Thursday, December 23, 2010

Covii Challenge part 2 update log: Thursday

Day 4-Thursday:
Update 1(2:49):
  • Almost  3 in the morning, I've been working for the last hour or so with brief rests to watch some youtube videos from my subscriptions. If I'm lucky Batman9502 will upload his LP videos for his Ocarina of Time and Megaman Legends 2 in less than half an hour, if not then it's off to bed  without a good-night cartoon :(
    Anyway, I digress. Here's what I've accomplished in the last hour and a half:
  1. Cubes that light up softly 
  2. When the mouse passes them not too fast and not too slow, they fly in the direction of the camera missing it by just enough not to notice any clipping.
  3. Trail effect on the cubes is finally noticeable.
  4. Added a very nice looking background that changes softly over time(only noticeable without cubes on the screen), I did this using a simple gradient background texture
  • So, not that much done but these are the new accomplishments. As usual I also fiddled with the framebuffer order and some colour and opacity, the colours look too desaturated for me in the current state; changed the bloom effect settings so it's a lot more subtle; changed the way the particles render so the final image looks softer, but at the same time allows me to illuminate the particles I need above their texture color. I also removed the specular highlight. It was far too strong even on the lowest settings, so I'll just stay with the very subtle sphere map.
  •  ANYWAY! Here's the product from few hours ago:
 Randomly Lit cubes with random rotations FTW!

  •  And here's the product from a few minutes before I started writing this entry:
 You see what I mean by too desaturated?

  • The background has a very nice color but the cubes, even though they have the same hue, are a lot more desaturated and I'm still trying to figure out why. I'll probably fiddle around with the light and the 2nd pass to add more red and blue
  • So! I'd say this part of the project is quite close to being done, all I have to add now is to make the cubes rotate when you pass over them with the mouse! Then it'll be off to the second part of the challenge where I'll have to add the same water-y effects to the particles as in the Yellow Submarine from the previous challenge and create another particle system that creates the particles near the mouse to give a similar effect to the one in the video they gave me. If I'm done in the early afternoon then I'll add some extra flavour like the screen shattering into a hundred of small cubes when changing from one effect to the other. This would be quite easy to do if I had the time since I render most of everything on Texture-bound FBOs.
  • I have one regret towards this challenge: I have to copy someone else's work. Not exactly, but since they gave me a reference I've been following it quite strongly so I don't sidetrack as I usually like to do. If I had more time I would've made some significant changes like adding Anti-Alias to the scene so it would look a lot more polished. I would've also added interesting physical effects to the particles, like visual effects like changing the hue of the scene or make the cubes actually behave "softer" using shaders (stretch them in the direction they're flying for example, and expand a bit when rotating really fast)
 Update 1(15:07):
  • I sent my (hopefully) future boss two of the screens I had here on my blog and he liked it! In fact he liked it so much that he said he wants to close the deal! I'm going there to work with them for one day and if they like me I'll be working!! I'll be part of a team that makes awesome projects and lets me get better and better at what I love to do! YEAH!
    Ekhem. Now we resume our scheduled programme:

  •  I added mouse speed dependent rotation to the cubes using cross product between the mouse current, and previous positions and the particle coordinates. Now the cubes rotate properly, if you pass the mouse over them slowly they'll rotate slowly in the direction the mouse is moving, if you pass your mouse a bit on the side it'll rotate on an angle perpendicular to the mouse movement in relation to the particle.
  • I also render the trail above the particles but with much more subtlety. This gives them the appearance of delicate semi-translucency especially when they move fast around the screen, it also helps softening the scene giving it a more...uh... ethereal(?) look?
    Here are the screenies:

  • There are still some thing I would like to try out like making a DoF effect using part of the blur shader but make the blur stronger the closer the particles get to screen, I'm not sure if I have time to do that since I still need to get working on the second part of this program which is making much smaller cubes that light up stronger the faster they go and behave like if they were in water. I would kinda prefer no to do that since I really need a good rest.
    Also I would follow my friends advice and add some anti-aliasing to the scene since it doesn't look that good on screenshots. Luckily this isn't such a problem when actually playing around with the program so most passers-by wouldn't notice any difference.
    One thing that popped up into my mind (even though unrelated to the challenge) is to make some effects using metaballs. I know it's made using the marching cubes algorithm but I'm curious how the actual mesh would be built from that.
  • I just noticed I wrote "Tuesday" instead of "Thursday" in the title.

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