Reviewing Mouse Actuator in Blender

MouseAct

If you are a Blender Game Engine (BGE) enthusiast, you may have noticed in the past releases the inclusion of the new Look mode in  the “Mouse Actuator“. This new mode is going to be really useful if you are new to python coding and need a way to create your own FPS template,just like the classic Quake or DOOM camera style template without code, just by linking some logic bricks.


Watching closely  the actuator 

This are the options and setting for the Mouse actuator with the “Look” mode active, you can find some info of it as a tooltip on each button in blender, I think they are very intuitive but it worth the deep study of it.

001

As shown in the image above, this button will register mouse movement in the “X” axis of the screen, since the screen is a 2D area that represents 3D objects, and it has “X” axis and “Y” axis only. And with this we only get “X” axis movements.

002

The more value in Sensitivity will make react really fast with short mouse movements. I tried this with “5”, and it was really sensitive. With “0.1” value it behave so slow, it barely moves

003

This offer some kind of “delay” to the initial movement.

004

Here we select in which axis we will apply the movement, for example if this is for a FPS, by registering the X movement (to turn around, or to perform side to side look) we should apply this in the Z axis.

006

Usually in FPS templates you can turn arround more than 360 degrees without restrictions, just like in real life, so if that is what you need, keep default values. But if you want to make a side scroller and the player should not be allowed to aim in their back, then use this.

For the Y axis button there are default values (90 and -90 degrees) to avoid unreal camera movements .

005

And the same applies here, but in this case is for the “Y” axis, and in a FPS template will calculate up and down movements which will be used to perform up and down camera movements.


Testing with a project

So everything went fine till now, we got in a few steps our very first FPS camera control, with no need to code, wich is really good for a lot of people who does not want to include a more elaborated one (maybe with more features, like crouch, swim, etc) therefore this new actuator is going to be really handy for a lot of people, and besides everything, we have got tools, the last thing we can do is use it.

So I decided to go further when I was testing, that’s why you saw in the past weeks some post series about it (fps shooter demo and fake god rays ), at that point I I had my FPS template, so.. why not make a small level? So I make the test level, added some sounds, a weapon (from an older blender game project) but still looking a bit dull, so I came up with the idea to include some 2dfilters, and some billboards to simulate fog.

billboards

And at this point I notice some weird behavior with the FPS template, the camera movement started to feel a bit unresponsive, and my first thought was about the extensive use of billboards (I did not use alpha textures, but use “add” option to simulate transparency), but this didn’t change the “step-like” movement when I reduce the billboard count.

It was kind of confusing, so I ended up disabling shadows and nodes in the “Shading” panel and some other settings in the “Display” panel to figure out what happens.

settings

But it didn’t work, I got some extra fps more (before that, it was 57-55 fps approx), but the strange unresponsive movement remained. So I did a comparison, by using the same geometry (level) and two different FPS templates (Python and Mouse actuator), because obviously with 60 fps it should work smoothly!  And the result was as follow:

As shown in the video above, it seem to be that the mouse actuator has some issues, or maybe its just a matter of modify some settings in the actuator, but at this moment I cannot find out the solution or the correct settings (if any), maybe is a bug or a glitch? I don’t know right now.


My conclusions

Pros:

  • Really easy to use
  • Suitable for various types of camera templates

Cons:

  • Seem to be unresponsive working on full screen

Not quite usable right now, this need some revision to fix that problem, otherwise I do  not recommend to use it at this time to create your camera setup (FPS, side scroller or another). You better wait a little bit more, maybe it will be fixed in the next release.

And yes, after some research I found that the issue is a bug, so maybe someone is working on it.

Fake God Rays – Blender

i’ve used a shader made by Martinsh he used for volumetric lights in a demo file he did some years ago ( blender 2.49b ), but still works in the actual versions of blender, because it works with the node editor, anyway.. I thought it could work out like god rays in my FPS demo, and I think it looks  nice..

I was planning to put the FPS demo file here, but I’m still tweaking it to improve the frame rate. Oh! btw, if you are wondering what kind of 2dFilters I’ve used in this demo, well.. they are just the same I always use (Distance blur, bloom, and others) and you can get it here or here.

Here some pictures showing off the fake “god rays”, it’s an animated gif, it may take awhile to load..!

godRays

And here a video:


And that’s all :) thank you for stepping by in my blog :)

P.D: In case you don’t know what is a “god ray” check out this Wikipedia article.

 

FPS shooter demo

FPS shooter demo made with the new “mouse actuator” logic brick in the blender game engine.

Nothing too fancy, just a small demo (it took me a day from start to finish) to test the new actuator, wich is really easy to use! and when finished with the template, I started some kind of level, first with a single color texture, then with a texture I use in the game level used in the blender player for android. After that I decided to add some kind of environment like a futuristic factory (?.. sort of) with some moving mist and lights, and as a matter of fact I had an idea to avoid the common problem with billboards, as you can see in the image below (first image with nice billboards, and then with bad billboards.

billboards

And the result is in the video below:

Blend file here, in case of what you saw could be useful to you.

MindTex Review

It’s been a while since I bought my MindTex license (it was in 9/6/12), so this time I’m going to talk about this cheap and useful application.

Here is the original overview from the web pageMindTexReviewIcon

MindTex is a normal map generation utility for game developers and 3D professionals alike. Built to rival the competition in quality without the steep price, whether you want to generate a normal, height, specular, self-illumination, or occlusion map, you can easily do it in seconds flat from a single source texture with MindTex. 

Integrating MindTex into your 3D content pipeline will save you substantial amounts of time, money, and effort, allowing you to focus on what is really important: building immersive worlds and making your ideas a reality.

Here is the original MindTex video demonstration:

Continue reading

Power plant wheeled

This is a power plant asset modeled in Blender 3D and texturized with Photoshop CS2, this was started some time ago (you can see it in this old post), this asset took too long because some troubles with the bakes in blender, for some reason they were taking too long, and when I say too long I mean it never stop, I didn’t know what happened exactly but now it worked and decided to give it a try, and here is.. I think it’s finished, but maybe later I will polish this.

CGT-PPW01

High polygon comparision with image reference:

CGT-PowerPlant_003

And a video here:

 

Emissive Maps – Test scenes video

emissiveTestScenes

Here is a sample video of my emissive maps test scenes I’ve done untill now

 

You can see the full tutorials here:

Also I’ve used some shaders made by Martinsh (some kind of volume light shader), so kudos for him!

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