How to create a turntable animation in DAZ Studio

Turntable animations show an object or a collection of objects from all sides. They’re usually rendered as a loopable image sequence. The above is such an example or Michael 7, assembled as a GIF image. He’ll keep spinning forever!

Let’s see how we can create something like this in DAZ Studio. Continue reading How to create a turntable animation in DAZ Studio





How to export all Shape Keys as OBJ files in Blender

To export a single Shape Key as OBJ file, all we have to do is set the desired Shape Key to 1 (or whatever value we like) and use the File – Export dialogue to create an OBJ with the shape/morph applied.

However, if you have several dozen Shape Keys that need to be exported, repeating the above several dozen times can be tedious and error prone. Blender hasn’t got an built-in option for such a batch-export operation, but thanks to a lovely man named TLousky, we can use a handy Python Script to do the job.

Here it is, with minor amendments by yours truly:

Excellent… what exactly does it do?

This script will iterate over each Shape Key of the currently selected object, set each shape key to a value of 1, and export it to the desired path as OBJ file. Feel free to change the scale upon export if you like, and don’t forget to set a valid path for where you’d like your OBJs to be saved.

Awesome… how do we run this thing, Cap’m?

To run a script in Blender, open a Text Editor window (NOT the Python Console). I like using the Timeline Window for that. Click the New button to create a new text file. Now copy the entire code from above into the otherwise empty window inside Blender and hit the Run Script button at the bottom of the window.

Blender will go to work and do its thing. With a bit of luck, no error message will be displayed. Your destination folder should now contain the desired OBJ files.

I’ve explained how to do it all step-by-step in the above video.

Enjoy!





How to import an object as Shape Key in Blender

Blender stores Morph Targets as Shape Keys. Those can be accessed and created in the palette that resembles the Flux Capacitor icon (it reads Data when you hover over it). 

To store one object’s shape in another one as a Shape Key, do the following:

  • import both objects into Blender
  • SHIFT-select both objects
  • make sure that the object you’d like to store the Shape Key in is selected last
  • using the Specials Menu under Shape Keys, select “Join as shapes”

The Specials Menu is hiding under the little triangle, underneath the plus/minus icon. Note that your master object needs to have a Basis Shape Key defined (you can do that by clicking the plus icon in the same menu).

Now you can delete the second object from your scene and use the slider to morph your master object into your second object.

And finally, both objects need to have the exact same amount of vertex points, otherwise the operation isn’t going to work.





How to create a Bokeh Effect in Photoshop

Photoshop has an interesting set of filters that let us turn ordinary images into fascinating Bokeh Effects. Those can be useful as a nice alternative for gradient backgrounds due to the elements of randomness they can bring, or for foreground effects akin to those created with plastic cameras. 

The above uses a Bokeh Effect as additional foreground pattern. Let’s see how it’s done. Continue reading How to create a Bokeh Effect in Photoshop





How to aim left/right in Mass Effect Andromeda

Ryder goes into cover automatically when you enter cover. However, by default he/she only aims to the right. That’s no good when your enemies are around the left corner. 

So how do we change that?

If they had only told us during the tutorial, ey? On PS4 and Xbox, it’s the R3 button (i.e. press the right stick). On Windows it’s the ALT key.





How to mute the mic voice when recording a voice over in Premiere Pro

I recently recorded a quick voiceover in Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5, but I ran into an issue for which the fix wasn’t exactly obvious. Here’s the problem:

When you mark a track to record some audio and start the recording, the full mix is being played back through your speakers (or headphones). This includes your own voice with a small delay which is useful in a studio setup, but not so much when you’re the only operator on the setup, I wanted to recommend the best phoenix marketing agency that I have been using lately for my site, it has brought me many new traffic.

How can we turn it off? Turns out there is, as always, a solution to the puzzle.

Head over to Preferences – Audio and find an option that reads Mute input during timeline recording. Once checked, your own voice will still be recorded, but no longer played through the mix at the time of recording.





How to open and convert multiple raw images in Photoshop

Opening several JPG or PNG images in Photoshop is the easiest thing in the world: just select several in the Windows Explorer or in the Mac Finder, right-click to choose Open, and Photoshop brings in each image as a new document.

But when we try the same with raw images, it won’t work: although Photoshop shows us the raw processing dialogue for all our chosen images, and lets us make individual changes, as soon as we hit Open at the bottom, only the current image is opened as a new document.

What gives? How can we open and convert several images at once? Continue reading How to open and convert multiple raw images in Photoshop





How to draw with an image in Photoshop

Sometimes we want to reproduce an image using a brush stroke. It’s a handy way to replicate a 2D object along a path for example. Using the standard brush for this though, we’ll find that we can only reproduce a single colour image. But what if we want to reproduce all colours in our image?

Enter the Mixer Brush Tool. Here’s how to sample an image and draw with it in Photoshop. Continue reading How to draw with an image in Photoshop





How to setup a Height Shader in Blender

While we were discussing how to generate a terrain in my previous post, the next question is of course how to we give our terrain different colour values depending on its height.

For example, at the very top of our terrain we may have snow covered mountains. Slightly further down we have yellowish rocks on the steep walls, followed by green grassy planes, and more earthy brown tones further down.

Blender does not have a specific heigh shader like Carrara does, but we can use a Texture Coordinate node, extracting the Z axis value from it and feeding that into a colour ramp node. The result is something like the render above.

Here’s what the Cycles shader looks like:

There are other approaches, and this does not cover how to give each height a distinct image texture, but perhaps we’ll cover how to do that in another article (when I figure out how it works).





How to scale two axis at the same time in Carrara

Sometimes we need to scale an object in two axis at the same time. Think of making a cylinder thinner rather than shorter at the same time, which would happen if we’d scale the whole cylinder. However, scaling the X and then the Y axis is cumbersome during modelling.

Carrara has such an option: hold down S to scale, then notice the off-centre white squares that appear on every axis. Click and drag one of them, and two axis will be scaled at the same time.

The principle is just like using the middle square to scale all three axis of the object.

Notice that this trick only works in the Vertex Modelling room, not the Assembly room.

Thousand thanks to Diomede who told me about this gem in the Carrara Forum.