find the time to finish it up and bring to the main Blender SVN trunk.

But life goes on…

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