Happy penguin loves to waffle and howl

This is issue #128 of the Dogwaffler of the Moment, a sporadic, artsy newsletter for and about users of Project Dogwaffle.

Glow, baby, Glow!

Hello again,

here is another update from the "Dogwaffler of the Moment", our sporadic newsletter about digital painting and animation as well as visual effects and exploring 3D creativity with Project Dogwaffle. If you want to catch up on recent or prior issues of our newsletters and announcements, start here:

This specific newsletter issue is here:

In this issue:

Tutorials: Alphamagic? Oh that nasty white glow around foliage pictures

You probably have done this before:

You drew a piece of foliage on a plain white background image, such as a bush or a tree, with the special particle brushes or foliage brushes, and you had the alpha mode enabled. Maybe you also added extra sharpening, or other filter effects to bring out even more details.

Then you picked up the selection into a custom brush, and disabled the particle brushes, pulled in another background image with darker tones, and started stamping the image from the brush or painting with it..... Oh no!? what's that nasty bright glow around the bush, that halo around the tree?

Or you saved the brush in 32-bit mode (Targa, Tiff, PNG) to use it on a billboard polygon in a 3D scene or game engine, and find that again -oh no! - there is a distinct bright glow showing around the bush or tree. What's up with that? How can it be avoided?

Let's discuss that 'glow' issue
It can often be reduced or eliminated.

Not so easily with animated brushes though. But still, though it is tedious. If you work it frame by frame.

So let's focus on a single frame first.

What's that glow, where is it coming from? How can we fix it?

Read all about it here:  http://www.thebest3d.com/alphamagic

are a few new videos and tutorials in our YouTube channel:  http://www.youtube.com/pdhowler

We also have a playlist with focus on the alpha channel.

Freebies: Updated Worley Noise plugin


We have updated the Worley Noise plugin. For some users, a display issue had been reported. Not sure if it fixed it for all, but if you have been having trouble seeing all text and elements in the interface of the Worley Noise plugin, please grab this updated version, and let us know if it's better now.


Here's something you can create with Worley Noise: a texture, then make it seamless, then run it through the animated Tunnel filter, then add glow and other postwork, lensflares.

The light at the end of the Worley-tunnel:   https://youtu.be/ptaojNEvxrw

Game Dev:  More News and Techniques for Cityscapes

Start here to see the current state of the Cityscapes project:


It is still in its infancy. But we're enjoying and learning. We are gradually adding more buildings to the free collection of city blocks.  Grab collection #2 now.



3D: Professional Rendering of 3D Scenes with Unicorn Render

Every once in a while, we come across another, new rendering tool. Of course, we may already have learned and come to like other tools for 3D rendering, and some also take care of the modeling, and animation. One of our favorites is Carrara, and Lightwave.

Here's another one, but this one won't do the modeling - just focused on rendering. But it is made for those who are not expert at the high-end tools, but still want high-end results. Professional quality renderings, without a whole lot of a learning curve.

Ok, it actually does more than 'just' rendering: there's also scene assembly, importing many 3D objects from various 3D files, but also applying materials, and lighting, environment and background etc... and ultimately making it easy to create photo-realistic rendering. This is a tool made for professionals, targeting architectural renderings, and industrial designs. It also requires a high end PC, with a minimum of 16 GB or RAM, recommending 32 GB. Plus, it can run on GPU mode but you need a high end graphics card with at least 500 CUDA cores. Recommended: 1600-1800 cores. Side note: The high end solutions from Nvidia show around 3000 cores nowadays.

Most importantly, it is Physics based. You set lighting based on real physics descriptions. You pick HDRI environments. You select materials from real-world English descriptions. Like the materials found in your kitchen, suitable when getting ready to render a kitchen set. And the rendering is fabulous.

So, if you are a hobbyist with just 4-8 GB RAM on your PC and an average graphic card, this may not work for you. But if you do have a professional, high end workstation, this just may be of real interest to you.

We'll be taking a look at it ourselves. We might use the output from its render back in Dogwaffle for extra postwork. Or we might have created textures and backgrounds that will be used in rendering by Unicorn Render. And of course, terrains, landscapes.

Here is where you'll find some of our feedback:


We'll start exploring how to render a 3D scene that was exported from our 3D Designer in Project Dogwaffle. Perhaps you're also into architectural or industrial rendering?

Since version 9.6 you can indeed save the terrain mesh as OBJ file. It's potentially a very large file, so patience is occasionally a virtue here, but it works. Even on our 5-year old ASUS gamer laptop with just 16 GB of RAM and an old Nvidia GEForce GTX 560M (2 GB).... please tell me you have better now :-)

Here's a scene rendered in Unicorn Render, from a terrain that was based on an elevation map created in Dogwaffle, and saved through its 3D Designer as an OBJ file.

The Last Draw:  How to select straight-lined sharp-edged regions

Here's a quick tip:   When you make a selection, there are many ways to add a selection to the current selection mask.

You can paint on alpha. You can use rectangle selection with the SHIFT key. And numerous other techniques.

One technique that is often overlooked is what's possible with the Curve tool.

The Curve tool lets you create a complex curve with just a few clicks. That curve can be smoothed across your control points, and interpolated such as a Bezier or Spline curve. But it can also be left as a straight multi-segment line. Thus you can easily make a shape that can follow the background image with straight edge, even if it is not perfectly vertical or horizontal. For example, to follow the oblique, slanted roof of a house. The Curve tool also then lets you do several things with that curve: including to punch it into the alpha channel, and in fact either replace the selection mask altogether, or, instead, add to it, or even subtract from it.

(1) use the Curve tool. It's the 4th tool down from the top.

Below the menu bar, you'll see the first context bar. In the case of the Curve tool, there is even a second context bar. Use it to set the mode to straight line rather than smoothed interpolated curve. (7th icon from the left)

(2) Then place a few points alongg the desired polygon, and close the curve.

(3) then use the option to finish the task, filling the curve into the alpha channel. There will be an additional menu showing, use the 'Add' option.

And that's a wrap, for now.
Thanks for waffling and howling!  

the goddess of sadness, painted with Project Dogwaffle by nBT
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