The All New Sensei Format

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Sensei Format has just gone beast mode. Here is a list of the latest updates and features.

NEW WORKSPACE: HACKER

Hacker is the first of several new workspaces I have planned for Sensei Format (See bottom of article). Hacker brings all of Blender’s scripting abilities to the table along with several new features of its own. Here is a list of features and updates that I have implemented for Hacker and into Blender across the board:

• The autocomplete function in the console is now truly automatic and context sensitive. This means every character you enter into it will return a list of all possible commands. If the options are narrowed down to just one, then the command will be automatically typed in and an explanation of that command along with options for it will be displayed.
• Selection in the Info window space is now more consistent across Blender. For instance when you select one line, the others deselect and when you hold shift on multiple lines they are added to the selection. Do not currently have full text editing menu pop up when you right click while in the Info Space but will at least copy the items you have selected when right click.
• Ctrl-S now saves your text document while working in the text editor like you would expect.
• Improved functionality of drag and drop selection in file browser and outliner.
• Quicker, more responsive clicking throughout library, file browser and outliner.
• Added scrolling with up and down arrows to the Info Spaces to be more consistent with the text editor.
• Right click to change name of folder or file in the file browser.
• Put “Find Next” button in header of Text Editor for quick access.
• Added go Fullscreen buttons to the Console and text editor.
• Added quick button for console popout.




NEW ADDONS BY BLENDERSENSEI:

This version of Sensei Format includes five new addons built specifically for Sensei Format. Including the all new “Zero Brush” addon which allows you to begin texture painting the instant you push its texture paint button. This is a stand alone addon which is designed to be used with or without Sensei Format. CLICK HERE to visit the Zero Brush features page. The rest of the addons include Sensei Keys (remapping and rewriting of several key Blender hotkey functionalities), Sensei Layout (rearranging the layout and functionality of Blender), Draw Mesh which gives you quick access to an object designed to speed up workflow with BSurfaces and Draw Skin, a similar object located in the “Add” menu (Shift-A) which makes quick use of the Skin modifier. New improvements brought to you through these addons include:

• More intuitive Subsurf modifier hotkey W: Apply a Subsurf modifier and smoothing to one or more objects simultaneously by hitting W. Once objects have a modifier, if you tap W again, instead of adding another modifier it will then increase that object/object’s subdivision levels. If an object has a Multires modifier instead, it will increase the Multires subdivisions. If you’re in sculpt mode hitting W will add a multires modifier instead of a subsurf. Awesome for adding geometry on the go while sculpting. It also turns on cage editing by default on your Subsurf modifiers because that’s better.
• The array modifier hotkey (Shift D) can now apply an array to as many objects selected as you wish. Pressing Shift-D repeatedly will increase the array count instead of adding more array modifiers. This now starts with the editing cage on by default for more awesomeness.
• X now deletes objects in 3D View without pop-up asking permission first. That menu is pointless considering if you accidentally deleted an object you need only hit Ctrl-Z to get it back.
• Deletion in edit mode is now automatic based on what type of selection you’re using. For instance if in vertex select mode with vertex points selected and you hit x they are instantly deleted instead of bringing up a menu first (the delete key still works the same however).
• Pressing T to display your tools and properties shelf is now much quicker and smoother. Previously worked by using a macro key (basically one key does two things. An action when it’s pressed and another one when released.) This action has now been hard coded into Sensei Format and works way better.
• Camera target is now a default option for any camera you create. Selecting an object next to camera target will automatically create a “Track To” constraint with the proper settings. This is now located under the Depth Of Field menu in the Camera options.
• You can now scale by using “S” instead of Ctrl-S when using a skin modifier.
• Z now toggles contextually between wireframe and whatever mode you were in before instead of only Solid.
• Shift-Space toggles between Median-Point pivot center and 3D Cursor.
• Alt-J separates one ore more objects by loose parts and assigns their origin to the center of each object.

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NEW ANIMATION CONTROLS, SIMPLIFICATION AND LAYOUT:

The animation system using Sensei Format has received some major tweaks. The animation controls are now built into the headers of the dopesheet, NLA and graph editors. Animating is much simpler now resembling that of Adobe programs such as Flash or After Effects. A huge, huge new thing is, you can go straight from animating character’s armatures to regular objects without changing the keying set, and you never have to worry about selecting all your bones again when editing their keyframes. Here’s a list of the updates:

• You can now view and edit the keyframes of multiple objects within the Dopesheet/Timeline section. The magic here, is custom hotkeys which force closed the object’s keyframe channels, creating a simplistic, one keyframe channel for the whole object, animation pipeline like in After Effects or other software. NOTE: will not remain shut if you have “Summary” selected in the Dopesheet editor.
• It is no longer necessary to change the keying set type from “LocRotScale” to “WholeCharacter” when switching from pose to object mode. This will now happen automatically when using I or F to insert keyframes. Pose your character any way you like, hit F or I and the entire position will be saved in that keyframe with no additional work.
• The F key (while in object mode) now inserts a keyframe exactly one second down the timeline no matter what fps you set your animation at. It now uses an fps scene variable instead of a generic 25 fps. Likewise, Ctrl-F will send the timeline back to the last keyframe (much better then sending it back one generic second).
• Added FPS to the timeline, so you can quickly change your scene’s frames per second.
• Cleaned up the animation controls (play, pause, next frame etc…) it was to busy, needed less buttons and more clarity.
• Changed default animation time to 30fps.
• Unified Graph, dopesheet, and NLA editor themes.

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ADDITIONAL UPDATES AND TWEAKS

Additional miscellaneous tweaks and updates I’ve made to Sensei Format since the last release:

• Updated Sensei Format for the Walk Modal Changed the defaults so that gravity is always on when entering walk mode. Adjusted the height and jump values and changed the jump key from V to Space.
• Updated Hotkeys to include: Shift-F Now walk around and jump with gravity or change to fly mode in User Preferences. Controls: W,A,S,D (walk/strafe), Space (Jump), Hold Shift or scroll mouse wheel to increase speed. Alt-Shift-E (Bevel edge while in edit mode.) Shift-Ctrl-E (Bevel vertex while in edit mode.) Alt-E (Edge crease while in edit mode.) Ctrl-C Rip (select vertex points or edges and pull them apart.) Shift-Ctrl-C Rip Fill (Rips vertex points or edges apart and auto fills in the space where the rip should be.)
• Cleaned up material library user interface. Fixed some small bugs and functionality but not as much as I’d like. No longer have to hit save or delete twice to save materials. No longer have to hit reload after saving or deleting materials. Still Have to hit reload when starting a new file to see changes in categories and materials (you can still save your startup file after making changes to your library to make your changes permanent though.)
• Removed the following addons from default startup (Turn them back on in the addons section if you wish): Screencast Keys. Texture Paint Layer Manager (Replaced with Zero Brush).
• Added controls into the Rigid Body Physics panel. You can bake/free bake all physics, start, stop and rewind the simulation and set objects to animated.
• DrawMesh object is now located in the Add Menu (Shift-A or double right click) under ‘Mesh’.
• When using DrawMesh, the object will now continually update smooth shading.
• Added DrawSkin object to the Add Menu (Shift-A or double right click) under ‘Mesh’.
• Fixed bug in library materials causing weird shadow line to appear on objects.
• Fixed “Simplify” settings in Sensei Format.
• Fixed Global Undo settings in Sensei Format.
• Sculpting no longer begins in X Mirror mode by default. With the addition of Zero Brush, this was no longer desirable.
• Toggle through renders with Z while in the UV/Image Editor.
• Unified brush icon colors across all painting and sculpting modes.
• Unified keyable properties such as shape keys, to be the same color as regular keyframes.
• Added “Display” options to the object data tab of the properties panel for easy access in the main left column of Sensei Format.


nextEpisode

In the next release of Sensei Format I’m diving head on into Cycles integration as well as creating a workspace specifically for game creation. There’s nothing inherent to Sensei Format prohibiting the use of the Cycles render engine, in fact Sensei Format is capable of greatly enhancing any Blender workflow. I’ve devoted the past two years to deeply learning and understanding Blender’s basic functionality. As a result, I’ve gained insights which have allowed me to tighten and enhance Blender. The functionality of Cycles has now matured to a state where most of Blender’s standard systems can fully integrate with it, making this the perfect time for this pursuit. This means full integration into the Sensei Format layout as well as material library, lighting systems, animation and more. I will continue simplifying and unifying Blender’s hotkeys, menus, functionality and layout.

Beyond integrating Cycles, I believe Blender’s ultimate destiny lies in the world of VR. Work environments must be completely reimagined to create 3D worlds in VR 3D space. Because Blender is opensource, I believe it could evolve into the ultimate tool for everything on the planet. If any execs over at Oculus happen to read this, and think this is a groovy idea, I’d love to hear from you. I’d also love to hear anything from anyone with feedback or suggestions. Please visit the SITE FORUMS or feel free to contact me via blendersensei@gmail.com

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COMMENTS

  1. How can we access the FRESTYLE Rendering style ? I am more keen on Cartoon style animation with Cell shaded rendering. Do you have anything special for Directors like me ? I wish Blender was a little more easy like DAZ or ICLONE to operate. Is there any possibility of a real Time Rendering Engine ?