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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What Blender/Indigo can do :D

[Note: I am not the creator of these pics]






One of my fascinations is Realistic 3D graphics. Most of my free time, I spend playing with 3Ds Max. Now since I -for 5 months now- moved to Linux, there is no 3Ds Max there -or at least I didn't try using it on wine windows emulator.

I've been trying to use the alternative there; Blender 3D modeler. It's interface is really different than 3Ds Max but I like it more. It is more natural there to reach the control you want. Anyway, since my fascination is not about 3D modeling itself, but realistic renders, I searched for alternative to realistic renderers to use with Blender.

With 3Ds Max, there was the bundled scan-line renderer, the radiosity renderer, and the mental-ray renderer. The latter are the most realistic of them all, and the former is the least. While surfing the amazing renders in the CGTalk-3D Choice Gallery forum, I ran into a scene rendered using another renderer; Nextlimit Maxwell renderer.

I was shocked of the degree of reality those renders had. I kept reading about Maxwell renderer until I found it was an unbiased renderer (I can't find a link to define it you right now, settle for that it is based on physics, physics and nothing else, it uses wavelengths instead of colors for instant! It also simulates a real camera, shutter, film, file ISO, and all those analog-photography parameters that I know nothing about). When I tried it out, it really produced some renders that I couldn't believe it was me who rendered them.

While I was searching for something related to Blender, I ran into Indigo. It does the same as Maxwell, it can run on Linux, and it has a script to convert blender files to its own format. Nothing more can encourage me to get to learn and use Blender.

My problem in producing realistic 3D images anyway is that I am no modeler. If I have models, appropriate textures (like 3DTotal Textures collection), the right renderer, (and maybe a great physics simulator) and enough time/PCs I'd produce the most realistic 3D graphics/animations you've ever seen.

Till then, here is a few renders I found on the internet rendered using Indigo. Enjoy the full collection here.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Beryl 0.2 RC1 + Vista theme :D

Notice the preview when hovering the window title in the taskbar. Also see the motion blur in the second image. The last image there, is a ring-like application switching. See that the taskbar and the gnome-bar are transparent? it is not a Beryl feature if you were wondering, it i s just a transparent PNG file set as the background. I forget to ask , do you like the Vista look ;-) ?



Monday, February 12, 2007

Download all?

If you faced a site with about hundreds files that you want to download you will know what is this about.

I've faced two of them today. A site containing the MDC pictures, and a site containing MP3s for the whole Qur'an by Mashari.

In the page that containing all the links, I could have passed on them link-by-link pressing 'save item as'. Alternatively I did the following.

I right clicked on the page, using Firefox, 'View page info'. In the 'media' tab, I selected all the images and saved the link list to a file called list.txt.

Then I created a new folder and put the file in it. And I wrote the following simple command and pressed enter:
for File in $(cat list.txt) ; do wget $File; done
And I let it download all the links mentioned in the file.

And about the MP3, I went to the 'links' tab and likewise put all the links in a files also called list.txt in another folder. But this time there were two links for each Sura, one in MP3 and one in Zip. I did that to get the zip links only:
cat list.txt | grep -i zip > list.txt
Then I issued the same command to start downloading. After that I did:
for File in $(ls); do unzip $File; rm $File; done
to unzip files and delete unzipped .zip files.

After that I did:
play *.mp3
to play them all :D ( yeah mp3 from the command line :D )

The final download script for the MP3s was
for File in $(cat list.txt)
do wget $File
File=$(basename $File)
unzip $File
rm $File
done
Like that once a file is downloaded it is unzipped and deleted automatically.

I am writing this to let people who use 'non-unix' know how simple and handy Linux can be.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Importing Old Posts : Done

I have imported my old posts from my old blog at msn live spaces. See them in this tag "OldPosts".

Thursday, February 1, 2007

24 hours of stress

24 hours ago, I formatted my Linux partition. By MISTAKE. And since my life was on Linux most of the time, you can imagine the disaster if you formatted your windows partition. This is a story of how I fixed that without reformatting or reinstalling or doing anything. That was a short introduction. In-depth details coming next, ba3d el fasel :D.

Hibernation in Ubuntu messes the swap partition. To fix it I have to issue the command mkswap. Which later I understood that it does reformat the swap partition. I by mistake instead of issuing it on sda6; the swap partition, I did it on sda7 the Linux root partition. el 7ala tedahwart saree3an, and soon I couldn't login a virtual console to fix it. I didn't understand what I made wrong till I couldn't access any file or folder. The desktop was wiped clear.

That was the first hour. The next hours involved fixing the MBR, searching for undoing mkswap, recovering partition tables, recovering files, then recovering inode table, respectively. In the middle there were involved some searching in the internals of the ext3 filesystem because when I didn't find a way to recover the inode table I decided I am gonna do it myself if I had to. Anyway after less than 12 hours I had a complete copy of all the files in my Linux partition.

8 hours ago I send to alt.linux asking the how to recover the inode table. An hour ago someone replied that I should run the command e2fsck. I tried running it from cygwin over windows, I couldn't specify the correct device, non was recognized. I have had downloaded Ubuntu live CD in case I'd have to reinstall it. I used it to run the e2fsck command (similar to chkdisk on NT). It fixed it and I was able to mount it. Then I used the super-grub disk bootable CS to restore the MBR back so GRUB on that fixed partition can run again. Then I booted into my dearest Linux, and the first thing I did was that I opened Kopete, changed my nickname, then opened firefox and wrote this article.

It was really bad 24 hours of stress with nightmares that I have to reinstall all that. And before I was able to take a copy of the files, I was afraid especially cuz the last version of the OS source was on that partition.

Al 7amd llah really.