Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pull off your thumb?

One of the magic tricks that almost everybody already knows how to do, yet still funny to watch. Plus this guy does it really well.

CraZy Decapitated Thumb Trick!!! - The best bloopers are a click away

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Open Source: Blender

Okay, no open source series would be complete without Blender. I'm sure you've seen some of my pictures/movies I've done in Blender, but don't be impressed. Here are some pictures made in Blender by professionals:

Sorry it took me so long to add to the Open Source group, but I knew this post was going to be really long, so I've been putting it off.


And that's just the beginning, here's the gallery archive.

This program has soooo much stuff packed in, it's gonna be hard to fit it all in this post, but I'll try.

The main feature is obviously the CGI editor. It's really simple to use. I won't take a long time explaining this, because I'm sure you all can imagine creating 3d shapes. After you create your object, you can add a material and a texture, which is one of the really important steps. If you learn how to use Material Nodes (slightly more advanced) then you can create basically any look you want. Most can be accomplished without nodes, but for the most realism, you may need to use them.

If you want to do any animation, it's fairly simple. You just put the object in the starting position, insert a keyframe, set the new frame number, move the object to the end position, insert another keyframe, and Blender will calculate the rest of the motion. If you think the animation needs a little tweaking, you can edit the animation curves in the IPO editor. If you've got a person or animal that you're animating, then you can insert Bones into the character. Whenever you move a bone, the object around it will move with it. If you have to make a person talk, you can set up a face rig, and add keys for certain face movements. Then you can drag sliders that adjust the amount that that certain movement affects the face (fun to mess with). For more advanced animations, you can use Blender's built-in fluid simulator, physics engine, or softbody (cloth) simulator.

When you are done with your animations and you have rendered the scene(s), you can use Blender's video editor to put it together as a movie. For special effects and transitions, you can download plugins. I've even found one plugin that allows chroma keying (green or blue screening).

But that's not all! Download now (or anytime, actually) and you'll receive the Blender GE, or Blender Game Engine. It allows the creation of video games! It's easier than you may think, too. Blender uses Logic Bricks to do a bunch of the simpler things. Here is an example:



Where basically the Sensors sense if a certain something is true, like a variable, timer, or keypress. The Controllers define how it should let the action through. For example, If I have a Keypress sensor set to "R", and I have another one set to "Space", and they are both connected to an "OR" controller, then if I hit R or Space, the controller will let the action happen. That's where the Actuators come in; they do the action. So with the previous example, if my "OR" controller was connected to a motion actuator, then when ever I would hit R or Space, my object would have some sort of motion applied to it. It's fairly simple.

You may be wondering what the "Python" controller does... Well, if you're going to be making a more complex game, (one that needs actions beyond that of the basic sensors, controllers, and actuators,) then you can connect the "Python" controller to a Python script.

Python is used in Blender often; if you are good at it you can use it to do some advanced functions, or even create your own plugins that you can put on the internet for other people to use. It's fairly simple to learn, although it's integration with Blender doesn't have a ton of documentation, (or rather, it does have a lot of documentation, but some of it is hard to understand,) so some of it you may just have to experiment with.

Anyway, if you need to do more advanced functions like finding orientation or doing a bit of math, you can use Python. Don't worry though, if you just want to make a simple game, logic bricks should be enough for you.

Okay, enough talking about the game engine. Let's see... what else...

Oh yeah, the UV editor. This one took me a while to get use to, but now it makes sense. If you are doing more advanced texturing, you can use Blender's UV editor. You basically mark where you want seams on your object, and then unfold it. Then, if you don't have an image you were already planning on using, you can use Blender's Texture Painter to paint on the texture.

Still not done... there's more.

Blender also has a Sculpting Tool. It's really useful for making more "organic" models. You start out with the basic shape, and you use a "Multires" to temporarily turn up the resolution of your model. You then sculpt out some of the basic shapes. Every time you turn up the multires level, you do more detailed sculpting. Then, you can bake all the bumps and details to an image. You turn down to multires, (so you have a low-poly model,) but then you apply the image as a Normal Map; the different colors of the normal map represent different heights. That way, you have a low-res model that looks extremely detailed. It's hard to understand if you have no experience, and I haven't personally tried it, but some of the pictures I've seen of the process are really cool.

Well that's all I can think of right now. By the way, I think I saved this post as a draft 4 or 5 times before I finished it. Just in case you were wondering how long it took.

Oh, one thing I forgot:
If you read this post and are like O_O "I MUST HAVE THIS PROGRAM!!1!!", you may want to wait a few months before you learn it. Why? Because (hopefully) some time in May they will release Blender v. 2.5. The big deal? The interface is basically being entirely redesigned. From what I've heard, it should make it a lot easier to learn for beginners. If you don't mind waiting, it would probably be easier to learn once that comes out, instead of trying to learn it now, only to have to re-learn it in two months.

Weird Weatherman

I really don't get why this video is so funny. It just is.

"So pretty much everywhere, it's gonna be hot"

Friday, March 28, 2008

"Impossible" Balance

Here's an awesome thing you can do with just a hammer, a ruler, and a rubber band.

Impossible Object! - For more funny movies, click here

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Marble Cannon

Here's a video on how to make a marble cannon. I bet if you were shot in the right place with that, it could kill you. o_o

Make A Marble Cannon - For more funny movies, click here

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Hidden Tiger

Watch this video, and see if you can find "The Hidden Tiger". I couldn't. :( It's there, though.

Can You Find "The Hidden Tiger"? - Watch today’s top amazing videos here

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tracing IP Addresses

Here's a video on tracing IP addresses. I hear there are other sites that provide IP's for email addresses, too, not just websites.

Trace Any IP Address Or Website! - The most popular videos are here

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Arcade Games for $0.01

Here's a few videos on how to play video games for one cent.

Notice what he does at the beginning of this one.

Cheating Arcades - Watch more amazing videos here

Unfortunately, the Penny Arcade 1 video was deleted, but here's number 2:

PENNY ARCADE PART 2 - The best video clips are here

Here's a third video:

NOTE: I don't recommend that you do this at any place that gives tickets, because you would be essentially stealing. This should only be done for a highscore game, or just to show off.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Awareness Test

This is a test to see if you can pay attention. I failed. :( You'll like it!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Conceptual Table

Here's an (apparently conceptual) idea that works somewhat like the Microsoft Surface.

Awesome New Concept! - The most amazing bloopers are here

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mini Tablet

Here's a way you can make a pen that turns a laptop touchpad into a mini tablet. Great if you want to do a lot of image editing, but the touchpad is too hard for you to use.

$2 Mini Graphics Tablet - More amazing video clips are a click away

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Balance a Match

A video about how to balance a lit match on your finger. I couldn't get it to work very well, but maybe you'll have better luck.

How To Balance A Match On Your Finger, Amazing Trick!!!!! - Awesome video clips here

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spontaneous Musical

This is soooo funny; a bunch of people organized a seemingly spontaneous musical, in front of a bunch of unsuspecting people.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Guitar Hero 3

If you are good at noticing details that nobody else notices, you may have noticed in my last post, a picture of a Guitar Hero 3 case and some instruction on using the guitar. I hadn't posted about it yet, but the picture kinda ruined the surprise, so I'm posting about it now.

Yeah, I got Guitar Hero. If you know me personally, that may come as a bit of a surprise to you, because I don't really like performing in any way, and I'm not that much into music. But after hearing all of my friends talking about it, and after having SO MUCH FUN with Super Crazy Guitar Maniac Deluxe 2, I decided to get it.

It is a ton of fun. I've basically been playing it every minute I can ever since I bought it. So, here's my review.

Let's see...

The plot... wait... there's not really much of a plot. Just like most "party" type games, (like Wii Sports, WarioWare, Mario Party, etc.) it's mostly meant as just a fun pick-up-and-play game. There is a bit of story, represented by the occasional 30 second cartoon. All that that really does is explain why you are at the current stage.

You start out by playing songs in someone's backyard, (for some sort of party,) and the more songs you complete, the more places you go. Every 3-5 songs you beat, you can go to the next area. The second area, (I believe it is the "Moose Lounge",) is like a bar or something. After that, there's this guy who offers you a record deal, and then you start becoming famous. You go to a video shoot, a jail, London, Japan, the desert, etc.. Right before the end, you find out that your manager actually put "(I own your soul)" at the bottom of the contract you signed, (LOL) and so the final area is in "Lou's Inferno", (Lou is your manager) which is some sort of underworld type place. Anyway, the "plot" (if you can call it that) is fairly funny. It has basically nothing to do with the game, and I suppose that that's on purpose.

The graphics could be better. The lighting and stuff is pretty good, and the textures are great, but some of the animation is kinda cheesy. For example: the drummer acts (and kinda looks) like a robot. He looks chunky, and he stands almost entirely still unless he is going to hit a drum. It's hard to explain unless you've seen him, though.

Other graphical complaints... The singer's mouth looks like he is a puppet, the audience is basically just 3 people duplicated multiple times, but that's all I can think of. Most of the parts with bad graphics are not the main focus of the game, in fact they are really hard to notice if you are the one playing. So, graphics overall: pretty good but not spectacular. I suppose it's better to have no lag than good graphics, though.

Most of the music is really good, although a few of the songs have "questionable" lyrics, although I expected that; it's rated T.

It's really fun to play, and I'm slightly surprised how fast I became skilled at it. I've had the game for about 2 or 3 weeks, and I'm now halfway done with Expert mode. And it's not that it's easy, either, it's really hard, it's just easy to learn.

The main thing about it: it takes a lot of practice. Just like real guitar. I've had to play some songs 20+ times in order to beat them.

Overall, it's really fun, glad I bought it, etc. Not sure if it worth the extra $40, (I'm assuming it's for the guitar,) but if I could have found it for $70, it was definitely worth it.

Custom Wii Stand

I originally had this stand for my Wii, but after using it for a few months, the fan started dying. My dad was going to throw it away, but my brother was like "Wait! Why don't we mod it?" So we decided to do a bit of modifications. Nothing serious, just a bit of painting...

Here it is before any changes...

I stated out by taking it apart. There weren't any visible screws, though, I found them underneath the pads on the bottom of the stand...

Here's the inside...

I painted the inside silver, like the original Wii stand...

I wanted to get rid of that ugly GameStop Logo, so I painted over it with silver...

I printed out a Wii logo, turned it into a stencil, and taped it onto the side...

I used a plastic ruler to scrape off some of the blur around the logos...



I decided to put a Wii logo on front too, so I expanded the silver box and made a smaller stencil...

And finally, I used some paint thinner to get rid of some of the leftover unwanted paint. Here are some of the final pictures...

I think it turned out pretty well, especially considering that I don't do stuff like this often.

Message in an Egg

Here's how to write a message that will appear on an egg...

Amazing ! Ghost Message In A Egg - The best bloopers are a click away

Friday, March 7, 2008

Candles With Colored Flames

Here's a pretty cool video about how to make candles that burn different colors. If you can find the chemicals, that is...

How To Make COLORED FIRE ! - The best home videos are here

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Puzzle Toy

Here's a video about how to create some sort of puzzle toy...

Unbelievable Tricky Toy - For more funny videos, click here

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Light Bulb Trick

Here's a video about how to make a self-lighting light bulb.

Mysterious Lightbulb Hack! - The best bloopers are here

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Learn to Juggle

Apparently, this is a really easy way to learn how to juggle. I haven't tried it yet, but I imagine it would work fairly well.

Learn To Juggle! Super Easy! - More free videos are here