Meeting Minutes 5-17-2014

Whoo Doggie, if it wasn’t May CG and animation month than what was?

On May 12-18 Portland was host to the NW animation fest,  the biggest animation show in the United States.

Nate Sullivan was able to attend on Thursday which featured works from may professionals, including Laika Studios, behind the scenes work. Coming out in September of this year will be Laika’s 3rd claymation/animation full  feature – BOX TROLLS, featuring voices of Simon Pegg and Ben Kingsley.

Not to be left out of the hundreds of international features of recognition, our club once again gained status.

B-PDX Splash, full dress 3

<— First off we got a new logo, bada bing,

Then we got a new banner, badda bang,


and now we have our own mascot too, badda boom.Fishing around

Cary and others were able to suggest some immediate improvements on the rigging. No doubt this little project will turn into yet another club fest  of how we can contribute with various techniques to improve it. Basic animation is the next bit to play with along with a name the thing contest. A special prise is rumored for the person that comes up with the most histerical name for it. So if you have a name suggestion or would like the blender file just let us know via email at and start swimming with it.

Attendees this meeting: Jenuvyel Jevelyen, Nate Sullivan, Alex Fontana, Dane Vandewiele, Rhett Jackson, Paul Coons, Cary Hull, Jason Clark and a new late arrival – Chris Kerchum. — Welcome all!

Opening up the works, Jenuvyel lead us yet again through a very concise Quick Modeling Challenge. In addition to the blender file, Jen included a list of links in the text editor section to some great youtube tutorials and a new hot keyboard map. Lots of cool supporting websites too, with seamless images, bump-maps and the whole lot. One standout noted was the John Carmack 3D render lecture as well.

This brought the crew into exploration of the scene functions in which one can have several scenes in a single blender file. Each scene having it’s own independent 20 layers to work with.

Alex mentioned the on-line conference he participated with J.T. from LA.Blender group. J.T. is focused on new addons of file types for import/export. During the conference J.T. demonstrated how to bring in a model with rigging so that it could be fully used in Blender from other applications.

Paul Coons continues his work on Blender Game Engine user interface. With anyone’s constant use of a mouse both at work and with Blender the prospect of using other controllers to do modeling work could be exponentially beneficial. Anyone learning Blender Building skills like Rhett Jackson, might want to talk with Paul about a few of the compiling and file placement hurdles that have come up.

The group then reviewed the updates on the club website, Web

  • Nate is considering modifying the Home page so that it functions better and is more stylish.
  • Alex explained the page additions he put in, such as the Home page stuff,
    • The Pipeline section, which sub-lists each part of the movie making process, with links to any free applications and resources for each.
    • A seperate section for Game/Engine is being considered.
    • Another section for a members gallery, and either some posts or an addition for 3D printing.

 Cary mentioned that when he was looking for 3D CG in Portland the website did not come up in Meetups when searching under “3D CG, but that later Google did find us. Other tags and weblinks are being researched. This lead us into a discussion on how we could make the website a central broadcaster to all other media such as Facebook page, Google +, Twitter and others automatically.

    • Jenuvyel will also be sending out an email to invite both LA.Blend and SeaBugs to join us by having their posts come out of our website. This would definitely increase web traffic and visibility.

Balalaika 1Meeting closed with a special surprise. Jenuvyel having brought in an actual Balalika musical instriment which we had previously modelled for Nate’s Lil Red Kapp project. Thank you Jen for the added treat and to all for another nice attendance. Should anyone wish to assist with a full feature, Nate still has several items that need modeling and all help will be fully credited. 

Due to the growing size of the meetings, we are considering breaking up the session with a one hour workshop, in which we will work as pairs or small teams on personal projects and/or using the Art Institutes network function so that we can all work simultaniously multitasking on a group project, as if we were different studio departments. So stay tuned and don’t forget to bring a camera and memory stick as you never know who or what might be at the next meeting Saturday, June 21, 2014, 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Art Institute, see Events for further details.

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9 comments on “Meeting Minutes 5-17-2014
  1. Is the reason the toggle add on isn’t there because it’s in a newer version of blender


    is there a way to add add-ons to the list?

    • PwrPen says:

      The original coder apparently did not submit the code to which would test and include these types of add-ons into the newest Blender rev. It is recommended to get add-ons this way as there is less chance of a hacker sending mailware or virus code mixed in.

      Rhett checked the source code from ConfuseKitty’s post and suggests the following for installing it as an add-on.

      The normal steps for installing this addon would be:
      1) Copy the code into a text editor.
      2) Save it as a file with a “.py” file extension
      3) Use the “Install From File” button in Blender’s Addon preferences.

      I used the code from ConfuseKitty’s first post in to a text file and added that as an addon. It appeared in the addons list immediately. ConfuseKitty’s instructions for setting up the key binding in post #5 from that thread also worked fine for me.

      Everything works for me so I can only assume there’s a user-error happening that’s getting in the way.
      …unless there’s a blender version or python version problem. That seems unlikely, though. The addon should work with Blender 2.5.7 or newer.

      We’ve also suggested that this be part of the next meeting, so that we can all have a live demonstration and discussion on how to do this.

      Hope this helps.

  2. Chris Kerchum says:

    Where is the add ons folder?

    • PwrPen says:

      Hi Chris,

      The add-ons are a tab in user preferences. Go to the top of your screen, click on ‘file’. About half way down the list you’ll see User Preferences, click on that and the central tab will be ‘Add-Ons’ which will list all the add ons currently available. By checking off any of them you make them active.

  3. Chris Kerchum says:

    Great meeting! First thing after getting home and booting the computer up was to go to the preferences page and play with trackball and turntable. Is there a way to set a hot key and switch back and forth without opening preferences? Sure would be useful.

    Not sure what to do with my new facebook page, “Blender for the Freekbox”, that’s half started. Any suggestions?

  4. Jenuvyel says:

    This looks to be the best meeting minutes, yet. I can’t recall any noteworthy points not noted.

    Fantastic, Alex. How are you gonna keep improving beyond this?

    • PwrPen says:

      Glad you like it, and thanks for leading us.
      Guess I’ll just have to watch, see what the club does next and learn as much as I can from everyone.
      So far I’m starting to see people fall into a growing array of expert specilizations.
      Modeling, Programming, Animation, Directing.
      Maybe do some Bio articles on individual members / achievements?

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