Commonly Ignored Feature #16: Randomize Transform

Ever wanted to randomly position a bunch of objects? Of course you have, and like me, you probably resorted to using Proportional Edit’s random falloff. Such cavemen we are. Or maybe it’s just me.

Turns out, there’s a function just for this, and it’s been around for years.


What does it do? Yep, you guessed it! It randomizes the transforms!

When you click it, it may seem like it doesn’t do anything. This is simply because the default settings are all on 0, so you just need to press F6 to show all the options.

Commonly Ignored Feature #15: Depth picker


Ok, so this isn’t actually a “commonly ignored” feature as such because it was only added yesterday, but it’s the sort of feature that may be forgotten in future so I thought I’d give it some attention :)

Committed by Campbell (3d503ea):

UI: Eyedropper for view-depth

Currently this is mainly useful for picking camera DOF depth.

  • EKey over a distance field prompts you to pick a depth from the camera.
  • WKey (Specials menu) to pick from the 3D view (when the active camera’s selected).

Since it was only added yesterday, you’ll need to get a build off, or follow Gaia’s excellent build-it-yourself guide for windows (which I did the other day, it’s so easy). Or, you know, wait until 2.74 comes out.

What is it?

Just a little tool that lets you pick the distance for the camera depth of field :)

How do I use it?

There are two ways:

  1. Hover over the ‘Distance’ property of your camera, press E (just like you normally would to pick colours and values), and then click anywhere in the viewport to select the distance from that point to the camera as the DoF distance.
  2. While looking through the camera, open up the Specials menu with W, and choose “DOF Distance (Pick)”, then click in the viewport to pick that point’s distance.

If you click and drag (like I did in that gif), it’ll sample the average of all the points you moved your mouse over (not the last one!)

And Then There Was Cake (WIP)




Last weekend’s challenge on BA was themed Conciliate – which is basically the root word for reconcile – and means to stop someone being angry, or make them a friend.

I had something a bit more ambitious in mind, but I worked all day Saturday and Sunday and could only get this far. So, I’ll continue this later when I have some more time!

This is actually the second time I’ve modeled a Companion Cube… no idea what happened to the other one, but it probably had crap topology anyway :P I’ll upload this one (and the cake) to blendswap sometime soon.

Saturdoodle: Tower (2)


There’s an uncanny resemblance to my last Saturdoodle here… I seem to have a weakness for lonely medieval structures.

I found a random image on Saturday morning, which seems to be a 3d model for sale, and decided it could be fun to recreate. After a couple hours of modeling, the fun slowly wore off and once again I felt like I was actually working. I was however looking forward to texturing it, so I pushed on and eventually (after UV unwrapping it about 4 times) enjoyed the last part of the modeling and then stretched those old Cycles muscles I felt like I haven’t used for so long.


As you can see, the bricks are not modeled in, but in fact a displacement. Modeling them by hand would be painful, but it nearly came to that.

Instead, I created the displacement map by “modeling” each brick in 2D, tracing over a CGTextures image, and giving them a random value. A little tweaking to make sure it’s tileable, render that, blur it a bit, and you have yourself a displacement map for randomly jutting-out bricks.


Take this texture as CC-0 :) use it as you please – it goes with BrickOldRounded_0236 from CGTextures. After all, the tiny statue in the center of the front wall was sculpted by Ben Simonds and released as CC-0.

Crits and comments are welcome as always.

Hope you all had a nice relaxing weekend :)