Friday, December 12, 2008

Freebie Fridays

That's what I need to do, come up with a theme! Its Friday and I have some free time from work while I'm home having renovations done, so now is the time to point you towards some free stuff!

DAZ3D once again has come up with some amazing sales during their 12 Days of Christmas promo. One of the items on discount right now is incredibly hot Briana!This shows the complete bundle, now at 50% off its normal price for today, Dec 12 but more sales will keep coming. You can view it here.

One of the freebies currently available is free props for your room settings. Some could be considered period peices but others could be used in a wide range of situation. Here's a look at today's freebie called "Little Things":

These are great props, I can't wait to try them! Well, actually I probably will, since I intend to get some SecondLife time in today! You can get them directly here as well.

Cheers from the virtual realms!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Free 3D Models

I've posted a couple of videos to YouTube and the comment that is always seen with Daz|Studio videos is "Where do you get the models?". Well, the simple answer is that the software does come with some free models but occasionally, great free models become available at Daz.

At the moment, a full model of a human male, with a basic texture (its still very nice though) known as Michael 4 or M4 is available.

Other characters include Victoria (human female) and Aiko (a female anime style character for manga) and many others.

Make sure you check out Daz3D for more free models as well as other sites that I post here on occasion. A future post will include a list of sites where free 3d models are available for Daz|Studio and other 3d modeling and rendering packages.

Experience Dublin: Second Life Style

After all this time, it's hard to believe I've never tried Second Life. Second Life (SL) is a virtual world where you can take on a 3D avatar and wander a totally virtual world... but it's even harder to believe that even some techy people still ask what Second Life is. I bit the bullet last week, and have now logged in about 40 minutes of time, and its my current favourite thing. After my honeymoon in Dublin this summer, I've found and connected to a virtual Dublin, and I'm loving it.

(Click here to view the larger image)

I work at a post-secondary institution and I'm interested in Linden Labs' work on the Second Life Grid and how it can be used in academia. I'll be attending a workshop on SL on Dec 2 and I'm interested in seeing how its being used here in Canada, and I want to see if there is any potential for me to be involved in an SL project here in the future. I was trying to find some information on the speaker, but due to an mis-spelled Google Search, I ended up at a blog entry by Dan Power. Dan writes about his experiences setting a virtual Iowa and has even included a PowerPoint presentation he's put together. As a warning, the online slides he's using won't view very well unless you're using Internet Explorer.

A virtual world like Second Life has a wide variety of uses, and many universities are taking part in areas ranging from course delivery to recruitment. The question is how it can be adapted for my specific needs. And that is a question I would *love* to investigate.

Changing Content Width in Blogger Templates

If anyone knows how I can modify this template to make the body and sidebar elements wider, leave me a comment!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Great community with DAZ3D Artzone

I've finally found some time with this crazy schedule of mine to get back into using DAZStudio and Terragen. If you haven't heard about Terragen, I simply can't say enough of it. I've been a fan for years, and maybe I'll get to post some tutorials here. It can create photo-realistic landscapes like this one:

I absolutely love DS, even though my computer has always been underpowered to really run it, and I've never had the right video card. Hopefully I can make some extra blog money somehow to get a nVidia graphics card, instead of always getting stuck with an ATI Rage the way things are now. But I digress...

I've gotten myself back into Daz because it is one of the only things that I find relaxes me... even with the occasional crashes, and the fact that I can't use the newest characters and have to create imagery with stuff I downloaded 2 years ago, or old Poser models.

By checking the Daz site occasionally for inspiration (and free models!) I signed up for Artzone a couple of months ago and finally made an effort to check back on my profile. I'm able to post images, see other artists work, and its been one day and I already have 1 new friend!

Here are a couple of more images I've created, and you can see more at my profile at the Daz3D Artzone.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

CNN Holograms of the future?

I never caught it during my view of the election coverage for the 2008 US Presidential Election race.. actually because I didn't see any of it, but apparently CNN tried to tell us they had perfected hologram technology. But they didn't.

Good try though.
[ed: Stupid Digg script!]

Monday, October 27, 2008

Great art on ShareCG

I was checking out some of the new features in Daz ArtZone when I came across a link to another site:

A great user site with profiles, galleries and really talented artist. I was really impressed by the fact that it has a VR section, as well as tutorials in 2D and 3D art along with DazStudio, Bryce, Autocad, Photoshop... and probably tonnes of others.

Makes me wish I had:
  1. More time to spend on this kind of work: I find it relaxes me and I enjoy it.
  2. A better computer, to render more things!

Seriously, check out the site and find me in the ArtZone community. Stop by and say "Hi!"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Would you watch the Hobbit in 3D?

A little blurb about the some-day upcoming Hobbit movie: think it would be good in 3D?

Shame on me, I've never yet seen an IMAX film, let alone one in 3D. :(

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Touchable Holograms not far away

Another shout out to Dino for providing a link to a Gizmodo article on breakthroughs in hologram technology.

That of course led me to another item about research dealing with the use of ultrasound to produce tactile feedback. Now combine the two, and someday we could get hologram images that have a light feel of substance to them. Perhaps not rock solid, but a pleasant squidgy feeling nonetheless.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

3D Camera news

Wired Article regarding FujiFilm's Real 3D Camera:

Really expensive ways to glue two cameras together:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Philippe Fuchs runs from Paris to Beijing

Wow, more 3D VR stuff in the blogosphere!

I just found this article about the Virtual Plus Reality Challenge while checking out Kate's blog at 3DSports.

Apparently they had runner Philippe Fuchs run 8,500 km while
From the official website:
Renowned French Marathon Runner Philippe Fuchs Arrives in Beijing after Running for 161 Days and 8,500 Kilometers Read the news.

A video on the site explains in detail. Quite simply, Fuchs is also a professor and virtual reality researcher. The purpose of the run was to record data on the mechanics of the foot to help build a better virtual model.

A great way to use VR, and a great look at where VR has come in the world.

The great part about it was you could follow Fuchs on Facebook and take part as a virtual runner. Wish I had heard about this earlier! Congratulations to Philippe Fuchs and his run to Beijing! Not to mention his work in virtual reality.

This image was created from the Facebook application. Do a search for vplusr and you should be able to find it.

The software will allow you to upload a front and profile picture of yourself, or take fresh pictures with a webcam that you have connected. I'm very impressed with what it was able to stitch together given the quality of my webcam, and the distractions in the background behind me.

The application is fun in itself as well.

3D Stereoscopic Movie with James Cameron: Avatar

The new school year is keeping my busy, but here is a quick set of interesting links re: 3D movies and video eyewear.

Here's a great little article about an upcoming 3D movie by James
Cameron. I'll try and find some other information about it and post it
when I can but until then, enjoy this article about James Cameron's 3D film Avatar.

And if you are interested in wearable computing, check out what I hope will be my next purchase: a refurbished MyVu Solo Plus.

Update: Dino sends in this link on a different brands of video eyewear. Better variety, higher prices but interesting. Also allows you to buy bulk at wholesale!

These items would be great for a garage virtual reality system.

Now I'm going to try and draw a Red-Green stereoscopic cube on my whiteboard :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

3D collection of proteins and other molecules

A friend just directed me to this link discussing the usefulness of Proteopedia, a Wiki that collects interactive, 3D models of molecules, proteins.

This picture, by the way, is taken from the JMOL site, which is the interactive, 3D molecular visualizer used on Proteopedia... and OpenSource! Ooo... I'm getting ideas... yay!

We got on this discussion because we were discussing the creation of our own 3D viewing system (possibly using shutter glasses, that sort of thing).

Hmm, I'll have to get a picture of me in my VR helmet and post it on here. Garage VR was a favourite topic of mine back in the 90's and maybe I can dust of some old ideas and post them here. What was old is new again as they say!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Create 3d graphics with DAZ3D

I just got back from vacation so hopefully some of the wonders of Ireland will rub off on me and I can begin creating some Celtic-inspired work. The Book of Kells has been a big thing for me and I am about to check it out on CD-ROM so I can't wait to get started!

But what is REALLY great is that DAZ3D and the ArtZone Community have just made it even easier to work with 3D graphics. DAZStudio is a great product, and by joining the ArtZone community you'll get to read about amazing artists and get great tips and free 3d models. Sign up for the DAZ emails because every now and then some of items that are on sale are given away for free. And we're not going to complain about free models and textures are we?

When you get to the download page at , scroll halfway down to the links. The two bundle advertised at the top of the page are not required, you can find free models very quickly. Besides, DAZStudio comes bundled with a lot of free models to start with!

I'll get around to posting some of the images I've created with DAZ over the years and post them here. I'm by no means an expert, but I can help you get started in working with this great program.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Review: Google SketchUp

Google’s SketchUp is a great program to get you started with creating your own 3d virtual objects, buildings and worlds.

For months I had wanted to check out Google’s SketchUp application but never got around to it. I’ve been in love with 3d graphics for years but never spend enough time on it for my liking. With things at work getting a bit quieter for the summer, I found time to download and install the SketchUp Viewer and the free tool itself, but just had time to work on it today.

I was amazed! Even though the program runs a bit slow on my computer (due to either the problems I’ve had with Windows recently or the fact that I have a crappy video card) I was very impressed with what can be accomplished with only learning 2 design tools and 3 navigation tools!

When you start up SketchUp, you are provided with the “tips” screen, which they call the Learning Center. The first tip has a link to a model, so you should click on that link and it opens a “model” that has been designed as a multi-tabbed tutorial. Each tab of the tutorial has some information on how to use a given tool and you can actually use each tool from within the tutorial. In 15 tabs it shows you how to create a relatively complex object or building with only 2 creation tools.
The 3 navigation tools it introduces are the Orbit, Pan, and Zoom tools:

And the 2 design/create/edit tools are Square and Pull-Up:

The “pull-up” style of building a box from a flat plane is nothing new, as it is a common tool used in 3D graphics modeling packages such as Maya and Wings3D and others, but I’ve never quite had it explained so clearly and concisely before.

Google SketchUp offers a clean interface, helpful tutorials (which I will definitely check out) and an interesting Model Warehouse feature which will keep you busy for well…months! I’ll definitely be trying out some more of the program to see what can be created. At the end of the tutorial, I was able to create quite a complicated object considering it started with only 1 square shape. Click on the image to view a slightly bigger version:

Write a comment and let me know what you think about Google SketchUp and what other tutorials you’d want to see on the program, or any other tutorials you’d like to see. I’ll do what I can!