3DS MAX 2020.1 Released

Hot on the heels of the somewhat underwhelming 2020 release, Autodesk have just released the newest update to the seminal 3D modeling application, 3DS MAX 2020.1.  They have also updated their roadmap, showing future development priorities for the application.  The biggest and possibly most game changing new feature of this release is the ability to detach and support up to 3 different viewports, making multiple monitor configurations so much more capable.

Primary features of the 2020.1 release:

There are also several bug fixes and improvements fully detailed in the release notes.  As mentioned earlier, Autodesk also updated their development roadmap, which is available here.

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Creature Runtime Licenses Changed To Apache Open Source

Kestrel Moon just made a change to the licensing of the runtimes powering their Creature 2D animation software.  These runtimes enable you to fully utilize animations authored in Creature in your game engine of choice.  Runtimes exist for the follow game engines and platforms:

The terms of licensing for the runtimes are now as follows:

The Creature Runtimes operate under 2 License types depending on whether you own a Licensed copy of Creature or not.

  • People who own a licensed copy of Creature: You use the standard Creature License included with the runtime code. TLDR: You are free to publish/modify/sell your product with the Creature runtimes without needing to state you are using the runtimes/put the copyright notice in your code/app. If you already have been using the Creature runtimes as a licensed owner of Creature, nothing changes 🙂

  • Everyone else: The runtimes are released under the very permissive Apache License 🙂

Both Licenses allow for private use and do not require any disclosure of your source code.

The previous licensing required developers to have a license to work with a runtime, making integrating Creature runtimes into various game engines and technology impossible if you didn’t already own a license.  This change should make it easier for example for a game programmer to work with the runtimes using art generated by an artist, not requiring an additional license in this scenario.

If you are interested in learning more about Creature, be sure to check out our hands-on video available here and embedded below.

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Krita 4.2 Released

Krita is an open source painting application available for Windows, MacOS and Linux.  It has improved massively over the last two years and continued that process today with the release of Krita 4.2.  This release fixed over a thousand new bugs, adds HDR rendering support, improved tablet support and much more.

Highlight features from the release notes:

  • Updated Tablet Support for Windows, Linux and macOS
  • HDR Painting
  • Improved brush speed performance with vectorization and lock-free programming
  • Improved Color Palette Docker
  • Animation Python API
  • Configure File backups
  • Color Gamut Masking
  • News about Krita Widget
  • Improved Artistic Color Selector
  • Undo operations with move tool
  • Move and transform selections
  • Improve display of memory usage
  • Overview Docker improvements
  • Resize layer thumbnails
  • Multibrush improvements
  • Painting mask performance improvement
  • Improvement to Select Opaque
  • Sharpness Changes
  • Flow/Opacity Changes
  • Clone Brush – Reset Origin
  • Simplex Noise Generator
  • New Blend modes
  • 1,000+ Bug fixes

Krita 4.2 is available for download right here.

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ShaderFrog Shader Editor

If you are looking for a tool to quickly create complex shaders by mixing and matching existing shaders, ShaderFrog might be the perfect tool for you!  Running entirely in your browser, ShaderFrog can be used to create WebGL shaders in two ways.  First you can create a shader by connecting together existing shaders, to create a new composite shader.  Shaders can even be imported from ShaderToy or the GLSL Sandbox.

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In addition to the composition based approach, there is also a full blown GLSL text editor with automatic compilation/error reporting, syntax highlighting and more.  Once you are happy with your created shader, you can save it, share it, or export it to iOS, Unity or Three.js.

Check out ShaderFrog in action in the video below.

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Exporting Rigged Textured and Animated Models From Blender to Godot Tutorial

One of the most requested Godot tutorials I get is to cover how to export models from Blender to Godot and retain textures, animations and more.  Therefore I have created exactly that tutorial in both video and text formats, hosted on our sister site devga.me.  This tutorial is mostly in Blender, showing how to properly configure textures, an armature and create NLA strips so when exported “it just works” in Godot.  This example uses Blender 2.79 and Godot 3.1.

Don’t forget, if you want to learn Godot we have a complete Godot 3.x tutorial series available here, a step by step creating a full 2D game tutorial available here.  We also have Blender tutorials available in our tutorial section that should get you up to speed using the popular open source 3D application.

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Blender Cloud Free Month Trial And Hands On Preview

The Blender Foundation recently released their new animated short Spring, a completely open film that is used to push development of Blender forward.  Along side the Spring release, they are also offering a free month when you sign up for the Blender Cloud service.  The Blender Cloud is a subscription service that helps support the development of Blender, while offering you several nice features including:

  • All of the assets used in their open films
  • Sample blend file to download and learn from
  • 1,500+ textures and dozens of HDR environment maps
  • Plugin to access the above resources
  • Dozens of high quality multi-part tutorials
  • Tools to share and collaborate with others on Blender Cloud

You can sign up here for €9.90 a month.  The first month will be free and you will not be billed until the 2nd month begins enabling you to try Blender Cloud for free.  To see inside the Blender Cloud service, check out the video below.

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NormalMap & Texture Generator Online

Instead of reporting the April 1st “news”, today we are instead going to look at a pair of excellent free texturing tools that run entirely in your browser, Normal Map Online and Texture Generator Online.  Normal Map online can be sued to create normal, displacement, ambient occlusion and specular maps from a simple height map image.  Texture Generator Online is used for creating simple procedural textures like patterns, noises, terrain and more.

While both tools are easy to use, you can see both of them in action in the video below.  You can also learn more by clicking the question mark icons found within the website.  Chrome is the developers recommended browser, although I ran it without issues in the Firefox browser.   Both services are also available from this homepage.

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VRoid Studio Revisited

Last year we took our first look at VRoid Studio, a 3D anime style character creator that had recently been translated to English.  It works very similarly to Daz3D, Poser and MakeHuman, but is entirely dedicated to creating characters in the anime style.  Using a simple set of sliders, you can quickly customize a character to your liking, much like defining your character in a video game.  However you can also go much deeper, with integrated texture editing tools, hair creation tools, multiple animations and much more. 

Previously however, VRoid had one major limitation… it could only produce female characters.  This has now changed and male characters can be created as well, with their own set of gender specific animations defined.  In the video below we go hands-on with the updated and more capable VRoid Studio.

You can download VRoid Studio here.  The page is Japanese, so look for the following buttons and pick the appropriate operating system:

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The download is a 0.5GB zip file, simply extract and run the executable within.

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New Godot 3.1 Tutorial Series! Creating a Complete 2D Game Step by Step

We just published a brand new 18 part text tutorial series over on DevGa.me, Getting Started with Godot Step by Step Tutorial Series.  This tutorial walks you through theEBookCoverA4Format entire game creation process using Godot 3.1, from creating your initial project, to publishing your game with details step by step instructions and screen shots.  Even better it’s got professional quality art assets from Game Developer Studios and is completely open source!

The tutorial consist of:

Getting Started with Godot

Setup and Project Creation

Creating your Title Screen

Playing Background Music

Global Data via Autorun

Creating a Simple UI

Creating the Main Game Scene

Creating Parallax Clouds

Creating the Player

Handling Input

Add a Scene Animation

Creating Bullets

Creating the Enemies

Configuring the Collisions

Populating the Game World

Adding Shooting to the Game

Making Things Explode

The Final Code

Building your Game for Windows

If you need more detailed information on any subject we cover, be sure to check our existing Godot 3 Tutorial series, that goes into much more technical detail.  There will be a step by step video version available shortly.  There is also a 70pg PDF version of this tutorial available for Patreons.

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