Nov 11

Smoke in Natron

When I first tried Natron, I was frustrated with inability to use particle effects like smoke.
It took me a while to figure it out. But finally I have a solution!

Here is step-by-step instruction:
1. Install Natron from
2. Install community plugins from
3. Run Natron, add node “Shadertoy” from “Filter” section
4. In the ShaderToy property click on “Image Shader”. It will expand a large section of parameters.
5. In “Load From Preset” select something (for example, “Bubbles”) to make sure it works (connect “ShaderToy” node output to “Viewer” input, of course)
6. Now go to and search for “Smoke” (or whatever effect you need). Click on it. Copy the source (in C-like language) from the window on the right
7. Back in Natron, select in “Load From Preset” “No Preset”, clean up the Source window and copy there the code.
8. It will fail! You need to go through the code and replace iTime with iGlobalTime and also texture with texture2D. there might be no “texture”, but for sure there will be iTime.
9. Compile! The “Compile button looks like it is disabled, but it works indeed!
10. It works? Great! Now make it permanently available! Go to C:\Program Files\INRIA\Natron-2.3.2\Plugins\OFX\Natron\Shadertoy.ofx.bundle\Contents\Resources\presets\default\ and create a file with extension .glsl, like myeffect.glsl
11. Edit C:\Program Files\INRIA\Natron-2.3.2\Plugins\OFX\Natron\Shadertoy.ofx.bundle\Contents\Resources\presets\default\Shadertoy.txt – add a line
“My Effect” “myeffect.glsl”
It is easy to group items. Use this instead:
“My Effects/MyEffect” “myeffect.glsl”
12. Restart Natron and enjoy!

Feb 12


This is software project.

It generates moving city landscape. With it, I can make movies like this (Click on the image to watch on YouTube):

Movie Screenshot

Here you can download the Landscape Generator executable for .NET (it runs on Windows. I did not try to run in on Linux with Mono but it might just run):


If you are paranoid and do not trust me, because I’m just some random person on the Internet (which is very reasonable), please instead download the sources from GitHub, review them for potential threats, and compile. They are in C#.

Source Codes

Oct 22


My 2016 Halloween project: Spiderwebnight

How was it done? Watch the video:

TimeLapse video

Was it a successful project? Well, not quite. The rope supposed to be “glow in the dark”. And it does glow. Immediately after being exposed to some strong light. But sun set way too slowly :( I tried blacklight and camera flash, but they do not produce enough power for the whole spiderweb to glow. I can make a little piece glowing, but that’s no fun. But I like how it turns pink in the flash light. And it looks cool enough even without glowing.

Dec 20

What if rotary encoder does not click

I have got a function generator and power supply for $30 total.

The generator works great, but power supply was kind of weird. It was only adjustable when I did it really, really slowly. Once I tried to go faster, it was jumping to 1 then back to 0 then to 1 then back to 0. Yes, it was usable in general, but for a impatient guy like me it was a torture.

So I took it apart. There was a rotary encoder that did not click. It was just rotating smoothly like a potentiometer. This is clearly not what rotary encoder supposed to do. I decided, that I will likely not be able to repair it because some tiny part is likely broken, so I should buy a new one on ebay. But I decided to check it out first, so I opened it. This is the top part.


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