CGI ANIMATION with PARTICLES in Blender

CGI ANIMATION with PARTICLES in Blender

Looking for game assets? What about a low poly underwater scene with realistic water bubbles?

To make this particular scene, I’ve used blender Cycles 2.79b. If you want to know the technical details, please have a look at my artstation page.

Watch the result here:

Advertisements

MAKING MUSIC VIDEOS with BLENDER

MAKING MUSIC VIDEOS with BLENDER

 

Many people make digital music but how do you present it?

It’s obvious that if you are a good and entertaining musician you just need to film yourself, however there are tons of creative music producers out there who don’t really know how to present their work!

Unless you are Martin Garrix, it gets pretty boring watching someone producing music with a digital synthesizer so, my idea is, let’s do it digitally. How? By using one of the best CGI program available and guess what? It’s open source! You can get it here!

I started a couple of years ago playing around with Blender just for fun but be aware that the learning process takes a very long time if you, like me, have never had any experience with CGI. Luckily, there are plenty of tutorials available on You Tube and a huge community of Blender users willing to share their expertise on Blender Stack Exchange.

Have a look at my latest creation, though far from perfect for the expert, I think it’s pretty funny and I had a lot of fun making it.

How to use Windows Vst Instruments and Plugins in Linux.

How to use Windows Vst Instruments and Plugins in Linux.

Make fantastic music with Linux Mint!

There are a lot of musicians out there who, like me, cannot afford to buy all the expensive gears necessary to produce music. Well, thanks to the Open Source Community, today anyone can start making beautiful music without having to spend any money upfront. However, once you do start making money, please don’t forget to donate to the open source software developers who allow us to make our dreams come true!

The following is a tutorial for installing Windows vst instruments and plugins in Linux Mint but you can follow the same steps for Ubuntu and other compatible systems.

What you need:

  •   Latest version of Wine Stable
  •   Latest version of LMMS . The latest version is still in Beta so if you don’t feel comfortble with that, follow this guide for installing Vestige in the stable version of LMMS.
  • A link to some of the tons of free Vsts available (e.g.: VST 4 FREE)
  • Follow the step by step guide in the video tutorial below.

 

Leave a comment below if you have any other tips related to this topic, or if you have any issues. Most Vsts work perfectly fine however a few may not work, in that case the only thing you can do is download a similar vst made by a different company.

Sponsor Me Like my articles? Buy me a coffee?

HOW TO SET VOLUME CONTROL KEYS IN LUBUNTU 18.04.1

HOW TO SET VOLUME CONTROL KEYS IN LUBUNTU 18.04.1

I’ve recently installed Lubuntu on an Intel Atom Bay Trail machine (Lubuntu on Lenovo Ideapad 100s 11IBY)

The installation performed was minimal because the Ideapad has a very limited HDD (64GB). Everything works perfectly fine, to be honest the performance has increased tenfold compared to Windows 10 however, some keyboard keys are not working as expected.

If your volume control keys are not working, here is how to quickly fix them (this system works for Ubuntu as well):

 1. Select Menu/Preferences/Setup Hot Keys: lxhotkey opens.

2. There are two tabs: Action and Programs. Select Programs.

3.  In Hotkey 1 column find the following:

  XF86AudioMute

mute.png

4.  Double click on XF86AudioMute, a little window will pop up.

5. Make sure the Hotkey is set to XF86AudioMute

input in the command line: amixer -D pulse set Master 3+ toggle

6. Click on the Check symbol to confirm your changes.

Volumedown.png

7. Repeat the same actions for XF86AudioLowerVolume

input in the command line: amixer -D pulse sset Master 3%-

8. Click on the Check symbol to confirm your changes.

Volumeup.png

9. Repeat the same actions for XF86AudioRaiseVolume

input in the command line: amixer -D pulse sset Master 3%+

10. Click on the Check symbol to confirm your changes.

11. On the left panel, save your changes by clicking on the folder below Edit:

Savechanges.png

That’s it! You are done, however be aware that even if now the volume control keys work perfectly, there is no graphic interface connected to them so you won’t be able to see the volume going up and down but you will be able to hear it!

The more I learn about Lubuntu and open source software, the more I will share on this blog.Check the computer technology section in this blog category to find out more interesting articles about Lubuntu, Linux Mint and open source software.

If you are interested, follow me!

BMC logo

Do you like my articles? Buy me a coffee here!

 

HOW TO INSTALL (L)UBUNTU ON A LENOVO IDEAPAD 100S 11IBY

HOW TO INSTALL (L)UBUNTU ON A LENOVO IDEAPAD 100S 11IBY

TESTING RESULTS

I’ve tried the following 64 bit operating systems on this machine: Fedora 28 and 11, Linux Mint Cinnammon 18, Tara XFCE 19, Zorin 12.4, Ubuntu 18.4 and finally Lubuntu 18.04.1 Desktop.
Most of them crashes after a while though they all do work pretty well and by that I mean that the system is able to recognize the internet connection (wifi or cable) the graphic card, the battery, and the buttons for making the display brighter or darker do work. However, the laptop freezes after a while so I found Lubuntu the most stable OS for Lenovo Ideapad 100s; it is very light weight and quite intuitive but not as easy as Linux Mint because it requires the use of the terminal for most operations. Apart from Fedora, none of the other systems can be booted directly on the Ideapad which requires a 32 bit Efi with a 64 bit OS. Later, I’m going to show you how to make it work by deleting and adding some files.

BAY TRAIL – INTEL ATOM NIGTHMARE

Lenvo Ideapad 100s belongs to the bay trail series with Intel Atom processor and HDMI driver audio which is not supported by ANY of the operating systems above mentioned. It took me months of research to find out what that meant and how to fix it and luckily, a very kind gentleman in Linux Mint Forums pointed me to the right direction. Unfortunately, I must say that the same kindness and understanding are almost impossible to find in websites such as AskUbuntu.com and Unix & Linux Stack Exchange where they easily dismiss your questions as off topic or downgrade your questions without any plausible explanations. I admit that as a noob in the process of learning I make mistakes or I might even say something inappropriate but their approach has nothing to do with the spirit of COLLABORATIVE HELP which their sites claim to offer and, in addition to that, the exact same people are in “charge” of both websites so if they don’t know the answer they don’t allow others to reply for fear of loosing their precious points thus their position of superiority! Am I pissed? Yes, I am: there shouldn’t be any hierarchical system in a so called collaborative environment: they are driving away a lot of people from the open source community because of their arrogance.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • A bootia32.efi (This file is necessary to boot from USB) you can download it here: bootia32.efi download
  • Lubuntu 18.04.1 Desktop (64 bit) ISO . Download the ISO from the official site and make sure to get the right version https://lubuntu.me/downloads/
  • An external keyboard. Unfortunately this happens with Windows as well because the drivers are not recognizable instantly by any system! (I bought my external keyboard  for 7 dollars here in Cambodia)
  • An external mouse. Same reason as above. Some people say that you can use the tab on the keyboard but believe me a cheap mouse makes your life much easier.
  • Ideally, another machine with Linux Mint or Ubuntu installed but if you only have Windows available, you need 2 USB flash drives. Windows users click here
  • A fat 32 formatted USB flash drive (at least 3 GB)

After the installation you will be able to remove your external keyboard and mouse and use your Ideapad as usual. To be honest, the new OS fixes the problem with the keyboard missing keys or lagging response. It was all caused by Windows 10.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LINUX OR UBUNTU :

  1. Download isorespin.sh which you can find here: LINUXIUM (http://linuxiumcomau.blogspot.com/2017/06/customizing-ubuntu-isos-documentation.html). Make sure isorespin is downloaded in the Downloads folder.

2. Open the terminal CTRL ALT T and input the following (substitute YOUR USERNAME with your own which is before @. For example mine is mh@mh so I only use mh :

sudo su

cd /home/YOUR USERNAME/Downloads

mv isorespin.sh /usr/local/bin

Close the terminal.

3. Now we need to make isorespin.sh executable. Open the following path by clicking on the Green or Blue folder at the bottom left of the screen:

/usr/local/bin

You will see that isorespin.sh is there.

4. Right mouse click on isorespin.sh and select Properties then Permissions. Change Execute (Nobody) to (Anyone)then click OK.

5. Install the necessary packages by copying and pasting the following in the terminal (one line at the time). Make sure you are connected to the internet first:

sudo apt -y install p7zip-full bc curl klibc-utils iproute2 genisoimage dosfstools

sudo apt -y install squashfs-tools rsync unzip wget findutils xorriso

6. Now let’s run isorespin.sh with a graphic interface. Type in the terminal (or copy and paste):

cd /usr/local/bin

sudo su

At this stage we need another package to be able to run isorespin.sh properly.

sudo apt-get install zenity

Always say Yes during installation when they ask you if you want to continue.

7. Now, type in the terminal:

isorespin.sh

A beautiful graphic interface opens. ISO should already be selected by default. Select the next one as well (Add frequently used options for Intel Atom ….).

8. Click Continue and navigate to the Lubuntu ISO (lubuntu-18.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso) you downloaded previously (it should be in the Downloads folder). Select it and click OK.

9. Confirm “Add frequently used options for an Intel Atom ….”. Click OK.

10. Confirm the ISO image (lubuntu-18.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso-atom)

11. Make sure you are connected to the Internet to proceed downloading files.

12. Allow sometime for the ISO to be respinned.

13. At the end of the process, you should have linuxium-atom-lubuntu-18.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso

14. If you are using Linux Mint, open the software manager and install Unetbootin.

15. If you are using Ubuntu you can add the PPA directly from terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gezakovacs/ppa

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install unetbootin

16. Insert a formatted USB flash driver (fat 32 is best)

17. Open Unetbootin.

Leave the upper part blank and proceed to the bottom where you have Diskimage ISO.
Navigate to the location of linuxium-atom-lubuntu-18.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso and select it.
Ignore Space used to preserve files across reboots (Ubuntu only). Leave it set to 0 MB
Type USB Drive, Drive (!!! Check your USB location with Disks to avoid damaging the Hard Disk). normally it’s /dev/sda1
Click OK
This process will take some time so just relax and have a cup of tea!

Unetbootin

18. The last step is to replace the bootia32 efi.

Open your USB flash drive which contains the respin ISO (linuxium)

Open the folder EFI

Open the folder BOOT

If bootia32.efi is already there then don’t do anything, otherwise add it by dragging it on the window.

Now you are ready to boot.

19. Make sure Lenovo Idepad 100s is off and insert the bootable flash drive we have just created.

20. Start Ideapad from the bios (the little button on the top left of the keyboard on the right of the battery recharger led.

21. Select Boot from USB and select the USB flash drive we have just created.

22. You will see a list of options on the screen, the first one is to just try a live version of Lubuntu then you can decide whether you want to install it or not. The second is to install Lubuntu and because Idepadad has a very small HD (64GB), it’s recommended to erase your previous system – This means that if you still have Windows, it’s time to say goodbye for good but if you change your mind and for whatever reason want to betray humanity then you can read my article about how to make a bootable USB flash drive for Windows .

Lubuntu_1

23. Fill in the usual information (location, username, etc..) and allow sometime for the laptop to install the files and download the updates.

24. After the installation is complete, choose to reboot the computer.

25. After rebooting you will notice that the keyboard and the mouse are not working. Don’t panic! Connect the external keyboard and the mouse.

26. On the bottom left of the screen select Preferences and Software Updater (make sure you are connected to the internet). Install all the updates available.

27. When you are done, shut down the computer.

20. Disconnect both the keyboard the the external mouse.

21. Turn on Ideapad normally.

22. Your keyboard and mouse are now working perfectly.

23. Now, let’s configure the sound: click on the speaker symbol on the bottom right (Volume Control) and select Sound Settings. Start from the farthest option right and proceed left:

Configuration:
Card Name
Profile: Digital Stereo (HDMI) Output
Built-in-Audio
Play HiFI quality Music

Input Device
(change the Show option to All Input Devices)
Monitor of Atom Processor
Built-in Audio Internal IN3 Mic capt
Port: Headset Mic Capture
Show All Input Devices

Output Device
Built-in Audio MonoSpeaker playback
Port: Speaker playback
Atom Processor Z36xxx..
Port: HDMI/DisplayPort
Show All Output Devices

Recording

is blank because you need a specific app to make it work but it does work, I tested it with Audacity.

Playback
System Sounds
AudioIPC Server (this depends on what programs you are using because it gets automatically detected)
Show Applications.

If you want to use your headphones, unfortunately it doesn’t happen automatically when you plug in the jack!

but it’s very easy too switch:

Volume Control
Output Devices
Change the first port from Speaker playback to Headphones playback.

Et voila’, you are ready to go!

>

WINDOWS USERS ONLY:

a. Download bootia32.efi : http://www.mediafire.com/file/f898yklljkf6utg/bootia32.efi/file

b. Download ubuntu 18.04.1 Desktop (64 bit) ISO : https://lubuntu.me/downloads/

c. Download UNetbootin for Windows (select 32 or 64 according to your system). If you are using Lenovo Ideapad 100s is 32 bit. https://unetbootin.github.io/)

d. Open UnetBootin, follow the instruction above (see point 17 above then come back here)

e. Once done:

– open the USB flash drive folder,
– open the folder EFI/BOOT/
– delete everything inside it and copy and paste bootia32.efi into it.

f. In another USB flashdrive, copy both bootia 32.efi and lubuntu-18.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso

g. Now follow point from 19 to 21.

h. Start again from point 1 to create a bootable Linuxium ISO (I know it’s tedius but there is no alternative)

CONCLUSION:

Your laptop will work like a charm after this, however, the volume control keys in F1 F2 and F3 need some adjusting, please find the article here (it will take you 2 minutes!).

If you have installed the minimal version of Lubuntu, I suggest you to download gnome-software which makes your life much easier to download and remove software. Info here (Gnome-Software).

TOGETHER WE ARE INVINCIBLE!

 

BMC logoDo you like my articles? Buy me a coffee here!

MAZE 2: THE BROKEN TOWER

MAZE 2: THE BROKEN TOWER

A game review from a woman’s point of view (5/5).

DEVELOPER :

MAD HEAD GAMES


STORYLINE (5+/5):

The story is incredibly intriguing, everything starts with you having to help destroy what looks like an almost brand new skyscraper. It won’t be long before everything turns into a very nightmarish experience. Some scenes are a bit gory and the atmosphere is really scary. Torture of humans is implied by the story but you won’t be exposed to any of that. The plot is excellent and original and you never know who to trust until the very end. For the lovers of horror and sci-fi this is a must have. If you buy the Collector Edition, you get an incredibly bonus story which explains what had happened in the past: I truly loved it.

CUTSCENES (5+/5):

Cutscenes are incredibly good as usual. Plenty of animation during game play which makes the experience even more immersive than ever.

VOICE OVERS (5/5):

Excellent job. Every character is very believable in the way they express themselves, particularly when the scene is highly emotional. well done!

MUSIC (5/5):

I rekognize Milos Nikolic’s music. The music is particularly important when the game reaches momentum in clue scenes. Definitely horror music with some touches of relaxing tones.

SFX (Sound Effects) (5/5):

Very good and impressive. On one hand you have the visual which is vitally important for example when massive doors opens; the sound of very heavy stones being dragged apart is fundamental to create the illusion of being there.

ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS (5/5):

Excellent work here. The eerie scenes are particularly scary with blood spattered all over the place.

MINI GAMES (3/5):

I must admit that I was a bit disappointed by the minigames in this game. Normally, minigames are very well explained and the tasks easy to accomplish but in this game, I found a couple of games whose explanation was impossible to understand and in one game I just didn’t know how to make it work and the image reported in the GUIDE  solution was completely different to what was expected to do adn the solution given didn’t work. In the end I had to skip the puzzle – which I never do!

HIDDEN OBJECT (5/5):

Quite a few interesting narrated searching scenes – which in my view are the best! Then you get a few shaped searching objects and only occasionally the traditional list of objects to be found. There is also the Mad Head Games typical symbol searching which is challenging but fun.

PLAYABILITY (4/5):

The interface is very easy to use and you get a nice pair of goggles which allow you to see in the darknes. the idea is very good. Then you have the usual journal with your objectives and list of clues. The Hint button works perfectly and if you get stuck it will save you but if you do use it you will spoil the game. I didn’t use the tutorial but, as I said above, I had to consult the GUIDE a couple of times for some minigames whose explanation was not very clear and I found an error in the GUIDE which brings the vote for this section down to 4.

All in all, this is a really fantastic game to play, you will never get bored because there is very high tension in almost every single scene. I strongly reccomend horror and sci-fi lovers to get it!


Learn more about the criteria used for the review here:

What Makes a HOPA game great

BMC logoDo you like my articles? Buy me a coffee here!

Shadowplay: Darkness Incarnate

Shadowplay: Darkness Incarnate

A game review from a woman’s point of view (5+/5).

DEVELOPER :

MAD HEAD GAMES


STORYLINE (5+/5):

Mad Head Games are so good that it’s very difficult for me to play anything else these days. Here we have an intriguing paranormal horror story which will keep you literally nailed to the chair for the entire time. If you buy the Collector Edition, you also get a bonus story which is really interesting because it goes back into the past to understand the origin of what has happened. The story is very well developed and entertaining. A masterpiece in its genre. Despite being a horror, there is no violence involved nor gory scenes so if you are very sensitive or a minor, you can play it without problems.

CUTSCENES (5+/5):

The Mad Head Games logo is silent in this version and then when you think, “Oh, there must be something wrong with the audio”, the first breathtaking cutscene starts. It’s just like watching a movie but mind you, great artists are at work here, it’s not a cheap photoshopped job. As the game progress, you will see that the animation in game play is also excellent. Definitely a masterpiece!

VOICE OVERS (5/5):

I’ve been playing a few Mad Head Games now so I can even recognize some of the character’s voices. Excellent job! The shout in the opening cutscene is extremely believable: it gave me the chills. The entire team is made up of highly professional people.

MUSIC (5+/5):

Milos Nikolic is behind the magic of Mad Head Games music. I have to admit that his music alone makes up for a huge percentage of the game quality. His music may as well be used for horror or sci-fi movies. The quality is incredibly high!

SFX (Sound Effects) (5/5):

As you can expect from the high quality, the SFX are also appropriate for the game.

ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS (5+/5):

Each scene is a great work of art for different reasons. One of the reason is the impression of being in a tridimensional world where you can do actions near you and far away. The depth of such drawings is truly impressive. There is also a special feature with narrated hidden object scenes where you have rather raw drawings, yet packed with beautiful symbols and details. In the collector Edition you get to download Wallpapers and you can see the concept art as well as the final rendering. Fantastic for artists!

MINI GAMES (5/5):

Quite a few interesting minigames in the Mad Head Games tradition. Sometimes, minigames and hidden object scenes get blended together and the result is excellent. I particularly liked fighting with the shadow where, if you make a mistake, you get smacked in the face and the effect is so realistic that I caught myself a few times trying to avoid the blow by physically swinging left and right..

HIDDEN OBJECT (5/5):

As I said above, there are a few hidden objects scenes which have been blended with minigames so they are quite entertaining and fun. You still get some traditional ho as well but luckily they are not too overwhelming; the objects are easy to see and very well represented.

PLAYABILITY (5/5):

If you are an HOPA enthusiast, you don’t need any explanation here, however for newbies, I would suggest to play with the tutorial so that you get used to Mad Head Games style which is quite unique. For the most experienced, I would suggest to turn off all the sparkling areas, keep the tutorial only for special features, I personally also keep the hint button selected when I really can’t find something in a hidden object scene or when I get stuck (it happens sometimes). The most important thing for me is to NOT TO SKIP MINIGAMES, they are so cleverly done and a fundamental part of the game that it would be a complete waste not to play them.  If you are into paranormal horror story, this game is a must play.


Learn more about the criteria used for the review here:

What Makes a HOPA game great

 

BMC logoDo you like my articles? Buy me a coffee here!