OK I’m looking for a way to simplify or automate my art pipeline, have a look an you’ll see why:
For games we use a basic package of parts. All these parts are in
We use these parts to make lots of ships and because the parts are updated regularly we duplicate link them in the part.blend
Then in the .blend we have a camera animation set up which renders 5 frames as .png’s from different angles
And 3 node systems, because we need the color, heightmap and normals from the mesh
So far so good.
Now the bottleneck:
Rendering one ship takes ages:
3 moving to camera layer
4 pressing anim rendering 5 images
5 opening inkscape and “reverting” thus updating the 5 images
6 export bitmap from inkscape
7 switch node from color to height
8 pressing anim rendering 5 images
9 opening inkscape and “reverting” thus updating the 5 images
10 export bitmap from inkscape
11 switch node from height to normal
12 pressing anim rendering 5 images
13 opening inkscape and “reverting” thus updating the 5 images
14 export bitmap from inkscape
15 moving ship to “dump” layer.
And did I mention we have a LOT of ships planned … I’d love to automate steps 4 to 14, BUT I cant seem to find the api I"d need and switching nodes is as far as I know not even IN the blender api (in 2.5. it probably will be, but not currently in 2.49)
Any suggestions of a way to script this or make it easyer are welcome.
Basically I could already avoid having to go to inkscape as I’m using an orthogonal camera anyway… but updating a ship or a part would result in having to do all the rendering again too… also, the .part blend file is getting kinda bulky and it would be nice if I could save each ship as a linked, yet separate, .blend. (appending doesn’t do it as there’s no way I’m going to remember which meshes to append in a file, as I’ve said, there are a lot of ships, and I’m not naming all meshes on duplication because of the sheer amount of typing THAT would result in.
Note: I’m trying to solve this using google IRC and other channels, but any help here is welcome