Friday, July 25, 2008

If you wear that red dress...

... um, it's not what you think. I was just starting to experiment with vertex pinning in the making of clothes for makehuman characters. I started out with this, and, um, it turns out that it's a dress! Maybe I can cut the cloth between the legs to make pant legs and then re-bake. This looked interesting so I thought I'd share.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A tutorial on making pinned cloth in blender 2.46.

This tutorial shows how to simulate a curtain blowing in the wind using blender 2.46. I saw some conflicting advice in a forum, so I had to figure out what were the essential steps. If it's not entirely visible here, consider going to the Youtube page for that anim and watching it full screen.

Here are the steps:

1. Create a mesh that is a grid-- use a high number of vertex counts-- I used 32 for each of x and y here.
2. (Not shown) Under the mesh editing tab, Set Smooth. (I forgot to do it in this anim).
3. Go into Edit Mode (Tab), and select the row of vertices you want to serve as the "curtain rod". Here I did it with B B select, and have somewhat sloppy results. You could switch to Top View and select one column more precisely with a B select.
4. In the Mesh Editing tab, Click on New under the Vertex Groups area. Type in a name for your new Vertex Group. Here, I called it "pinned".
5. Hit the Assign button to assign your selected vertices to the new Vertex Group.
6. Unselect all the vertices by hitting A A.
7. Go to the Object Editing area, make sure you're under the particle editing button, and hit Cloth. It automatically comes up with the settings that simulate Cotton.
8. Just underneath here you'll find the button for Pinning of Cloth. Hit it and if you're lucky, the Vertex Group "pinned" will already be selected.
9. To make it interesting, I added an Empty. This will be the vehicle where we describe how the wind will act on the object.
10. The wind will be coming out of the "Z" axis on the empty. I rotated the Empty until its z was pointing at my curtain at an oblique angle.
11. Under the Empty's physics tabs, I set up a Field of Wind. I set a Strength of the Field to be a number between 1 and 10.
12. I selected the curtain again with a right click on it.
13. I hit Ctrl-B to Bake the curtain. I chose the selection of "Bake Selected."
14. You will now see the mesh react to the three (or more) forces you've placed on it: gravity, pinned vertices, and wind. It will compute a Bake for the number of frames prescribed in the "Collision" tab.
15. There you go!

This version has at least two things which make it ugly: I forgot to "Set Smooth", and the region of pinned vertices is quite sloppily chosen. For a slightly less ugly version, see my previous post on the matter.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The answer my friend ... (Blender cloth test).

Here's a test of cloth in blender. I used both pinning and wind together to simulate a window curtain.

Flag16 from pterandon on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We are evil we are sound engineers

Here's a rip-roaring cool techno album I found at Magnatune. The groups' name is Processor. Wild stuff to keep your heart beating as you plod through a boring day in the office.

Are you for real by Processor

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mr. Makehuman finally fixes his dentures

I spent some time struggling with this. I found it very difficult to rig the gums and teeth the way I wanted it. I largely followed the advice here at this makehuman forum posting, but I added a few tricks of my own.

I put in separate bones for the "nose" (i.e., top row of teeth) and the "chin". I assigned all of the gum vertices to either the nose or chin Vertex Group after I selected them in a side view in Edit Mode. I then had to do a little weight painting to get the gums to go back where they belonged. Despite the parenting to the chin bone, and having been assigned to the chin vertex group, many of these vertices were still parented part way to the nose.

Next up: Eyeball and smile rigging.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A big yawn for blender and makehuman.

In this case, the yawn is a good thing, that the meshes are all working out well. If if figure out how I did this, I'll let you know.

YAWN! from pterandon on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Monday, July 07, 2008

Osteen's right people.

If you get linked up to the right people, the higher they go, the higher you go.
--Joel Osteen, 6/08/08

In contrast, the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians:
What anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. 22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham's descendants? So am I. 23Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? 30If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.
-- 2 Corinthians, NIV

It is clear that the Apostle Paul-- one of the most honored servants of Christ in all of Christendom-- went through some tough times. There's more than one passage in the Epistles where he points to his multitudinous sufferings.

Regardless of what you think of Joel Osteen, it is clear that he is suggesting a path for believers that is completely different from that suffered by Paul. That is, to say the least, problematic. Either:
  1. one has to come up with a theology that explains why Joel's Christian path is better or scripturally mandated for us today, OR
  2. one has to have second thoughts about relying on Joel as a teacher and expositor of the faith.

My sincere prayer is that no one would give up on trying out this thing called the Christian faith based on an assumption that Joel represents the highest standard for living out a biblically-based path. In contrast, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said,
When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A makehuman character shakes his head and loses his teeth.

I imported the "collada" file from makehuman character into blender. I parented the provided armature to the mesh. I thought I was basically following the advice from this blenderartists posting. This is the result. I cannot understand why some of the vertex groups-- but not ALL of them-- choose to disobey the parenting. Any tips?

Addendum. Okay, I wasn't following the advice perfectly. They say to make the teeth into a separate object. But I still thought it would be fun to share this video.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Obama's ultimate religion problem

"You need to come to church in the first place precisely because you are first of this world, not apart from it. You need to embrace Christ precisely because you have sins to wash away - because you are human and need an ally in this difficult journey."
Barack Obama, Call to Renewal Keynote Address, Wednesday, June 28, 2006.

What? Obama said this??!! :D

This speech is one for which James Dobson is excoriating Obama over now. Methinks the problem is not that Obama is anti-God but that he has tapped into some sort of actual, biblical orthodoxy without toeing the line of the political agenda that Dobson has wrapped around it.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Two quadruped robots.

Can you spot which one is real?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

16 Makehuman Characters in Blender

These 16 characters represent the cast of characters that I have developed using blender and makehuman.
16 Makehuman Characters in Blender
Originally uploaded by pterandon.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The blender hair directionality problem.

Originally, I thought this were a terrible bug in blender. That hair, when pointing "up", renders with its correct color, but while pointing "down", shows up as black.

Here are two different versions of the same scene, a character with white hair. The only difference is that the "AccZ" component of the hair physics is changed from +0.01 to -0.01. The three views from left to right are a screen grab of the 3D View in blender, a "Render This Window" (see the icon at the far right of your 3D View buttons), and a true render of the scene.

While the first two images are incorrectly textured, the third one is not. Cause for alarm? Eh, while it's surely annoying, the final render I guess is what ultimately matters. Unless you're sharing previews of your scenes with your audience.

Blender: Hair up or Down?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

25 Gb of free and legal music

It's available in the "netlabels" section of Legal Torrents.

If you're too poor to pay for music or agitated at the RIAA for their underhanded actions, the best protest is to download music from folks who are giving away their own music intentionally and legally. If you have an internet connection, you can download through a bittorent client a whole bunch of albums of music. I calculated that there are 25 Gb of music available from the netlabels feed alone at this one site. It's obviously not the current Top 40, but if you're willing to experiment and try out new music, it's the perfect source.

I just downloaded the monotonik archive volume one. It's fairly cool stuff, nice background music as I type here. Here's their blog page. The ID3 tags on the 208 songs that came with this 871 Mb download claim genres of everything from polka to acid punk. In twenty minutes of listening, I haven't found anything as annoying as would be implied by either of those tags.

What is a netlabel? Uh, it's a record label that exists on the internet and usually distributes its content under a Creative Commons license. The internet archive has a section on netlabels which gives a lot of useful information about the labels, often more than exists on the artists' own websites-- monotonik especially included.

Check it out and keep on fighting the RIAA by legal and nonviolent means.