This is issue #123 of the Dogwaffler of the Moment, a sporadic, artsy newsletter for and about users of Project Dogwaffle.
Two Freebies and a Promo for July/August
here is another update from the "Dogwaffler of the Moment", our sporadic newsletter about digital painting and animation as well as visual effects and exploring 3D creativity with Project Dogwaffle. If you want to catch up on recent or prior issues of our newsletters and announcements, start here:
This specific newsletter issue is here:
In this issue:
- Two free plugins: Worley Noise, and Normal Map
- Special Promo: Up to 66% off for very short time
- Letters from Jupiter - Juno is orbiting the big planet, for now
- New tutorials
- Game On! Dogwaffle's skies seen in Tempest Citadel, by Aartformgames
Two Free Plugins
Here are two new plugins, filters that you can add to your collection in PD Artist or PD Howler.
Learn more about it here: http://www.thebest3d.com/dogwaffle/download/WorleyNoise
This is a noise rendering filter named after Steve Worley. See Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worley_noise
It can be used for many great effects. With a little bit of experience, you can create stormy water ripples, sand dunes and other great patterns which can be used for a great variety of effects for pre- or post-filtering, displacement, and more visual effects in 2D and 3D systems.
Sand Dunes rendered in Puppy Ray, part of PD Howler and PD Artist.
Learn more about it here: http://www.thebest3d.com/dogwaffle/download/NormalMap
You may know what a bump map is. It changes the orientation of a normal vector along a rendered 3D surface in order to create a different shading effect, making it look as it there was more details to the surface. It doesn't displace the geometry, or shift the surface in 3D space. But it does work to convey a richer, more detailed appearance of a rendred surface when it is hit bu lighting. It may not fast shadows from those refined bumps, but you'll see some areas appear darker and others show brighter or even show a specular highlight, which tricks you into thinking there is a whole lot more of detail on that surface than what would be observed by the original simple polygon alone. It's all about make believe. It's been very useful in 3D games, to make what looks like very realistic 3D monsters, even if modeled with just a few doens or hundreds polygons. It wouldtake thousands or millions of polygons, were it not for bump maps.
In the case of a bump map, the normal vectors along a 3D surface still have to be adjusted by the amount of bump, in whatever the normal vector's direction is. The only thing that the bump map describes is the amount of bumping in the normal's direction, in the direction of the normal vector, which is of course perpendicular to the 3D surface. Thus there is still quite a lot of calculations needed to adjust each of the 3 components of the normal vector, x, y and z (or i.j and k as they're often called). We start from a grey scale image in which each pixel holds the amount of displacement, but has no idea yet in which direction it will go. That has to be determined on-the-fly during rendering.
A similar feature is the normal map. In a normal map, we are in the presence of already pre-calculated amounts for each of the 3 axes of the normal vector. Instead of a single value of the bump amount, we provide the x, y and z values of the same, indicating its direction explicitly. The xyz values are seen as rgb in a colored image. The values are 8-bit values on each channel. It is a signed 8-bit integer, going from -128 to +127. A value of 0 (no displacement of the normal) is a 128 if it were unsigned integer. So the base appearance of the normal map is a plain mid grey, 50% between black and white. If there are subtle bumps, they'll appear in the form of a coloration away from grey. Some areas will have blueish tint, some will have red, some green. Overall, they'll combine to a mix of various colors that carry the information of the bumping direction, and intensity of it, already pre-calculated, ready to be applied to the normal vector. Easy peasy. The calculations for this is fast, especially with dedicated hardware, on GPU.
Thus, you'll find that normal maps have become a good way to work on subtle bumpy appearance, when you're in 3D programs such as Lightwave, Maya and similar. Even Carrara has support for normal maps.
Late-July/Mid-August Promo: Up to 66% off for (very) limited time
We are planning to be running a promotional sale alongside with Wonderfox's Video Converter Factory, SUmmer promo giveaway, round 2. At the start of the promotion, which starts around July 24-25 (TBD) and lasts only for a few short weeks, the discount for PD Howler 10 or PD Artist 10 is 66% off the regular price. It won't last long at that level though. After a few days, the discountwill get smaller and smaller, by a few percentage points, until it is down to 35% off. Still very respectable. But surely, if you have been wanting to get PD Howler 10 or PD Artist 10 at a great discount, do this early. And if you're not ready yet, for just a few days, the older version 9.6 will be available for free.
To learn more, start here: http://www.thebest3d.com/vcf
Keep an eye on it, and don't delay - much like the British Pound, this promotional discount will not stay that strong for very long.
Letters from Jupiter
If you didn't notice,.... humanity has conquered another planet: We are in orbit around Jupiter. The Juno probe was alunched about 4-5 years ago. It went into orbit early July, (July 4 Independence day, no less). It won't orbit forever. The plan is to run a few dozen orbits, and then dive into the atmosphere. Let's hope for an awesome descent, and awe-inspiring pictures. This may be very good material soon to come for more space imagery in Project Dogwaffle.
Here's some stuff worth reading:
Watch the Juno Cam:
Back to Earth with Dogwaffle - New Tutorials
There are new videos and tutorials in our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pdhowler
Working with brushes - picking up the leaves
Ok, back to Space - with Space Scenes
Indie game: Tempest Citadel, by Aartformgames
Some dramatic skies created in PD Howler.
Tempest Citadel is a game under development and soon to be released on Steam. It has already gone through greenlighting. One of the characteristics of the game is that it plays on a planet surrounded by 3 Moons, and it has a tumultuous atmosphere. Some of the skies seen in the game were in fact created with the help of Project Dogwaffle's PD Howler by an artist, named 'drawsattention', a long time user (and beta tester) of Project Dogwaffle.
Learn more here: http://www.thebest3d.com/dogwaffle/dotm/drawsattention
That's it, for now. Thanks for waffling and howling!
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