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I ran out of webspace on the webhoster where this blog is installed. After nearly 4 years and 177 published blog entries (and 58 drafts, oops).

As I am not so happy anymore about the speed thus I am not going to upgrade here but move back to my old hoster, where I started 10 years ago. This blog is my 4th-generation web-presence. I bought my very first webspace for my first site in feb. 2000 – that's 10 years of "Dom in da web" – a decade already! Oh dear!

They just upgraded my package over there so it has databases, too. Plus plenty more of webspace! Moving everything might take some time, but I hope not.

If you are not following me on Twitter, then you may not know about these links, yet:

PTex, free multi-res UV mapping API from Disney. It also require NO manual UV unwrapping! I guess this tech inside a modeling app or sculpting app with baking to low-res textures ability, would also be a very nice thing for game dev or any other real-time content creation!

Eve Online is a pretty hardcore sci-fi MMO game. The developers sometimes give some 'behind the scenes' on their blogs. Here is one about their recently deployed new planet rendering method.

Until the blog moved, happy 3D !

😀

Happy new year to you all !!

I hope you had a nice transition and a rather relaxing than stressful Christmas time!

2009 was an interesting year. After 4 1/2 years I stopped working at bogengang. As the Unity authoring environment finally became available for PC, I upgraded to the Pro version and did an interesting project with it during the summer. I’ll blog about that at a later time, too. Currently I am working with engineers and psychologist who are researching usability, stress and distraction topics for industries like automotive, aviation, logistics etc. I’ve already created 3D simulations for them in the past and hopefully we can start this year to bring it to a new level. I’ve tons of ideas … !!

:)

Writing blog articles can be quite time consuming. This is always why there weren't many recently.

Somehow at the beginning of this year tons of people suddenly started to use Twitter. Friends told me, that it took some time but they actually love it. So, from time to time I post there an interesting link or a personal comment. I will try to use both "channels" in a complementary way.

Recent interesting stuff I referred to:

Eyfinity from ATI, Multi-Mon Setups for 3+ Screen
Torque3D out of beta
Shadow-Based physics game from ex-Virtools user (and Unity user at flashbang studios)
Visual Scripting in a Ogre3D based game-editor
Nebula 3 Device also as webplayer

etc. See you on twitter!

Me on twitter

 

 

 

Rant mode: on.

I just read that somebody again has been condemned to 3 months jail for sharing 15 songs. This makes me sick. The finance industry in co-operation with governments burned trillions of dollars, trillions !!! And not just money from one industry sector … no … from entire nations ! Everybody, due the bailouts activities, is involved. And did they all go into jail? Surely not. They even got plenty of additional cheap money and made even more fortune. So who is criminal? Who doesn't stop throwing false data to the public in order to justify actions or new laws?

So where are our highly celebrated values? Western societies are shifting them to all the time to match their likes.

Imagine you want to open your mouth, create some sounds that encodes information that you want to be picked up by another ear for that your thought ends up in being copied into another mind. Quickly, your eyes scan the face of the other person in order to anticipate the response. Now imagine each time you do this, your credit card gets charged for technology and "IP" license fees! Or:

"I'm sorry, you can't say 'hello' to the other person. You have a license of the concept 'greetings' but the other person has not not and the license is not transferable!" D'oh !

Communication needs to copy information and communication is the base of all. Imagine a water molecule that connects to a license server in order to prove it has a valid license to swing to the incoming wave!

I totally understand that creative people need to earn money – I really do! And therefore we need a good – BUT NEW – solution!

The old concepts are biased. The globalization is ok for finance, production and tax-optimization, but sharing your music CD with your  neighbor (who might be on the other side of the world) is suddenly not! Yes, the Internet connects us to plenty people around the world – this is very different than before and a different aspect of "Globalization"! How did they say? "You can't stop it – it's just like it is." Hah! But then they declare all kind of stuff illegal – where is the difference in "their" globalization and the information and community globalization?! Where?!

I just recently saw an interesting speech. Don't remember who that was – maybe from the "Joel On software" guy. 10 years ago, most companies tend to hide their knowledge, hoping to profit even more from it. Nowadays people share their knowledge and help each other. What a productivity boost!! Your code-compiler spits around an error, that you haven't ever seen before? Google it and often you find the solution within minutes, instead of doing research for hours! And it's not just for coders, people help each other in the forums on all kind of topics! That's a real added-value on a society level!

So while it's totally fine to exclude 'toxic' financial papers from bank's balance, it's totally illegal to share digital (copyrighted) content with others. It is said, that the estimated damage due file-sharing is in the millions – maybe even a few billion. In contrast is the real, verified damage of the legalized, irresponsible gambling on the finance-market which is in the trillions!!!!!!!!!!

I once talked to a hotel manager. Hen told me that with 15 minutes each day in front of the computer and the internet, he is able to save 2 full-time employees which he needed before. Every heard of somebody talking to you how his productivity has been boosted by "new innovative financial products"? Or did innovative information-technology had an intense impact on your life?

Hmmm….

It's already 2 weeks now that we left Sicily. We had a wonderful time on a wonderful isle. The people there are very friendly and helpful. I can only recommend it – though it started to be very hot already! I love sun and warm weather but sometimes it was a bit much.

Here a few snapshots from our cheap camera, I hope they give some impressions…

Happy new year, my dear readers!

I hope you had relaxing Christmas time and a smooth transition into the new year.

:) 😀 :)

2008 has been a mixed year for me. End of 2007 and the first quarter or half of 2008 I worked a lot on the biggest Virtools VR Cluster. It's a 50-nodes cluster installed in a shopping mall in Berlin. When the cluster boots it's really impressive, feels like starting the engine of a space craft! It was a pretty intensive time. I did a lot of analysis, tests, refactoring, bug fixing and fine tuning and extensions. I had to do small iterations because the system had to run at daytime, giving me only the night time to test and deploy. Was not easy but I managed to complete the job for the customer, so that's very cool because it initially was a project from another company thus not my codes. For example, in one scenario, there was a serious out-of-sync for many character-animations and I wasn't sure if I was able to fix it. I had an idea and took a couple more days to go through the whole application changed plenty of places. I was very relieved and happy that it finally worked after that session (as I was running out of ideas hehehe ).

😉

VR Cluster in a mallWe also wrote a surveillance systems that automatically recovers the  system when something fails. You need to know that the system runs like 10 hours a day, 6 days a week!!! The VR pack is a useful framework but very obviously not adjusted to these kind of tasks – so much missing or "sub-optimal" for this kind of scenarios. I had to develop a couple of tools and plugins to facilitate surveillance, debugging and development. It's easy to see how much more sophisticated tools would speed up the production by a large chunk. Anyways, this is something I actually wanted to talk about in a separate posting, but never had the time to do some – besides that I unfortunately have no real good pics of it.

Actually there are plenty of things I want to blog about, but it always takes a lot of time! There was a moment where I only posted some news I picked up here and there and the amount of comments seemed to drop. (Btw. thanks a lot for those who take time to comment regularly!!). There are plenty of drafts in the backend but over time they get obsolete or never finished.

😐

During the second half of 2008 I made some interesting prototyping but I can't talk about this right now. Besides some other projects, I made some research in how to have plenty more of animated characters in Virtools. Some things works fine out-of-the-box, some other needs custom plug-ins. I ll write about it one day.

Something else that hit me in 2008 is that I become ill. We still don't know that the cause is – I am much better, but still not totally ok. Some kind of burn-out is certainly part of the mix, thus one word of care for you: health is more important than wealth!!! Seriously, take breaks after work-intensive periods! (Or avoid them! hehe).

2009 is going to be an interesting year, I think. In a lot of ways … there are some "changes" on the horizon ….

Last year Dassault System re-picked up 3dvia Virtools (Dev) and formed a new team to work on release nr.5. Although many other big companies like Autodesk, Adobe or Microsoft have blogs and "lab-sites" where they openly speak about their roadmap and experiments, Dassault Systemes is pretty secretive about what will happen. Only rumors from time to time. Anyways, somewhen in the first half of the new year, we will know. Something pretty annoying is the amount of spam on the forum- the board needs upgrades in a more regular interval!
About mp there is still not much public. It's certainly a very interesting product but targets big budgets and either the experienced Virtools users need to hire at different, bigger companies or will not benefit from a new, modern architecture.

The team of Unity3D is working intensively on a PC version for their authoring system. I consider Unity3D as a real alternative to Virtools or Quest3D. Every packet has it strength and weaknesses, but it has now some years under the belts and looks pretty good compared to newcomers like DXStudio, Blade3D, Shiva3D and plenty of others. I think the PC version will create a big rush towards Unity3D – among them certainly Virtools users, too.

We will see what Autodesk will do, now that it has nearly a monopoly on 3D DCC tools. As already said in previous posting, that they announced to expand further into the market of real-time 3D tools. One of the first appearance might be "Project Newport " a

… real-time 3D story building technology for architectural visualization and presentation. With breakthrough game-engine technology, …

Project Newport from autodesk Maybe somebody saw the collaboration between Crytek and a French company that were using the Crisis engine for architectural purposes. Autodesk's Lab seems also to experiment with all the cool stuff we see: multitouch, augmented reality via marker cards and stereoscopy…

This brings me to the new topic: stereoscopic displays. During the first half of this decade I worked a couple of years as content producer for interactive, passive stereo wall/cave systems. Later, at bogengang, I developed GPU shaders that encoded the masks for autosterscopic displays from Sharp and SeeReal. At that time I found no indication that somebody else was doing it on the Graphics card – neither at conferences nor online. Some years later, at a conference about stereoscopy in Berlin, nearly every display provider had GPU accelerated solutions. Thus, although not yet mass market, it's constantly evolving – even though if pioneers like SeeReal went out of business in the mean while. It moves forward … slowly but progressively …. Now there are not only displays, photo-handys, webcams and other stuff from big companies but it is also said that most of the US cinemas have stereoscopic-ready hardware installed. Non-CG film producers are also starting to actually produce films: in Berlin you can see Batman (or so) in 3D. A friend of mine was there and told me that he liked it a lot. 2009 won't be a breakthrough year but it's smoothly coming to the masses. It might be that the breakthough will come via the cinemas.

Something I fear that won't change that much is politics. It's nearly always the same people involved. In addition to that lobbyism, networking and media/marketing campaigns have taken too much control over political decisions. They do B but say it's A, "selling" bad solutions for the overall society as the "premium" way. And that's where I started: premium. Once in a while some guy comes up with some new words that become trendy and then it's everywhere! In this case: premium insurances, premium cars, premiums nuts … I started to use it as running gag …

Well, my very "premium" wishes for the new year to all of you!

😀 😉

I added new subcategories for my Virtools articles. A blog makes writing new articles easy but finding specific content for visitors might be not that easy. I am realizing this often when finding new, interesting blogs. I found myself guilty in this regards too – me who often preaches how important usability is. 😉

My first step was to add an overview page that lists all article titles on a single page. I now added a download category which mainly refers to my Virtools Editor Plugin DLL. My (now pretty old) maxscripts are still only available via my old site. Might be that in an undefined 😉 future I'll do some updates or new releases. 

The majority of my postings is about Virtools. Currently it says 61 Virtools articles. :) Thus I added these new categories: 

Virtools Tutorials, Tips and Tricks

Virtools VSL  

Virtools SDK  

I hope this helps. Beside this, I still had trouble with loosing my (perma)links – they often referred back to the RSS feed one day after I fixed them. I disabled the comments for a few days and then they became stable. So it might be related to spam or other hackings. I added a new captcha step – when the anti-spam-module considers your comment as spam, you get now another chance to validate via a captcha query. So far it improved the situation!

If you ever have problems with that, please let me know. thx. 

Sometimes when I find a new blog where there is an interesting article, I'd like to find quickly all the others that might interest me, too. Often it goes like this: scroll down while reading topic – then hit a link entitled "previous" or "next". Repeating until end. Very uncomfortable.

My blog was like this too. Now I finally added a new page entitled "Blog Articles Overview" on the right side under the "General" section. Posts may be listed several times for each category they were assigned to. Currently it's ordered by date – would you prefer it sorted by title?