Pastry3D Video Uploaded

Back with my desktop now, I’ve finally been able to screen capture Pastry3D’s demo scene. It took some fiddling, but I was able to upload it to YouTube in 720p, even if YouTube compression has somewhat damaged the quality. The video can be found here, or embedded in this post, below:

I’ve also updated the Pastry3D page with this video.

If anybody knows of a good guide to capturing, editing, and exporting high-quality videos with a reasonable file size I’d love to see it. It’s something I’ve never been able to do and it’d be great to be able to put up more videos of my current projects or favourite games.

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Pastry3D Updated

I’ve updated the Pastry3D page to it’s finished state, put up downlaods of the demo application and source (as a visual studio 2010 project). I’ve also fixed a bug I recently discovered whereby resize messages are sent before initialization of the renderer on some operating systems (Windows 8 and XP specifically, but not Windows 7). As I’ve mentionned so many times already, I’ll have a video up when I can, and no sooner.

We don’t talk about Ludum Dare 22

Okay, it wasn’t all that bad. The theme was ‘Alone’, as I had hoped, and we had plenty of good ideas to play with before coming up with a really good concept, that almost panned out. I’m back at home now, having had a couple more days rest since then, and looking back at what we made from the outside, it’s really not bad. You can play our finished game here. Problems? Well, we started out completely unprepared, had to whip together tile engine out of thin air and make do with poorly outlined classes as we resorted to sloppy coding far too early. We’re planning on entering again at the next opportunity though, as a team or as individuals, with all the knowledge and experience garnered from this first attempt. It can only get better.

Being back at home is also giving me real opportunity to stress test the laptop I bought a few months back from PCSPECIALIST, and I am very impressed. Devil May Cry 4 looks better than it does on an Xbox 360 (dated, perhaps, but still a damn pretty game), the keyboard is spaced perfectly and tap taps in a satisfying manner, the screen is crisp, bright, perfect, and the battery life isn’t at all bad if you’re just browsing. With this I look forward to the rest of my christmas break spent searching for work placements, getting a head start on DirectX for next semester – and playing a few games of course.

Now that I’m perfectly work-free for the time being, I WILL get around to updating the other pages around here, though I won’t be able to get a video of my software renderer up until I get access to my desktop, or one of the labs computers – my laptop isn’t quite good enough to deal with video recording and software rendering at the same time. I also have a few pictures of my PSP dev work that I took on my phone, directly from the ghosty, reflective, crappy screen of a PSP in the over-lit labs, but I may be able to clean these up enough for show.

I’ll be back soon, with a massive drill.

From Deadline to Deadline

So I got my assignments in a couple of days before the deadline, and I’ve had a more relaxing couple of days since then – I think I’ve earned them. I also think it’s important that I got in a bit of relaxation so I’m not already burnt out at the start of the 22nd Ludum Dare which starts tomorrow morning. Me and the guys I live with are participating as a team – pillowdrift – hoping to make something awesome out of whatever theme we get. Personally I’m routing for ‘Alone’ or ‘Moon’, but there are some other themes in the final round that I’m really not excited about.

And yes – I will be updating this space with information on my completed assignments, including Pastry3D, screenshots of my demo application, maybe even a video and downloads. My PSP graphics demo assignment is another story – I may be able to get a video-out recording of it next semester, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Four days

I have an interesting timetable for university this semester, requiring that I attend lectures and tutorials only three days out of the week – and then only for a few hours at a time in the morning or afternoon. It’s rather different from last year’s timetables, which had lectures, tutorials and seminars scattered all over the place, and it took some getting used it. What it means, however, is that I have two afternoons, one morning, and then four full days who’s happenings are left entirely up to me. I really like it. Four days of no set timetable means I can work under my own conditions rather than being forced to work in the labs between lectures, and having just emerged from one of these long weekends I can report a small collection of successes which might not have happened if I was forced to work in a less comfortable environment.

In a recent post I mentioned I was going to be looking into Java in any spare time I got in my busy schedule, but that all changed last Thursday when we were told in Team Software Development that we had to create a Java recode of our C# / Silverlight project. My summer of experience with OpenGL has really paid off and I’ve been able to get pretty far on the back-end o the game, hiding away the OpenGL stuff with a class named Graphics, which will be passed around to Entities and contain ‘draw’ functions much like SpriteBatch in XNA. What this means is that the rest of my team won’t have to worry about the OpenGL implementation under the covers and should be able to just plow on with converting the game. To be honest I’d be pleased to carry on the project in Java alone – it’s a much nicer prospect than working with Silverlight through XNA and Silversprite, and it means we can use real perspective projection for our 2.5d gameplay, rather than faking it (Silversprite does not allow for 3D functionality). What this means overall is that I’ve had a kick-start in Java – I’ve found it to be rather nice, and it’s very easy to make the short leap from C#.

I’ve also made some progress with Pastry3D this weekend. While I began looking into scanline triangle rasterization as an alternative to using half-space equations, and even implemented it to some working extent, , I found the algorithm to be unwieldy and less flexible than my current solution, and opted to look into animating and texturing models instead. I’m happy to report success in these endeavors and the results will soon be added to the Pastry3D page in the form of screenshots and joyous ramblings.

Pastry3D: 20% Cooler

I made a promise to myself that I’d post about this when it was done, so now I am doing so – a little over a half-hour since getting it running.

Pastry3D is taking strides. No more wireframes for me – no siree – my software renderer can now take every little triangle in a model and spit it back at you with ambient, directional and point diffuse lighting, smooth, smooth, Gouraud shading, and z-buffering! It’s been about seven weeks now working on Pastry3D alongside my other university projects, and while I’m sure that with what I know now I could get back to this stage much faster than that, there’s still a certain satisfaction to be had in looking at a nicely rendered 3D model rotating on a screen and knowing that you did it all – right down to the pixel plotting.

Now, there are probably a few technical points I should discuss here about Pastry3D – the structure, the interpolation and triangle rasterization methods, etc – but I thought it’d be much nicer to give you a picture of a pony to look at instead. If you really want to know how it works, you can click the pony to get to the Pastry3D page.