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-   -   Extending MA3's capabilities? (https://www.feldoncentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15276)

flipper 07-15-2012 01:20 PM

Extending MA3's capabilities?
 
1 Attachment(s)
Seeing as this forum has been pretty quiet for a while now, I thought I'd post about something I've been working on over the years that involves Mr. Sachs' MA3 screen saver.

What I've been doing is extending it a bit to add some more realism to the overall scene. And to make it a bit more user friendly as an app. IMHO of course.

Here's a screenshot showing some of the additional realism options enabled.

Would this be something Mr. Sachs might be interested in giving his stamp of approval to, so it could eventually be released as a free add-on? It makes no changes to MA3 except in memory while running, and I could make it work only for owners, or put whatever other restrictions on it as required, etc.

I hope this is appropriate to post about this here. If not, please delete. And my apologies to anyone who finds this post offensive. I know there are some purists around who view MA3 as a work of art which should not be touched except by the artist.

Jim Sachs 07-15-2012 02:06 PM

Could you describe what you're doing in a little more detail? If you're replacing the background with a real-time scene, then that might have possibilities. If you're changing the camera angle, then holes in the geometry will show up rather quickly.

patscarr 07-15-2012 02:16 PM

That looks pretty cool. I'd love to try it out on my machine.

flipper 07-15-2012 04:03 PM

Hello Mr. Sachs and Patrick.

Mr. Sachs, yes it replaces the drawing of the background with a 3D model or a skybox or a skydome. This particular model came from Google's 3D Warehouse. It's of a doctor's waiting room, which I thought would make for an appropriate setting. And the model was high quality enough so I thought it fit well with your models. Although unfortunately it had no lights placed within the model, so that's one area I need to work on.

The app also has an option to free up the camera a bit. To compensate, it rotates the coral slightly as well. But that is one area I'm still working on - to make sure nothing looks amiss. The main thing I'm trying to do is get the camera to the point where you can see the side glass reflections of the fish, plus whatever is behind the tank.

Patrick, I'm afraid the app's not going anywhere soon. First, I need to get Mr. Sachs' okay to distribute it. Second, it does its work through some technical mumbo jumbo that's not quite working on enough different machines yet to my liking. Third, it needs a lot of user friendliness added to it to make it usable by non-techies.

Thank you both for your interest. I was afraid I'd be "booed off the stage" with this.

Time Crystal Pilot 07-15-2012 06:13 PM

Whether it will ultimately work or not, there sure is a wow effect to this.
The aquarium's cool colours contrast nicely with the background's warmer tones.

Jim Sachs 07-15-2012 06:27 PM

I'd have to see it in operation to determine if it's viable. The still image is quite striking, but it's almost impossible for me to believe that holes won't show up when the camera is moving. It took literally thousands of hours of experimentaion to get just the right camera angle, viewing frustrum, scene depth, etc. to convince people that they are seeing a little 3D world, and not what it really is (a Hollywood set).

jleslie 07-16-2012 02:09 AM

It's a good effort though, so I'm certainly happy to see you post here.

phil 07-16-2012 10:53 AM

it looks realy good, it brings the fish tank alive, realy good work :) :snorkel:
Dear Jim Sachs, i would love it, if you could, bring another, of your living Corals to life.
i live in hope, everything works out for you one of your many fans.
regards

Jim Sachs 07-16-2012 11:02 AM

phil - There's a possibility, as sales have improved slightly this month. Summer is usually our slow season (people are outdoors instead of on their computers), but the Mindspark advertising seems to be helping.

I may take Cliff's suggestion, and add a couple more Featherdusters.

phil 07-16-2012 11:09 AM

Dear Jim,
So Good to hear, that things are picking up for you, hope all is well, i look forward to some good news, that things will get better.
regards phil :cheers:

cjmaddy 07-16-2012 04:22 PM

Excellent!

Ever since seeing the grouping of Christmas Tree tubeworms, in the Coral Seas episode of The Blue Planet, I've been hoping that we could perhaps have a small grouping of Featherdusters.... :TU:

Jav400 07-16-2012 04:43 PM

Sounds like a winner to me as well. :TU:

flipper 07-16-2012 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Sachs (Post 141953)
I'd have to see it in operation to determine if it's viable. The still image is quite striking, but it's almost impossible for me to believe that holes won't show up when the camera is moving. It took literally thousands of hours of experimentaion to get just the right camera angle, viewing frustrum, scene depth, etc. to convince people that they are seeing a little 3D world, and not what it really is (a Hollywood set).

Yes, I completely understand, having spent quite a few hours myself trying to make sure that the tracking the app controlled camera does won't break the illusion. I even went so far as to pre-fill the background with magenta to see if any pixels bled through from the coral, and then wrote a shader to count them for each frame, until I didn't have any. But that was only with a standard 4:3 display and I never reran the test on 16:9 or any other format.

Since you haven't given me a definitive no yet, it looks like I need to get busy and come up with a version for you to try out yourself. Please feel free to shoot me down at anytime between now and then. I came here with low expectations so being turned away won't be too much of a disappointment.

And thank you to those with words of encouragement.

Jav400 07-16-2012 05:18 PM

All of us beta testers went though all the formats we had available for several weeks. You won't be able to count on 4:3 taking care of the problem, it has to be addressed with everyone, which is why it is such a pain to get it done correctly.

patscarr 07-16-2012 06:04 PM

Looking at that pic, it's hard to believe that it is a moving app and not a photo shopped static image.

Jim Sachs 07-16-2012 06:53 PM

flipper - It sounds like you have such a high level of skills that you should be writing and marketing your own programs instead of piggybacking onto an existing app.

feldon34 07-16-2012 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Sachs (Post 141970)
flipper - It sounds like you have such a high level of skills that you should be writing and marketing your own programs instead of piggybacking onto an existing app.

Or helping you with the nitty-gritty of the Aquarium while you get to do the art and animation. ;)

Nicki 07-16-2012 09:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Sachs (Post 141957)
phil - There's a possibility, as sales have improved slightly this month. Summer is usually our slow season (people are outdoors instead of on their computers), but the Mindspark advertising seems to be helping.

Maybe it's so gosh darned hot this summer everyone's hiding indoors and dreaming of swimming in temperate waters. Whatever the reason I'm glad sales are up :).

cjmaddy 07-17-2012 02:29 AM

What is "Summer" ? ..... Is it what we used to have once-upon-a-time, in July ? :|

feldon34 07-17-2012 07:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cjmaddy (Post 141980)
What is "Summer" ? ..... Is it what we used to have once-upon-a-time, in July ? :|

Summer in Denmark was nice this year. It came on a Tuesday.


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