Tag Archives: blender

Long time between blog updates

Yes, it has been a long time between blog updates. Maintaining a blog and keeping it updated with new content is harder than I realised. I have a brain full of thought and ideas, it is just getting it out of my head and into a readable format is the challenge.

It also comes down to being a little more organised. Most, if not all the time, when I finish up for the day it is usually too late to write up anything as I’m tired and it is time for sleep. I think to myself “I’ll write up that idea tomorrow”. Rinse and repeat.

There are a couple of things that I have been doing lately that has kept me quite busy:

Pioneer space sim.

Yes, this is an ongoing project. While most of my time has been involved with other things lately (see below) I still continue to follow and support this project as I loved the original game and want to play it on my iMac. Lately the project has gained quite a few developers and there are changes being made daily. It is hard to keep up! Currently alpha releases are being released on the second week of every month and I run snapshots of the current master branch when I can. As always you caN find more info from the main site.

iOS Projects

While I have been writing small iOS apps for personal learning, I have been working on a ‘real app‘ with an old friend of mine. Naturally I can’t go into details (no there is no NDA, I’m just being a nice guy about it and not leaking any info) but I can say for a first real project, I’m quite happy with how it is going. I’m sure you will here me talk about it more on its development once it has been released on the App store.


Sadly, I have done very little with blender as of late. I am looking forward to the new version, which is rumoured to be out mid December.

Hopefully that should bring you all up to date and now that i have cleared the backlog of updates, there should be more frequent blog posts in future. Promise! ๐Ÿ™‚


Philbywhizz update.

Hello Internet, it's been a month since my last update. I've been sick with the flu the past week or so.

I have also been absorbed into playing again, but this time with the tekkit mods. These mods add a much greater level of complexity, and playing on a PvP server also adds to the fun.

Hopefully there will be some more frequent updates soon as I get over this minecraft 'addiction' again. This Friday is a scheduled release of pioneer space sim alpha25, as well as I want to get back into some some blender as 2.64 is rumoured to be released very soon..

Watch this space..


Using a Wacom Intuos4 tablet with blender

This weekend my wife recently upgraded her Wacom tablet to an Intuos5 for use with her photography business. This meant thatย I inherited her old Wacom Intuos4. Yay!ย I’ve never used a tablet before, so I thought I would give it a try with using a Wacom Intuos4 tablet with blender.

And what a challenge it has been. At first I struggled with getting used to the device, as when you use blender you generally need a 3 button mouse. I had already been using blender with ‘Emulate 3-buttons’ as the apple magic mouse makes it difficult to use 3 buttons. Also being left handed, it also made it difficult to get used to, but after a weekend of persistance and a little bit of practice I’m now starting to get a bit comfortable with it, and so far I am liking it.

To help others who maybe new (or are searching on how to use a Wacom Intuos4 tablet with blender), here are my settings that I used to configure the Wacom Intuos4 tablet with blender.

My Wacom settings:

I have assigned the ‘rocker’ switch on the pen to be a ‘right-click’ to the lower button (closest to the nib), and the other side of the rocker switch to be the ‘middle mouse button’. I don’t use the middle click often as it is a little uncomfortable for my hand, but it is there if I need it.

wacom intuos4 tablet with blender
Wacom pen settings

I have also set ‘Click and Tap’.

wacom intuos4 tablet with blender
“click & tap” settings

This is an essential setting for using your Wacom Intuos4 tablet with blender. I found that when you right-click with the hover setting then when you are manipulating verticies in edit mode you can end up selecting things that you don’t intend to. I also found that I was bumping this alot. By Click & Tap, it simplifies it, and you have to touch the tablet with the rick-click button down to register a right-click. Feel free to try Hover Click and see the difference it makes.

Blender settings:

Within blender I just made sure that I was Emulating a 3-button mouse

wacom intuos4 tablet with blender
Emulate 3-button mouse

When this option is turned on, you can move around your 3D scene by holding down one of the following keyboard commands and moving the pen on the tablet.

  • Alt: Rotate
  • Ctrl-Alt: Zoom
  • Shift-Alt: Pan

It does take some time to get use too (I was already used to it as my mouse only really had 2 buttons).

With this setup I was able to be quite productive with using blender. My left hand holding the pen on the tablet, and my right hand on the keyboard. I felt that I had a much finer control on what the cursor was doing. Using the mouse the cursor would ‘jump’ sometimes and I didn’t ‘trust’ its movement. The tablet is far more precise.

I didn’t bother configuring the tablet’s buttons and touch ring as I already had my hand on the keyboard. I could do everything (and more) with the keyboard than I could do with the tablet buttons, so I just left them as the default.

As a final tip, one thing you do need to be aware of is that when you are moving your cursor around the screen and where you ‘think’ your cursor is to where your actual ‘click’ is might be slightly off as you move your pen down to register your click. This takes some practice to get right, but once you have mastered it, it becomes second nature and you adjust your ‘aim’ accordingly.

I’m still learning, but having fun (which is the main thing really).

I hope this information helps other people who are thinking about using a Wacom Intuos4 tablet with blender. It would be interesting to hear other people’s progress in the comments below


Distractions and foiled plans

I’ve been having some difficulty doing any computer programming the past week. I was planning on spending some quality time coding on some pioneer space sim stuff, but our “daughter” doesn’t seem to not to let me do any work.

Cat on the keyboard

If i don’t give her any attention she eventually kicks the keyboard off the desk and onto my lap.

I haven’t been totally unproductive however. While she might control the keyboard, she can’t control the mouse (oh the irony) nor the screen, so I have been happily catching up on some blender tutorials (I’m finding the camera tracking quite interesting) as well as watching some Objective-C tutorial videos as well. Louise (wifey) should be back home in a 2 weeks, so I should get some peace from her then. (from the cat that is) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Maybe I should just feed her sooner.. ๐Ÿ™‚


My personal sinkhole

As some of you may or may not know, I dabble a little bit with an awesome 3D software package called blender. I had been following some tutorials over at blenderguru.com and in particular the camera tracking tutorial. So for a little bit of practice, I created a sinkhole in my backyard.

Im not a very artistic person, I mainly follow along guides and tutorials, but below is my attempt of this tutorial that I did out the backyard a few weeks ago.

While this 3D render of a sinkhole isn’t perfect (some of the textures definitely need some work), it did fool a few of my Facebook friends, who threatened to call the local emergency authorities to help with filling in the sinkhole..

Karma did get me back though, as a week later we had a burst water main outside our house on our property, so I had a mini mud/water filled hole in my garden. Thankfully that was easy to get fixed.