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Old 12-31-2008, 02:28 PM   #241
ESHIREY
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WOOHOO. Now we're cooking. Looks great. I can't wait to see more.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:58 PM   #242
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Looks fantastic, though I'd prefer a little less movement.
Making the background come to life really makes a big difference! Looks so much better now.
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:36 AM   #243
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While the fan is just a small part of the overall background and the ultimate plan for the tank, this is a real milestone in my opinion, it really whets my appetite for what is to come. Keep up the great work.


Tom

Happy New Year
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:39 PM   #244
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harris - I'll add it to the list of requests.

bullfrog - I'm very close to getting the second background object animated (the purple Gorgonia). Should be done tonight (Oregon time).
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:20 PM   #245
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Getting back to the theme of this thread, major announcements...

I finally got Specular working in MA3. For those unfamiliar with the term, this is the "shine" that a few saltwater fish (and most freshwater fish) have. In the current fishlist, only the Copperband Butterflyfish truly needs it, though the Blue Damselfish and Flame Angelfish also have a bit of shine.

Previous versions of MA had the Specular feature, because they used the Direct3D lighting model, but MA3 uses Shaders instead. Shaders are far more efficient and versitile, but are one of the hardest things to learn that I have ever encountered. I finally buckled down and spent 5 straight days figuring out how to accomplish diffuse lighting, lightplay, and specular in a single-pass Shader.

The code still needs a few hours of cleanup, but I should be able to upload Beta8a before tomorrow.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:53 PM   #246
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Fantastic

Jim,

That will be really neat to see. I can hardly wait!

Welcome back by the way. If you really did take a couple of days off - I hope you did - I hope you found them restful. But it's nice to see you back at it. Every little change you make and release is like getting a present. So the beta testing is an awful lot of fun!
Sincerely,

S. Justin Gengo
"Out of chaos comes order."
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:59 PM   #247
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Fantastic news. Glad to see you back. And great to hear about the breakthroughs.

Do you see using the diffuse lighting on the Yellow Tang?
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:23 PM   #248
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Welcome back. And thanks for the good news.
I was wondering, Is all that bad flooding in Washington going to hit your way?
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:18 PM   #249
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
The code still needs a few hours of cleanup, but I should be able to upload Beta8a before tomorrow.  
That's a good reason to stay up late tonight !
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Old 01-09-2009, 02:45 AM   #250
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
I finally buckled down and spent 5 straight days figuring out how to accomplish diffuse lighting, lightplay, and specular in a single-pass Shader.  
It's really great news you share here Jim! But was actually hoping that you took a few days off to relax...
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:36 AM   #251
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OK, guys - here's Beta8a: http://www.fish-byte.com/MA3Beta.zip

The purple Gorgonia coral is now animated.
I'm trying another experiment with the bottom edge of the background wash.
The fish Shader has been totally reworked. Many people might not notice the difference, but the lighting model has been completely overhauled. Specular is now supported, though the Copperband is the only fish that makes heavy use of it (the Blue Damsel has some, and the Flame Angel has a tiny bit). The Shader gets the specular from each mesh, which means that each of the 28 fish files had to be opened up, changed, resaved in text form, then converted to binary compressed.

In addition, the surface normals were fixed for each fish, and the Shader was changed to make proper use of them in simulating Diffuse lighting. The difference is subtle, but you should be able to notice changes in shading as the fish bend and twist. This will show up a lot more when the fish can change their bank angle, flopping over on their side to grab food particles.
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:41 AM   #252
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Excellent Jim. It's looking even more realistic now.
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:57 AM   #253
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Jim,

Since you have shaders working properly now, will that open up the possibility of actinic lighting so that the blue ring could look like this? With certain fish it makes a very nice look.

Allot of people are using Actinic Lighting for looks and it benefits the aquarium as well. I haven't seen this option in any other sim, and it might be another thing that would set your work ahead of the rest again.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Blue_Ring_Actinic.jpg (56.7 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg Blue_Ring_Actinic_02.jpg (175.0 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg B;ue_Faced_Actinic.jpg (153.7 KB, 23 views)
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:31 PM   #254
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So far so good. Doing more testing a little later.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:18 PM   #255
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I run MA3 as a screen saver (full screen) on two monitors; the purple thingie is swaying gently now over on screen 2. (Using 8b)

The new lighting effects on the fish (as of 8a) are spectacular!

~Ralph S.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:04 AM   #256
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Funny how this "READ THIS FIRST" thread has been 8 pages... Maybe all discussions should be in other threads?
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:13 AM   #257
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I was going to suggest that. There's an awful lot of stuff here that could go into the "Coffee House" section. My intention was for this thread to be reserved as a "must-read" for anyone new to MA3. Maybe Morgan could do a little lipo-suction on the thread.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:04 AM   #258
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The Multimonitor issues with 8a/8b have been moved to their own thread:
https://www.feldoncentral.com/forums...ead.php?t=4701
"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." - George Orwell
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:08 AM   #259
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Moved the "Letterbox?" and "A Few Days Off" discussions into this thread:
https://www.feldoncentral.com/forums...ead.php?t=4702
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:06 PM   #260
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Good, but we could use a much heavier scalpel.
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