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  30 January 2016 - Blender (for Dummies) :: Posted in 3D modelling

I've been playing with Blender for a while now and I still thikn I'm a total beginner. Blender has so much to offer that I think my skill is that of a child who just got around stacking LEGO™ blocks and has no clue it can't make a house with them...

Therefor I've bough the book Blender for Dummies already quite a while ago. But until recently I didn't have the concentration to actually get started on it. And while my concentration still fails me often, I did make a start with the book already. Okay, I've just done the introductions fo the UI and shortkeys that Blender offers, but the start is there...

Why the sudden interest for Blender..? It's quite easy actually... I've made one 2D game already and have 2 more in projects running, but I feel that 2D is too limiting for me. Most ideas I come up with need the Z-axis as well. And though I can emulate 3D in a 2D environment by adding layers, I wondered why I'd make things that hard for myself when Unity3D is basically a 3D engine. The only problem though (as described above) is that I lack good skills to model in 3D, and that's where the book comes in...

I have already set a couple of goals for myself (which are covered in the book) for myself to reach...
1. I want to be able to make animations. And with this I don't mean full-fledged characters that walk, jump and do things in game (though it eventually will be a goal ), but simple thing slike doors opening and such.
2. Paint the models I've made. And not just drop a color on it per side, but paint it with tools like Substance Painter (for which I already have a license). And talking about Substance Painter, I also have 2 other tools from Allegorithmic that I'll need to learn to use as well: Substance Designer and Bitmap2Material, but those will come in good time
3. Make characters for my games. Yeah, I know under point #1 I said it wasn't what I meant by animations, but it will be the ultimate goal to make my own characters from Blender and animate them the way I see fit. And when I have mastered that, my ultimate goal to make a RPG will come a whole lot closer as well...

And what about Burst-a-Bubble and the Droid Quest project..? I already have kinda mothballed Burst-a-Bubble as a PC game. I might finish it later on as Android only game on a later date, but it's no proirity for me right now. As for the Droid Quest project, well, that's kinda why I've started with the Blender for Dummies book - that game was intended to be a 3D game in the first place...


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  07 November 2014 - Blender for Dummies :: Posted in 3D modelling
Having taken Blender as my 3D modelling program, the next step is learning to master it. That's easier said than done though. Blender has so many options and quite an odd interface that mastering will take a while. That while I have already made a couple of basic objects that I need for my upcoming game...

To learn to master Blender, I've downloaded a lot of eBooks for Blender (YAY The Pirate Bay!) to see what's out there and worth to read and perhaps buy. In that bunch of eBooks there were 2 editions of Blender for Dummies. Knowing the ...for Dummies series they explain everything pretty well and are an asset to have.

The old (2009) edition was a 100% scan, while the 2nd edition (2011 and current) was an OCR scan. Because of the odd OCR scan (why do people even use that in an age where everyone has Mbps connections?) I decided to take a look at the older edition. As expected it looked decent with good and clear explanations and examples.

No need to look further I thought and immediately ordered the 2011 edition at our local (online) bookstore (yes, bol.com) last Sunday. Sadly the book was not on stock and I had to wait 3-4 days. and with the mail being late, I only had it yesterday and started reading today. The book indeed is good and helps a lot understanding Blender, it's options and how to navigate through that odd interface. Though I've only read the introduction and the first chapter so far, I think this book will really help me a lot with my upcoming and future games

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  30 October 2014 - Choice of 3D program made :: Posted in 3D modelling
Last week I wrote about my start with 3D modelling and the use of RaySupreme 3D. Well, that program is ditched for sure. It is extremely buggy with regular crashes (mostly on deleting stuff) and the added materials are just there for show, because I can't export them at all with the 3D models I've made

Therefore I've been searching for other programs. One I had as advice was Shade 3D. The program looks very professional, but I just can't get used to it. The 3D models only show the edges and that's too abstract for me to work with. I'm sure there's an option to see the 3D models with their surfaces, but I just couldn't find the option to toggle is I also gave Wings3D a try, but that one just doesn't give a good feeling when using it. I'm sure the program is very good as well, but I just didn't get the 'click' with it...

As a last resort I picked up Blender once again and after playing with it a bit I managed to get it working in a way I can use it. The most important thing I need to get a 3D program to do is edit the shape of the surface and actually see what I'm doing (as said earlier, I'm pretty visually minded - I need to see what's going on).

Having played a bit with Blender for the last two hours, I think I've managed to get hold of the basic 3D modelling options and I'm about to make a serious start to make the objects I need for my upcoming game. Of course, these objects will be a bit rough at start, but I will make them look better and add textures as well along the way. The most important thing right now is that I can start making the levels for the game and test-play the rough mechanics...

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  22 October 2014 - Baby steps into 3D :: Posted in 3D modelling
I have totally no experience in 3D modelling, other than the few simple things I've made in Second Life. But 3D modelling in Second Life is something totally different compared to what you need to do when making games. There for I have bought a couple of 'simple' 3D modelling programs in the past and having started a new project I'll have to make a start on learning how to use 3D modelling programs...

The first steps are easy to learn, but it didn't come *THAT* easy to me though. Things I need to start with are basic things like tiles, walls and such stuff. You know, simple 3D cubes shaped and cut on one or two sides. But texturing them was a but harder though...
The program I'm using for this job (RaySupreme 3D) includes a lot of texture materials and has lots of colouring options, but having no clue what I'm doing doesn't make things easier. Oh yeah, it does have a pretty solid tutorial, but as I've written a lot in the past: I'm one of experience instead of reading. I need to see how something is done and I get the idea, reading what to do without clear (visual) examples I normally screw things up badly. And the same thing applies to RaySupreme 3D...

So having read and tried to follow the instructions on how to apply a texture material to the (simple) 3D objects I made I failed big-time. Instead I decided to go do he trial & error approach and that worked perfectly for me

At this moment I have some very basic 3D objects (walls and tiles) to get myself started on building the new project, meaning I can get started on making 3D mazes that I need for the game and convert them into data so that I can build them in the game later on

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