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animate1978animate1978 02 Jul 2010 20:42
in discussion R&D / Shaders » Shader Development

Hey guys, just wanted to give a heads up that over the past couple of days Eric and I have come to the conclusion that WidowShade (my special branch of ShaderLink) is not going to be used for this, mainly due to the fact that one cannot declare output parameters for AOV (or as best as I can understand from what Eric has said), which of course is something we are looking for. Shrimp on the other hand has the ability built in already but just requires to change the output names to Shrimp's parameters.

So I am not sure about the future of WidowShade itself, I have already talked to the original author and I am going to send him the code modifications I have done, including the nodes.

Shrimps header file structure needs to be changed though slightly, which would mean I would have to edit each node that uses the file rsl_shrimp_shadingmodels.h. The file name itself seems to be too long (?) for Blender to handle…. not sure why (I thought UNIX file names can be long but maybe not Blender????)……….. either way this means a special version of Shrimp will be made on my local machine, not something many should worry about regarding shading past the development stage, all one needs is the right header files. However if anyone is interested in co-developing shaders it is required that you have this special version. Let me know if anyone wants it :) I am trying to get the shading pipeline down now so that it is not a huge complication later on when I need things to go smoothly as possible.

Either way I am back now, getting back into the swing of things, working as much as possible and enjoying my new house. Now that I have the net again I will be busting my ass this summer on Widow so hopefully by the end of the year this will be done and released to the masses.

Shader Development by animate1978animate1978, 02 Jul 2010 20:42

I've talked with the animator and with his current location he doesn't have a fast internet connection, he can only download a few Megabyte at a time and downloading 2GB's worth of files would take him about 1 week to download.

So we have a problem, I mentioned that I would look into just getting the main files and the referenced scenes files to him over SVN, but I'm not sure how I'd go about that, I'm going to email Noyx and ask him the same question, I'm posting this on here for you Ted, since I'm not sure if your online.

I could look elsewhere for an animator but for the last few months I've had one or two offers from people who aren't quite up to the level that is required and I don't want to have to look for another few months since the project has been going for sometime…

Shrinking SVN file size? by DanielWrayDanielWray, 21 Apr 2010 15:52
Re: Scene_008 start
Eric BackEric Back 14 Apr 2010 15:32
in discussion R&D / Rendering » Scene_008 start

Oooh pretty! I like :D

Looks like you may have some corner cracking on the bottom right though, do you have smooth shading on that geometry? Also some grid cracking on the walls (DisplaceBound issue?).
Can't wait to see more :)


Re: Scene_008 start by Eric BackEric Back, 14 Apr 2010 15:32
Scene_008 start
animate1978animate1978 13 Apr 2010 15:15
in discussion R&D / Rendering » Scene_008 start
Scene_008 start by animate1978animate1978, 13 Apr 2010 15:15

Awesome! I got the new Mosaic now.

I did notice that the linked objects are dupli-objects when exporting and was thinking about this today myself and like this past summer I decided that these point lights wont have shadow maps on them, I will be using spotlights for any shadows made, even if it does require a bit more work on my end having to render multiple shadow maps for the point lights might be overkill. Since the point lights will also have Inverse Square(?), the lighting won't spill over and instead just light a small area around the object, thus at least attempting to cheat lighting and only use shadow maps when needed.

So even if the grouped wall lights don't have shadow maps enabled, I won't have to add 40 some lights for each scene or shot, this is pretty much what I have in mind at least.

I did some further testing and was able to reproduce the errors with linking lights into a scene in groups (not sure about the errors your getting with the registry). I've fixed the problem in CVS if you want to grab the latest HEAD version ;)

I should also mention that linking groups with lights may not work very well for shadow maps as they are actually dupli lights (not individual lights). Dupli lights become insanely complex to export when dealing with depth passes and could be very unpredictable. If you need a light group to have shadow maps you can select the group empty object and in the Geometry Setup tab enable Separate Duplis (so you get a separate pass per dupli light) and add a Shadow Depth Map pass to the empty.

Not sure how this could be related to light grouping?
That is a Blender internal error meaning the user the Blender process is running in does not have write permissions to the Mosaic.cfg registry file. I would check the user/group permissions of /home/animate1978/Blender2_49b/.blender/scripts/bpydata/config/Mosaic.cfg and be sure all users can write to that file ;-)

I found a "bug" in our pipeline. Lighting is going to HAVE to be done on a shot by shot basis it seems as when grouping up light objects and appending them into a scene causes Mosaic to stop exporting.

I have replicated this issue many times, each time causes the same error.

animate1978@skunklab04:~$ cd Blender2_49b
animate1978@skunklab04:~/Blender2_49b$ ./blender
Compiled with Python version 2.5.2.
Checking for installed Python… got it!
Welcome to RIBMOSAIC CVS Beta-0.4.9:!

read library: lib //../../Final_scene_Files/File_Main/Main_Scene_01.blend
read library: lib //Prop_library_link_FINAL.blend
scene.getChildren() deprecated!
use scene.objects instead
Welcome to RIBMOSAIC CVS Beta-0.4.9:!

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<string>", line 1, in <module>
File "/home/animate1978/Blender2_49b/.blender/scripts/bpymodules/", line 267, in SaveConfigData
raise Warning(e) # Resend exception as warning
Warning: [Errno 13] Permission denied: '/home/animate1978/Blender2_49b/.blender/scripts/bpydata/config/Mosaic.cfg'

Export starting at: 10:32:13am 03/28/2010

Exporting project…
Export killed!!!

Export complete at: 10:32:13am 03/28/2010
Total export time: 0.244558095932 Seconds

I am going to have to figure out a way to simplify this process but appending or linking light objects just does not seem to work out.

I think now would be a good time to change the file names based on the portion of pipeline, as well as version for everything in Layout to Animation.

So like right now the base scene 002 is scene_002.blend but this is just the basic layout setup file, after this point it should become very important to just add version numbers to new files again, the linked files really only take up a mb or two, so having multiples of similar scenes until final wont be a big deal.

So - for final layout scenes (where cam, objs and basic info is ready for information) - add LAYOUT after the scene #…. ie : scene_002_LAYOUT01.blend

Once in animation add ANIM instead.

For each version you add to the SVN add it after that number.
ie: scene_002_shot_001_ANIM001.blend

Once final copy and rename scene_###_shot_###_ANIM_FINAL.blend
where that will get copied again and renamed scene_###_shot_###_SHADING_001.blend

After shading and lighting finish the scene is copied and renamed to scene_###_shot_###_RENDER_FINAL.blend

Remember each day in your SVN client to 'Update' so this way each day you have a fresh copy of the files, though also remember that as long as you are on the SVN commit notification list you will be able to know when files are changed/uploaded.


Progress is looking good, I've got the scenes working and I've started on Scene 002 for the animation. Haven't appended the spider/ rig yet, just going over the scene with grease pencil, but it's a start.

SVN is working amazingly well btw, didn't think it would be this easy :D

I'm looking forward to seeing this shotgun application/ web thing, hopefully it'll make tracking animation and scene progress a little easier.

Scenes 002 and 003 both are ready for animation, just so that everyone knows. The bad linking has been fixed. I am currently working on Scenes 004 and 005 for Layout, as well as working on Shading and Lighting for Scene 001.

I am also going to be working on setting up a beta account on Shotgun Software's site, so that at least during the animation phase we can work with it.

Since moving back to Wisconsin i have setup most of the tools needed to work on Widow, except for the shader authoring tools. Since shading and lighting is not such an important step right now I have been focusing on the layout and sets.

So far I have made the following changes.

- Fixed Scene 002 from Absolute paths to Relative
- Changed the sleeper_static to Sleeper_static_low for rendering optimization

One of the issues I have seen is even with dupliverted objects, the track seems to take up the majority of rendertime, with or without custom shaders. I replaced the high poly object with the low poly version and that seemed to speed up the render a little bit. Not sure why of all the objects the tracks and sleepers really bog down Aqsis.

Over the next week I shall be finishing up the next 10 scenes

Well it seems my drives are failing. The one drive that now currently has XP on it for sure is, each time I boot into it it freezes up. I even did a filesystem check while in linux and at some point it froze up linux. So that leads me to conclude that the drive is going to die real soon. This is a problem because GRUB is loaded onto the MBR, which is located on THAT drive. So when that drive fails… no more GRUB.

The linux drive also seems to be having issues too, each time I boot up it finds errors that it needs to correct. Figures right?? Luckily I think I have enough cash to buy a new drive, however this wont happen until I move and whenever my system gets shipped to my new place I will have to get the new drive. I THINK I will be able to wing it until the drive does get delivered but anythin serious will have to be put on hold on my end, I dont want to risk loosing data or in the middle of a SVN commit all the sudden my system freezes and corrupts a file.

When I do move I am removing Animux from my system, this OS just does not seem stable for my tastes and instead will be either using Debian itself or FreeBSD (I used to use it). At least then I will be able to at the very least have a more stable system and since I will be connected to the net via old fashioned cable and NOT wifi I do not have to worry about that problem (which is the reason why I have been using Animux over the past couple months in the first place - the wifi software was already in place and did not require me to do some black magic to configure).

So yes as stated before I am gonna be AFK for a bit, please feel free to continue working on Widow, I am just not able to do so for at least a week most likely 2 weeks.

Figures right? As soon as things start picking up Murphys Law comes into effect. lol! Anyways I will be setting up my aunts system here before I leave so I will be online here and there, I do want to work on some docs and whatnot especially the documentation on the scenes that now have the spider model in them, so that who ever wants to work on them can do so without problems.

So till then - Cheers!!

Re: Headaches abound! by animate1978animate1978, 07 Feb 2010 19:59

Last night at some point in time while I was sleeping my Linux drive got corrupted somehow, I woke up this morning to it frozen and when I tried to reboot (after a hard shutdown) the system told me it encountered an irrecoverable error on the drive on some block and pretty much was unable to start the system, nothing was mountable. Lovely!!!

So now I have reformatted ALL my drives and I am rebuilding my system from scratch - AGAIN.

This also comes at a bad time since I am moving cross country in a week. Right now I got WinXP reinstalled on what used to be the Linux drive (so if the drive actually IS dying it is not a big deal, I wanted to put Linux on my much larger drive anyway)…. anyways over the weekend I am going to be dealing with the headache of getting Linux to use wifi - again.

Needless to say I am out of the production work for at least a week, most likely more. I did however get 3 scenes set up for anyone to work with in the SVN, animation that is. The spider is already setup as a proxy (the spider is linked in) so there is no need to do much else except animate it - if anyone is up to the task that is.

Once I do get my linux system running right I will be able to jump in again and continue working. Sorry! I really did not expect THIS to happen - my damn curse keeps rearing its head and biting.

Headaches abound! by animate1978animate1978, 05 Feb 2010 20:25

OK! I think I have the problem solved here :)

Cessen has helped me out with how to add in Groups, the reason it has been so diffucult to understand is that I did not know about the Add menu has the submenu "Group" which contains the grouped objects. So to add the objects in a new scene file, you would need to actually Add it in - something I did not know about.

Not only that but thanks to Durian I am also going to add the "Blender-Aid" tool to the server here real soon. This tool works with Blender files, all that is added into the files and how they are linked up to other files - all via a webpage. The Durian team uses this alongside SVN so implementing it should not be too hard to do, maybe even talk to the team about how it is they set it up.

Either way I am getting busy building at least the scenes 2 and 3 so that animation can commence!

Re: Library Linking Woes by animate1978animate1978, 03 Feb 2010 22:37

Did some more R+D on this Mosaic linking issue before I go to bed and leave for the week.

Seems that this is like a Catch 22 issue. Linked scenes will contain Mosaic data in them right? Well on one hand this works out well, we can append shader code and fragments, materials, lighting and so on and so forth to the main scene file that will be linked into the animation scenes.

However on the other hand it is not possible from the animation scenes to edit this data, so even adding a display driver is not possible unless it is from the linked file in question.

What if we need to edit data post animation? I suppose the only way to do this would be to edit the data from the main scene file but in the case of adding lighting, will this pose a problem? Also there will be instances of animating the lighting for the signal lights - again not sure if this would be a problem but tedious to edit things in a scene file that need to be animated then link it in???

So on one hand this works perfect for certain situations, but in the case of post animation shading and lighting editing - it might not work out well at all?

Or am I way off the mark here? I dont know but input is highly needed in this case before we delve to deep beyond a point of return now that we are getting into the animation phase, I really dont want to back track and redo things half way through this phase. Not to mention I am tired and not fully functioning at this point, been a busy day for me here.

Re: Library Linking Woes by animate1978animate1978, 28 Jan 2010 07:55


Linking is causing problems with Mosaic. Pretty much for some reason I cannot edit ANYTHING in Mosaic when a scene is linked. I try and I get a "Cant edit linked data" error.

Is this because there is mosaic data in the scenes that are linked??? If so how can I fix this without having to start all over with the scenes?

Re: Library Linking Woes by animate1978animate1978, 28 Jan 2010 07:02

Hey guys!

So I did a quick R+D test with a scene and our spider subject. Good news is that I could scale the spider down a tiny size in another file, then append it into the Scene 003 test scene, did a render and yep it seems to render a bit nicely. I REALLY needed to test this because now that we are entering the animation phase it was important to see if all these ideas and plans would pull together before we got too deep in and ran into problems considering that until tonight that had not been done.

Bad news - the hair does not like being that small so it had to go and in all honesty maybe it might be a good idea to remove it altogether?? Considering that for the most part this spider object will be at such a small scale it might be more trouble than it is worth to have the hair?? I tried 5 times to get the hair to not modify but as soon as I moved the spider at all the hair will explode in length. In MY opinion it might be better to just get rid of the hair and go with what we have, of course I do want to keep the original model with hair for future reference and demo purposes. Also factor in render times and with the complexity of the scenes, the train and spider (including lighting and shaders) this hair could increase a render time per frame from an hour to a day each (??). That is still up in the air, if someone could log in and grab the files, see what they can do with it and if the result is ok then we can go from there. Literally the spider model test object is scaled 0.001 from it's original size.

However the other good news is that the linking test has been completed with the appending of the spider into the a linked scene file. I will be uploading the files into the SVN for anyone to poke around in and see what is going on, I will also be gone the rest of the week and weekend and will not be back till Monday so if anyone has questions, comments or replies - go ahead and leave them I will read them when I get back.

Also we have Anthony Rosebottom on board for animation as well! :)

Well some more R+D work on my end and I have made it my new goal to fully design the linking for all the scenes, once Dan has finished the end tunnel caps I will insert them in and go to work on Layout of the scenes according to the storyboard, which of course will be ready for animation.

Given that the linking does in fact appear to be functioning fairly ok I think it is a safe bet that my previous assumptions are incorrect, in fact the blend file with the linked scene is only 1 MB in size (without any appended objects) and in my opinion is a really preferable option than having 20+ scenes 100+ MB in size each.

As of right now I am pretty much thinking that there will be 3 scenes needed for this short. The first is the one I am working on right now, which is the scene with ALL the environment objects in it. The next would be the same thing without the air duct added as it will not be seen again after the first shot. The third is a section of the set without the majority of the objects but long enough that the camera wont be rendering empty space.

On the other hand it may be required that certain shots just do not need all the objects needed in scene, such as in close ups of the spider climbing around a pipe, in such cases it wont be required that the other side of the set is needed since it will not be on cam and the cam wont be turning in that direction.

One other thing I need to keep in mind is that I will need to group all the lights so that they can be plugged in for each scene without the need to redo each time. There will be instances when the lighting needs to be customized for a given shot but for the majority of the regular lighting it should not be a problem to even just Append them as they are not resource heavy.

I think that Scene 01 / Shot 01 is a test case, I will be using that main scene for that shot and since it is the establishing shot - anything done on the scene has to be replicated later on. Even if this means I have to remove the camera animation and then redo it I will (was not that hard to do - that is why I designed the camera group the way I did, to make camera work easy). This way over time, once lighting, shaders and whatever else needs to be done to the first scene will be replicated in the following sets.

So yeah that is my goal for the immediate future - finish the scene linking and finish the first shot (to an acceptable degree).

Re: Library Linking Woes by animate1978animate1978, 21 Jan 2010 06:22

Even more research :

1 - My previous assumption that shader code cannot be added - well I forgot to add the Mosaic fragment, so problem solved there.

2 - Dupliverted objects are unpredictable! In a new blend file I linked the SAME "Scene", and previous missing dupliverted objects appeared… still have to do repeated tests as to why this happens.

3 - IF by chance that all does go well in the Linking area, I still have to ensure that IF by chance we do replace all environments with linked scenes that the Appended data can be deleted and not take up file space.

Re: Library Linking Woes by animate1978animate1978, 21 Jan 2010 04:46
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