3D Water Tower Under Construction

watertowerA sneak peak at a water tower I have been working on for the past few hours. I am still in the modeling stage with it, so there is a lot more to be added such as the chains to the spout arm and some roof shingles, but so far it is starting to look rather good. I hope to be ready to UV unwrap it later tonight or tomorrow.

Sims Freeplay Timed Events End Early

I love the Sims, so I was happy to find that my cell phone can run Sims Freeplay. Unfortunately that joy was dampened when the event for the baby jumper seemed to end early and I could not get the cute jumper seat for my baby sims. It was disheartening. And I considered things for a while, then restarted my game. I really wanted that jumper.

Determined to get the jumper on a new play through I was working rather hard on the baby event that allows you to complete the event to get a baby jumper. Had two of the songs already, when I realized that the timed event for baby costumes had not started and only had five days left to it. Okay, I started that event and cringed when the jumper vanished. I would not have started the costume event had I known it would remove the jumper – but, I had already restarted my game once and I really did not want to restart it again, so I went onward hoping that when the event timed out it would go back to the jumper and I would be closer to completion on it. Or at least have a more musically inclined baby so I could get the songs faster if it reset the songs again.

The costume event ended a good three days before it should have, but the jumper was back so I was not that disappointed to not get the costumes. Better yet, the songs I had already collected were still in the challenge. I had by my calculation just under 4 days to finish the event (even though the game said it had 7 more days to go, I knew it had started 3 days before so I only counted on having 3 more days.) Instead I only had one day. The costume event ended yesterday (a few days early) and I should have had at least 3 days still on the jumper from when I had started it, but a few moments ago the jumper event ended a full three days early. It should have ended in just under 4 days from now.

This is annoying to say the least, when all I wanted was a basic little kid’s toy for my baby sims to play in and this is the second time that I have failed to get it after DAYS of setting alarms to make sure I would wake up every 3 and a half hours to restart the baby Sim playing the xylophone and even spent social points to finish tasks quicker so I could manage to get that little jumper for the baby Sims.

I’m though with Sims Freeplay. It is not worth the time I have put into the game. I will keep playing my Sims 2 and 3 on the computer, and eventually get Sims 4 when I can afford it, but I will no longer put any time into the Sims Freeplay game.

Blender 2.78

Blender 2.78 came out at the end of September and I have finally got the chance to download it. New features in this version include the ability to render images using Spherical Stereo to support VR, advances in the Grease Pencil to make it a full 2D animation tool for those working in 2D animations, Cloth Physics speed optimization and a new Dynamic Base Mesh, as well as many more features and improvements.

Blender Object Material Error – Fixed.

Working on my model for a space ship corridor I decided to add a lighting panel to the overhead storage compartments. I made the rough version and put the light material into the light bars, then hit render to get a look at how it worked.

As you can see, I forgot to assign the gray material to the main compartment, so it read the light material as intending to cover the entire light. Oops!

Lesson here – in addition to seam marking and unwrapping your model parts, you need to assign a material to each area.



Fixed! Blender Moves in Large Increments when Moving Things

I had a new issue crop up in Blender his morning, one that left me confused and restarting the program, then searching for a solution online. When I grabbed one of the faces on my model to make a small adjustment to where it was positioned the area moved a full Blender Unit rather than freely adjusting to where I desired.

The issue turned out to be that Transform Snapping had got turned on when I was working a bit faster than my fingers were coordinating their moves. When you tap Shift+Tab it turns on the Transform Snapping, the little magnet icon on the bottom middle of your editing screen. I turned that back off and everything adjusted how it was intended to again.

Learning how to use Cycles and Nodes in Blender

I’ve determined I need to learn how to use the Cycles and Nodes in Blender. To do this I am working on a spaceship corridor following the Blender Guru tutorial. After a few days of watching videos, poking about in the Nodes, and fussing with how Cycles renders things, I have created my first full render of the corridor in progress.

corridor-test-render-1I’ve made space station parts before, but this is the first time I am creating one made to be rendered using cycles. This is just the start, I’ll be changing this a lot and adding or removing things from it. Between the time I made this render last night and my writing of this today I have already completely changed the overhead lights.  You can see in the image below the new light style, which will change even more as I continue to work on this project. One point that needs tweaked is the brightness of the lights, the passage is too well lit to call for so many lights in it.


Canon MG2520 Printer Paper Jam FIXED

A couple of weeks ago I had a serious issue with my Canon printer. After a minor paper jam it refused to understand that it was no longer jammed. This was a serious issue for me, since I could not afford to replace the printer and it is an essential part of my work. I made do without the printer for the first week while I tried to trouble shoot the issue, uninstalled all of the printer programs and drivers and re-installed it all, followed all the advice I could find to fix the issue… now into the second week I am feeling the pain of not having my printer and needed it repaired.

A search online showed entry after entry on the Canon website that detailed the issue, each ending with the disheartening news that the solution had been to buy another printer (an HP).  I cannot afford to go buy a new printer, not to mention doing so actually requires I go out and see people in person, so I squared off against my printer one final time armed with the knowledge that it was not going to be fixable. It was already dead, nothing I did could harm it.

I unhooked it from the power and computer and took it to sit on my bed with me where I poked around with my flashlight, removed the little door from the top that flips up to hold the paper in place, poked paper down into the paper feed area with a sheet of paper to try to see what would happen. I reached into it to push on the paper feed bar, rocking it to make sure it could move freely then I flipped it all around and opened up the front door to access the ink area.

The first thing I did was move the ink back and forth and get a paintbrush to sweep around inside and make sure there was no critter hair or other debris jamming something. I then removed the ink cartridges and checked everything over again. As a last ditch effort I reached in and used my finger on the gear wheel to move the paper feed roller. I rolled it forward a half dozen or so times, then put the ink back and moved the ink back and forth, then rolled the paper roller bar again. Finally, with everything back in place, I hooked the printer back up

It made some dreadful noises and acted like it was going to cuss me out and reuse to work, and I thought for a moment it was not going to work – then I turned it off and back on and it settled into just a steady green light and not the blinking three blips paper jam it had been doing. Note both my ink lights were on, but that was expected since I am out of ink.

I went back to the computer and told the printer to skip the alignment part of installing. I skipped past anything that might need ink and the program loaded up and seemed to start okay. I asked the printer to scan a page and it groused that the program was not installed properly, I deemed that was likely due to my skipping the print head aligning and told it to continue anyway… and it did. It scanned the page perfectly for me.

I do not know yet if it will print, since I have no ink for it, but the scanner works and that was the most vital part for now.

So… if your Canon MG2500 series printer seems to be permanently paper jammed, don’t give up on it. Try to roll the paper advance bar under the ink carriage and see if that solves it.

I will update this information later when I can try printing, and hopefully with more specifics on this fix – including some pictures. For now – I have a backlog of work to get taken care of.

Building a Home Video Studio

I have decided that I need to get back into making videos, so I have began work on a home studio where I can record videos. My plan is to make tutorials on a variety of subjects including; scale modeling, painting, drawing and bookbinding. I am still in the process of getting everything working properly, but hopefully by next weekend I will have my first video made and ready to be uploaded to YouTube.

How to Successfully Scaling Multiple Objects Together in Blender 2.74

In working to fix my steampunk gun I tried to resize the gun. Unfortunately when I went to scale it up I encountered a serious issue. Each individual part of the gun scaled independently of one another and created sort of a exploded schematic effect if scaled down (a total mess if scaled up).


pivotpointI tried a few different fixes, including moving each pivot point to the center of the individual pieces. [in Object Mode press CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+C and select Origin To Center Mass from the pop-up menu.]

I finally found my issue in the pivot point menu. This is at the center of the workspace area in Object Mode. You want the Pivot Point to be set for Median Point in order for all of the objects to scale as a single object that will look the same after scaling as it had looked before scaling.

The original image was x=1.000, y= 0.465, z=1.000. In the below image I have scaled the gun up to x=4.750, y=2.208, z=4.750 Note the mesh grid in the center in these two images to see the difference in the gun’s sizes.


How to Fix Render Text Blur in Blender 2.74

I have had this serious problem in Blender  for the last couple of days. I made a steampunk style handgun and then set out to apply a texture map to it to make it look good. The trouble was, no matter what I did it looked terrible when I asked Blender to create a rendering of the image. I am a self teacher on a lot of things, poking around with what works and what does not until I hit a wall and have to look for help, so I tried multiple times to sort out where I had gone wrong before I hit the internet to find the solution.

There was no solution.

For two days I tried every variation I could think of on the keywords “blur text render”. My entire work day, and my free time, consisted of one search after another and watching videos on how to create textures in Blender. I found only a handful of information on the issue and tried it all.

  • increase the size of my texture image (from 1024×1024 to 2048×2048)
  • Quadruple checked that the ‘map input’ in the materials section was set to UV
  • Increased the sample size in Sampling > Samples> Render
  • Set the min/max bounces in Light Paths both to 8 rather than at 12/3
  • Used nodes to make my lighting less bright on the surfaces but still maintain overall brightness in the scene
  • Tried both Blender Render and Cycles on all of the above

And so many more…

I considered offering links to all of these, but I really did go through so many different fix efforts that this post would look like a link farm. So, rather than link to the things that did not work for me, and might not work for those reading this, I am going to tell you what worked for me and leave it to you to search on those other ideas if this one does not correct your problem.

So, the problem? Continue reading How to Fix Render Text Blur in Blender 2.74