The other day I had a sudden urge to figure out the new Blender. A few years ago I spent some time with Blender, and learned how to use it at a basic level. I first learned to use Python by writing a file exporter to export from Blender into my engine. But that was version 2.49. When version 2.5 came out they changed the interface. I tried to find some tutorials on how to use the new interface but it was hard to separate between tutorials on the new and old versions, and I was too busy to put the time in.
But for some reason I decided yesterday to try again. It took me a while to get Blender's camera controls to play nice with Ubuntu, but eventually I was able to get it running smoothly. I found a nice simple tutorial on youtube, and the result was this:
I think that's not a bad start. The new interface seems cleaner than before; I think it will be easier to use. I might have to dig out my old file exporting script and see if it works with the new Blender, but since my engine isn't running at the moment I think that can wait. I'm going to continue following tutorials for a while and try to reach a higher level of skill with Blender than I used to have (well, I'm going to try; I'm way too busy and have way too many hobbies these days). It would be nice to be able to turn out some simple animations or something.
In my last post I talked about game ideas. I didn't discuss some of the smaller features that I was thinking about trying to get my engine to support. One thing is to try to create a generic character "layout", so that it's easy to mod by adding characters that follow the file format and description.
A much more ambitious idea is to take that a step farther and create a generic human mesh. That mesh could be modified to be any male or female character as long as the vertices were only moved around a bit and none were added or deleted. I think there would need to be some redundancy in the mesh to make it easy to modify, but the idea is then that clothes etc can be modelled separately, based on the default mesh - the idea is that the clothes are "anchored" on vertices that do not change (only move around a bit). Then the engine can easily add any clothes to any model and they should fit fine, by simply fitting to the standard vertices. The idea of course is to have a character customisations system. This idea is not particularly well thought out I suppose - I haven't done any research or anything - so it probably won't be all that simple in practice. Well, it's something to keep in mind for the future.