The Tech Artist

Gizmo Update

by on Aug.16, 2011, under Panda3D, Tech Art

After a few long nights coding I think I’m about ready for another release of my gizmo project. I’ll be writing up a full post about it later, but if you’re keen to give it a go you can download the code here (you will need Panda3D installed to run). Or you can watch this thrilling demo:

Version 1.1 has the following fixes and features:

* Fixed intra module importing
* Moved constants out of __init__.py and into constants.py
* Fixed local transforming for rotation / scale
* Added “complementary” scaling when ctrl-clicking an axis of the scale gizmo
* Added middle mouse functionality to continue transforming
* Fixed bug where moving the mouse from the rotation gizmo would stop transforming
* Fixed bug where quickly rotating in camera axis would spin the gizmo wildly
* Added support for attaching multiple nodes
* Added marquee selection for demo
* Fixed scale gizmo appearance during transform
* Added concept of default axis
* All transformations now done with matrices
* General code cleanup

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Back in the saddle

by on Aug.11, 2011, under Art

Since becoming a full time Tech Artist and spending the last two and a bit years coding in Maxscript and Python as much as possible, I’ve found it a rare occasion to sit down in front of Maya and actually model something. So long in fact, that I was beginning to wonder if I still knew how.

Luckily I found all my hotkeys and scripts somewhere deep within the bowels of my computer which made the transition from Max to Maya that much easier, and after an hour or so my fingers started to remember where everything was and I was able to pick up the pace.

I know it’s a pretty simple object to model and I’m not hugely excited by the lighting and rendering, but I’m happy with it as the first decent stab at asset creation in a while. The point of the exercise wasn’t to create a render anyway, I’m actually planning on using the model as part of a real time rendering project. However after getting stuck into the texturing I couldn’t resist setting up some lights and brushing up on some of those Mental Ray skills.

Candle wireframe, shaded and textured

You can see a couple more renders in the gallery.

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Gizmolicious

by on Aug.06, 2011, under Panda3D, Tech Art

I was a little late in getting this blog started, so I might have to back-date a few posts to cover what I’ve been doing so far on this topic.

For the past couple of months I’ve slowly been chipping away at a project using Panda3D, an engine I decided to use due to its extensive Python integration. After a few dismal attempts in learning the api I decided to try and make something useful, and started work on recreating the manipulators from Maya. I’m still ironing out some bugs, but I’ve got something that looks and behaves just like the real thing.

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Luckily Panda makes setting things up ridiculously easy; I’ve had no trouble writing basic controls for mouse picking, marquee selection and Maya-style camera controls. The shapes that make up the gizmos are created using Panda’s geometric classes – they aren’t models loaded from file.

I’ll be making another release soon, but you’re interested in Python and have the Panda3D sdk installed, you can get the first release here.

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…and so it begins

by on Aug.06, 2011, under Musings

After years of having no internet presence aside from the usual social networks, I’ve finally decided to join the ranks of those who possess Mighty Internet Publishing Power™ and do my bit to make the web a more crowded place.

In addition to making posts largely made up of incoherent babble, I’m hoping to publish parts of my portfolio, art and code. So sit back, relax and join me – if you will – while I blunder my way through 3D territory.

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