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Every once in a while I have to remind myself that working on Moviesandbox really isn’t just fixing bugs and structuring code, but it’s creating a tool for animation that will be nice to look at. This weekend, I played around with some shaders and rendering stuff to see what sort of visual styling I could apply to things created in Moviesandbox that would make the tool relevant for not just quick sketching of ideas, but actual animated movies that people would like to watch.

It’s true that real-time animation cannot compete with traditional 3D rendering when it comes to expressiveness and art direction, but one could at least try. So in the spirit of creating something pretty, I poked around in the code and created this little rendering test using Bob Block’s studio:

What you see there is a lot of point-clouds (with rather big points) in the shape of cubes and a teapot, also made of points. These particles are smudge together in a post-processing shader leading to some color-bleeding and nice, brush-stroke like forms in the less delicate areas (like the big cubes in the back). The video cycles through different values for particle movement and smudgyness (for lack of a better term), but I was quite happy with the overall result.

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