Command & Conquer Inspired Tesla Tower

Command & Conquer Inspired Tesla Tower Prototype

Command & Conquer Inspired Tesla Tower

Created in Blender & Textured in Quixel

Today I would like to share what I have created using Blender3D and the Quixel texturing suite. Using just default materials from the Quixel suite, and lots of modelling in Blender I created what I envision was an early Tesla Tower prototype in the C&C or Command & Conquer universe. I hope you like it, and always please comment if you like it. It might not be perfect, but I am always trying to improve.

My trade is computer networking so doing 3D is not my primary job. With that said if your very impressed with my work and want to commission me I must decline in advance as far as the date of this post is concerned.

C&C Inspired Tesla Tower
by David Prentice
on Sketchfab

Going a little further into how I developed this object I’ll show you the low and the high poly from Blender3D.

Here is the low poly:

lowpoly

Here is the high poly:

highpoly

The reason its colored all crazy is because I created a color ID map that I baked out for use with the Quixel software in order to apply the materials properly. This is best done in Blender3D using the Blender Internal render engine rather than cycles due to the simplistic nature of the Blender Render, and since your only using the internal to create 3 maps (normal, ao, and id) you don’t need what cycles offers :).

Space Marine Tools

Space Marine Tools

These files were very hard to find considering they were all originally hosted on Rapidshare, but they are long but gone. So today is your lucky day I have the tools here to download.

If you’re not sure what these tools included are well. They allow you to extract models and textures from the Warhammer 40k Space Marine game. Includes the 3DS Max script for importing. Readme files are included.

These tools are the same tools as seen from this link.

Download Space Marine Tools


Santos Tools 2

Santos Tools 2 V0.6.0.0

I had trouble finding this so I made a mirror here on my site.

“Santos Tools 2 is a collection of tools for Dawn of War 2. It’s main purpose is to allow editing existing models and to create new ones. Tools provide import and export scripts for 3D Studio MAX, as well as separate application called Model Editor for editing models and their accompanying files.”

Download Santos Tools


Switching to Blender 3D

Switching to Blender 3D

Blender Logo

So it is no surprise that you might of heard of Blender 3D from a long time ago. Well if your like me you tried it a few years ago and realized the interface, and everything about it was difficult or un-orthodoxe. All that actually changed in about 2012-2013.

I’m am not 100% sure that my time estimation is correct but several years ago development on Blender 3D was ramped up. Many things changed the UI, the tools, a new render engine, everything is, and has improved.

Now if you use Blender 3D you are greeted with a much less intimidating interface. Using it now I don’t think I’ll ever honestly be able to look at Cinema4D the same again.

Everything from 3D modelling, texturing, and UV Unwrapping is in fact easier than it ever was in Cinema4D. Thinking back I can’t really think of anything Cinema4D did better besides have a simpler interface, and smaller learning curve than Maya/Max.  Other than that simple fact I probably will have little use for the software now.

If you look up historical posts related to Blender3D you will find that many people say the program is hard to use, and has a steep learning curve which way back when it did. Now not so much.

Now its more about learning the hot keys to increase your efficiency with the program as every command can be selected from a menu or searched using the search command. If you want speed though you will know the hotkeys which are pretty intuitive.

To open search you press Spacebar. Simple enough how about save? CTRL + S just as you expected. How about extrude? – You press E. How about extruding along several face normals? You press ALT + E like “Alternative Extrude”. Also often times the hotkeys will display if you highlight the commands. The best way to learn the hotkeys in my experience though as been through watching tutorials.

You won’t LEARN the hotkeys by just watching tutorials forever eventually you need to pause the video, and practise those commands, and they will stick to your memory. In Cinema4D I don’t think I can tell you a single command I remember.

TL;DR: I decided to give Blender 3D another look to see if it changed, and it did. I decided to give up Cinema4D and become a dedicated Blender user.

Note: I don’t do 3D work for a living.

Don’t buy an HDMI cable in a physical store

Don’t buy an HDMI cable in a physical store

HDMI Cable

You have probably wondered before if that $12.99 eight foot HDMI cable your looking at in the store is worth it. Well guess what almost certainly without a doubt it is not. With the advent of the internet it is really easy to find HDMI cables for almost nothing.

Take for example this 50 Foot HDMI Cable that I bought recently that sold for $23.99. A 50 foot cable in a physical store like Walmart usually will run you well over $50+.

Yes the company you buy your cable from does matter when buying online. Generally in stores like Walmart they stock brands that don’t suck so you don’t have to worry but that is no reason for you to pay for your ignorance.

If price is not a big deal for you than think about this!

  • Ethernet over HDMI (Good luck finding this in Walmart)
  • HDMI 1.4 (In my experience the only way I can tell if a cable can do 1.4 is via an item description online not an in store box).
  • Generally anything over 50 feet is not sold in store (From experience).

With the advent of Ethernet over HDMI this means way less clutter. So if you want an advanced cable you will WANT to buy it online. Amazon pretty much is the go to website for things like this. Especially if you’re an Amazon Prime member you will want to take advantage of the 2 day shipping.

If you are still having doubts about buying cables online versus in store than go out, go to the store whichever it may be, and look at the cables prices. Compare those prices to the ones online and be amazed as you realize the prices online even with shipping cost beat the store prices.

We hope you enjoyed this MD5Live.COM article!

Should I use a VPN to download torrents?

Should I use a VPN to download torrents?

vpn
Random image I found on Google Image search, but it explains what a VPN is very clearly.

 

VPN software is all over the internet, but so are the threats, and the answer to the main question in short is YES you should use a VPN.

A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and pretty much what their designed for is privacy, and security. If your wanting to download something that the government or another agency might not like you downloading you can use a VPN.

The way VPN works is simple. You usually download a software from a 3rd Party or use Windows built in connection tools. You login using your credentials and bam your VPN is set-up. Now your internet connection is ROUTED through the server your connected to. So all of your actions are personally hidden through what you are connected to.

This is useful for many reasons, but the main is privacy and security. Most people simple just feel like big brother is always watching them. Well he might, but who is always watching you is your ISP which in 9/10 cases in the United States will probably be Comcast (Come on Google Fiber!).

Yes if your downloading stuff you should not and Comcast catches you or your ISP than they will likely send you a warning. If you continue they will shut you down. Generally cases of online theft are not taken to court unless a company wants to make a public example of them.

Though it was recently proven that you can not take someone to court, and prove them guilty based on an IP address alone.

So if you want to start using an VPN service now (which is smart) I can recommend one.

pia

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/

Yup those guys are the best in the game, and no one can or should try to tell you otherwise. They don’t log your traffic which is GOOD.

Anyway this concludes the article about VPN’s  I hope you enjoyed it and as always link back to us at http://www.prenticenetwork.com/

Software for generating normal maps

Software for generating normal maps

software

There are lots of software for generating normal maps, and various other maps needed or wanted so that you can apply them to your models and achieve better visual results.

The problem is that some work better than others, and some cost money while others are free.

Today I’ll be going over a list of a few different software packages I’ve found that seem to be popular, and work well for the intended purposes.

xNormal

This is a free software package that you can use to create normal maps. It is regularly updated, and is used by lots of professionals.

nCombine

This is a neat piece of free software that you can use to combine normal maps. I could see this being very handy.

Nvidia Normal Map Creator

I’ve used this tool before and it seems pretty good. I’ve never done anything extensive with it though. It is free in any case.

ssBumpGenerator (Source Engine Only)

This is a free software for creating bump maps in the source engine. (Valve likes to think their special).

NormalMapOnline (Super Cool)

This is one of my favorites. This is a totally free online map generator. It can generate four different types of maps, but sadly it cannot generate maps from photos. The author says he is pretty busy and more donations would help him spend more time to work on it. Otherwise you got to use your own heightmap.

nJob

This site has some errors on it, but this is a free software suite for creating various maps.

MapZoneEditor

This is an older piece of software that was created by allegorithmic the guys behind Substance Designer/Painter. It is free software, and it really powerful so it might be worth a look. Note though it is old, and not really support much anymore.

SmartNormal (Online)

This is another online normal map generation tool. This one unlike the other lets you use photos, but as far as I can tell it JUST makes normal maps.

nDo (Not nDo2)

nDo is a powerful normal map creation script for Photoshop.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/269450/

Out of everything I’ve mentioned the one program I recommend. Which is also the one program I happened to pay for, and is not free, but is pretty cheap is MindTex. It is a very cheap successor (i’d say) to crazybump.

I hope you guys enjoyed my list, and I hope you helped at least one of you guys out. As always please link back to us at http://www.dengan.net/ It helps.

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