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Here’s a ripple effect I’m working on for a project:

It’s actually just an image filter! You render your water and objects from directly overhead into a sequence of images. Make the water shadeless white and the objects shadeless black. I’ve written a little image processing Python script that uses that image sequence as input and generates the ripples into a new image sequence. That sequence is then used as either a displacement map or bump map for the water back in the original .BLEND file.

There’s a lot of tweaking to do, but this was just a proof of concept.

NOTE: This isn’t a Python script that runs within Blender, although I suppose it could. It’s just a command line program. I’ll post it when it’s finished.

For Sale!

My brother’s selling his house in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Since he’s doing his own domain, Google’s lagging a bit on indexing him.

I know this site gets a decent amount of traffic (and Google-crawled almost daily) and figured a link here might speed things up for him.

So, I unequivocally say that this house in Altoona is a great buy.

UPDATE: The house is under contract! Congrats!

In Blender news … well there isn’t a lot to report. I’ve been editing a new book about Compositing with Blender being published by APress.

Animating with Blender (link to the right!) has been selling incredibly well. Focal Press has been bugging me to do another book, but right now I don’t have the time or the material. In order for another book to work, two things have to happen:

1. Blender 2.5 is released/usable.

2. I have enough already-made material for a new book.

My thought is to do one on realistic materials, lighting and rendering with Blender’s internal engine. My next short animation project will give me more than enough material for examples for the book, but I refuse to do both a short project and a book simultaneously ever again.


The hard drive of our main file server at work died last night around 2 a.m., sending about 80GB of precious work-in-process data into the ether.

Did I freak?

No. Because I keep backups. Twenty-one days worth, with a full backup every ten and incrementals in between. Yeah, it took several hours to acquire a new HD and load all the data back into it, but it was all there.

Why am I writing this? I’m sure you’ve all read “All my file are gonerz man!” articles and posts elsewhere, which then proceed to admonish you to have a backup system in place. This is the other side of the coin. Success. Everything’s fine. Nothing’s gone.

1. Have a backup system.
2. Check on it every now and then to make sure that it’s actually making backups.
3. When you check to make sure, do a little test restore to make sure that it’s working from end to end.

That’s what I did, and why I’m not thinking about walking in front of a bus today.

Which reminds me, I need to get my home backup server running too.

Another great review…

There have been several on Amazon since I mentioned it last, but I found this one on a personal blog. It’s reviews like this that make me think I might know what I’m doing (trust me — that’s not always a given):

Malcolm Tredinnick’s review on Defying Classification.

That review pretty much covers it. If you’ve been thinking about tackling a short animation project, what are you waiting for?

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