Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Goddamn Squirrel

So I realised I haven't really put anything up here about my trip to Ultra Music Festival in Miami in March 2013. I don't really have much confidence in my own ability to retain any form of physical journal but I'm pretty sure google will use its overkill approach to ensure my useless data is recorded, stored and indexed for all eternity, so I'll post up a couple of things I thought about my trip. There is also another trip coming up so I am thinking about travel more and more recently.

I kept an ad-hoc diary of my exploits, and here I'll try to piece together the emails, notes, photos and facebook conversations (it's all first person current tense).

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Multiple .qc compile at once - Blender SMD tools

I knew there was a way to batch compile .qc files with this plugin. I have been making multiple models and modular sets that require a lot of tweaking and it sucks to compile the .qc files one by one. I finally recovered how to do multiple compiles straight out of blender (by looking at the SMD tools page on the VDC durr...).

All you do is select your qc directory, and then append the first few letters of your .qc files, followed by an asterisk (*) onto the filepath in the "QC file path" box. Observe:

You're welcome.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Current State of Modding

Modding has gone through a few iterations, waxing and waning over the years, and I have been having conversations with some steam friends about it over the past few weeks so I think I'll do a post about it, to get my ideas down on "paper". As usual, I'm just rambling here but I know some people take their scene history to heart so take it with a grain o salt. Also for the sake of understanding this article I would like to define four camps in the games development biosphere. The two in modding are the scene - the mod creators - and the community - the mod consumers. In "the industry" there is the indies and the AAA.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Rendering a transparent background (alpha channel) in blender 2.6

So after scouring the net for this and getting quite frustrated, I figured it out myself. Short and sweet: In your render panel (the camera) under 'shading', change the 'alpha' dropdown box to 'Transparent'. Et voila. Render with a transparent background (you may need to make sure you have the 'RGBA' button pressed in the 'output' pane on your render panel as well).

EDIT: If you're trying to bake alpha from one mesh to another, you'll need to create a new material on the lowpoly mesh, scroll down and tick the 'Transparency' box, and slide the 'Alpha' down to zero.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Decompiling Portal 2 Models

I have been trying to decompile some models recently and I found out it's harder than it used to be. Luckily this guy has it sorted. I'm going to copypaste that post here, just in case that one gets deleted or something.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

X tips for blender I thought everyone knew

I have been using blender for like 9 years now (although I only count the last 3 being any good) and have never really gotten involved with any blender-specific communities. I have been somewhat of a silent learner, watching tutorials and googling for tips rather than getting involved in the community. I don't know if this is a good or a bad thing.

The thing is, I just finished a blender-related-forums web surf and I was surprised to see how many things people don't know about blender. So I'm going to do one of those "6 things you can do to lose fat RIGHT NOW" lists for blender features. I have no idea how many of these I'll do, hence the X. Rather than being a cunt, I'll start with the best first.

Monday, April 1, 2013

ModelsForTheMasses post mortem

As some may know, I ran my own little freelance operation for the source community for almost two years. The goal starting out on this was to see if anyone thought my models were good enough to pay for, but that changed over the course of the project. I ended up using the service to get news about as many mods as I could, to get my art out amongst the community, to build a portfolio and mostly to provide fresh content to the stale source modding scene.

I consider this my first scrape with monetizing my hobby, and I learned a bit about freelancing and dealing with people over models in general. So I'll chat about it a bit here.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Jump

Every day at some point I get a pang of regret. Regret that a day has been wasted, that I am one day closer to the void, and that I still haven't made it. For the past four years I have been working on my programming and modelling, but not fast enough. Not hard enough. I trained myself out of mental stagnation and into being a productive powerhouse, but I still haven't progressed enough.

This pang hits me every day and pushes me to contemplate the jump.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Simplicity in design - friend or enemy?

I have a real soft spot for simple designs - minimalist if you will. The thing I love most about modelling and coding for games is the way the restrictions of the medium force you to omit information, and the way you can construct your design so that the omissions of this information don't detract from the user experience, but add to it. Kind of like when people listen to music to "hear the notes they don't play".

This impressionistic approach to design, wether that be for websites, games or a simple logo, can be a double edged sword. On one hand it means that there is less production work to bring your design to life since there is essentally less information to display, but it also requires a lot of thought and planning to go into the early design stages and sometimes during testing it can all fall down catastrophically. So is simplistic design better or worse than the traditional information spam approach?