Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Video and Blender's Game Engine

Work continues with Panda Puppet slowly, but surely. I haven't been able to share much of what I have been doing lately because my work is focused on two client projects that I can't really blog about at this point, but I am starting up my Bear Town web series project again and plan to be using Panda Puppet heavily on that in the coming months.

What has me most excited right now though is that "Ashsid" - who wrote a lot of the original Blender scripts that much of Panda Puppet is based on - has been working on a cool new video texture plugin for Blender's game engine that allows you to combine real-time graphics with various other sources like video files, live video, rendered 3d scenes, etc. inside Blender.

This has all sorts of interesting applications, the coolest of which is tracking the movement of a camera and applying that movement to a Blender object. Here's a demo of it in action with Suzanne (the famous Blender monkey head) combined with live webcam video:

What excites me most about this is that it enables puppeteers working with monitors to have physical puppets and digital ones interact in real-time. That isn't a new idea of course, but what's great about this is that now anyone can download the software and try it themselves.

Nice work Ashsid!

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