spike1

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Pirates and Stick Fingers
Posted on June 19, 2017 at 10:37

I'm lying in bed trying to fall sleep, double pillows keeping my back up and cold, wet towels covering my forehead. Every quarter of an hour or so I manage to dream about anime sword clashes for a few moments, but that gets irritating quickly - especially with the civil war going on! The pirates could be storming through my door any second and here I am trying to get some shut eye!

Alright maybe I can make a change. Sometimes if I lay my head on the other side of my bed I can get to sleep easier. I don't bother transferring the second pillow but I hold the cold towel on anyway, and I move the giant soft toy to the other side in case it tries to kill me during the night. I lie down and face the door, I'm now closer to it. And I wait...and wait...

Luckily the captain underneath my sheets figures he can help and he whispers to me I can finally go to sleep if I take the towels off. I figure what the heck and so I toss them on the ground.

The problem is, I'm going to have to move everything now. The Nerds have been split on the floor and the towels are over here and my feet are over there and I need to move every single item in my room to the other side to fix things. I start to panic and the room grows around me. My fingers have become brittle like a twig and I start cradling them too scared to touch anything - in fact everything is made of broken twigs and bones that have frayed at the ends. I can feel a few tears running down my cheek as I realise it'll take years to rotate the house and I don't know if I even can put things right. I look over to my desk which looks so far away now.

That passes after several minutes, and I manage a dreamless sleep for about an hour before waking up for a bathroom break. After dealing with the forcefield around the toilet I realise I've forgotten part of how to get back to sleep! I rush back into bed and start concentrating really hard on the civil war. Suddenly it hits me - back when I was asleep I'd pulled apart the air in front of me to reveal an orange holographic amusement park. I can almost see it now but it's kinda faint, luckily Frank the pirate lets me go back to sleep. I finally get a few hours sleep, and I wake up to my mum checking up on me which scared off the many hallucinations and illusions.

I'd just had a bad case of tonselitis where my temperature got a bit high, but my gosh it was a bizarre experience XD. I'm fairly certain most of it was dreams and hallucinations but I was definitely awake during the stick finger part, it's just weird knowing how much my perception can be screwed up haha :P. Luckily I was better-ish (I'm still technically sick) in time for my birthday, so yay :D

Thanks for reading!

It's kinda strange though, the weird stick part has happened since then a couple of times in varying degrees, and it never gets any more comfortable feeling like my fingers are made of twigs...lol :P




Makin' stuff :)
Posted on May 05, 2017 at 10:51

Hey everyone!

It seems every post I try to beat my previous time between posts haha XD. I don't know I just felt the urge to show some of the stuff I've been working on since no one outside my immediate family has even seen most of it, so yeah that's what I'll do I guess :). Yaya atenton! :D

Music Video/Collaborating
Working with other people is weird, especially when their taste and style is almost the opposite of yours. But I got the chance to collaborate with a friend on their second music video and I figured why not - 5 months later and here it is! Plez watch it's good I swear :(


Edit: Here's a Vimeo link as well, better quality and whatnot :)

It probably took me about 2-3 months to film and edit it (you'd be surprised by how much hidden CG there is...like seriously the opening of the door shot starts off entirely CG, the stars are fake, we filmed most of it during the day, I've edited people's expressions...it's hilarious oh god why did I spend so much time on that door...), and the rest has been waiting for the song to be finished. It's not my cup of tea but I still enjoyed working on it all the same, and it taught me a lot of patience haha - I'm sure that applies to the collaboratee as well XD. I also still have a long way to go regarding directing and cinematography, but hopefully I'll be able to continue making these (I might be getting a gig from an actual band at some point, their guitarist knows about me anyway...and I'm cheap :( haha).


Simple geometry, lots of highly detailed textures constructed from random bits of footage



Game
Working on a game! I don't really want to say much about it since it's way too big for me to finish that is the third time I've almost typed vinish this blog and I'll probably give up by the end of the year, but ah well. I'm hoping to make a Lynchian detective game with meta commentary on fiction and consciousness, with a crap ton of 4th wall breaking and really cool ideas I can't wait to give up on!

I've been developing my own game engine in C#, dubbed the "Flipper Engine". I've mostly been focusing on graphics capabilities (I've got a lot of experience there), but an interface is starting to form too :).

Just a few features I've implemented so far (this is purely showing off)
  • Scene importing from Blender + parenting and all that
  • Deferred rendering
  • Realtime lighting from area, spot, directional and point lights + variance and exponential shadow mapping
  • Temporal anti aliasing
  • Raycasting and collision checking
  • Distance Field Font Rendering
  • Head Tracking


It's got a long way to go until it's useful, but it's been fun writing so far :). That last one was really interesting actually, and I've got head tracking in all three dimensions working pretty smoothly just using a crappy webcam and OpenCV + a crap ton of heuristics. It's actually just a ploy for a great moment I'm planning in the game though (think reflection), but I'm hoping to find interesting ways to implement it as a mechanic.


Just the shadows and rounded Lambert, looks pretty cool :D


Looks less cool in color, although they're supported there's no textures yet XD

Shader Sandwich
The most boring of them all, Unity's a pain and so developing Shader Sandwich is a pain. However...a customer emailed me and notified me that Shader Sandwich just spews errors in the latest version of Unity - eek!

So I've been busy working on that, and I've created a cool new system for layering different lighting modes, which allows for a crap ton more possibilities :D



It's not too interesting so I won't write much about it but I've also been developing a real time GI system alongside Shader Sandwich, it works XD. Also working on some songs that aren't just crappy guitar (one about collaborating, one about buttons, one that's a spiteful rip off, something else I forgot XD), and am planning on getting singing lessons so I don't sound like a dying horse :D

Some or other
So yeah that's some of the stuff I've been up to, not too exciting overall but ya know, slowly getting there XD. Where 'there' is is a fantastic question mind you, but out of all these different things one of them's got to turn out well, right?

Well anyway thanks for reading, or even just looking at the pictures haha :)




The piles of limbs scream to the void...
Posted on April 19, 2016 at 23:28

How's that for an emo title for ya?

Anyway, been a while since I posted, in fact it's been a while since I visited here, I only started lurking again a few weeks ago. But I miss this place and the community so yeah, I'm gonna try and be more active...I say that every freaking blog don't I?

So, stuff that's happened in the meantime.
Well, Shader Sandwich is still selling well, so that's cool. I practically rewrote half the codebase two weeks ago and pushed out the latest version after not having spoken to any of the customers for months...oops. I pretty much left the internet for the first few months of this year actually, only really using Youtube to upload private videos and such. So that was weird haha.

Umm, made a couple more short films. Ooh, I got a new camera! It's SOOOO GOOD!!! Sony A7s II and coupled with a 50mm f1.1 lens it's just aaaaahhhhhhhhh-
A bunch of slow loading browser crashing Youtube embeds (Show)

It's funny since the camera is so good I feel pathetic in my use of it, I really want to step up my game and make something actually decent with it, will happen eventually...

As part of my Internet resurgence I've created a Twitter account! So now you can hear my bullshit ramblings about eclectic topics such as movies, programming, self-referential emo jokes, songs, whatever. It's shit. Twitter is seriously just a cesspool of limbs screaming to the void hoping to be noticed...that's probably projection. I'm actually pretty conflicted by how incredibly narcissistic I am, and my Twitter account just exemplifies it. It's funny because my friends think I'm humble haha, sure. Ah well...

Art wise, I've done drawings and songs!
Here's a semi decent song about the stuff below:
Edit: Hopefully one of these work XD
No content


Time for some Reiddsan styled shit (sorry man but your posts are...certainly something...)
I've really been trying to "connect" with myself more or something. I basically shut myself off from the world for a year and a bit a few years back and kind of forgot how to human, but I'm getting there. Most recent realization was I had a crush on a girl, which was kind of surprising for me. And I realized I'd had it for about a year. Just the more I got to know her the more amazing I realized she was and since she joined the little filming group I'd just gone kind crazy (that verb noun agreement). So anyway I was pretty sure she didn't feel the same way so I figured I'd get it over and done with and told her, turns out she's gay, so yeah... ah well XD. We're still really great friends and that's really what matters to me anyway so I'm pretty happy with how it turned out all in all; I'm just glad I was able to admit something like that, both to myself and to another person, makes me feel better in some way I suppose.

I wrote a few other songs but they're shit and I can't sing, so I won't make you suffer through them XD.

Done some drawings too - all just copies of references because I suck:
Shit (Show)


So yeah, that's my dump of stuff. Now that I've returned to the Internet I'll try and be more active but yeah, we'll see...
Thanks for reading! :)




Yeah ok I'll post :)
Posted on December 16, 2015 at 19:48

Hi everyone! Haven't posted in a while, done some stuff and whatnot :).

The Wolf's Lens BTS:


Talks about production issues, VFX tips, and a few non-sequitur rants on marketing strategies and Lynch's films.

Lorne:
Went up to Lorne (a small coastal town) for a mini holiday. Was really fun, went horse riding, came up with an older version of Moirai (below), and just generally unwinded. Also decided not to take a single photo throughout the entire thing, which managed to annoy my mum and sister incredibly. I'm not really sure why though, think the experience was better personally.

The Triumph of Trevor Truelove:
Was a part of a god-awful play that depressed everyone that was a part of it. I was the main villain (bloody Jasper Villius), so that was fun. I got to yell at everyone XD. I actually felt really uncomfortable doing it though...

Moirai:
Obviously those short-films we were going to make fell through, and after TTOTT we needed something more meaty anyway. Me and a group of friends from drama are working on a series of television long episodes (well, almost, just over 30mins each) about a group of teenagers who discover a book containing a list of thousands of people that will die.
So far I've scripted the first episode (You can read it here if you want), planned out the arcs and whatnot. Still not sure how to film some of it (locations, casting etc), but should be fun.
Here's the potential theme song:
Edit: Doesn't work on some browsers, here's a direct link: http://www.electronic-mind.org/RandomFiles/MoiraiMaybe.m4a

Friends:
Time to sound woeful and whatnot, but I haven't had a friend I talk frequently to in over 3 years. And now I have like, 5 or so which is amazing :D. It feels really nice, and quite different to my previous ones (that generally just wanted to use my computer skills to enhance their reputation by taking credit, and I'm generally too nice to refuse). So that's been wonderful :D. On another note I got ripped off $10 yesterday on a cupcake, didn't say anything, I'm really stupid.

Basically left school:
Ayce pissed me off in a variety of ways, won't go into detail but I decided not to attend the last few months. Probably won't go back. So much happier not going anyway. Currently I feel amazing, thinking about it puts me back in the dumps.

Shader Sandwich:
Shader Sandwich is going great, getting quite a few sales each month and the user base is full of really enthusiastic and friendly people :). And currently working on adding an in-built code editor (so you can add custom code, and keep changing the shader in the editor without overwriting it). Also working on in-built volumetrics:
, and of course some other stuff.

Browser (NEW):
Forgot about this, not sure if I mentioned it before but I've been working on a toy browser, can display pages decently, you can't submit forms or anything though. All rendering is done is OpenGL so I've had to reimplement standard controls from scratch, they work pretty well though (selection, copy/pasting, undo's etc).
Out of date screenshot (it does a better job of text rendering and layouting now...)



Lynch & Hitchcock:
Watched Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Vertigo, Shadow of a Doubt and The Trouble with Harry. Hadn't seen a film for several months before that, was enjoyable.

So yeah, that's what I've been up to :). I'll go around a comment on all the other blogs now over the next few days, then vanish for another month :).




Surreal Dream Game Prototypish Thingy...
Posted on November 10, 2015 at 16:58

Hi everyone!

The past few days I've put together a prototype of game I'd like to make, a sort of dream-like surreal experience inspired by actual dreams. It wouldn't have a traditional plot or much cohesive gameplay but I figured it would still be interesting to play. Anyway, I've put a link to the game below so if anyone wants to try it out and leave feedback it'd be really great :D. The prototype only plays for about 5 mins, so it won't take too long.

Here's an image as well. I don't want to spoil too much but I figured it might make the game seem more interesting haha XD.

https://www.mediafire.com/?kaaatu6a5n3mksa

Not much else happening, finished an update to Shader Sandwich (V1.2), so that's cool. I'll be making another short film over the weekend, hopefully this time with a more coherent plot and (maybe?) less focus on VFX.

Thanks for reading :D.




I'm back!
Posted on October 06, 2015 at 18:55

And no-one cares....

Anyway, hi everyone! It's been a while since I've posted, but I've been online pretty much this entire time. I'm going to try and post a little more often since I've got tons of free time now.

So, stuff I've been working on. I've released a few updates for Shader Sandwich, and had a big sale a month ago that Unity promoted for me, so that was pretty great :D. Other than that, I've been focusing more on visual effects, film making and making friends. I have literally had zero non-family friends for the past year or so, so I decided to change that and now have 3! And two of them, my sister and I made a short film:


For the first time in about half a year I played a game (SOMA), so that was fun. Really great game, loved its look at consciousness and what it means to be alive (in a non biological sense, I shouldn't need to say this but I've seen many people comment "But there's a scientific definition blah blah blah").

The sound design was the most impressive part of the game for me, how perfectly every sound flowed from the clanking of metal to the oppressive sounds of ocean currents, they just nailed it. Voice acting was great, and the main character wasn't a complete moron like in most other games I've played. They really tried hard to make Simon ask whatever the player would be thinking at that point, which really helped with player-character immersion.

Visually the game was fantastic as well, the ocean floor was absolutely incredible. My only complaint there might be when you walked through seaweed it wobbled too much, but that's basically it. Compared to Amnesia this game looked much better.

And finally gameplay wise, it was an improvement in a few different ways. It had a few more mechanics, but that wasn't what was impressive. It was how smooth everything felt, nothing ever felt clunky or badly designed, the entire game was perfectly designed and you can really tell how much effort went into it. In their previous games the gameplay didn't feel as cohesive as this (particularly in Penumbra, but Amnesia was well).

So, the story. Look, I can definitely poke holes in it, there are a few things that don't quite work and I think this is because of huge rewrites occurring write up until the final release (getting this idea from how different the Transmission video's story (filmed in 2013) is compared to the final game's), however how competently it was told more than made up for it. Every room in the game told it's own story, the characters were all fleshed out and Pathos-2 just felt like a real place. This is the first time a game has really pulled that off (in my extremely limited experience admittedly, but I've watched alot of games being played), so I was very impressed by that.

So yeah, SOMA was great and you guys should go buy it because it's awesome Frictional give me mah monies.

I have no idea what this post is about, but whatever. I really want to post more often, both here and on my website which you should totally check out by the way...., so yah. Thanks for reading!




A rant about Microsoft's wonderful HLSL compiler.
Posted on May 04, 2015 at 12:41

Ok, I have seriously got a bone to pick with the Unity team. I've been developing a shader generator quite a while now, and while Unity 5's new lighting and GI system kinda slowed me down, they were an improvement, fair enough. But they also decided to do a wonderful switch in regards to their shader compiler. Previously it compiled NVidia's CG shader language, which is pretty good. The new compiler uses HLSL, which looks about the same (It's just a bit more strict, for example previously I could put float3(0.2), and it would equal float3(0.2,0.2,0.2). Not anymore, but meh), however the compiler is genuinely broken. I'll give an example.

I was working on a coherent noise generator (Like perlin noise but blockier), that get's fed a coordinate and outputs a value. When working, the noise looks like this:

The way it works is pretty simple:
1. Receive coordinate (UV), and feed it into the function NoiseB2D(float2 P)
2. Find the cell that the coordinates are within, then calculate a random number for each bordering cell corner.

3. Interpolate between each cell point based on the relative position that the coordinate holds.

Here's the code:
Code

float NoiseB2D(float2 P)
{
    float SS = Unique2D(P);//Always returns the same number for the same point.
    float SE = Unique2D(P+float2(1,0));
    float ES = Unique2D(P+float2(0,1));
    float EE = Unique2D(P+float2(1,1));
    float xx = Lerp2D(frac(P),SS,SE,ES,EE);
    return xx;
}

But for some reason, the noise was appearing strange, points would randomly cutoff and flicker as I moved the camera.

This is the kicker. I looked through the generated assembly code, and found that it referenced a number that was in another part of the code, 0.99999. It decided they were close enough, and managed to bundle them together in a few "mads". So instead of being +float2(1,0), it was +float2(0.99999,0), which thew the entire calculation out. I ended up having to change it to 1.0000001 just to fix this silly, destructive compiler bug. Looking through assembly code isn't fun.

EDIT; Just to clarify, the 0.9999 wasn't the entire problem, as you probably may have guessed it would just output different numbers. However, due to the precision of the floats on certain GPUs, it would cause the flickering as sometimes it would just add closer to 1, and other times not.

And this isn't the only case of the compiler doing destructive optimizations. In my perlin noise function, the frac function ((Returns x-floor(x)) or (In goes 16.45 , and out comes 0.45)) was being removed when the number going into it was a constant, fair enough. Except it didn't do the correct operation. I fed 1.9 into it and in the assembler it output 78.4! wtf!

This stuff is absolutely mind boggling, and also incredibly difficult to predict. The number of if statements I've had to add to Shader Sandwich has been enormous to try and predict these little compiler quirks.

Ok, that was cathartic, back to work XD.




Dark Steampunk Survival FPS Puzzle Game
Posted on April 13, 2015 at 23:39

Hello! Anyway, I made a prototype, but when I build it Unity just spams UnityShaderCompiler.exe instances then crashes. It was plagued by the GFXWaitForPresent bug so it ran terribly anyway anyway, wasn't really worth it. I might post a video soon though.

I'm not great at pitching ideas, but I'll try. I'll split it into two parts, the How It'll Feel and the What It'll Actually Be since I've got no prototype.
Edit: Hide tags don't work or I did something wrong, so I made them show tags :).
Edit2: Fixed, adding a ' in the tile of a hide or show tag bugs it up :).
How Itll Feel (Show)

What Itll Actually Be (Show)

tldr (Show)




2001: A Space Odyssey Theories!
Posted on April 04, 2015 at 09:13

Hello everyone!
I just saw 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Astor Theater (Which will close tomorrow :(, very sad ), and I thought, since I'm sure/hope a lot of you had seen it that we could do a theory thread :).

Basically just post what you think the movie was about, what the monolith was etc. I'll start (With a post below). Have fun :D.

Edit: Also, spoilers ahead (Obviously), although with this film it isn't too important.




Stuff I've Done :)
Posted on March 31, 2015 at 06:57

Hi everyone! It's been a while since I've posted, so I figured I'd update you all on some stuff :D.

First of all, I made another house! Someone requested I make another, so I did :). It's pretty nice I think, and fairly cheap since you get a ton of useful scripts and shaders with it. I still have to update this and my other house for use in U5, shouldn't be too hard though :).
Some screenies:




Anyway, I've also been working on a short film, although i'll probably never finish it haha :D. It's a super cereal action film involving a boy and his toy cat. It's really rubbish :D.



Anyway, on to Shader Sandwich. Now, I almost had it done a while back, but some things came up and I had to put it on hold. When I came back, I almost died when I looked at the code base, so I decided to reprogram it! I present, SS 2.0! Except it's still V1.0, meh. Anyway, here's a test tutorial video I did to show off some of it's more advanced features, take a look :D:

It's almost done, just one more feature to add before it's complete :D.

Anyway, I've done a few other things like model my head (Really well mind you, It's actually difficult to tell the difference between the real me and it, other than the hair :D), compose a decent piano piece (with sheet music! Will post it here sometime), and started writing a play for my drama school.

Anyway, see you in the next blog, I'm going to try and post each week or so :).



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