All posts by Jay Versluis

Storyist 111: Ebook Formatting Tips

In this episode I’ll give you some tips about ebook formatting when using Storyist. For this demo I’ll use an EPUB document we’re creating from my dummy manuscript and open it in Apple s iBooks for macOS.

I’ll show you how to replace the section separator, how to deal with empty lines, and you’ll see how a secondary heading is displayed in your final document.

Watch the full course in one convenient playlist:
Catch this episode on my Storyist Podcast:

Replicating an Object with Blender’s Particle Emitter

In this episode I’m building several simple grass stalks and replicate them along a plane using Blender’s Particle Emitter. I’ll talk you through the scary options we need and explain some of the concepts in using the Particle Emitter as an Object Replicator.

This is part 3 of a mini series about how to create a logo from a screen grab in Blender. You can watch the whole series on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPcx_LSSGfZcC3_xaHyio5zs31Y5VyWpZ

Catch this episode on my 3D Podcast:

DAZ Studio 106: Viewport Draw Styles

In this episode I’ll talk you through the various Viewport Drawing Styles.

The default we usually see is “texture shaded”, which is a nice compromise between displaying a good looking “live” picture, while keeping your computer responsive for navigating and posing.

However, with larger scenes your system may become slower and less responsive. We can use a lesser detailed Drawing Style to bring responsiveness back into our scenes.

Watch the full course in one convenient playlist:
Catch this episode on my DAZ Studio 101 Podcast:

Storyist 110: Creating a Kindle ebook

In this video I’ll show you how to create a Kindle ebook from your manuscript and several other items in Storyist. Amazon’s Kindle uses the .MOBI ebook format, while other e-readers support the .EPUB format (such as Kobo, Nook and iBooks).

Storyist supported them both equally well.

Watch the full course in one convenient playlist:
Catch this episode on my Storyist Podcast:

Creating a Logo from a Raster PNG in Blender

In this episode I’ll show you how to use the SVG file with curve information and turn it into an extruded logo using Blender. I’ll setup the scene and ground plane, get the camera ready and turn the default light into a strong side light. This will serve as a starting point to creating our logo.

This is part 2 of a mini series about how to create a logo from a screen grab in Blender. You can watch the whole series on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPcx_LSSGfZcC3_xaHyio5zs31Y5VyWpZ

Catch this episode on my 3D Podcast:

DAZ Studio 105: Navigating in 3D Space

In this episode I’ll show you how to navigate your 3D world within the viewport. I’ll explain several ways to do this, and I’ll also show you how to customise the modifier keys for faster navigation using your mouse and keyboard.

In addition, there’s also a fully immersive way to “walk” through your scene using the ASD and W keys. I’m going into more detail on how to navigate like that here or on my View in iTunes Store.

Watch the full course in one convenient playlist:
Catch this episode on my DAZ Studio 101 Podcast:

Storyist 109: Using the Project Trash

In this episode I’ll show you how to use the Project Trash option in Storyist.

It works just like the trash function in macOS and Windows, with which you never directly delete documents from the system. Instead, they’ll go into the “trash”, which when emptied, will delete a document from the hard drive. Storyist has this functionality built-in, which means that you can never accidentally erase an important manuscript.

Watch the full course in one convenient playlist:
Catch this episode on my Storyist Podcast:

How to turn a Raster Image into a vectorised SVG in Photoshop

The other day I wanted to convert a logo into a path, so that I could use it as a shape in Blender. It was in fact the WordPress logo that was provided as a PNG or PDF from the WordPress Branding section.

The trouble was, both the PNG and the PDF are rasterised, and as such cannot easily be used for an extrusion in 3D as an SVG file would. The question then was, how do I convert an image into an SVG in Photoshop, so that I could import it into Blender?

It took a bit of fiddling, but here’s how I did it.

Quick introduction to SVG Files

SVG files can actually contain three types of data:

  • Vector Graphics, such as paths (which is what we want)
  • Raster Graphics, such as bitmap images (which we have, but don’t want)
  • and Fonts

What I needed in Blender was indeed a Vector Path. Although the other two data types can be contained in an SVG file, Blender can only read path information at the time of writing. It makes sense too, because really I’d like to the path information available as a curve in Blender, not the potential raster or font information.

I’m mentioning this here because

  • a.) I didn’t know this, and
  • b.) importing an SVG containing either fonts or raster graphics will import nothing into Blender – which had me stumped.

Thanks to cegaton on Blender Stackexchange for this explanation!

Hence, for Photoshop to export vector data instead of raster data in our SVG file, we need to jump through a few hoops – but it is possible. Let’s see how!

Continue reading How to turn a Raster Image into a vectorised SVG in Photoshop

Catch this episode on my 3D Podcast:

DAZ Studio 104: Updating Content

In this episode I’l explain how we can utilise Install Manager to update both DAZ Studio as well as content if and when updates are available. I will also show you how to update Install Manager itself.

This happened to me today and was not a planned part of the series, but I found it was a good opportunity to demonstrate how to handle updates (since we’ve just been talking about it a few days ago).

Watch the full course in one convenient playlist:
Catch this episode on my DAZ Studio 101 Podcast:

Created in September 2018

September has been an incredibly productive month for me, and I’m excited by the fact that I’m not exhausted as a result. September felt as busy as this post reads, but it didn’t feel as if I had to compromise on quality or that all important “me time”. In a nutshell: I feel like I’m “in the flow”.

Let’s take a look at what I’ve created over the last 30 days.

DAZ Studio 101

I finally started recording my long promised course about DAZ Studio. This is a foundation course that will allow me to explain the relatively complex matter of 3D software in an easily understandable language. At the same time, it will act as one block of how this intricate software works, with several others to follow.

Perhaps not surprisingly, within only one day of its release, I already had over 30 likes combined on the first two episodes, and several nice comments from viewers. It’s very encouraging when this happens, and it shows me that investing the time and energy it takes to produce these videos is very much appreciated by the community.

 Thank you to everyone who got involved! Your feedback and input will shape the future of this course. 

In total I have created 12 episode for this course so far, with many more planned instalments for October and beyond. Happy rendering!

DAZ Studio 101 Podcast 

To accompany the series, I’ve launched a new podcast feed so that viewers can listen to what I’m explaining “on the go”. This is great to re-cap concepts, or to prime aspects before following along on the screen, or simply because time to watch is not as readily available. You can get the feeds from the following sources:

The podcast is lagging behind a little bit when compared to their respective video releases. I’ve managed to upload twelve episodes to YouTube so far, but I’ve decided to drip-feed the audio episodes one every week, much like I did with the Storyist 101 course.

For the podcast (as well as for the YouTube thumbnails), I’ve created the logo below:

This was done in Blender, and there are several steps to it. I’m going to explain the whole process in several upcoming videos.

WordPress 101

A few years ago I recorded a full course on how to use WordPress. Although the version number has increased, the principles are still relevant today. When I released it, the title contained the WordPress version number I demonstrated this on, which meant that a month after its release, it appeared outdated.

To combat this perception, and to breathe new life into this still very relevant course, I’ve rebranded it into WordPress 101, aligning it with some of my other screencast work. I went as far as creating a new icon for both the YouTube and Podcast Thumbnails too.

While I was at it, I turned the whole course into a Podcast Feed as well, adding to the ever increasing Audio Archive of my material. That’s an additional 1 hour and 48 minutes for ya’ll’s listening pleasure. 

Written Articles

I also found time to write last month, and aside from several forum posts around the web, here’s what I’ve created for my now network of sites: 19 articles (three of them with YouTube videos). Here they are:

supersurvivor.tv
The WP Guru
versluis.com
iOS Dev Diary

BROKEN BOWELS – Now available on Audible 

Earlier this month, the friendly people from ACS got back to me and told me that my narration has been approved, and my book BROKEN BOWELS – Tales of a Super Survivor is now available through Audible, Amazon and iTunes. 

All that hard work from last month has paid off! I’m very pleased with the result, and very proud that my own performance of my own material has already generated 4 sales in its first week. Keep in mind that I didn’t have the time to tell anyone about this release yet! You’re the first to hear about this πŸ™‚

Miscellaneous

And last but not least, I’ve put a new office chair together and tidied up the second desk that we’ve had for over two years, which sadly hasn’t seen  much use as an actual desk but rather as a “collection platform” for… stuff. Now it can be used as a proper computer desk. Because I’ll be using it for Windows screencasts, we like to call it “Studio B”.

The back story is that my wife has recently been promoted at Instacart, so she’ll be working from home more. They gave her an Acer Chromebook, which I dully made available on an Acer 27″ monitor and external keyboard/mouse setup, and for that, she needed a chair (which we didn’t have up until three weeks ago). 

When she’s not here, I can use the same desk with my HP Z600 dual Xeon workstation and make screencasts on the Windows platform. The above video is a quick time-lapse of how I put that chair together and turned the cluttered desk into Studio B.

That’s it for this month – see you next time πŸ™‚