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About the Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


      • @Bart -- I would like to offer a 2.70 micro-tutorial if anyone is interested. Would this space be appropriate or not? It addresses the outdated and removed starfield feature and it can be summed up with just a couple sentences. It is extremely simple but flexible and extensible to other problem domains as well.

      • Okay thanks, here goes. (If anyone wants to flesh this out into a full tutorial on BlenderCookie, go ahead! I'd be honored to see it in a quick tip video, as a chance to give back to the community.)

        This all starts with a constrained default cube, which must have the "copy location" constraint set to follow the camera.

        Subdivide it several times, using a small "fractal" level to randomize the locations of the vertices, and if necessary, use "To Sphere" to clean it up a bit. At this point you can either make the material into halos or use dupliverts to project any illuminated objects of your choice. You can use multiple cubes with different materials to get variety of star shape and sizes.

        Extra Credit: This method of using "copy location" is also a good way to supplement your skybox with distant large terrain features, an added bonus is that the distant terrain will interact with light by use of a normal-map, which can make the terrain appear very detailed without lots of geometry. You can use varying levels of influence for different "copy location" objects at various distances from the camera, to get a skybox-with-parallax effect.

          • Here's what I was able to bang out. Individual results will vary of course.
            Top picture: Subdivision parameters.
            Lower picture: Constraints.
            Click on each for a higher resolution image.
            [EDIT] Forgot to place a border around the Scale fields... the cube is scaled up to achieve distance, and the camera is scaled so that it stands out in the preview window.

  1. I like the new modeling features particularly the new bevel options (and this time bevel modifier is on par with the tool!)

    Also the Cycles optimization is welcome.

  2. In the release notes, I can't get my head round:

    * F-Curve normalization: If one F-curve describes values from -500 to +567 (say X-Rot degrees), and another 0 to 0.2 (e.g. an alpha value), how can they both be normalized to a range of -1 to 1? Does the new '1' maximum for the X-Rot curve actually represent 567 degrees (the original maximum), or 1 degree?

    * Curve > Recalculate normals (Ctrl+N on a Bezier curve.) OK, so it makes a 3D curve planar... but that changes all the handles' positions and sizes. So what is it used for?

    • There are many small things to make new users happy, but the one that stood out to me today was that you can close menus by clicking on them again(normal behavior!), rather than having to wave your mouse away. That was one of the first things I found odd way back when I was new(2008, 2.49). "These menus act weird. Is this a bug?". They still have their quirks, but it's still one less thing to confuse new users.
      This stands out mostly because I've been playing with the beta versions for a while and am already used to the tabs and improved tooltips.

  3. HAWT diggity dawg! I'mma get me some o' this!

    Can't wait to test this new version out! I'm excited! Hopefully the new user interface doesn't set me back to long to figure out - but I'm sure we all will adjust!

    Great work, Devs!

  4. The new download system and graphics are, as we say here in the Midwestern U.S., "Slicker than snot on a doorknob." (It's a compliment.)

    • Now that I'm starting a new job, I can no longer say, "I wish I had the money to help with that". NOW I'm wishing I could go for the Gold Sponsor Credit, lol!
      I'm going to enjoy the Blender Cloud membership, especially all the previously-expensive videos in there, like Humane Rigging(I already have Venom's Lab 2). I'm sure I can find them for free elsewhere(Creative Commons and all that), but I really do want to support Blender and make this movie as great as it can be. I might even make a movie trailer with some of the assets that show up in there, and I hope others do the same. I definitely plan on working on some derivatives before the movie is finished.

  5. KennedyRichard on

    I think the UI is great!!! But then I open one of my .blend files, hit render, and then notice that on the edge of the screen there is also a "Remaining" render time field!!!!!! Wonderful!!! Is this a new feature or did I miss something? I've tried the RC a couple of times but didn't notice it! May I cry????

  6. it is really great, what i still miss in blender, is the possibility to scale from one side, like in the old truespace and you cannot say or scale a face by typing the number, how big is my selection in xyz? (see attachment). i hoped, this feature will be introduced in 2.7, but it seems, that i am the only one that misses this. is there an add-on or something for this?

    • hanny... not sure exactly what you mean (I've never used truespace), but you do know you can set the cursor to one of the vertices on the far left of your selection, then set the pivot point to '3D cursor'? That way the selection will then scale outwards to the right? If not I can explain...
      As for the overall size of your selection... Shift+D, Enter (duplicates the selection), P (choose Selection), Tab to exit edit mode. Now select the new section and look at its dimensions. Delete it when you have the information you need, so it doesn't get mixed up with the original mesh! A bit long-winded, but it will let you find the dimensions of your selection.

      • yes i know this method, i use the enhanced 3d cursor+ snap to vertex and i have a shortcut for "origin to 3d cursor", but that is 3 steps, instead of having one step. for the second problem, ok, but if i want to exactly scale that complex selection? that would be almost impossible, i wuld have to scale that separated object first, then move to the point i want and i could work again with snap to vertex. that is again so complicated. i mean, we have a lot of features in blender now, but this small improvements seem to bother no one. i cant#t understand this, because tis kind of feature is standard in every 3d program, line cinema4d, maya or truespace. i think, we should make a group proposal to the developers, so that we have this. another point is, you can't move the pivot point(origin), that is crazy, in every other program you can do this, and i don't think, this is more complicated to implement, then let's say, volumetric rendering.
        so my requests are:

        - scaling like in truespace
        - show the dimensions of the active object, like selection and being able to change them.
        - ability to move the origin, like any other object.

        • The feature you seem to want (live reported dimensions of the current selection) is probably something that could be added using Python. As for 'exact scaling', I don't understand how pressing something like S, 0.1234 (to scale the whole selection), or S, X, 0.1234 (to scale just along the x axis), doesn't scale your selection exactly? You said "The pivot point can't be moved"? - but the pivot point for a transformation can be set to any location you want?

          • ok, but if i change my mind later, and i want let's say to scale just 0.10, i can't do that because blender makes it again scale 1,1,1, so i have to calculate, how much did i scale it, ah, 0.123 -0,023 and 1-x, so i find x, its crazy to work like this on a bigger project, to calculate everything by hand? if you see my attachment, blender shows on the right side just scale: 1,1,1, there should be the real dimensions, or (also) the real dimensions, not only scale 1,1,1. concerning the origin, you cannot move the pivot(origin) point in one movement, you have to move first the 3d cursor, after the pivot, its also not logical at all. but i think, this is really easy to implement, i can't understand, why nobody request this. these 3 features i mentioned above are so important and would make blender so much easier to use.

  7. I hope the “Realationship Lines” between Parent and Children can be display in one gradient color lines. for example,the parent side is blue,and the children side is white ,at the 3d view,much more useful!

  8. So I haven't gotten much playtime with it yet, but I started rendering out some scenes for a client that I've been working on, and I'm rendering in about 60% of the time that it took on 2.69. So currently, thats my favorite thing!

    • Yeah, and as I showed in the discussion to an earlier testbuild, I rendered a scene with some glossiness and transparency at a low sampling rate (I think it was 200) and it was far less noisy than the 2.69 render. That's a great improvement.

  9. Hi
    I glad to see b2.7
    In Iran country this day is holiday and new
    year and the blender foundation give to iranians one great think in
    this new year

    Happy new years and new blender all of Persian

    thank you so much

  10. Another tiny little change, that made my day: Undo-Steps in Edit-Mode remain, when you switch to Object Mode and vice versa :) :) :)

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