f-log

just another web log

20 Jan 2018:
auto smooth is the anti pro smooth i have been looking to blend
I have finished the texture updates to remove shadows on the Raspberry Pi 3 HiRes project.

Kept finding "one more" bit to tweak, but I am putting a stop to that now or I will never be finished.

Have started a dedicated page to show off all the past and future work for Raspberry Pi 3 HiRes project.

One last note from the world of Modelling.

3d render highlighting flat shading
This is the USB micro power supply connector from the Raspberry Pi 3 HiRes project as it was. You can clearly see the sides are not smooth. Although it looks OK at a distance I was not happy.

3d render highlighting smooth shading
Here it is again with "Smooth Shading" enabled. I have angled and lit it to show off the excessive smoothing. If only I could smooth non flat parts of the model...

blender setting auto smooth 30
Ah ha! "Auto Smooth" with the angle set to 30 degrees.

3d render highlighting auto smooth shading set to 30
That looks perfect. I also went around and applied the same fix to all the other connectors.

Blender always surprises me, in a good way!

OK, next steps are to flesh out the empty Raspberry Pi 3 HiRes project page and start tidying up.
20 Jan 2018:
what the tag or failure for all
A couple of flog stats since the year 2017 summary

number of different tags 1115
3365 total posts with tags
803 unique tags

Top Tags
Raspberry pi 108 69
linux 108
code 87
review 79
Blender 69
fail 50
usb 50
Blender 69

Slightly concerned with the fail one, but all learning is improved by a bit of abject and total failure !)

All those stats are only since I started tagging in Feb 2007. I notice the css is pretty screwed up on those old pages now :(
07 Jan 2018:
jet set radio random vmu blast from the past mystery
How is this for random.

I need some background music so I turned to the internet streaming sensation
Radio Sega

On there I saw a link to The Dreamcast Junkyard
That has a rather surprising number of stories just from the last month, let alone year. After reading rather too many articles, I decided to look around and see if my Space Invaders VMU style was mentioned anywhere.
http://www.thedreamcastjunkyard.co.uk/2006/05/vmu-wonders.html
Nice, 7/10, not bad at all!

During my search I had come across a page about a limited edition Jet Set Radio graffiti set on VMU, could it be?

Remember when I was slightly confused at being asked to update some 15+ year old code to support 64 bit? It seems that that event used my code

VMU squad

and then, I found the Complete History of Seaman which was a really nice video and showed me loads of stuff I did not know about this under rated Dreamcast game.
07 Jan 2018:
blender fail companion cube
Yet another distracted Blendering I did recently.

This time I had a specific goal. To create the minimum of geometry and use Modifiers to do the heavy lifting. It did not turn out quite as I wanted, but there were some good bits so...

Looking at the Portal Weighted Companion Cube that I got as part of Funko Pop! Chell, it seems highly symmetrical, apart from the heart.

I started with a plane that I moved to the right and above the center point. Then cut it in half diagonally with the Knife tool and extruded a couple of subdivided edges.
screenshot of part of a portal companion cube

After extruding into 3D two areas I used the Knife Project to slice two circles.
This did nothing other than create edges which I could then use to remove faces.
screenshot of part of a portal companion cube 3D

This 3D "slice" should be able to be rotated 45 degrees 16 times and we get the cube face! Not quite, needs to be mirrored and then repeated at 90 degrees.
screenshot of part of a portal companion cube 3D

I did try using an Array Modifier with a Simple Deform - Bend - 360 but it just bent everything, not just the layout. So I switched to using an Particle Emitter.
screenshot of part of a portal companion cube 3D no mirror
screenshot of part of a portal companion cube no mirror 3D

This seemed to work and just need the center reset, so instead of appearing at the extremities of the base plane, would create a single "face". I tried a lot here and I am not sure why it did not work. In the end I settled for Scaling the base emitter plane. First I tried a scale of 0, but that messed everything up, so I just scaled manually until I could not go any further.
Even though there were technically gaps between the "slices" you could not see them, even when zoomed in.
screenshot of face of a portal companion cube 3D

Then I extruded the edges in the base "slice" to get rid of the corner square holes.

Here I tried to use another Particle Emitter, but Particle Emitters do not like being Particle Emitters and everything I tried made things very messy, just emitting from cube.
Then I remembered hearing about Dupliverts. This took a lot of trial and error but eventually I Converted the Particle Emitter into a Mesh and Parented it to a Cube with Dupliverts.
The key was to clear all the Rotation, Scale and Transforms from the newly created Mesh.
screenshot of a portal companion cube wire frame

Which made this rather cool basic Companion Cube.
screenshot of a portal companion cube base render

It was a simple matter to add a 2D Mesh with a Mirror modifier and use the Proportional edit to create a heart. This was then Dupliverted with another Cube and joined to the Companion Cube mesh.
screenshot of a portal companion cube wire frame with hearts

screenshot of a portal companion cube material view

I could not help but add a plane as the floor, set it as a passive physics element and then duplicate a load of Companion Cubes as active physics.
screenshot of a portal companion cube animation frame

This looked really cool in the Material view when previewed but the resulting animation(that took over 24 hours to create at 1920x1080) looked pretty rubbish because of the corners and edges over lapping.

I might revisit this in future. The initial Knife Project did not create enough geometry to get nice curves and I now see that the corners do not have a vertical cut anyway. Would have been nice to line up everything, for this I just need to have been more careful earlier on. Could have skipped Particle Emitter and just stuck with Dupliverts.

The end goal would have included making the edges nice and smooth. Now I can also see my Portal 2 Cube has orange lines appearing like cross hairs on each face.
07 Jan 2018:
distracted star growth blendering
Here is another distracted Blendering I did recently.



It is insanely simple to set up.

Extrude a single plane from the default cube and scale to a point. Then add an Array Modifier with Simple deform - Bend - 360.

Then animate the Array - Count. I then edited the animation curve to make the progression start slow and get faster.

Finally the Principled BSDF material with a healthy dose of Sub Surface gives the object a realistic depth in the lighting.
07 Jan 2018:
xmas 2017 better late than never
Oops, forgot to post this render from Xmas

3D render of an Christmas tree in the snow with presents and snow flakes

The tree was created using the built-in Sapling Tree Gen. This creates a curve that can be Solidified then tinsel added by my usual method.

The presents were created and animated as with last years, just with a bit more care. The presents fell from a much lower height and I used the default physics settings. The bows were quite time consuming, but were basically extruded curves. The texture was something that did not quite work out. I wanted to use procedural textures and this is the Checker texture stretched. Looks fine on the sides by totally fails on the tops and bottoms. I could have fixed this with more time.

The snow flakes were a simple plane extruded a couple of times with a mirror modifier and then an Array Modifier with Simple deform - Bend - 360(which is my new best friend). Then duplicated into a large grid and Randomly transformed.

I desperately wanted to light is with an HDR image but the results were not very good, so I just rendered with a transparent background and used Gimp to added the gradient.

One last cool bit was using the Principled BSDF with Sub Surface to give the ice and snow a realistic sheen. More on that in another post soon.

Not quite as late as last year's :)

02 Jan 2018:
a 2017 yearly review in january what
2018 already?
Tis the season to do a yearly summary.

First some stats. Since adding an rss xml feed back in 2007 I had forgotten I had a happy little script updating an xml file with every post. But this f-log has been running since 2002

egrep pubDate scripts/f-log/rss/flog.xml | egrep -o "20[0-9][0-9]" | uniq -c
(remember "friends do not let friends use standard non egrep grep")

     73 2017
     60 2016
     61 2015
     64 2014
     50 2013
     32 2012
     21 2011
     70 2010
     45 2009
    101 2008
    106 2007


and here is the 2017 Yearly Summary
loading results, please wait loading animateloading animateloading animate
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