Blender News Jun

Durian Project

The third open movie project has started preparation and will soon be underway. Submission deadline has passed with over 150 submissions received to be sorted through for our new team members. The members will be announced soon.

They already have a project page set up so that you can start following their progress.

Durian Project is due to start up September 1, delivering a result around March/April 2010.

"Durian is an Asian fruit, ugly and smelly but delicious. That’s a perfect code name for a movie project aimed at adolescents mostly; with an epic fantasy theme with lots of action, monsters and a girl hero!

As usual, there’s been a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure we have a realistic target, and good Outlook on getting additional financing. Only then I appoint a small core team to help me further defining this project. I’m very happy to be able to announce these three great artists who will help out:

1 Martin Lodewijk, godfather of Dutch comics, for script
2 Colin Levy, Blender artist and filmer, director
3 David Revoy, Blender artist and illustrator, concept art

Chek the portfolios on the about page.

They will alos need everyone’s help to support this project. Once the full team is known a DVD pre-sale will start, providing us with the essential basic funding to give the team a good and warm welcome to start working in Amsterdam."

DVD training 4: Venoms Lab!

The Blender Institution has announced their 4th training DVD. Venom's Lab!, created by Pablo (VenomGFX) Vazquez, lead artist of project Apricot, Yo Frankie!

Pablo has put together 10 information packed chapters covering the specific techniques and tools needed to create some of his most famous characters.

Table of Contents:
1. Firulo! : Subsurface modeling
2. Korno! :Sculpting
3. Zanno! :UV unwrap, texture layers, painting
4. Fraka! : Shading, material nodes, light
5. Carnerito! : Realtime GLSL shading
6. Antonio! : Cloth simulation
7. Merlin! : Eye modeling, shading
8. Braka! : Fur, grooming and shading
9. Tibolino! : Compositing and environments
10. Teaser! : All techniques used for the teaser

The DVD assumes you already know the basics of Blender, like object transform, simple modeling, adding materials, or working with files. It is especially targeted at people who want to train their artistic skills and master Blender further.

Venoms Lab includes the latest (2.49) versión of Blender for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, as well as a lot of free to use characters and demo files. The training techniques were chosen to be valid in the 2.5x Blender releases as well.

The DVD will be in both Spanish and English. This is still a pre-order item that is due to be shipped the end of June 2009.

Blender 2.49 Release

The newest release of Blender came packed with some really fun goodies as well as some bug fixes and code clean-up.

Video Texture: The Game Engine now supports múltiple streams of video textures for interactive playbak in environments. You can use video files (alos from URLs), image files, video captures, memory buffer, camera render or a mix of that.

Real-time Dome rendering: This feature allows artists to visualize their interactive projects within an immersive dome environment. Blender supports Fulldome, Truncated domes (front and rear), Planetariums and domes with spherical mirrors.

Game Engine speed-up: Significant speedup has been achieved in several areas;

  • Scene Graph optimizes static objects
  • View Frustum culling
  • Occlusion culling
  • Faster Bullet physics initializing

Overall improvement is significant, a complex game like Yo Frankie runs 3x faster now.

Bullet Physics: The Bullet library upgrade in this release includes brand new generic 6dof constraint with run-time configurable limits, motors and springs to allow for physics-based vehicles, forklift, robots and ragdolls. And more...

Game Engine Modifier support: Support for non-time-dependent modifiers in the GE: no need to apply the modifiers before running the game! Works for physics shape too.

Improved Game Logic and Python API: Improve stability, documentation and completeness for the python API.

  • Attribute access
  • GameObject properties of any type.
  • OpenGL and Geometry modules
  • New logic and the rendering functions
  • Better error feedback

Texture Nodes: Next to Compositing and Materials, Blender Textures now support Node editing. You can use it to create advanced procedural textures, including fractal based systems. And even better, a Texture Nodetree can even become a Brush for painting.

Projection Painting: Painting in the 3D view has been improved to support projection painting which allows you to paint directly onto your model without having to worry about UV mapping or seams.

Etch-a-ton armature sketching: Etch-a-ton is a development snapshot for sketching techniques applied to rigging. It can be used both for creating chains of deformation bones through various subdivisión techniques or through re-targeting templates.

Boolean improvements: In 2.49 you can put a Boolean Modifier on any level in the stack, allowing you to intersect deformed or subdivided models too. You can alos insert múltiple Booleans in one stak now.

JPEG2000 support: Blender now supports the new high quality JPEG format. It has much better compression, supports Alpha layers, and HDR color up to 16 bits per channel. JPEG2000 support is available in Blender everywhere, including Sequencer, Compositor and UV texture editor.

Python Script extensions: New scripts have been added, tools such as Landscape or Bolt generators, and the importer/exporters had several updates and fixes. Alos worth visiting is the very complete (over 300) Scripts Catalog in our wiki.

Features & Fixes: A lot of smaller features and bug fixes were done for 2.49 as well. Hundreds of reports were handled the past 6 months.

BlenderNation Links

Bart has recently added even more usefulness to the valuable BlenderNation site. He has set up a link page to make it easier for users to find links to up to date tutorials, models, books and textures.

From the BlenderNation site:
It is with great pride (and just a tiny bit of fear) that I announce BlenderNation Links! I'm hoping that it will solve the biggest challenge for Blender users: finding quality and up to date tutorials, downloadable models, textures, books.. BN Links is a community-driven website where authors can leave their links and tag them. Our link browser allows you to drill down to exactly the kind of content that you're looking for.

For example:
Looking for Spanish tutorials on modeling? We have that. An English tutorial that covers both rendering and texturing, for intermediate-level users in PDF? We have that, too. Downloadable models under a Creative Commons license? Check. Or maybe you're just looking for English video tutorials for advanced usersí Try here. Oh wait! Some good books on lighting and rendering. Just what you needed.

Go on - try it and see if you can find anything you like. Please note that we've just begun filling the database so there are only about 60 links in the system now - hopefully this will increase rapidly after today!

Of course you can leave comments for each link and these comments will be mailed to the link's author.

Where do you find BN Linksí
To access BN Links, follow the 'BlenderNation Links' menú at the top of this page, or use the link in the sidebar on the homepage.

Would you like to add your linksí
Like I said, BN Links is a community-driven website. You can enter your own links - read more about how to apply for an account here.

The Future
BN Links is not finished yet. One of the most important new features will be community ratings and sorting of links by their popularity. For now, I first need to see how our (old!) server holds up under the load. If everything goes ok, then I'll activate new features one by one. Of course, if you have suggestions for new features or link types, let us know!.