Commonly Ignored Feature #17: Splash Screen Tips


You know that box that pops up every time you start Blender? The one with the pretty picture and a list of your recent blend files? That’s the splash screen.

There’s a little add-on hiding in the Testing section that shows a random tip at the bottom of the splash screen every time you start Blender. Campbell added it after a short discussion with the UI team earlier this year.

Quite simple, but quite nifty :)

Some of my favourite tips:

  • Press F5 over a sidebar or a header to flip it to the other side of the window.
  • Press E with the mouse cursor over an Object Selection Field to activate an Object Picker.
  • You can make objects appear and disappear by animating their Layer Relation. Edit: Not possible anymore?
  • Shift-Click any folder icon to open that folder within your Operating System.
  • Ctrl-C over tools & menu-items to copy the Python command.

Maybe you can think of some more tips we should include in this add-on? Just post them in the comments below and I’ll chat with Campbell sometime :) Here’s a list of the current ones.

Rolling Shutter Coming to Cycles

Sergey is working on another cool motion-blur-related(ish) feature: The rolling shutter effect, which you find in most photo and video cameras these days.

This is presumably to help with integrating renders with fast moving camera footage, but of course you can use it for whatever crazy purpose you desire ;)

It’s not in master just yet, but there’s a solid patch awaiting review:

This is an attempt to emulate real CMOS cameras which reads sensor by scanlines and hence different scanlines are sampled at a different moment in time, which causes so called rolling shutter effect. This effect will, for example, make vertical straight lines being curved when doing horizontal camera pan.

Sergey did a quick render test to demonstrate it a bit more clearly:

(with rolling shutter)

(with rolling shutter, a vertical pole is moving left to right)

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New Pixel Filter Type: Blackman-Harris

A new type of pixel filter called “Blackman-Harris” has been added to Cycles by Lukas Stockner to compliment the existing Gaussian and Box filters.

From the commit:

This commit adds the Blackman-Harris windows function as a pixel filter to Cycles. On some cases, such as wireframes or high-frequency textures, Blackman-Harris can give subtle but noticable improvements over the Gaussian window.

See also: The initial patch with some discussions.

What is a pixel filter you ask? As I understand it, it’s basically the function used to apply anti-aliasing in your render. Different filters use slightly different math and methods to calculate how each pixel appears relative to its neighboring pixels, which makes edges look smoother.

The difference between the three types is most noticable on thin details like wires:

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