Never so quiet

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Never so quiet

Postby rjh » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:46 pm

Well now ... we have gone the entire month of March 2010 and no posts of any kind. Is anyone doing anything ... ? ... animation wise ... ? art wise ? ... life wise ?

=>

Doing a whole bunch of stuff myself ... updating SMARTcomix with new stuff a bit more regularly ... posting new stuff this week (prepping stuff now for publish in next 2 - 3 days). Even though I've just recently redesigned, having second thoughts about the design of the site ... am considering another re-make with something like Wordpress or similar approach involving portifolio presentation / image archiving ... will inform of next post of new work and when i finally decide what direction to take with redesign.

Hope all is well with you all.

Rob
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Re: Never so quiet

Postby dcuny » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:11 am

For a while I'd been considering writing yet another renderer. My REYES style renderer is gathering dust. The main problem with it was that it was terribly slow. I'd intended to bolt on some new SDS code, but that hasn't happened. I'd also played with the idea of writing a screenspace ambient occlusion routine, but that also never really made it off the ground.

But the real killer is the work that's being done on hardware accelerated GPUs, such as Octane and SmallLuxGPU. Not that I've got an accelerated GPU card myself. If JPatch starts moving again, I may have another look at my JPatch to Blender script I wrote a while back. Blender has some really cool rendering features these days!

Right now most of my coding effort is aimed at an open-source music notation program called Presto. I'd taken a week off before Easter to work on it, and I've rewritten the rendering engine. I've actually made good progress on it, but I've still got a ton of stuff left to do. I'm having trouble getting sufficient motivation - I'm still wiped out from Easter.

I'm also working on putting together arrangements of songs for a friend. Most of them have to be transposed to different keys, so I'll end up scrapping a lot of work I've already done and have to re-record a bunch of tracks. Somehow the nut on my guitar busted, so I need to repair that, which will probably end up costing $75 that I haven't got.

I keep my eyes on the JPatch forum, hoping for a glimmer of life. I'd like to get my kids working on some 3D stuff, but it looks like they'll be working with Blender if nothing is happening around here. The new version of Blender is getting a lot of love, and looks pretty interesting. But my heart is still with JPatch. I'm hoping some progress gets made before the new IRTC animation rounds start...
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Re: Never so quiet

Postby sascha » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:59 am

I'd like to get my kids working on some 3D stuff, but it looks like they'll be working with Blender if nothing is happening around here.

:shock: Now we can't let that happen, can we?

I miss JPatch too. Right now I'd need a 3D model of the orbiter - I've started to model one with JPatch 0.4, but it needs to be "low-poly". So I've tried to use it as a pure polygon modeler (all vertices set to "peak"), which worked surprisingly well, but has obvious limitations too. It's such a pity that 0.7 isn't ready yet to do any serious box-modeling with it :(

I did some CAD style drawings with JPatch 0.4 too, but this low-poly business isn't going well together with the spline based approach. Now I have to learn to use an other package, I don't know which one yet (Wings, Blender or the Silo demo version)

As for JPatch, it looks like I won't have time to work on it until the end of June. I'm really sorry about that. But, there's a ray of hope - I'm confident that I can continue to work on JPatch beginning with August. I'll keep you posted.
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Re: Never so quiet

Postby dcuny » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:58 pm

Thanks for the update! :)

I found box modeling in Wings to be very intuitive.
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Re: Never so quiet

Postby sascha » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:06 am

Haven't used wings for some time now. The usage of the mouse buttons was a little confusing though.

Silo has similar issues: You can't do a lot without using obscure combinations of shift, alt, crtl etc. I don't have a native Windows installation right now and some of these keyes seem to get blocked by VirtualBox. The strange thing about it is that clicking or draging anywhere without some or all of these keyes pressed doesn't seem to do anything at all.

So, as powerful both of these programs may be, the UI is a fail. And Blender... don't get me started :)

My definition of an intuitive UI is that you simply can start using it without watching hours of tutorial videos and reading tons of manuals. Of course there are advanced topics and features to discover that require reading the docs or watching tutorials. But it's the first few steps that the vast majority of these programs make so unnecessarily hard. And that's a niche JPatch could fill... If I start an application and click somewhere, something should happen, and it shouldn't take me more than 5 seconds to figure out what's happening. I click and drag a point/edge/face and hey, I can move it. I click and drag outside and OK, there's lasso select. Even if I didn't expect those things to happen, it's hard to not stumble across them by accident. So I discover features simply by clicking around, and kind of automatically learn how to use the application. The right mousebutton should do what it's supposed to do: opening a context menu. I've seen 3D programs where you have to press space to open the context menu...
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Re: Never so quiet

Postby pndragon » Tue May 04, 2010 4:41 pm

Add me to the "missing jpatch" list.

Either the screen or the HD of my laptop failed in January and since then i've been forced to go back to using Vista, something which pains more than you will ever know. the only thing that would get me to start trying to model anything right now, on Windows (God forbid) would be the advent of the Second Coming of jpatch...

Jim
"We're so sorry, Uncle Albert,
But we haven't done a bloody thing all day."
--- Paul McCartney
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Re: Never so quiet

Postby John VanSickle » Sat May 29, 2010 3:06 pm

It turns out that if I pay for a subscription to an online game, something in me says to get my money's worth by playing as much as possible. So I've done very little coding on anything.
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Re: Never so quiet

Postby dcuny » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:37 am

I've been back using Windows since I started working on music again. As much as it pains me to say it, Linux just doesn't cut it for audio... yet. I use Reaper, which runs under Wine, but I also use Garritan Personal Orchestra, and I didn't want the hassle of trying to get it running under Linux.

Rumor has it that a native Linux version of Reaper is on the way, so that may change things a bit.

Hrm... I see that Garritan has just released their Jazz and Big Band 3 (JABB) as a download for $150. It's a great deal. I if I wasn't dead broke - and didn't really suck at arranging brass - I'd grab it in an instant... :(

Actually, I've been working on a music notation program which is designed to assist in creating orchestral arrangements, and JABB would be great for it. I've already got the "voice thickening" subsystem working, but music notation is a real pain, so the project is on hold for a while so I can work on other stuff, until I gather enough enthusiasm to start working on it again.

I took a couple days off this week to get some new features in Marin, my Reyes-style renderer. I made much better progress on it than I expected. I'd hoped to have shadow maps finished by now, but Sunday's always a busy day with the family at church, and I spent today over at my parents and installing a new video card my son bought for his computer. It was too new for his machine, so he ended up installing it in the family computer. He's happy because he gets to play Sam and Max in high resolution glory, and I've now got an OpenCL compliant card to fool around with. 8)

I doubt anyone other than me will want to use the Marin renderer, but it would be nice to be able to use it for an IRTC animation round if they ever start it up again. :D
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