Monday, May 18, 2015

Fixing mesh problems in Minetest

     Okay, so that might not be the best title in the world, but in this blog post I'm going to be going over how to fix lighting issues with meshes exported from Blender and then used in the massively popular voxel game, Minetest. The biggest issue I think people have is all because of Normals. Blender is usually pretty good with keeping normals pointed in the right direction but every once in a while you'll get some normals that are a little confused and point backwards. You might not notice it in Blender, but once the mesh is in the game the lighting on it will always look a little goofy. Let me shut up and show you what I mean, first a picture with the bad normals.
Notice the difference in the lighting.
     Now hows about an image showing how it should, and can look.
Notice how all the lighting is the same.

     So maybe you're having this problem with your mod, and you're wondering 'how do I fix this?' Well good luck buddy.....

     JUST KIDDING. Here's how to do it, please note, I purposefully created bad mesh for this example, please don't do things badly just so you can try and automatically fix the problems, 'cause it doesn't always work.

Here are my two meshes.

     In the above image we have two simple slopes, these are the two that we saw in the first picture, the slope on the left has bad normals, notice how it is a little darker than it's counterpart.

     Depending on how familiar you are with Blender you might now about this gem, in the right tool bar, (Show/Hide with N) there is an option under the Mesh Display tab to show normals. (Note you can click on the image to view it full size.) The normals are shown by the aqua blue lines that point out of, or into, the mesh. Generally speaking you'll want all your normals pointing out. The mesh selected in this picture renders correctly within Minetest.

     Here we have the mesh with the bad normals, notice how the sloped face doesn't have a blue line sticking out of it? That is a problem, luckily it's easy to fix.

     By selecting all the faces/edges/vertices, of the mesh (A on the keyboard works wonders) and clicking on the Recalculate button, circled in the image above Blender will try and fix any normals that are pointing the wrong direction. (NOTE: if you don't see the toolbar on the left side try hitting the T key)

     After clicking on the magical Recalculate button we have a blue line flowing out of the sloped face as we want.

     This will work for most things, but what if Blender is setting some faces the wrong way? well then select those faces and click the Flip Direction button located directly below the Recalculate button and Blender will only flip the direction of the selected faces.

     Hopefully this helps somebody out, you know who you are. :D Any questions don't hesitate to leave a comment, hit me up on G+ or send me an email. If you'd like a video version just let me know and I'll see what I can make happen.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Minetest Modding video series

     Hey everybody, you and I both know you have some great ideas about how to improve Minetest. Well maybe improving Minetest is a little far fetched, not that it doesn't have room for improvement, but you probably have more ideas about mods that can be made*. Well do I have good news for you, I've recently started a playlist on Youtube of Minetest Modding videos. I'm starting out with the basics, as I'm no modding master, but we'll learn together. The videos will be released weekly on Fridays, and they will be without ads for one month, after which point I'll be monetizing the videos, sorry but a fellows got to make a little money somehow.
     The first few videos in the series is just going to be coving the basics, but then we'll be getting into creating our very own survival mod, which I'll be putting up on Github so everybody can follow along with the mod, and can easily make suggestions for changes and improvements.
     I know meshes are relatively new for Minetest, at the time of this writing they've just showed up in the official releases. I have a fairly extensive history with Blender, so I'll be making a video or two showing how to create your own meshes and using them in the game.

     I should probably mention the URL for the playlist so you can follow along.

     Welcome aboard and enjoy the ride.

*I make these assumptions based on the fact that you probably did a search for something similar to find this blog.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Stupid Christmas carols - You're a mean one Mr. Grinch

    Once again I am back with another stupid Christmas carol this time the Grinch song. Now I should mention I've never seen/read the Grinch movie/film/video/book I don't even know what the title of it is, or what it is, though I'm guessing Dr. Seuss wrote it. This song doesn't really have too many problems with it, but what does it have to deal with Christmas?

      I was under the impression that there were two main ideas about Christmas, either it is Santa and gifts, or Jesus' birth. I don't see this song fitting either of those. In fact if it weren't for the fact this song is only played around Christmas I'd of never thought it was a Christmas song.

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.
You really are a heel.
You're as cuddly as a cactus,
You're as charming as an eel,
Mr. Grinch.
You're a bad banana with a greasy black peel.
You're a monster, Mr. Grinch.
Your heart's an empty hole.
Your brain is full of spiders.
You've got garlic in your soul, Mr Grinch.
I wouldn't touch you with a
Thirty-nine and a half foot pole.
You're a vile one, Mr. Grinch.
You have termites in your smile,
You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile,
Mr Grinch.
Given the choice between the two of you,
I'd take the seasick crocodile.
You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch.
You're a nasty wasty skunk.
Your heart is full of unwashed socks.
Your soul is full of gunk,
Mr Grinch.
The three best words that best describe you,
Are as follows, and I quote
You're a rotter Mr Grinch
You're the king of sinful sots
Your hearts a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots
Mr Grinch
Your sole is a appalling dump heap
Overflowing with the most disgraceful
Assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable,
Mangled up in tangled up knots.
You nauseate me, Mr Grinch
With a noxious super nos
You're a crooked jerky jockey and,
You drive a crooked hoss
Mr Grinch!
You're a three-decker sauerkraut
And toadstool sandwich,
With arsenic sauce!

     As I said before there really isn't too much in this song to pick on, of course there are a few made up words but that is to expected from Dr. Seuss.
     I don't understand the thirty-nine and a half foot pole, wouldn't a forty foot pole work as well, or would the singer touch him with a pole that was thirty-nine feet and seven inches long?
     Termites in a smile? Really, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't termites bugs that eat wood? So what are they doing in a smile, how can you even have something in a smile, its a facial expression.
     This part really gets me, and I quote, stink, stank, stunk. Excuse me but who is being quoted? When quoting naming the original speaker serves to give proper credit and establish a sense of trust. A quote with out attribution has little value and pulls no weight.

     I'll probably be posting some more of these reviews in the next few coming days so keep your eyes peeled.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Stupid Christmas Carols - Santa Claus is coming to town

     This post comes to you on the beckoning of reader Anneli Oberman.
     My last post about stupid Christmas carols was well received so I was encouraged and decided to do another, this time I'll be looking at the song Santa Claus is coming to town.

You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I'm telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town!

He's making a list,
And checking it twice,
Gonna find out who's naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town!
He sees you when you're sleeping,
He knows when you're awake.
He knows when you've been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake!

OH!...You better watch out, You better not cry
You better not pout, I'm Telling you why.
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He sees you when you're sleeping,
He knows when you're awake.
He knows when you've been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake!

OH!...You better watch out, You better not cry
You better not pout, I'm Telling you why.
Santa Claus is coming to town.

     Right off the bat, crying and pouting are naughty? Since when, says whom, I can think of plenty of good reasons to cry or pout. Would you say a child was naughty if they cried when their dog died, or a favorite toy broke, or Windows crashed for the eighteenth time in a day? If you answered yes to any of those you are a MONSTER. Just kidding, but seriously why does crying get you on the naughty list?
     Moving right along, somebody please lock this creep up in a deep dark cell, far away from humanity. He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when your awake, when you're good and bad, sounds like a major pervert to me. Why is this even allowed on the radio? An old man, spying on kids all the time and keeping track of their every move, kinds reminds me of the NSA, but let's not get political there are far more important things to do. Where's the child protection agency when you need them? Why is this alright? There is but one way to describe this, a creepy stalking big time creep is watching your every move, man I'm glad he doesn't actually exist, as there are only a few cases where watching somebody sleep isn't flat out creepy, if it is your spouse, young child, or some relative on their deathbed, outside of that you shouldn't be doing it.
     What painful revelation must I make next, ah yes, the list, the infinitely long list on which is recorded the actions of every child, and which Santa reads and complies a list of good and bad to see if you fall into the naughty or nice category. I love how he checks it twice, I'm supposed to believe that Santa can make this list of everybody's actions for the entire year, parse it twice to create the naughty and nice categories, and triple check about twenty percent, that's for the ones that come out different in the double checking, and somehow he still has time to deliver the presents and coal. I don't think so, just making the list would more than consume every hour of the day. I don't know the exact number, but there are a lot of people in this world of ours, there is no way physically possible Santa can pull this off.
     One last thing, why exactly are we watching out? And what are we watching out for?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Stupid Christmas Carols - I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus

     The first stupid Christmas song that I'm going to blog about.....

Wow! Mommy's kissing Santa Claus!
I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night
She didn't see me creep
Down the stairs to have a peep
She thought that I was tucked up
In my bedroom, fast asleep

Then I saw Mommy tickle Santa Claus
Underneath his beard so snowy white
Oh, what a laugh it would have been
If Daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night

He saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus
I did! I really did see Mommy kissing Santa Claus
And I'm gonna tell my Dad

Then I saw Mommy tickle Santa Claus
Underneath his beard so snowy white
Oh, what a laugh it would have been
If Daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night

Oh, what a laugh it would have been
If Daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night

I did! I did! I really did see Mommy kissing Santa Claus
You gotta believe me! You just gotta believe me!
Come on, fellas, believe me! You just gotta believe me!

     Okay does this song make sense to anybody? The song is sung by a child, who as he says crept down the stairs to try and see Santa, obviously we all know that Santa doesn't actually exist, so the person he saw, and thought was Santa must have been his father, but this begs the question, why would his dad dress up like Santa if he was going to put the gifts out when the son was sleeping??? If you're doing something behind somebody's back what's the point in dressing up like somebody else, you're not going to be seen doing it. Not only does it not make sense to dress up like Santa if you're not going to be seen, why would you buy a Santa costume for nobody to see you wearing? Sounds like a waste of money to me.

    The second thing that make no sense is when the kid says, "Oh, what a laugh if would have been if daddy had only seen mommy kissing Santa Clause last night." Excuse me, what is funny about your mom cheating on your dad, or is something else meant by that. Is the kids saying it would be funny to see his dad beat up Santa and his mom? I was of the opinion that children usually dislike it when their parents fight.

      I'm tempted to call this blog post, the twelve days of stupid Christmas carols, but I'm unsure if I'll have time or twelve songs to blog about.

Merry Christmas 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A word about Minetest Formspecs

     So I'm working on a fire mod for Minetest, and I've been wresting with formspecs for a while. I'm still no expert but something did just click in my mind, and 'cause I didn't notice it being documented very well any place, I thought I'd write about it.

     Every formspec is just a layout, which is called and used by a function for the node/item. The best way to visualize a formspec is with a grid, like this.

x x x x x x x x x
x x x x x x x x x
x x x x x x x x x
x x x x x x x x x
x x x x x x x x x
x x x x x x x x x

The first line of your formspec is the size in this case 9,6

You can add images, inventory lists, text boxes and a few other things, find them all here.

After describing the size of the form you're going to want to add some elements, for example an image.

Maybe I'm just dense, but this is what was tripping me up, I had no idea what all those numbers meant, it clicked eventually though, and I'm here to share what they mean. The above line will put an image, in this case image.png, in the second column and second row, the image will only be repeated once in each direction. The image would be in the box shown with the green x.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


     I know it's been a long time since I've posted anything on my blog, but that's not why I'm posting something now. This post is for all the people that are upset that Mojang sold Minecraft to microsoft, which honestly if I was in his/their shoes I would have done the same thing. Didn't they get like 4.8 Billion, or was that million, either way, it's a goodly lump of cash.

     Enough talk though, lets get to some show. Introducing Minetest.

     Yes I know, it looks very much like Minecraft, and there is a reason for that, 'cause it is very much like Minecraft. I won't pretend that it is the same thing, 'cause it's not. I also won't compare the two and say one is better than the other, because both have their pros and cons. I haven't played Minecraft in a long time, so I'm not sure what new features have been added since I was last able to play it, but I do recall that it had a very hacky way of adding mods, and it wasn't free. Minetest on the other hand is built with modding in mind, and is 100% free, plus it's open source.

     Minetest runs fairly okay on most systems, duo-core is recommended, and it's cross platform, so it will run if you have Linux, Windows or Mac.

    Find out more information and download from here: