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Old 06-22-2009, 04:24 PM   #21
Araquay
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Wow. I knew a lot of work goes into the fish model, but I didn't realize it was that complex. Thanks for the answers Jim. I really enjoy this program and look forward to all of your future updates.

Alan
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:11 PM   #22
Jim Sachs
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Windows on a car would be stationary in relation to the car, so there's no reason they can't be a separate sub-object. It's moving parts like fins that cause trouble. If they are separate objects, then there will be an awkward area where they meet the body. Until recently, CG humans always had this unrealistic area around shoulders, elbows, hips - any joints. One object would simply flow into another with no stretching or compressing of the skin. The latest efforts seem to be one-piece objects, but they don't need transparent fins at the end of those arms.
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:07 AM   #23
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Would it not be possible to create a single piece object that encloses the seperate piece for the fin, the internal object being seperate but moved by the boundries of the external one, the external one is completely transparent where the inside fin shows through, the internal one shows the view behind it. the single piece object would then not have bad joints and you would control where the internal object was.

Or maybe the external object would be moved by the boundries of the internal object instead.

probably too simplistic a thought
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:11 AM   #24
Jim Sachs
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Sorry, I didn't quite follow that - I'd need to see an example.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:47 AM   #25
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Techniques for handling order independent transparency have been around for a while, but they all involve running through the model geometry twice, once to establish depth and then again to apply the proper color. There are also feathering techniques you can use that just require multiple texture stages. That would at least get the edges of the fins rendered correctly.

The page at http://www.aorensoftware.com/blog/th...ever-heard-of/ discusses the problem in fairly easy to understand terms. There's a link to an Nvidia page with an example OGL app that uses the "depth peeling" technique mentioned in the link.

It's all still very expensive to properly handle a large amount of transparency/translucency in a scene. Jim's technique of sorting and rendering back to front is what most still rely on. What I've seen with a lot of models is the application of a special material to all of the non-opaque verts. Then D3D's attribute sorting is used once to get all of them segregated properly. Then all you have to worry about is the sorting of the faces within the non-opaque attribute set, since the other faces are rendered z-enabled. But you would still have to do some sort of depth layering to determine which non-opaque faces to render before and after the opaque, especially if they're inter-mixed depthwise like on a severely bent fish model.

I don't envy you this task Jim.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:13 AM   #26
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That's a good article, and explains my problem fairly well.

Another problem I'll need to deal with is transparency and layers in the body itself. This is very rare in saltwater fish, but will be needed when I do the Freshwater Tank. There are a lot of freshwater tropicals with transparent bodies, showing the internal organs underneath.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:27 AM   #27
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I'm sure you'll figure it out eventually Jim!
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:20 PM   #28
Nicki
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All of this makes me realise how lucky we are as consumers to be able to enjoy the magic without having to understand how it works .
Run you clever boy. And remember...
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:28 AM   #29
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Will ALL the ''new" fish models be done before any update?
(couldn't find any info on this, so don't flip out if already answered)
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:26 AM   #30
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I'll probably put each one in as I get it done.
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:43 PM   #31
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That sounds like a great way to go. We have 30 little surprises coming at us periodically. Makes my purchase seem more like an investment. Thanks Jim!
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:01 PM   #32
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28.
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:54 PM   #33
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
28.  
All on 28
All random 30

Are the two "random" fish truly random ?... why is there a difference of 2 fish.. an arbitrary upper limit of 30?
To provide a randomness and limit to no more than 30 fish means you are not planning to add new species?? or will some be doomed to extinction.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:08 AM   #34
Jim Sachs
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When Random is on, and the number is set to 30 (yes, that's arbitrary), the program will choose fish at random, trying never to repeat. After chooseing all 28 different ones, it will simply repeat two at random.

There will be more fish in the Creature Packs.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:52 AM   #35
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Jim

It would be really nice if you would consider, as an option, the 'don't do repeats' in the randomiser. I personally would turn this off and would enjoy the possibility of 2 or more of the same fish (randomly), especially when Schooling is implemented.

-Haree
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:33 AM   #36
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I'm not sure if I want to complicate the fish interface with more buttons. I figured if users wanted to repeat fish, they could simply add more of the ones they wanted.
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:00 PM   #37
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v2.6 had that tick box but only a 7 max (same time) fish selection.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:43 PM   #38
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MA3 shares no code with MA2.6, I have to put in every feature from scratch.
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Old 07-19-2009, 02:42 PM   #39
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Just as an update - I've had a bit of a breakthrough in my search for a way of doing the transparency needed for fins in the new single-object fish models.
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:07 PM   #40
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Great news, We shall begin expecting a new beta then!








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