Orreries and Fresnel Lenses

I have been thinking of creating an environment in Unreal 4 that has a collection of beautiful science gizmos in it. It is easy to imagine what this kind of room would look like, but I’m sure the process of creating and then animating each object (in game terminology, “asset”) would take hundreds of hours. It’s like looking at a huge oil painting in a museum and saying “I’d like to make a painting like that!”

I can dream, though…meanwhile, here are some cool science gizmos.

First Project in GIMP

Here’s my first project in GIMP! I wanted to take a Minecraft screenshot and make it look a little more realistic.

Gimp project 1

It was a frustrating afternoon’s work. I’m not sure if it was GIMP that was the problem, or if it was not communicating well with my graphics tablet! I would try to move Layer 1, and Layer 2 would move instead (even though Layer 1 was selected). I had layers that disappeared for no apparent reason, and layers that became permanently translucent even though I hadn’t intended to do that. In general, working with the layers was very awkward, compared to my familiar graphics software Corel Painter Essentials.

I did like the different kinds of brushes. There were a lot to choose from and they were actually easier to work with than the brushes in Painter Essentials. I’m really glad that had I watched some of the instructional videos over at Lynda.com — those taught me some of the keyboard shortcuts. To change the brush size, instead of having to click your mouse into a TEENY TINY scroll bar, you can just type left bracket or right bracket.

Another tool that I liked that does not exist in Painter Essentials is “dodge / burn”. These words come from photography terminology, back in the old days when you developed photos in a darkroom using chemicals. In this case, “dodge” meant to take a given color and lighten it (add more white) and “burn” meant to take the color and darken it. This was really good for adding shading to the picture, without having to match the paint hues.

Here is what the GIMP interface looked like. Click the picture to enlarge!

Gimp project partway






Minecraft’s company was just sold to Microsoft


Yes, the deal is real. Mojang is being bought by Microsoft.

squirl no

The article continues…

It was reassuring to see how many of your opinions mirrored those of the Mojangstas when we heard the news. Change is scary, and this is a big change for all of us. It’s going to be good though. Everything is going to be OK. <3

Please remember that the future of Minecraft and you – the community – are extremely important to everyone involved. If you take one thing away from this post, let it be that.


One of the cool things about Minecraft is that the program is open-source, which means that you are legally allowed to modify it (though not to sell your modifications).

Would Microsoft allow this to continue???

Will this affect the Minecraft editing programs, such as WorldPainter, Avanti and MC Edit?

I have a bad feeling about this.