Monday, August 31, 2009

A Sad Farewell

I have been contacted by many people looking for a copy of Cosmic Blobs. Unfortunately, it is no more. Searching high and low we are no longer able to find any copies of Cosmic Blobs for sale anywhere in the world.

But, all is not lost. Check out 3DVia, the latest consumer product from Dassault Systemes, the publisher of Cosmic Blobs.

It's an amazing product with an exploding community of users of all skill levels.

Yes, I certainly will miss Cosmic Blobs. But, the sting of losing it was offset by gaining a product that truly does allow one to start simple and go right on through to the complex.

As I said, check it out. You will NOT be disappointed.

And, thanks to all of you that have sent me wonderful notes of thanks for the tutorials. It was so much fun to do them for you. And, I appreciated every single communication from each of you! Now, go do 3D!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fluttering Butterfly in Minutes in Cosmic Blobs

In beginning this blog I was determined to have as much fun as possible. And, this little exercise fits that goal perfectly.

I love to experiment in Cosmic Blobs and see just what is possible. To this end, I decided to try to create a fluttering butterfly. I have to admit that my first attempt was a failure becuase I chose the wrong animation strategy. I tried to animate the wings independently. It was fun and I learned a few things; but, I failed at accomplishing my goal.

But, this evening, as I was experimenting with another, completely unrelated idea, I found that if I added a decal to one side of a cube or sheet that had previously been painted with Vanish Varnish, it showed up on the opposite side!

Completely surprised at this new finding I decided to try, once again, to see how close I could come to a fluttering butterfly. The Fluttering Butterfly video is the result! You can hear the excitement and pleasure in my voice at seeing how well the Vanish Varnish technique worked. It's amazing to me and I don't mind sharing my amusement in real time!

So... now let's prove just how easily amused Tom is by watching....

The Amazing & Dazzling Vanish Varnish Fluttering Butterfly Trick

I sure hope that you are as easily amused as I am becuase I HATE to laugh alone! And, I hope you are enjoying your own experiments with Cosmic Blobs... an absolutely wonderful program.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cosmic Blobs Protozoa Animation Project

Long before I was a science teacher, I loved to culture and identify protozoa. It's been a lifelong hobby and one that I find fascinating. Perhaps my fascination began when I realized just how complex these 'simple one celled animals' really are!

Even though they are young, my granddaughters have also been fascinated with microscopes and the small world. But, there is one question that most teachers and parents face when working with children and microscopes. Is the child actually seeing the right things when they look through the scope. In this short animation project (Under 3 minutes) we show you how a student might demonstrate what they've seen by creating some blobs that behave like protozoa in pond water.

First, let's look at the real thing... a 'Backyard Infusion' taken through a microscope with a digital camera

Play Actual Video of Protozoa

Now let's look at the Cosmic Blobs animation. I was pleasantly surprised to find just how quickly and realistically the behaviour of protozoa could be simulated in Cosmic Blobs.

Play Project #3 - Simulating Protozoa in Pond Water

This one combined 2 loves-- Cosmic Blobs and Microscopy. I hope it helps to stimulate some educational applications for 3D modeling in your own home or classroom. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Precision Flying with Vanish Varnish

Vanish Varnish, a wonderful feature found only in the Deluxe version of Cosmic Blobs, lets the Cosmic Blobs aerobatic team fly in perfect precision in this 2 minute animation tutorial. The team soars and rises then dives to earth in perfect synchronization. We'll show you how it's done.

Play Project #2 - Precision Aerobatics with Vanish Varnish

While recording this animation I noticed that the motion wasn't as smooth while Camtasia was capturing it and blamed it on Camtasia. But, what I didn't realize was that Windows had decided to run a background program to scan my drive just as I was recording this... so the processors were getting a real workout and smoothness suffered. Even so, I think we can agree that it does demonstrate that we can do some very interesting animations with Cosmic Blobs. I hope it gives you some great ideas for your own animation. This is a place for you to share those ideas with others if you'd like. Just let me know.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Cosmic Blobs Project #1 - Bugs and Light Bulb

This is the first of our tutorials having to do with specific projects. In this short tutorial we will create an animation of some bugs flitting around a light bulb. It will demonstrate how to use any blob as the 'floor' for our animation and also just how useful the Vanish Varnish feature truly is.

Play Project #1 - Animating Bugs Around a Bulb

We hope this project helps you see that there is more to Cosmic Blobs animation capabilities than first meets the eye!

Cosmic Blob Tutorials - Animation Mode

While my grandchildren find every aspect of Cosmic Blobs fun, the real payoff for them is seeing the 3D models they've created walk around on the screen. They love animating their blobs!

This series of tutorials will explore the basic animation capabilities of the Cosmic Blobs Animation Mode. But, they will by no means be the last tutorials that we'll create to demonstrate more complex animation possibilities.

At first glance, the animations that can be created by Cosmic Blobs might appear to be very limited. But, the things we will show you in these basic tutorials are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the fascinating things the animation engine can accomplish. Yet, we have to start somewhere and a good place to start is with the basics.

Animation Mode - Sliding and Two-Legged Styles

The designers of Cosmic Blobs have provided a number of Motion Styles with which to animate your blob. In this tutorial we'll explore the styles related to simulating human, two-legged walking. We'll cover the animation 'Floor', the animation Path and the Animation Sliders that control the pace of the animation. We'll also cover recording a 30 second movie right in Cosmic Blobs that you can use in web sites or send to friends.

Play Tutorial #26 - Two-Legged Animation

Animation Mode - Snake and Four-Legged Styles

Cosmic Blobs also provides us with styles that can make our blobs slither across the screen like snakes, gallop like a horse or walk like a dog. In this tutorial we'll explore each of these animation styles and also introduce a Decoration Mode feature that blows the lid off of what you can do with Cosmic Blobs' animation engine.

I'd been anmating blobs for some time before I learned from one of the helpful Cosmic Blobs team members about the marvelous Vanish Varnish. When you paint the animation floor, or ANY blob, with Vanish Varnish it disappears while your animation is running.

Play Tutorial #27 - Snake & Four-Legged Animation

Future Tutorials

Our Animation Mode tutorials bring to an end to the primary tutorial series exploring the basic operation of Cosmic Blobs. But, many more tutorials are on the way. They will be dedicated to specific tasks like creating flying blobs or how to make a particular feature in a blob. While some of the primary tutorials were relatively long, we had some wide topics to cover. We'll do our best to try to keep future tutorials under two minutes in length. But, it's so much fun we can't make any promises!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cosmic Blobs Tutorials - Decoration Mode

Decorating your blobs is as much fun as creating the 3D shapes. In this series of Cosmic Blobs tutorials we will turn our attention to the many ways you can use your imagination to decorate the blobs you create with the built-in features that the Cosmic Blobs designers gave us.

And, we're also going to show you how you can create your own 'Stickers' so that your blobs truly reflect your own imaginative creations.

Decoration Mode - Backgrounds

In Cosmic Blobs we can select different images as true 3D environments for our blobs. We can also color the background using the Fill Tool. In this tutorial we will explore decorating our backgrounds.

Play Tutorial #19 - Decorating the Background

Decoration Mode - Filling with a Solid Color

The Bucket Fill tool allows us to paint our blobs with a full spectrum of colors. In this tutorial we will explore some of the behaviours of the fill tool as we work on 3D blobs.

Play Tutorial #20 - Decorating with Solid Fills

Decoration Mode - Filling with Patterns

While being able to paint our blobs with solid colors is great, it's not all we can do. The designers of Cosmic Blobs has given us the ability to fill our blobs with a variety of patterns. There are two types of patterns. Some have fixed colors and others permit us to choose their color combinations. We've divided our look at pattern fills into two different tutorials so that we can focus on the unique characteristics of each pattern type.

Play Tutorial #21 - Decorating with Fixed Patterns
Play Tutorial #22 - Decorating with Colored Patterns

Decoration Mode - Painting with Marker and Sprayer

The Bucket Fill Tool applies to an entire blob. Smaller, more precise control of the painting process is provided through the Marker and Sprayer Tools. Solid colors, Fix Patterns and Colored Patterns can be applied using these tools. In this tutorial we explore some techniques for controlling the behaviour of these tools.

Play Tutorial #23 - Decorating with Marker and Sprayer

Decoration Mode - Using Stickers

Stickers are a wonderful feature of Cosmic Blob. We can add many things such as eyes, noses, ears and other decorative features very simply using Stickers. Stickers can be resized and rotated, giving us a lot of control over how they are applied. We'll also explore how to combine the Pulls and Pokes to enhance the effects of the stickers.

Play Tutorial #24 - Decorating with Stickers

Creating Your Own Stickers

The fact that Cosmic Blobs is designed so that we can import stickers of our own design is a wonderful feature. This means that our imagination is the only limit to how we can decorate our blobs. In this tutorial we will show you how to use Ulead's PhotoImpact, a 2D paint and photo program to create stickers for use in Cosmic Blobs. We will also show you how to design your stickers with some of the Pull and Poke capabilites of Cosmic Blobs in mind. This is just plan fun!

Play Tutorial #25 - Making Your Own Stickers