BlenderPeople Development

Tracking the development of the BlenderPeople script suite.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bad News, Annoying News and Good News 

Bad News first...
I'm not going to SIGGRAPH. Currently, I own two houses (anyone want to buy one), which means two house payments. It also means that I got unexpected additional tax and insurance bills last week for the house I'm not living in. Finally, this means that I cannot, in good conscience, spend the money to go to SIGGRAPH this year. This is an extreme disappointment for me, as the Open Source booth was going to be right down the walkway from Massive software, and, well... that would have just been cool.

In any case, I had only been really trying to pull off going for the last two months. No doubt, I will be in significantly better financial shape next year, and I've already decided that I'm going next year, and have a whole year to make it happen this time ($, time off from work, etc.)

Good News... I have BlenderPeople putting together character animation using the database, the actions created by Donald Kim, and the NLA. It's very cool. But, it leads to the annoying news...

Annoying News... Finally having the character animation portion of BlenderPeople in production made apparent that my implementation of MatchBone did not work correctly. It created some cases I had considered when writing the feature originally, and exposed a major shortcoming. It seems that when actions take place sufficiently distant from the object's center, blendin/blendout in an NLA strip made the armatures fly all over the place. That was bad. I just spend the last week and a half (since last Monday) banging my head against the wall to fix this problem. The solution ended up being only six additional lines of code, as well as another modification to NLA Strip SDNA, but it works now.

This means that I can now get on to refining the NLA build process, which should be pretty easy compared to the matrix gymnastics I've been doing for the past ten days.

The Very Good News... Although I'm not going to SIGGRAPH, I will have a demo to send. I'm actually preparing two separate demos. The first is a small loop of BlenderPeople in action, showing a quick setup, motion generation and character animation, followed by an OpenGL visualization and a short section of rendered material. Hopefully, that will be suitable to show on the big screen at the booth and can be added to the overall Blender demo loop. The second demo (if I have time) will be a longer one that I'll be recording straight to DVD and shipping up to SIG. It'll be a more in-depth look at BlenderPeople, done live while I do a voice over. If I can compress it suitably, I'll put it on the web too, for all to see.

posted by Roland  # 5:57 AM
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