How to D-NOISE an image sequence in Blender

I had an image sequence rendered on one of my nodes, and sadly my D-NOISE add-on did not kick in as expected. This was entirely my fault, and I thought I could perhaps just denoise the sequence rather than re-render it. Turns out it works, even though it does not match the results of a regular denoised render.

Be that as it may, let me show you how to use Blender’s mysterious Compositor to denoise a sequence of images automatically.

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DAZ Studio 117 – Global Illumination, Environment Lighting, IBL and HDRI explained

In this episode I’ll tell you much of what I know about the Environment Lighting in DAZ Studio. This technique is also known as Global Illumination. I’ll explain the meanings of such cryptic abbreviations as IBL and HDRI, and how all these pieces fall together to make your scenes look handsome. This is a continuation …

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How to make wheels turn in Blender 2.8

I’ve recently built a little animation during a live stream, and Rod’s suggestion was to add NASA’s Curiosity Rover into the scene. It’s a freely available blend file, and I thought it was a great idea. It added a lovely character to the otherwise deserted alien landscape, and I quickly animated it into position.

Trouble was, the little guy was essentially an afterthought, and when I was watching the animation back, it became obvious that its wheels needed to be turning as it was driving around. While I was keen to do this, I had no idea what mechanism I should use for such an Endeavor (har har), or what Blender had to offer in this regard.

My first thought was to simply animate the wheels with keyframes, but this would be a lot of work, and if the rover’s speed were to change I’d have to probably animate those wheels again. There being six and all, I discovered a better way to make the wheels turn, using something called a Driver.

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How to replicate an object along another mesh in Blender

A while ago I wrote an article about how to grow grass on a place in Blender 2.79 using the Particle Emitter system. This process has changed since Blender 2.80, and since it was never intuitive to begin with, we’re all a little confused as to how it works in the new version. While I still remember, let me jot down a note for everyone’s benefit.

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How to replace an object with another mesh in Blender

I’ve been wondering if there was a way to replace dummy objects I’ve placed in Blender with other meshes. Say we do a particle simulation, and during rehearsal it’s all about speed – but for the real render, we need higher resolution meshes that might take a while to render in the viewport. Thankfully it’s …

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Building JAY PLAYS – a Title Sequence Animation in Blender

In this series I’m building an animated title sequence using a set made for DAZ Studio in Blender. This requires lighting and material tweaks, and messing with textures. It’s not a tutorial, just some dude trying his best at Blender (without knowing much about it, but learning a lot in the process).

The end result is an intro for my my game streams, as well as these new seasons of 3D Shenanigans. Once the set is built, I’ll replace a couple of key textures so that the cinema and screen show something different. It’s a lot of work!

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How to enable thicker outlines in Blender

With any software demo (or with failing eyesight as we get older), it’s important to have some visual aides so that your audience knows what you’re talking about. I’ve been streaming some Blender sessions recently, and I usually have my excellent little cursor highlighter tool called PointerFocus active. That’s good for viewers to follow the …

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How to enable the 3D Manipulator Gizmo in Blender

The other day I’ve been happily using the 3D Manipulator Gizmo in Blender and the world was at peace. The next day, I guess a new version must have come along or some other bit in the matrix was dropped, causing my Blender scene to no longer show that manipulator. Where had it gone? Was I imagining things again?

A quick internet search suggested to enable this option at the top of the screen. However mine was already enabled, and my gizmo buddy still wasn’t showing up. What was going on?

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How to track your GoPro Order

GoPro is one of those companies that’s a bit like Apple: “special” and “difficult” perhaps describes them best. You expect one thing, and they do it a different way. How they deal with their website orders is a good example. You’d expect that you can login on GoPro.com and under “your account” find a list …

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How to render a movie file as texture in Blender

I’ve been playing with a new title sequence for shiny new gaming channel, and I thought it would be fun to have a movie file playing on a plane object that’s seen as a screen in a cinema. I knew this was possible in Blender, but I didn’t quite know how to achieve it. After some tinkering I found out. Let me share my findings with you.

It’s very simple actually: setup a material, including a Texture Node, but instead of an image file, we pick a movie file (or image sequence). That’s really all there’s to it. The difficult part is understanding the settings in the Texture File though.

In the fourth drop-down, Movie was selected automatically when I added my movie file. This can be changed to Image or Image Sequence though, just in case yours is not set correctly. For the record, I’m using an MP4 file with H264 encoding, at 60 frames per second. The three following options are interesting (and important).

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Distributing Props for DAZ Studio

Making props for DAZ Studio can be fun and easy. Typically you’ve modelled something in your favourite 3D app, UV unwrapped it appropriately, then you import the object into DAZ Studio and setup your surface properties. You can save your work as part of the whole scene, or you can save your selected item on its own.

Bringing our prop back into other scenes on your own computer will probably work just fine, but if you intend to share your work with others, things get a little more complicated. Let’s take a look how we can do it in this article.

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DAZ Studio 116: How to use Mesh Lights

In this episode I’ll explain the basics of using Mesh Lights. Those are surface properties that can make any object emit light. I’ll show you how to set this up, how to adjust it and how to make it invisible so you can shoot through it. I’ll also throw in some random anecdotes about surface …

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How to reach Black Rock Processing in CONTROL

I’ve been blundering my way through the CONTROL game, until I came up against one of those seemingly impossible to crack puzzles: I need to get to Black Rock Processing in the Maintenance Sector to move the story forward. That’s not an easy feat. I’ll tell you where I got stuck, and how I eventually got it, and how I worked it out.

We start our journey at the Sector Elevator and head down to the Maintenance Sector. From here we move forward into a room with four exits, one of which reads Black Rock Processing, on the left. These were all blocked by The Hiss earlier, but thankfully we rectified this.

A few minor goons are waiting for us, we deal with them and pass through the Security Check gates and on to a heavy looking tripe door mechanism that opens automatically as we approach. We’ve seen a smilier mechanism on our way to the Ashtray Maze, however this time the bridge that should probably get us to the other side is missing. All we see is a gap too wide to cross.

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My first 24 Hours with the Unreal Engine

In my quest to take a look behind the scenes of how game engines work, I’ve decided to take a closer look at the Unreal Engine, more specifically UE 4.22.3. I had installed it a few weeks ago but other than launch a template or two, I didn’t do anything else with it. After my recent deep dive into Unity, I thought this would make for a nice comparison writeup.

Here’s how I experienced the first 24 hours with Unreal. I’ve even added a video at the end to show you a level that I’ve built. For this review I’ve been following this tutorial series by Paul Kind. He’s a wonderful teacher!

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DAZ Studio Render Speeds – The Results are in!

A while ago I’ve asked you all to download a test scene and see how fast it renders. Everyone’s got a different graphics card/RAM/CPU setup, and I was interested to see how DAZ Studio would perform with those varying configurations. After all, most “review” websites only put hardware under scrutiny using video games, and for many of us, that’s just not how we use our systems.

I must admit that I’ve been trying to write out a nice looking and well formatted table many a time, but it just never got done. It had always been my intention to share the results with everyone, so rather than keep you waiting and go through all the graphical pain of making a lovely looking spreadsheet, I’ll just share the raw data with you. I’ll also let you know how I interpret it in simple words, with the intention of finding the most cost effective configuration for working with DAZ Studio. Here it is – the Google Sheet we’ve all been waiting for:

This is a view-only link (I think), and additional submissions will be added from the form on my other article at the bottom.

What does this data mean?

From the looks of it, using DAZ Studio 4.11 in 2019, the fastest render results for the lowest amount of money can be achieved using any variation of the NVIDIA RTX 2080 card.

The only one faster is the RTX 2080 Ti, which aside from more RAM (11GB vs 8GB for the 2080) is also clocked slightly faster, resulting in faster render speeds. However, the price jump is remarkable for the Ti (almost double when compared to the non-Ti version), and in my opinion for DAZ Studio it’s just not worth it.

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How to update Unreal Engine

Sometimes I can’t work out the simplest things. Either I’m too stupid, or something that’s super obvious to developers is not necessarily obvious to the humans using it. One such thing is the question, “how do we update the Unreal Engine”. I’ve just found out, and thought I’d share this nugget of information with you. …

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My first 24 hours with Unity3D

I’ve heard so much about the Unity Game Engine, I’ve seen what people can build with it. Some of my favourite games use it, and it has long been on my list of things to “check out” if ever I have a few spare hours.

Turns out that time has come this Friday afternoon, and I thought I’d best take some notes on how it all went. In case you’re in the same boat, i.e. a total N00B at Unity, perhaps I can save you some time. I’ve previously installed and very briefly tested the Unreal Engine, and I’m usually good at figuring out how to make something work on a computer, so let’s see how it’s going with Unity.

For posterity, I’m using Unity 2019.2 in September 2019 here.

Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t smooth. I’m not sure how much time I’d like to invest, no matter how awesome it might be after that long dark tunnel of awkwardness. In the end I did make a small project (linked below) and got the hang of the basics, but getting there wasn’t pleasant. Here’s how it all went for me.

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Enabling the Command Line Console in Subnautica

Video Games are like operating systems: you can issue commands that trigger events and observe internal states that are by default hidden from the player. As such, many games have a command line interface, akin to the Windows Power Shell or the Terminal app on macOS and Linux. Developers use this feature to debug and …

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Converting aniBlocks into regular keyframes (and back)

In this quick tip I’ll show you how to convert an aniBlock into regular keyframes to make a change to the animation, then turn it back into an aniBlock for use with aniMate. The process is simple, yet not exactly obvious. Enjoy! https://www.versluis.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Aniblocks-to-Keyframes.mp3 Podcast: Download (Duration: 4:54 — 4.5MB)

E07 Today – Numbers Station Transcript

I do crazy things sometimes. Today was such a day. With a ton of stuff to do, my brain was strangely drawn to the Priyom website, a large de-centralised shortwave organisation that have schedules for many Numbers Station. One of which, E7 or The English Man, was about to broadcast and I thought I’d tune in (while eating ice cream with green tea flavour… yeah, I certainly don’t do that very often).

Whether it was the matcha, boredom or just not being able to mentally turn to any of the 147+ items on my list of things to do, I decided to transcribe the transmission. I really don’t know why. But sitting there on that fresh list of 5-digit numbers, I thought I’d post them here – just in case you, Secret Agent among foreign shores, need to decipher them.

Perhaps you had other things to do and didn’t catch today’s super important spy transmission on 10679 kHz. Enjoy!

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Working with a Full Screen Viewport in Blender

In this quick tip I’ll show you how to go full screen AND immersive with Blenders viewport. I’ll explain how to remove the grey bar at the top and remove all tool shelves temporarily with a single click (or two). Enjoy! https://www.versluis.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Blender-Immersive-Viewport.mp3 Podcast: Download (Duration: 2:07 — 1.9MB)

How to manually rebuild Media Cache Files in Premiere Pro

When you’ve been working with Premiere Pro for a while, importing large amounts of data and creating countless projects, there comes the time when you might want to clean up your Media Cache Database. It’s an exotic combination of various files that Premiere creates to make playback and scrolling during editing as fast as possible. …

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