Saturday, August 1, 2009

Specular and Bump Maps; New Screen Capture Software Needed?

I have been experimenting a bit more with Blender to get the animation for the street sign in the pedestrian zone just right. Although it still doesn't look exactly the way I'd expect it to look in real life, the use of specular and bump maps has given the model a more realistic appearance than prior attempts:

I added some extra lamps to give the model a warm, golden feel that I think it might have in the evening sun. I'm still working on finding a way to remove the annoying flicker that appears at the mesh edges when the model rotates; hopefully I will be able to post a solution to this problem in the near future.

In the last few days I was also able to find a Blender project to develop a first-person shooter (FPS) on the Web. I have been taking a look at the Python code and trying to modify it so that it can serve the needs of the DigiBahn Project as, alas, I don't think that students playing the game will need to carry an assault rifle through Stuttgart Central Station (perhaps an Easter egg for the game?):

For some reason or another, the complete texture did not get imported into the game: I can only see the sign images but no stainless steel texturing. I'm going to have to look at this problem and see if I can find a solution. Do I need to "bake" the textures onto the mesh?

I've been using Camtasia to do the screen captures and, unfortunately, it has been providing some miserable frame-per-second (FPS; a different meaning of "FPS" than the one above) rates when recording the game engine. Thus the jumpy video of the second game engine test in Blender. I cranked up the video capture settings to 50 fps and rendered the video in 30 fps in the hope that the video render would be a lot smoother, but no such luck. The final product was a lot smoother than other renders I did, it still isn't as smooth as I know it can be. Looks like I am on the market for a new screen capture software; any suggestions?

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