It has taken a little longer for me to compile some resources I’ve found due to other commitments but here we are for August. I might add to this more over the next few days as I go through my notes
Matcaps are useful things to have and make (for NPR and nice looks without having to do UV mapping) so here are a few resources I’ve found.
Toon Shader MatCap Pack (free) by EJ Hassenfratz on Gumroad.
Tips for making MatCaps from Ammad Kaddoura on Artstation
Materials for ZBrush on BadKing
I’ve been revisiting Blender quite a bit lately for various projects I’m working on. there are some good basic guides on things like how to use PBR textures in Blender on a website called CG Bookcase.
Another useful website is Blender Nation.
I found a useful add-on called Height Baker by Kushiro on Gumroad.
ArmorPaint, 3D painting software has updated their website. I have to admit I did buy this a few years ago but I haven’t used it much. There is an interesting plugin that comes with it however for making custom materials so maybe I’ll revisit it at some point.
This was part of a procrastination about making 3D Celtic Knots I had a few weeks ago, but I found someone who is really into 3D knots and there is a software for creating them if anyone else is called KnotPlot.
I also found this online tool for creating 3D Celtic Knot designs.
Knotter is a free software for making Celtic Knots if you don’t want to hand draw them. The SVG output is useful for making 3D knots.
Blender has a free add-on that generates knotwork if you dig around in it long enough. There is this one but I don’t know if it works with newer versions of Blender or not.
I finally got around to learning about using layers with ZBrush. There is so much in this program I think it will keep me busy for years.
I learned about a software called PixelCNC a few years go but tried the demo recently. It looks pretty cool.
Unbound is a Voxel based 3d software and game development tool being developed. They recently had a few live streams showing how it was going.
Tiny Eye is a useful (and free) asset library add-on for Blender.
I found some very useful photo editing Macros by James Ritson for Affinity Photo. There are a good assortment of things here and some are free.
Inkscape had another update.
PD Howler 2022 is free to download. There have been a lot of developments for the 2024 version regarding the 3D geometry render feature.
Ramblings on AI
AI as a tool, not a replacement and definitely not anything that infringes the copyright of other artists (or myself I may add) is something I am in to if you have read my blog for long enough this is probably pretty apparent. I’m not against AI generators if they use ethical datasets that don’t infringe copyright (still waiting…) but still not really looking to use that side of it myself as I enjoy the act of drawing and painting and making 3D models far more and find it more rewarding on a personal level.
Yes I’ve played with Adobe Firefly in a few posts and I thought it could be a tool for mood boarding and idea generation. I’m concerned there are reports that people are generating images with Midjourney and other tools that infringe the rights of famous artists and then they are uploading those images to Adobe Stock which Firefly then uses though. I’ve seen that Adobe is responding to these reports by removing the images, hopefully they will figure out something to stop that. I did think the in-painting tool they are developing was rather cool and useful so I hope they do sort out any legal issues.
Tools that use AI that don’t infringe copyright and that are useful for boring, time consuming or repetitive tasks (or nigh on impossible tasks) is something I support however.
There is still such a thing as the practice of art for therapy, art is always something I’ve needed to do to keep sane and happy and I’ve met other people who do art for therapeutic reasons.
Anyway disclaimer and mild rant aside… I found a few useful tools on Itch.io that work offline and are intended as tools for graphics and video editing rather than outright image generation. They are not free except for the depth from camera demo, but are made by a Computer Engineer with a Master of Science degree in computer vision called Sebastian Montabone.
Depth and Normal Map from Image (I asked him if he could make this one, so I’ll be getting it to support him. It is a pretty basic version, there are ones called MiDas and ZoeDepth if you need something more, but this one works offline.)
I dabble in animation from time to time for fun. I saw that Corridor Crew made a new episode of their AI art Rock, Paper, Scissors Anime. This one is really interesting because they explained the making of it in a lot of detail and went into how they employed a freelance artist to help this time amongst other things to mitigate the ethical concerns of the first episode. I have to say I found it entertaining.
A useful tutorial about using Flowframes I found
There are some free tutorials for Auto Rigger Pro I need to try