New Video Series: The Tech Artist's Journey

Hey Everyone,

I’m beyond excited to share a new video series with you that I’ve been working on for quite a while.

This new series is called “The Tech Artist’s Journey,” and it’s all about taking the poetic “road less traveled.” In this series I’ll take you on a crazy, twisty, curvy adventure into making this dancing morph target demo:
https://playground.babylonjs.com/#387TJA

I like to think of this series similar to a hike through the woods. It’s not about taking the most direct path to get to this demo…it’s the opposite. In this series we’ll take the unexpected path, the goofy path, the beautiful path. I’ll do my best to introduce you to a bunch of new and crazy concepts and use those concepts to create a fun dancing morph target demo.

Our journey starts right here at the VERY beginning with Part 1:

I hope you enjoy coming along on this adventure with me!

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I like how this is set up, there’s a lot of things I’d like to learn and that final product looks fun too.

I suggest putting chapters into the video so that we can find each lesson easily.

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Part 2 is here!

In this video, you’ll learn to dive into the incredibly powerful Python API inside of Blender. We’ll leverage it to get around a naming problem and unlock some new superpowers in the process!

I hope you enjoy!

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Very nice. For coding the Blender exporter, I generally do searching (mostly blindly) to find things on the Blender API doc page, Blender 2.93.2 Release Candidate Python API Documentation — Blender Python API. The auto complete / immediate window gives you properties. As you wish to do macro type stuff, you will need to find API methods & then what are the arguments required.

There was macro recorder in the past as an Add-on, but not always picked up everything, though. There is one trick to guessing on your searches though. When you hover the mouse over a control, or property, you can see a tool tip of the API. Do not think this is on by default as of 2.80. You can turn it on in preferences.

Looking at the info window (bottom left in scripting layout) after doing the desired operation is yet another way to get an API method. You still need to go to the API doc page to understand the parameters. Info window shows all of them, but most may be the default value.


Another thing is it is usually faster to find an operation is to using the right click. From not working at all prior to 2.80, it is very context sensitive. It provides menus which cut down lots of looking of where is that.

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Awesome tips and suggestions! Love it!

Part 3 of the Tech Artist’s Journey video series is here!

In this video you’ll continue the adventure in Blender and learn all about the incredible fluid simulation system, creating a compelling animation and setting the scene up to render the animation as a heightmap!

I truly hope you’re having as much fun with this series as I am :slight_smile:

This is the demo that you’ll create through this series:
https://playground.babylonjs.com/#387TJA

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Part 4 is here! If you’ve ever wanted to know how to capture animation as a texture, this video is for you! We’ll dive deep into Blender’s compositing tool to learn how to capture the fluid animation we created in part 3, as a texture! Pretty mind bending idea right!!!

Can’t wait to hear what you all think!

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@PirateJC : I’ve been watching this series and was almost overwhelmed by your enthusiasm in Part 3. And though I have used Blender for a while, that episode led me to a new place, and Part 4 continues that journey.

Looking forward to the coding to come.

I did feel a little disappointed when you did not use @JCPalmer 's .babylon exporter. Does it have to be exported that way?

Stay Safe, gryff :slight_smile:

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Hey @gryff

LOL…what’s funny is that’s not an act. I honestly absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE teaching this stuff. It brings me genuine sincere joy and excitement, you’re seeing unscripted enthusiasm. LOL

No you definitely do NOT need to use the built in exporter. I LOVE @JCPalmer 's awesome exporter. The only reason I didn’t show it off is because we’re covering SOOOOO much ground in this series, I had to cut a few things that we definitely COULD have shown along the way just to ensure we didn’t exhaust people.

Keeping with the “hike through the woods” analogy, we COULD stop every 50 feet and see something beautiful and incredible, but if we did that it would take us FOREVER to get to where we’re going.

So absolutely no offense at all to @JCPalmer! JC your exporter is simply awesome.

I just had to keep the scope of the “hike” manageable for all the ground we want to cover.

So glad the series is resonating. We’re JUST getting started on this “hike.”

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I am good with using GLB exporter, especially once exporting animation gets involved. While I am doing a lot animation, I am doing it directly in a scene though IK, morphing, or bone pose compositing (that’s what I call it).

I am only getting parts from Blender:

  • (1st_knuckle_bent, bentback, closed, curl, left, & right) bone poses for each finger from which an infinite number of composite poses can derived.
  • 20 something very simple face shape keys, which I am also compositing at run time for expressive speech.

I am barely competent with Blender’s animation. The exporter works, but animation is not one of the places where I am looking to make changes.

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Part 5 of this video series is here! Time to leave the world of Blender and dive into Babylon!

Hope you enjoy!

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@PirateJC : Your enthusiasm knows no bounds ! :smiley:

Actually, I really like watching your videos as you code, as there is always an explanation about why you are doing something - and that helps me understand the “why”. And in Part 5, I learnt a couple of new things - checking for which webGl version for example.

It maybe a “wander through the woods” , but this poor coder is looking forward to the upcoming episodes.

Stay Safe, gryff :slight_smile:

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Thank you for the incredibly kind words @gryff

I’m learning new things every day and love sharing them with the community as I do.

With an incredibly engine as rich and deep as Babylon is, there’s really always going to be new things to learn! LOL

Next video in the series comes out next week!