I've been working on a freelance project for the past couple of months, hence the radio silence. That work is finished for the minute, so I decided to use this week to finish up a few small projects before settling back in to regular work. One of those small projects was good, the other...
How to make something that no one needs:
- Identify a problem.
- Make something that fixes the problem.
- Realise you were wrong when you first identified the problem. There is no problem. The only problem is You.
- Delete all evidence that you ever tried to solve the problem.
- Write a blog post about it, nullifying point '4'.
While this is an excellent recipe for mild embarrassment and moderate time-wasting, if you really want to excel at 'Making things no one needs™' you will also need to post your solution to social media, first, lamenting the original problem and then again when you have 'solved' the problem. Writing a blog post about the ordeal is optional, but somewhat cathartic.
Said problem was that there didn't seem to be a way to select all the keyframes for a given channel in the Graph Editor in Blender:
But poor naive Past-Ray was missing something, but it would be a few weeks later until he found this out:
Of course, by that stage I had already completed the script, promoted it on Twitter and given myself a good ol' pat on the back for being so clever. Suffice to say, the script has now been relegated to a new folder called 'Obsolete Scripts'.
You have now got to the end of 'Making things no one needs™' and should be able to make things that no one needs all by yourself. Feel free to refer to this handy guide if you ever feel like you're in danger of making something useful.
A cup half full
It's a shame really, Blender used to be known for it's hidden features and tools that were only accessible by an obscure shortcut and I had been glad at the thought that those days were over, often frowning upon those outside the Blender community who still thought this was the case. "But everything is accessible through a menu!" I would mentally shout at them. Apparently not.
Maybe I should be looking at this slightly differently. Maybe it's because hidden features are so uncommon that brought about this whole event. Had I been used to features not being in menus I might have dug a little deeper into the user preferences and hot-keys to find it. Not being able to find it in an obvious place, to me, was a sign that it couldn't exist. Perhaps, just by chance, I have come across one of the few remaining hidden features. Here's hoping.
As for the second, slightly more successful script, 'Batch Render Tools', whose usefulness flies in the face of this guide, I think that deserves a blog post of its own as it requires a bit more of an explanation.