Chapter 2: Blender! Beware the Yak!

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Chapter 2: Blender! Beware the Yak!

Post by neuronet on Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:50 am

So I just did all the Blender stuff in Chapter 2. I actually did way more than was in Chapter 2, because if you start to get into Blender you will find that it offers an almost unprecedented opportunity for yak shaving. Resist, my robot-building friends! The only point of using blender is to build a very simple cartoon picture of chefBot (see page 40 of the book).

Hence, don't go buying a Blender book, or doing twenty hours of Blender tutorials, or learning all the intricacies of the Blender-Python api. You just don't need it. What you do need? A mouse with a central scroll wheel/button, and Blender. Open Blender, put it in Scripting mode, put the code in the editor window, and run the code. That's pretty much all you need to do.

Hence, while it is a gorgeous beautiful program you can spend three years learning about, and make beautiful games with (after integrating with Unity)--don't. Keep your eyes on the goal: chefBot! If you have questions, there is a Blender Stack Exchange site that seems moderately active:
http://blender.stackexchange.com/


Here is all you need to quickly finish the Blender bits of the book:


  1. Make sure you have a real mouse with a center scroll wheel/button. Anything else will just suck. Just do it now you will not regret it.
  2. Do this free Blender Basics tutorial, it is about a half hour or so and will tell you all the very basics, like how to find your way around the complicated window and menu system, change your theme, etc: https://cgcookie.com/course/blender-basics/
  3. Do the work in the robotics book

A few caveats. The images in the book are very low-res images of full screen captures that are almost impossible to parse. The main thing is you need to switch from the default layout:


To the scripting layout:


Now you can enter python code in the editor window on the top left and run it by entering hotkey alt-p, or right-clicking in the editor window and selecting 'run script',  or using the 'Run Script' button in the editor's footer (a button which you might not see unless you expand your text editor window way to the right).

I found saving the blender/python script sort of confusing. You actually save the blender project something like chefBot.blend and it will automatically save the python script as part of the blender project. You might want to just use a text editor and save it there as a py file, and paste it into the blender text editor if you don't want to deal with that crap.

One thing I found very annoying in blender is if you are typing in the editor window and your mouse cursor drifts out of the window, you can no longer type. This is a "feature". There is no real fix, you have to work around it. I asked about it at stack exchange and got no good workaround other than making my editor window very large:
http://blender.stackexchange.com/questions/57740/how-to-type-in-script-editor-window-when-mouse-cursor-is-elsewhere


Last edited by neuronet on Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:05 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Chapter 2: Blender! Beware the Yak!

Post by neuronet on Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:03 am

Here is what we want. It is all we want. Don't get caught up in the beauty of Blender, eyes on the goal--this is it! Nothing mind-shattering, just basically nothing more than a little 3d robot icon with a cube for an eye and little cylinders for caster wheels:

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