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-   -   Jim, where do we go from here! (Redux) (

nicksteel 12-29-2010 06:50 PM

Could you send an URL of a 3D Utube video that works ok?

I may can mimic the codec, etc.

Jim Sachs 12-29-2010 08:53 PM

I just got off the phone with Will and Edgar from Prolific. They will modify a version of MA3 to save left-eye, right-eye streams with no missed frames.

nicksteel 12-29-2010 09:06 PM

Way to go!
Lots better than patching and you should also be able to post a working trailer on Utube.

nicksteel 12-29-2010 09:57 PM

And do let us know how you capture and build the DVD.

Jim Sachs 12-30-2010 02:12 AM

Will do. I found a free 3D Blu-Ray encoder (MVC) from Nokia. It runs from a Command Line Interface only, with MANY variables and no instructions, but the price is right.

At the moment, Edgar and Will are modifying the MA3 code to allow me to set a frame rate and left-right eyepoint offset. When Capture is activated, the program will save a series of raw, bmp, or tga frames to a file. The frame rate will be allowed to go as low as 24, but I'll run it at 3 or 4 times that, then combine the stills to simulate motion blur at 24fps, just like movies do.

Jim Sachs 12-30-2010 10:13 PM

Update: Edgar has completed the frame-capture utility for MA3. There are still several things I need to change in the source code, but it DOES work. I can set the desired frame rate and output sequential BMP pictures to a hard drive. The utility stops the clock as it switches the viewpoint and saves the file, so no frames are lost. Of course, as uncompressed bitmaps, these files are huge. Each frame (left-eye / right-eye pair) is 10 megs. So, I went to Costco and bought a 2-terabyte external hard drive to hold all those bytes (only $99).

Racer57 01-13-2011 04:15 PM

Jim, are your spirits not bouyed up at all by Verizons announcement? You know analysts predict sales this year of 13 million new IPhone users.

Jim Sachs 01-13-2011 06:50 PM

It couldn't hurt. We've tuned up the Aquarium to look very good on the hi-def iPhone4 screen, plus we've got Japanese and German menus, in addition to English. The majority of our sales are coming from Japan. Germany seems not to have noticed our efforts on their behalf.

Personally, I've been very happy with my AT&T iPhone. Signal strength is great here, which was never the case with other carriers.

Spottedfeather 01-15-2011 03:32 AM

I'd love to see some choice in creatres. Jellyfish, sharks, sea turtles, moving anenomes, a diver and castle, and a treasure chest that opens and closes with bubbles would be great.

Wizwad 01-15-2011 07:25 PM

You'd have to go to LifeGlobe for sharks. The treasure chest may make an appearance should Jim ever bring his Freshwater Aquarium to completion. For turtles, divers and castles, I'm afraid you'll have to look elsewhere. If you check out the Off Topic section of the forum, under the Other Screensavers subforum, you'll find a number there which should address your needs. Just not all wrapped up in a tidy package.

davethegecko 01-30-2011 06:38 PM

For what it's worth, Jim, I've been a *huge* fan of your work for years. I support the drive towards packaging a 3D version of your aquarium with the new screens. Makes sense to me. Best of luck!

davethegecko 01-30-2011 06:43 PM

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, a convincing virtual marine aquarium will be one of the *best* tools for solving the problem of commercial reef depopulation. Go JIM! Maybe someday we'll even be able to place our coral and critters wherever we like. Just like a real tank, except even larger than life, because we'll have it on our 50"+ 3D-TVs!

Jim Sachs 01-30-2011 10:22 PM

We've been looking into the idea of donating 10% of sales to reef-preservation causes.

ESHIREY 02-04-2011 01:15 PM

Sounds like a plan.

Ralph 02-04-2011 09:00 PM

Not sure if this link will work.. but if it does, an alternative to 3D without glasses.

I am pretty sure it would give me a headache though:)

cjmaddy 02-05-2011 03:36 AM

To miss-quote John McEnroe.... 'He cannot be serious' ... :)

Wizwad 02-05-2011 08:17 AM

Can anybody say "Mad scientist"? :eek::eek::eek:

bozpool 02-05-2011 08:21 AM

Nintendo may nail it:Nintendo Introduces Glasses-Free 3D Gaming

ESHIREY 02-05-2011 09:45 AM

That was one of the dumbest things I have ever seen. As for the 3ds, I plan on getting it when it gets out. A friend of mine was at E3 and saw it in person and said it was great. Small but great.

sunny 02-05-2011 10:49 PM

i nearly falloff my chair laughing when i saw the guy eye's blinking at that fast rate. hmm...wonder any side effect eg nerves system breakdown if using it too long.

Jim Sachs 02-05-2011 11:49 PM

The video is very well-done. It must have taken forever to get all those eye-blinks drawn in. They even follow the head movements perfectly.

I was thinking of doing a similar spoof with "face-computing" - using eye-tracking and facial movements to replace the mouse. Since there is already software that can track your eye movements and position the cursor to where you were looking on the screen, I thought it would be funny to carry things a step further, adding left eye-blink for left mouse-button, two left-blinks to double-click, wiggle nose for mouse-wheel, etc. In the animation, I would be on one side of the screen, dead-panning the narration while my face would be going through hilarious rapid contortions. On the other side of the screen, the resulting computer input would be shown - button-clicking, cut, paste, delete, moving icons around, etc. I ended up realizing it would be too much work to produce.

feldon34 02-06-2011 05:13 AM

After Effects has movement tracking built-in. I can replace the side of a building in a shaky camera shot even if it's changing perspective. Locking the movement of added CGI to existing footage is getting very easy now.

And when you do tracking, you can redirect the output of the tracking data into the position, rotation, and size of any other layer or object.

I suggest looking at FreddieW's videos on Youtube:

Some good ones:

His Behind-the-Scenes channel is here:

This is a guy doing this stuff out of his garage in a weekend.

The best website I've seen for learning After Effects is If you watch Fringe, the opening title sequence is by that guy (Andrew Kramer) who has also done a ton of other TV effects. His basic training is what I suggest.

Jim Sachs 02-06-2011 10:40 AM

Neat! Maybe someday I'll be able to afford After Effects.

feldon34 02-06-2011 10:50 AM

You can download it from Adobe and play with it for 30 days.

I would suggest watching some of the tutorials at and see what you think. The 10 part Basic Training is absolutely the way to go to initially learn it, but it's a bit boring as just something to watch, so I'd watch the bigger tutorials and see if the program looks like something you might fall in love with first. It is really astounding how much information is available for free at his website, and then the plugins, clip audio, clip explosions, etc. they offer are top-notch. He has explosions, dust clouds, puffs of smoke, blood splatter all shot in front of green screen and fully keyed so you can use it for anything.

You might be surprised to know that After Effects has a bit of scripting built into it allowing you to not only add random effects to any layer, but scale that effect or tie that effect to the effect of another layer.

The tutorial that blew my mind was adding a moving object to a shaky camera shot and it looks great. First, he stabilized the video, then he cut and paste the tracking data out of the video stabilization into a "tracking object". Now, the video was shaky again, but he had an object that moves and rotates to match the footage, giving you a key point you can then tie anything to.

After Effects turns tilting and panning a camera from the ground up to a mound of dirt and adding a castle to it into a 10 minute task.

ESHIREY 02-06-2011 01:24 PM

Thanks. Those were cool.

Jim Sachs 02-06-2011 02:50 PM

Thanks for all the info, Morgan.

feldon34 02-07-2011 05:18 AM

One more... ;)

ESHIREY 02-07-2011 09:17 AM

That was good.

Ralph 02-20-2011 03:15 PM

Well, half of the upcoming features has been implemented for some time. The background lighting has a multitude of options.. not sure if one could call it automatic, as it does require one to make choices. Still...

What's coming soon:

* Automatic lights. There will soon be a greatly expanded interface for customizing the background colors.
* New realistic fish behavior, including schooling, chasing, and pecking at corals.

PS to Jim.. you need to update the linked page and move item one to the what's new part

patscarr 02-20-2011 03:30 PM


Originally Posted by Ralph (Post 130104)
What's coming soon:
* New realistic fish behavior, including schooling, chasing, and pecking at corals.

I doubt we ever see this. I'd be happy if we just get the starfish acting the way it used to in MA2.6

Racer57 02-20-2011 06:52 PM

I'd be happier with just a starfish (like the old one) and a moray eel (even if it doesn't move) in the cave.

Jim Sachs 02-20-2011 08:47 PM

Hmmm, that may not be a bad idea. I hadn't really considered a partly-animated Moray Eel, which just hangs out in the cave. Might be doable.

Racer57 02-21-2011 09:25 AM

Thank you for your consideration. On my second introductry SCUBA dive in Hawaii, I had a one on one experience with my instructor and she allowed me to take down a camera. I will never forget being close enough to a Moray eel (4 feet) to take a picture of it with just his head sticking out of a cave.

Surferminn 02-21-2011 01:38 PM


Originally Posted by Jim Sachs (Post 130111)
Hmmm, that may not be a bad idea. I hadn't really considered a partly-animated Moray Eel, which just hangs out in the cave. Might be doable.

If anybody can do it, will be you. Besides, I have not seen very many eels in very many pc aquariums so it seems to me yours would be one of the rare ones, and knowing you, one of the best ones too.:TU:

ESHIREY 02-21-2011 02:05 PM

The only one that I saw that has one in is DiveVisions by Atlantis 3D. So yes I agree Jim can and should do it.

patscarr 02-21-2011 02:52 PM

Definitely do-able, but probably wont get done. If we were to wager and put odds on it today, I would put it at a 1000 to 1 underdog over the next year. :) I'm very pessimistic that we see any improvements to MA3 ever again.

ESHIREY 02-21-2011 03:41 PM

God I hope your wrong. I love how the tank and fish look now. But it's not done. I would hate to see it stop now. We have been waiting 10 years for this too happen. I can wait a little more. :)

JohnWho 02-21-2011 03:54 PM

As long as the Moray Eel is selectable, like the Starfish, what's the harm?

cjmaddy 02-21-2011 04:23 PM


Originally Posted by patscarr (Post 130119)
Definitely do-able, but probably wont get done. If we were to wager and put odds on it today, I would put it at a 1000 to 1 underdog over the next year. :) I'm very pessimistic that we see any improvements to MA3 ever again.

Those sound like reasonable odds. - So, if I take you up on that, and place a 1 bet. - If Jim produces an MA3 improvement in the next 12 months, then you owe me 1000 ? ..... You're on! :)

Surferminn 02-21-2011 04:34 PM

I'm in for a dollar too!! Don't want to take too big an advantage of Pat. :D

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