3D-Sphere 3.0

3DsphereOver the last few months I was thinking how and especially what i will change in my routine to be able to work on 3D-Sphere and finally release new tutorials and write some new articles and reviews. The truth is that my reasons for „pausing“ the work here was more than objectively, I became a father :). Now, if you are a parent you will understand that from this moment you have time only for your child and your try to use all of your free time to be with her or him and enjoy it. Hence, I decided to take a little break from here and focus on what is more important. Of course I came here from time to time, did some minor work, and so on but it really wasn’t anything which would bring new content here. As the time was passing and with it grew my child I decided to get back and restart the work here. Hmmm, the first try I made didn’t end up as I planned from the point of tutorials but at least I did a major upgrade to the site with a new design, new core at lots of improvements to make it faster, more attractive and light. 

Even though my time is still limited I decided to give the Sphere another shot and try to do as much as I can to keep this site alive and with new content. I started, silently, working on the site few weeks ago, quite actively to be honest, and did again some changes to the core, fixed some bugs in the HTML / PHP code and adjusted the CSS. Yes, I know what you thinking, fixing the code by Joomla? It’s not about the CMS, it’s about the modules and components you use. You would be surprised what “miracles” are in the code and what everything you can improve. Those changes aren’t anything major but if you fix some bugs, you are getting closer to your goal. I also cleaned the forum from spam, lots of spam, tons of spam…. and started to work on new things.  How and how long my positive attitude will stay, iam not sure but so far iam quite positive :).

The sleep is over

The sleep is overAfter a longer time of being a bit passive at 3D-Sphere we are restarting the work here. The main reason for this was the fact that i had my wedding before me. Everyone who experienced this social occasion will agree with me that it’s one of the busiest times full of arranging lots of things. Now the wedding is behind me and iam officially a husband J. Of course iam a bit sorry for not uploading tutorials, recording new ones and overall working more on the quality of this web-site. Still I had to choose my priority here and of course it was my wife. I hope all users will understand the reasons why it was so and look forward on the changes we are preparing.

At first we restarting the work on the „Material library“ which we announced a long time ago but hadn’t enough time to finish it. As I mentioned before we want to create a larger „Material libary“ with materials for different applications and plugins starting with MentalRay. Still, we are waiting for a new release of the download system we would like to use and in the meantime we are preparing the actual material which would be present inside the library.

Workaround for pause-play problem

Workaround for pause-play problemAs you know by migrating to the streaming server we observed a small problem with the player causing by a pause-play event a lag which can either start infinity buffering or a video-sound shift for some short time. Trying to find what exactly is causing the problem we found that on both streaming server and the player is a small bug. Now, before I will explain a bit deeper about the problem and the workaround I will mention again the technology we are using here for playing the videos. The streaming server isn’t anything which isn’t use normally used on the web. Actually this Adobe Streaming server or technology is one of the most used in the world and even Amazon using this kind of streams. It allows what the name stands for and instead of progressive download the streaming server stream video, so you download only what you watch and you can seek to any part of the video without waiting for the player to download it. The reasons why we choose this solution I mentioned few times before and I will not repeat this again. The player which we use is Flowplayer, again it’s one of the most used player around and developed for several years. Looking on both of these solutions you just can’t claim to us that this is bad or wrong, the solution and technology is ok, but as usually, bugs occurs. The good news is, we are trying to solve the bugs on the side of the server and I really hope we will.

New player, new options, and more

New player, new options, and moreProbably you already noticed that we changed the player for playing our tutorials one more time and went from DarkOnyx player to the famous Flowplayer. The reason why we did this was very simple. Even though DarkOnyx as a player but also as a web management system was good the development on this project is stopped and there is no information if the development will continue or not. This was the main reason why we were searching and decided to implement instead of DarkOnyx, Flowplayer. I think i don’t have to introduce the player because it belongs between the top on the web and it’s constantly developed. In this moment we decided for the flash version of the player instead of the HTML5 version which so far don’t meet our requirements and don’t supports streaming which is crucial for us and also one of the reasons why we have a dedicated streaming server.

Win a copy of Octane Render with OTOY and 3D-Sphere

Win a copy of Octane Render with OTOY and 3D-SphereStarting this day you can win a copy of Octane Render, the world's first GPU based, un-biased, physically based renderer developed by OTOY.  Octane Render uses the graphics card to calculate all measures of light, reflection and refraction. It runs only on NVidia’s GPUs and takes advantage of the CUDA technology and it’s incompatible with other video cards by other vendors. Is a true GPU based engine, not a hybrid CPU/GPU, nor a CPU based engine that was modified with GPU acceleration. Since a CPU adds a negligible speedup to the total rendering speed, having your CPU free for other tasks while rendering with Octane Render allows you to use your system for other tasks while rendering. OctaneRender operates as a stand-alone application but also as a plug-in with popular 3D modelling software like Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and Smith Micro Poser and will soon be available for Autodesk Softimage, Autodesk AutoCAD, Daz3D Daz Studio, Newtek Lightwave and Maxon Cinema4D. The tightly integrated plug-ins deliver OctaneRender's  incredible speed and quality right in the viewport of the 3D application, allowing artists to interactively change lights, camera, materials, exposure, depth of field, other effects  and object placement and immediately see the rendered result with final quality. This basically means that the viewport on the screen is also the final render and it’s changing according to the artist’s changes. Some time ago we reviewed this great renderer and if you would like to know more and also see the results you can achieve with Octane Render, just check the review here.