Blender Mega Thread

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  • rollin
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    rollin greentooth
    ant1fact

    I'm quoting myself, quoting myself:

    rollin said:
    rollin said:
    I have the problem where I can't do anything in the viewport. 
    The outliner does not react except the eye-icons work.
    Keymap in the preferences is an empty screen.
    Hovering over one of the buttons on the right screen gives "Internal Error" Toolttips
    The remaining interface seems to work normally but I haven't thoroughly checked.

    Testing with  Rc2 atm.

    Anyone had similar stuff happening?
    Hello me,
    so your problem is that your python install(ations) are bit strange and blender 2.8 is using the wrong one.
    The reason the debug batch files (like 'blender_debug_gpu_glitchworkaround.cmd') is because they clear the windows 'PYTHONPATH=' variable.
    So I made a minimum batch file which does just that and allows to be called with parameters which will get forwarded to blender

    @echo off
    echo Starting blender with PYTHONPATH=''
    set PYTHONPATH=
    %~dp0\blender %*


    Also I want to add:
    batch file to assosiate *.blend files with the above batch file (here it's called 'mgto_startblender.cmd')
    @echo off
    
    rem get file type
    assoc .blend=blendfile
    
    rem assign file type and, forward the file which should open (%1) and any possible further arguemnts (%*)
    rem Note: as this runs from a batch file we need to use %%1 instead of %1
    ftype blendfile=cmd /c call "%~dp0mgto_startblender.cmd" "%%1" %%*
    
    pause

  • Auldbenkenobi
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    Auldbenkenobi polycounter lvl 7
    @Justo

    Yeah that's the impression I got too I just didn't want to seem like I was coming across as rude because I really do think the tools are fantastic. I just find his videos hard to absorb for some reason. I'll do some more digging.

    Also, I've no idea why I can escape this quote box, could anyone enlighten me?
  • ant1fact
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    ant1fact polycounter lvl 6
    @rollin interesting stuff, thanks for that
  • pior
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    pior insane polycounter
    If anything the safest is probably to not bother with the installer to begin with. What's the point of it anyways ? The zip version works very well, creates the same preferences folder on startup, and doesn't mess up anything system-wise.
  • rollin
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    rollin greentooth
    @pior
    I'm only using the zip versions. But blender seems to use your manually installed python version (via PYTHONPATH=) by default and only uses the internal one if there is no python version installed in your system. 
    Imo it should be the other way round and require a user action to NOT use the internally supplied version. 
    Maybe I'm just not getting the point though..  
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    pior said:
     @Justo : if toggling between Evee and Cycles renderers seemingly does nothing, that means that you are currently in the third viewport state (I personally call it "Toolbag style") rather than the last (which becomes an actual path traced Keyshot-like renderer if and only if Cycles is selected in the render tab).


    Amazing! I am understanding so much more thanks to your comment Pior! So LookDev really is something like a Toolbag Style preview, and has its options in the Viewport Shading menu. And yeah, switching to Rendered view displayed different images when switching render engines, just like you said.

    LookDev looks so...simple and good...Might not put out the most accurate images, but dang it looks pretty. 


    I suppose achieving the same results as LookDev AND being more accurate is always possible in Cycles, it's just a matter of knowing where to tweak things?

    Some Qs regarding LookDev: 
    -As soon as I found out how to switch HDRIs, the first thing I looked for was how to easily rotate it, blur it, and darken/brighten its effects on objects. The rotation is in the Viewport Shading menu and there's even an addon to make it easier. I wasn't able to find how to blur it - or even show it in the background! Background is just a solid color...but I did notice if I switch my viewport tab to Shading, this is there by default, and blurred too! So it must be possible somehow. Where can I show the HDRI bg and alter its bluriness? As for brightening/darkening its effects on objects, I have no clue either. 
    -Those preview spheres in the shading viewport look like they could be useful too. Where can I toggle those on/off?
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights greentooth
    LookDev is basically Eevee, but with instant HDRIs built-in for faster material, reflections etc. viewing. Once you enable both "Scene Lights" and "Scene World", it's identical to "Rendered" which is Eevee if you have Eevee selected instead of Cycles.

    Also, if you're working with a heavy scene with lots of caclulated lights, soft shadows, volumetrics etc. in Eevee (not Cycles), switching to LookDev is like Marmoset's "Rocket" setting. To speed up the viewport's perormance while panning, rotating and zooming in the scene.

    Speaking of Eevee in general, even though it's awesome in many ways, it's still missing important real-time features, such as proper ambient occlusion map input, or parallax occlusion mapping for faking the depth of pupil/iris. That's why I prefer either Marmoset or UE4 atm.

    I'm sorry if I'm derailing a bit, but here's how I see the "full featureness" of each package's current state in a simplified way:

    1. UE 4.23:
    - PROS: Has literally everything a game artist ever needs for FREE, even real-time raytracing and additional path tracing (the path tracing is a good option for those who don't own RTX cards)

    - CONS: Huge install of the engine itself, somewhat complex to use, and slow to open projects. Too big just for small to medium portfolio pieces.

    2. Marmoset Toolbag 3.08:

    - PROS: Versatile enough for game artists by having the most crucial features needed by prop and character artists. Environment artists too, but with an addon to add vertex blending materials though. Has the best texture baker, ever. An easy, fast and lightweight software.

    - CONS: No node-based material system, relies on baked textures with only minimal tileability on some areas, like detail normal mapping. Since there's no nodes, proper masking, tiling and procedurality isn't an option. No real-time ray tracing capabilities.

    3. Blender 2.8's Eevee:

    - PROS: Has a node-based material system. Looks almost as good as Marmoset or UE4. Easy and fast to use. Also the whole Blender is lightweight software as well. Cycles as an additional renderer for more precise realism is great.

    - CONS: The node-based material system isn't up to the bar of UE4's, in a game art workflow way. Some simple things need a "node spaghetti" setup, like simple normal mapping with Y-channel flipping (also a normal map node to get normal maps to work in the first place). No input for ambient occlusion textures in the Principled BSDF. No support for parallax occlusion mapping. No real-time raytracing with Eevee.

    I may have forgotten something, but those are my immediate thought for the comparisons.

    EDIT: All of these softwares are updating more or less frequently, and all of them are more or less open about their current development. Blender being the most active with bug fixes, newly added features and improvement. UE4 too, but not as fast as Blender's development. Marmoset's development is in the darkness between versions, so it's not known in public what comes to 3.09 next.

    For example, Eevee's developer, Clément Foucault has already added "Parallax Occlusion Mapping" to the todo list of his: https://developer.blender.org/T68477

    So, Blender's development has a pretty constantly bright future. ;)

  • pior
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    pior insane polycounter
    On Eevee/Cycles : to be fair, once carefully tuned (same environment image and both taking the same lighting into account) the consistency between the two is great - quite remarkable even. It really allows for previz in the true sense of the word, it's a pleasure to work with imho.



    Although I am seemingly not getting screen-space object reflections in Eevee at this time (left), not sure why.
  • f1r3w4rr10r
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    f1r3w4rr10r polycounter lvl 7
    pior said:
    Although I am seemingly not getting screen-space object reflections in Eevee at this time (left), not sure why.

    You need to add reflection probes in order for that to work in evee.

  • pior
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    pior insane polycounter
    Ha, interesting - never looked that deeply into that.
    Unfortunately neither Reflection Cubemap or Irradiance Volume seem to do anything for me -  so I suppose that there is some required pre-processing involved. The Reflection Plane does work though (creates a mirror), but that's about it.
  • MACHIN3
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    MACHIN3 sublime tool
    pior said:
    Ha, interesting - never looked that deeply into that.
    Unfortunately neither Reflection Cubemap or Irradiance Volume seem to do anything for me -  so I suppose that there is some required pre-processing involved. The Reflection Plane does work though (creates a mirror), but that's about it.

    You defintiely don't need reflection probes. You just need to turn on SSR's in the eevee render settings and dial in the thickness value. IF you have DECALmachine, open the Asset Example in the Help panel, it has it already set up.
  • pior
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    pior insane polycounter
    Ha that makes more sense, thanks ! Well, that makes more sense, now I see where all the Eevee viewport settings from the pre 2.8 have gone. Although the way it is organized really is awful UX wise - there's basically no way to access these settings at all if one is using Eevee for preview and Cycles for render, since the render panel would then only show the Cycles settings :D Hopefully that will get sorted out eventually, that's as bacwards as it gets - all these options should just be up there right under Scene Lights/Scene World. Oh well !


  • MACHIN3
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    MACHIN3 sublime tool
    pior said:
    Although the way it is organized really is awful UX wise - there's basically no way to access these settings at all if one is using Eevee for preview and Cycles for render, since the render panel would then only show the Cycles settings :D 


    I agree, I have put the most importnat ones in the shading pie in MACHIN3tools for that reason. I like using eevee via lookdev, while having the renderer set to cycles. Using the shading pie, I can still adjust the eevee settings.



  • f1r3w4rr10r
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    f1r3w4rr10r polycounter lvl 7
    Yeah you are right, I got that mixed up. The cubemaps are actually the less precise alternative to screen space reflections.
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    @MACHIN3   Looking forward to the day this is updated then ;D 



  • MACHIN3
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    MACHIN3 sublime tool
    Yes, MACHIN3tools has taken a bit of a back seat, while I'm trying to get DECALmachine to the next level. Even MESHmachine has. I will get DECALmachine 2.0 out, then MESHmachine 0.7, then get to start working on art again and expand onf MACHIN3tools.
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    No worries Machine, take it easy. You're the top one-man-army content creator in the Blender community afaik, I wouldn't want you to overwork yourself.

    By the way, is there a setting somewhere in Blender, or in your plugin code scripts, in which I can set the pie menus (or some of them) not to disappear after the first click? For example in the Shading Pie, it's a bit annoying how if I want to open the Ambient Occlusion tab, the menu will disappear and I'll need to re-open it again to access the newly revealed settings.

    Nothing too troublesome, of course. Just curious if I'm missing anything obvious.
  • RN
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    RN polycounter
    On EEVEE vs Cycles, someone tried to port a scene from the Spring short film so it could be rendered on both engines, for comparing (there's an animated comparison in the link below as well)



    https://www.blendernation.com/2019/07/20/spring-comparing-eevee-to-cycles/
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    Joined a gamejam last weekend and proposed myself to only use Blender for my main 3D needs. Glad to say I was able to accomplish this! 

    One thing I wish I had during the competition, was a one-click way to set the origin of an object to its bottom Z location (preferably wherever the origin may be before executing this). 

    import bpy
    from mathutils import Vector
    import bmesh
    
    context = bpy.context
    
    def origin_to_bottom(obj):
        mw = obj.matrix_world
        local_verts = [Vector(v[:]) for v in obj.bound_box]
        bm = bmesh.new()
        bm.from_mesh(obj.data)
        x, y, z = 0, 0, 0
    
        l = len(local_verts)
        '''
        # will give a modified center
        # eg if array modifier will be centre of array
        y = sum([v.y for v in local_verts]) / l
        x = sum([v.x for v in local_verts]) / l
        '''
        z = min([v.z for v in local_verts])
    
        local_origin = Vector((x, y, z))
        global_origin = mw * local_origin
    
        for v in bm.verts:
            v.co = v.co - local_origin
    
        bm.to_mesh(obj.data)
    
        #move the mesh back
    
        mw.translation = global_origin
    
    #test
    
    mesh_objs = [mo for mo in context.selected_objects if mo.type == 'MESH']
    bpy.ops.object.origin_set(type='ORIGIN_GEOMETRY')
    
    for o in mesh_objs:
        origin_to_bottom(o)


    I found some answers here. This one works for 2.76 apparently, but I cannot make it run in 2.8 (nor can I post in that site because of reputation levels or even send a message to OP...). This script should be setting the origin to the lowest center Z coordinate. Something about an incorrect multiplication between a Matrix and a Vector, at "global_origin = mw * local_origin"...Does anyone know how to fix this? 

    Also, is there no way to search for posts in this specific thread? Tried using the forums' search function to look in the thread titled "Blender Mega Thread", yet nothing came up.
  • sinhead
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    sinhead polycounter lvl 5
    I cant move vertices/ edges in the "Transform Orientations" > local, but can move them In Global. any suggestions on this?


    .

    I have subscribed to Blender cloud and gone through the series "From maya, max to Blender". This has been really helpful in clearing a lot of my beginner doubts. :)
  • darkmag07
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    darkmag07 polycounter lvl 8
    @sinhead If you are looking to have it move along the direction of the edge, try using the normal transform orientation rather than local.

    If you rotated the plane in edit mode so it doesn't align with the initial object axes then your local transform will no longer align the way you are probably expecting.
  • RN
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    RN polycounter
    Also, I've no idea why I can escape this quote box, could anyone enlighten me?
    @Auldbenkenobi Click the "Toggle HTML View" button (looks like </> ) on the post toolbar, write anything at the end of all that text, then press that button again. That text will be outside all quotes and you can change it to what you actually want.
    Justo said:
    Also, is there no way to search for posts in this specific thread? Tried using the forums' search function to look in the thread titled "Blender Mega Thread", yet nothing came up.
    I would try a "site:" google search, but it's hit and miss:
    https://www.google.com/search?q="escape+this+quote+box"+site:https://polycount.com/discussion/72805/blender-mega-thread

  • Shadowstep
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    Shadowstep polycounter lvl 6
    RN said:
    Justo said:
    Also, is there no way to search for posts in this specific thread? Tried using the forums' search function to look in the thread titled "Blender Mega Thread", yet nothing came up.
    I would try a "site:" google search, but it's hit and miss:
    https://www.google.com/search?q="escape+this+quote+box"+site:https://polycount.com/discussion/72805/blender-mega-thread

    Next to the page numbers at the top/bottom of any page, there's a search button for searching just the current thread.


  • RN
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    RN polycounter
    @Shadowstep oh cool, thanks for the tip! We should ask @Eric Chadwick if it can be added to that PSA thread.
  • wazou
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    wazou polycounter lvl 4

    Hey guys, please, sign this petition to add the Merge modifier to Blender.

    https://www.petitions.net/add_merge_modifier_to_blender 7

    Don’t forget to validate it by mail.

    I know there are several posts on RCS, but even with that, nothing append.
    So, I’m trying something else.

    Thx for your support wink


  • RaphaelBarros

    wazou said:

    Hey guys, please, sign this petition to add the Merge modifier to Blender.

    https://www.petitions.net/add_merge_modifier_to_blender 7

    It looks like the BF is ignoring this request just out of spite. There's no way they're not pushing this into trunk just because they're waiting for everything nodes. Common, there's already a patch, and it doesn't seem something that would be problematic to maintain (I'm basing this on 0 experience as a programmer though)!
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    I can give my vote. By 'Merge', we are talking about any repeating mesh portions that are overlapping with each other by cause of the modifiers' effect, to be welded into one mesh, yes?
  • sinhead
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    sinhead polycounter lvl 5
    I have 2 doubts



    1. I want to use 1 hdri for lighting and  1 backplate (jpeg)  to act as a background.

    In the final out I want Hdri to be invisible, Backplate to be visible. This can be achieved in the viewport render - Camera> Backgrond Image> Alpha =1.

    But is not possible in the Render window. On Pressing F12, the rendered image will show the HDRI, and not the backplate. So for this I go to Film> Trasparent = on.  Now hdri will be invisible in the render window and I have to "composite" the rendered output on the backplate.

    Is this the only way? is there any other way to do this?


    2. I want the floor to be reflected on the car's body. This floor also has to catch shadows. In other softwares this is achieved by projecting the backplate on the floor. 

    In blender I have to :-
    1) Shadow catcher = on.
    2) Uv> Project from view.
    is that it? or should I match the floor dimesions with the backplate and apply the backplate as a texture on the the floor? Or some other way?



  • Eric Chadwick
    RN said:
    Also, I've no idea why I can escape this quote box, could anyone enlighten me?
    @Auldbenkenobi Click the "Toggle HTML View" button (looks like </> ) on the post toolbar, write anything and the end of all that text, then press that button again. That text will be outside all quotes and you can change it to what you actually want.

    Added to the main Info sticky, thanks!
  • RN
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    RN polycounter
    @Eric Chadwick oh lol that's useful too, thanks for adding, but I was thinking about what ShadowStep mentioned, it's the "Search Topic" button (the magnifying glass button next to the page numbers when viewing a thread):
    This is only useful for big threads with tons of pages, but anyway it lets you search something only inside that thread.
    It was easy for me to miss it because the icon is dark.

  • Eric Chadwick
    Brightened the color a bit. Will add to the sticky when I can. Thanks for the tip. Sorry for the derail! 
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights greentooth
    Now I've started to notice that Blender's UV checker/color grid should be just a simple overlay setting. Kinda too much to set it up with a material, because it's saved as a data in the .blend file and needs to be done in every project.

  • ant1fact
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    ant1fact polycounter lvl 6
    Is it possible in 2.8 to select UV seams in edge mode in python somehow? I need the edges selected on the mesh
  • rollin
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    rollin greentooth
    Diving deeper into rigging and animation atm. and, coming from max, blender is really an eye opener. 
    All these crazy remapping tools max offers and in blender it just-works. Moving animations around, editing rigs, skinning (ok with the help of some custom tools). 
    I remember how difficult it was to fix problems in my max rig and applying it to all animations.
    Now (using Rigify) I can change the rig anytime, and still just map my animations per object name to my rig helper. I mean you can just remove the whole rig from the scene, re-link or re-import it and not only are the models still skinned propery (vertex groups yeay) but also the animations can be assigned and arranged instantly (NLA yeay) back to the rig
    This is sooo 2019  <3
  • pior
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    pior insane polycounter
    Hehe - wait until you realize that even morph target data survives model editing !

    Chopping off half of a face with morphtargets and re-attaching to another character ? No problemo, Blenderino can do.

  • rollin
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    rollin greentooth
    And everytime I do 'Paste Flipped' with a keyframe I'm like: 

  • Auldbenkenobi
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    Auldbenkenobi polycounter lvl 7
    RN said:
    Also, I've no idea why I can escape this quote box, could anyone enlighten me?
    @Auldbenkenobi Click the "Toggle HTML View" button (looks like </> ) on the post toolbar, write anything and the end of all that text, then press that button again. That text will be outside all quotes and you can change it to what you actually want.
    Justo said:
    Also, is there no way to search for posts in this specific thread? Tried using the forums' search function to look in the thread titled "Blender Mega Thread", yet nothing came up.
    I would try a "site:" google search, but it's hit and miss:
    https://www.google.com/search?q="escape+this+quote+box"+site:https://polycount.com/discussion/72805/blender-mega-thread

    Thanks!
  • RN
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    RN polycounter
    ant1fact said:
    Is it possible in 2.8 to select UV seams in edge mode in python somehow? I need the edges selected on the mesh
    @ant1fact You can select one of the seam edges then use Select > Select Similar > Seam.

    To do the same in a (ugly) Python one-liner, assuming the mesh is in Edit mode:
    import bmesh; next(e for e in bmesh.from_edit_mesh(C.object.data).edges if e.seam).select=True; bpy.ops.mesh.select_similar(type='SEAM')
    (Run with the Python Console view.)
  • ant1fact
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    ant1fact polycounter lvl 6
    @RN thanks a lot !!! +1 for using next() on a generator expression for getting the first edge (actually this is the part I was looking for how to do - the select_similar part was straightforward:)
  • RN
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    RN polycounter
    If your goal is to select only seam edges, and you're going to use this in an add-on or something more formal than typing things in the console, you should use these alternatives.
    1) With the BMesh interface in Edit mode:
    import bmesh
    2) With the Mesh interface in Object mode:
    bpy.ops.object.mode_set(mode='OBJECT')
  • ant1fact
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    ant1fact polycounter lvl 6
    @RN I really appreciate that. Those examples also helped me understand how some things work in general when working with meshes through the API
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but using the normal rotate/pan/zoom is not enough to match perspective to objects that are inclined, like pic related's gun. What other tools would you use to match perspective? Is there anything like 3dsMax' perspective lines? 
    EDIT: fspy seems pretty awesome!
  • ant1fact
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    ant1fact polycounter lvl 6
    You can change the viewport rotation to a zbrush/modo style one I think it's called free orbit or something but I'm not at my PC at the moment. Otherwise fspy comes to mind for me too
  • f1r3w4rr10r
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    f1r3w4rr10r polycounter lvl 7
    For what is needed: Changing the field of view and camera distance to match the photo.

    As far as I can gather fspy should do that for you.
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    Yeah, and really easy to do it too. Easily my preferred workflow now to match photo perspectives. Looking now on how to parent objects to another one's rotation, like you would group a bunch of objects in Maya and be able to rotate the parent object without altering the children rotations. Collections don't do that afaik...
  • f1r3w4rr10r
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    f1r3w4rr10r polycounter lvl 7
    Collections do not do that, because they are more like layers instead of grouping in 3D space.
    You have to use constraints and parenting for that.
  • RN
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    RN polycounter
    When I need to align to a perspective background image, I keep doing these two things until it matches as best as I can:
    - I use my add-on dolly zoom to adjust the FOV and shifts (lens shift can be important if you're trying to match to something at the corner of the perspective image).
    - I place the 3D cursor at some point of relevance like the nose of a character, set the pivot mode to 3D cursor and rotate the camera with trackball mode (R, R), so that it orbits around that point. I also set the orientation to View so that G, X, X and G, Y, Y make the camera move horizontally and vertically (maybe Local orientation would do the same).
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    @f1r3w4rr10r Yeah. Alright, so the workflow for this is seems to be Select objects>Object Menu>Parent>Object. Edit: Oh, but doing it like this doesnt allow me to parent things to an empty object. Huh...

    @RN Your addon looks hella nice Rafa. I feel like it'd be specially useful for cinematic effects though.
  • f1r3w4rr10r
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    f1r3w4rr10r polycounter lvl 7
    @Justo this should work with Empties as well. Or do you mean empty mesh Objects? (As in they have no vertices.)
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    You're right - thanks, I don't know how I missed it before. Parenting works with Empties indeed.

    I do think this feature could be improved, unless I'm missing something. Once I rotate my parent object, if I decide to add new objects in, it'd be convenient if it'd automatically apply to the new children any rotation info previously done to the parent. Because as it is, if I do wish to add anything, I first need to reset rotations to 0 in my parent, add the children, and only then can everything move together...
     
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