Monday, September 5, 2011

Colors, Web Apps, and Google

I haven't talked projects in awhile and I'm due to get back on that track. So let's get started.

Random Face Color Addon
I wrote a Blender add-on that randomly colors all the faces on a mesh. This was a special project thanks to Blender Artists forum involvement. Someone suggested features the original version didn't have. That lead to new monochrome and animation features. It was a great learning experience and the script got a thumbs up. It felt good to be told I did a good job.

Web Applications for Blender
I revisited the idea of loading Blender data into PHP. This time, I listed the names of every object in a project separated by data category. Materials, meshes, and everything else got their own section. The bad news was I couldn't run Blender on my web host which meant no production deployment.  Back to the drawing board.

I looked to Github for inspiration. Getting the most out of that site means having Git installed on your computer. It's a setup that works really well and opens up an interesting question. Can Blender have a relationship with a web application similar to the one between Git and Github? It's an interesting idea.

Exploring App Engine
Exploring technology is key to executing ideas and I decided now was the time to look into Google AppEngine as a potential platform. The learning curve thus far is about as good as that of Django.

Of course, the recent pricing drama makes App Engine look like a risk that I might not be able to afford. However, I'm willing to give it the benefit of a doubt. It'll be awhile before I deploy anything which should give Google time to sort these issues out. Also, Google has made mistakes before with Buzz and Wave and managed to correct course. I'm hopeful that this will be just another trip in Google's history of awkward stumbles.

Ending Thoughts
There are other things I've played with that I didn't bring up because it would make this entry too long. So rather than going into things like Backbone.js and Python package hierarchies, I think I'll just end it here. May your coming week be fun. Will talk again soon.

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