Thursday, February 26, 2009

Scene chugging along

I completely forgot what I'd planned to work on, and just futzed with the skin of the dumpster and the ground; after the Lucas presentation.

Still need to add lines, power cables... and figure out what the focus is. Still dumpster focus drawing... how to make that the point?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Game 2 steps forward

I feel like jumping around and dancing with joy. And eating a whole pizza first. Or maybe second would be better. I got the Tankity Tanks game 2 big steps forward today:
I cut off the turret top and made it a seperate object, as mention earlier, which was a big programming leap of faith that bounced around painfully a few times before landing well.

And I added the mouse target cursor. For some reason the update of such didn't work well unless the mouseX and mouseY were forwarded to the update function, instead of called from there. Also the mouseOver events are really screwy, but I think it's by-passed for now.

Also trying to use the google sites to link the files to instead of the SOU one, which will someday go away.

Added note: you have to click once in the screen before the tank will move

Surgery successful

I have successfully removed the turret and made it a seperate object, which is updated each cycle to the tank's position but has no rotation, yet. I did understand the linking from the examples, but I'd been neglecting the turret's constructor method.
Figuring out how to get the turret to point at the mouse will be fun. So far I can't remember enough trig to take the mouse x/y and the tank x/y and get the angle between the two. Then I'll have to convert that to whatever flash wants.
But first to find that mouse icon including tutorial for a cheater's way to figure out the mouse inclusion.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ok really Stopping now

I stepped away after the last post, came back and moved the wall like I talked about. I think it's an improvement, but now the dumpster in the corner draws the focus. All the lines kinda point at it... maybe I should re work the 'story' to fit something sinister in the dumpster.

Dusting Out the Alley way

Having hit a few bumps on the happy flight of point pushing modeling, I decided to come back to the Scene thing that is kinda the final. I touched on the bump maps of the trash cans again, threw together an eletical box greeble/nurnie, then dove into tweaking the lighting and camera angle. I wan the audience to wonder what is around the corner, and the bright point source back there does kinda beckon, but it needs more stuff to hit than the two greebles. Also I'd like more interesting lines, some power lines crossing or hugging the walls (which are really blank). I know that should be possible....
Finally, part of me wants to push out one of the walls, the stairs one, by about a trash can's width. I think I'll start next time with that.

Back in the code saddle again

Playing with the tanks code was like a sunny day for the flower of my coding synapses, now they want more.
I tried to pick up an old project, a final for a class that I did OK in and which I could improve my grade by re-submitting the project (if it was better).
The project is open ended enough, and my needs and goals are contrasting enough that I don't really know what I'm doing. So I'll blab about it here.
The project guidelines are to use Visual Basic to create a little program that is useful. And provide documentation and comment the hell out of the code.
My idea is to have an inventory system for the Lighting Fixtures over at the college theatre dept. All this really needs is an excel file and the know how to have a few equations, allowing one to have totals that change as instruments are purchased or used.
However that doesn't use VB, and doesn't streach the learning muscles. So i'm trying to have a Database of some sort, and use either SQL or hard code in VB the functions for the totaling.

Today I worked at remembering all this stuff, and setting up the database, and trying to do some SQL queries. VB doesn't play nice with Access for me, so I'm trying to use VB's preferred MS SQL server lite 3.5 or something like that. You set up the tables through VB (lame), do the sql through VB (really lame), and can only view the thing through VB (lame). And the VB's way of doing SQL kick my butt so far. I want to lean, but this doesn't feel useful, so I don't want to learn it.
So, I'll hard code the math part and whack on the SQL till it just gives me some Select commands and an Update to reference.
Later, for now it's time to decompress with some web comics.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Miles suggestion

Miles suggested to combine the Tankity Tank game with some visuals of 3d creations, importing still renders and Photoshoping some drop shadows.
Also I could ask Cody if he'd lend me his little arsenal of tanks and such for it.
This post is so I don't forget

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Working Loot

I stole this code, nearly completely. But it was still about 2 1/2 hours to make the few small modifications to get it to this point, with some good as3 lessons on the way. The code was taken with many thanks from these tutorials (2 parts). It all makes sense and I guess I could have gotten there on my own... in a few months of work and head pounding. Anyway, I'm satisfied with this Sunday's work so far, now time to go home and cook/eat dinner. Then back to modeling in Maya...

Oh, if it works, I don't know why it floats up after most move commands.

Use the arrow keys.

Good weekend, in some ways.

It's been a good weekend, in the LAZY way.
My girl made it through her Lighting Design and so we rested. But other than some messing around with the extrude style modeling, I haven't done any work for either class.
So, now that it's 6pm sunday night, it's time to do some work.
- Flash tanks, make tank sketch, import one from a class, and move in at least 1 direction.
-3d Keep working on goblin head 2. I had no luck importing it into the 09 version at home, so I haven't done anything on that either.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Goblin head truckin

Well, 2 and a half hours pushing points leaves me a little phased (need to blink, my focus is too much like playing COD 4 where if you blink some jerk will sprint by with an MP5 and spray you... to an instant re-spawn. but I digress).

I found a way to get a big boost when I think I'm doing nothing and going no-where: smooth polygons. A one click way to change this:
Into this:Much happier to the eyes. Though he looks more like a monkey...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tank game sketch out

This is me figuring out some of the fundamentals to the Tank game for the final in Flash class.

What follows is a big chunk of psudo-psudo code for the game.

Game name: Tank-ity-Tank.

Conceptually stolen from the tanks game for the Wii Play. The hard part is creating the code and the content.

Concept: Player controls a Tank and shoot enemy tanks. Shooting all enemy tanks lets the player advance to the next level. Getting hit reduces the player’s life counter. No lives: game over. Life’s gained by score, which is gained from killing enemy tanks.

-Player tank,
-Player tank health, can take a few hits and collect health power-ups left by some enemies.
-enemy tanks of various ‘type.’ Can tell apart by color. Differ in smartness, speed, shooting. Or just a lot of simple AI dummies if I can’t figure out different levels of stuff.
-Shells by player and enemies, can ‘hit’ other shells or a target.
+ hope to add bouncing off walls
-Walls. Cannot be destroyed.
-Life counter
-Score counter (score based on enemies killed)
-Splash screens to start and at the end.
+ high score initials entry?

Additional stuff if I can get to it:
-mines laid by player, some enemies, area blast, triggered by going too close or getting shot.
- Destructible walls, destroyed by mines.
-Health levels: player has better armor, can survive a few hits. Need to track and display this data.
-Powerups. Either just there or from killed enemies. Health, lives, different shots, exploding shots, faster shots, tracking shots?

That’s enough I’d say.

-moved by keyboard arrow keys, or bindable so people can set up their own keyset.
-Shoot with mouse, using mouse cursor to aim.

How the hell is this supposed to work?

It’s all on the x y coordinate system, so it should be possible to use that and collision squares for most things. Class files to have Tank, shell, and wall objects that I can populate the screen with, so each level is just a lot of instances.

What I don’t know vaguly how to do: shell paths based on target x/y from mouse click. Bouncing of shells off wall. AI scripting. Most of the expandable stuff.
Powerups actually should be easy, just edit the player tank and support it visually somehow. Powerup objects and collision events.

To do, where to start:
Have tank class,
Move tank with keys.
Have turret on tank
Have shell class
Tank shoot shell
Tank shoot shell at mouse click.
Add bad guy tank from tank class
Shoot bad guy tank. Collision script
Add walls.
Shoot walls
Run into walls.
AI programming of bad guys

What I've been up to this weekend

When I wasn't sleeping off that slight cold/sinus infection thingy, I was plodding through an 'intro to Maya' tutorial in a book I bought. To mile's credit, less than half of the stuff so far has been new, but still I feel it's been worth the $40, and there's lots more coming. I just hope I can get through it before the 30 day trial ends, or that the trial does simply look at the system clock for the current date. Meh.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Heading Forward

Further work on the head. Tutorial has broken down on the key area of Cleaning up triangles and 5 sided things; he says do it but doesn't really explain how.
Also I'm getting sucked into Shifting around all these little points. Now I know now what they meant by keeping to the broad picture and doing the little details later. Must find ballance of point picking while cutting more and more bits into this thing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crayon Scribble of a model

Following the tutorial, as well as I can. Hopefully I'll learn a lot about fixing ill made points as well as doing over stuff. This... example of a first effort was only about a hour of a half, though I spent some time trying to do many points at once, which ended worse than just rapidly doing one at a time. Whew. Still, it's fun.

Flashy Game idea.

Trying to spark my interest and find something that will stretch my Coding muscles in flash: I 'll do a Flash Game somewhat like Tanklin.

I want to be able to shoot with the mouse. Any one play Tanks on the Wii? Such a simple little game my roommates and friends and I have wasted HOURS with.

This site shows you how to replace the mouse cursor, and I think some clues as to getting x y coordinates from the mouse cursor, so that the shooting can be aimed.

Here's another one, less good maybe.

It would be nice to have: Levels, score, lives, bad guys with actual AI. The tank turrett face the mouse aimer. Tank shells to shot enemy shells. Sound effects.

Well that would be more work than I want to put in. So I think I'll start by stealing mile's takin, changing the graphics and adding the mouse aim shooting stuff.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Playing with Bump maps... It's odd. Mostly maulally adding stuff to the trash can lids.
As I understand it, the shades of grey on the map create levels or bumps which react to the lighting to form these shaded areas. It's really counter intuitive at this point, I should stick to grey-scale-ing and leveling the skins instead of adding my own stuff.

Futzing with 09

Looking for a command that's been moved in 09? Under help, theres a "Find Menu" option. This pops up a little window that finds commands in the menu system. Very useful when working with tutorials for old versions.

An actual Tutorial on Modeling

And it's actually interesting and useful, to me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A bit of Truth

Stumbled upon this gem, a syllabus of the hard knocks.

At work on help desk ramble/ web findings.

I want to do a few things. When I reached a certian point in my theatre educaiton it was time to design my own show, and then to intern at the world renown Oregon Shakespeare Festival, trying my hand at being a 40 hour a week lighting tech. Actually I did both during the same term which made both harder and less informative and successful. But even so they turned out well.
For various reasons I didn't leave to pursue a wildly successful yet sadly underpaid career in a big city, and now I've been nearly fully side tracked into this computer stuff. Coding, drawing in Photoshop, and now 3d modeling and rigging.
I know enough, barely, about 3d that I want to try it out. Reading the CGsociety page I can see that doing just one model and lighting it and slapping up some background scenery takes A LOT of time and effort, and is 'normally' done with several people working on it. This makes me pause.
I'd like to somehow intern in this field, try it out. But I don't have the kn0wlege yet to do so well. And, for me, the 3d class is plodding along slowly. I feel I could be moving much faster, but I don't know where to head towards or what resources to use to self teach.
Looking online everything is in Maya 2009. The books in the cabinet, that I've looked at, are for maya, like, 4. Hm.
I COULD activate the 30 trial copy I downloaded then forgot about. I COULD use the online tutorials, or even fork out the big $30 for a 'getting started' book. I would have to make myself do this, at home, where the distraction of all my beloved games are right there. Waiting to be played. And I've been kicking pixel and taking names on COD 4 recently.
So we arrive at the real reason for this post: shameing, convincing, motivating, whatevering myself into self study.
And wondering when/where I could do something like an internship after training up a bit.

Online animaiton schoolmaster interview

'Best animation schools' - but are they reviewed or just advertising here?

Maya tutorials - some broken links, some that looks like useful stuff, and even free.

And another thing: After reading the interview, I realized I have no idea if I want to go for Animation, rigging, modeling, lighting. Or all of them. I have to try them first. I guess modeling is the first part...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"Calendar" with sound

Looking in the help files revealed some confusing instructions that I wrastled into this semblance of a little tack-on to the program. The song is just something I had handy from doing a Light Design last year for Altar Boyz, it doesn't fit with the program at all but I was focusing on the code.
Here's the sound-tracked 11 weeks of term calendar... thing.

[Edit] Ok it's broken but I'll fix it later.

[Edit] Should Work now.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My advent callendar thing.

I'm just linking Y'all to my advent calendar thing.
It's the 11 weeks of term, with a useful goodie each week.

Link may or may not be working. Of Course.

I can has sky dome

Just to prove that I'm still working on 3d stuff, here's my skydome rendering after a quick scamper through the tutorial.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Grrr I forgot

I left my thumbdrive at home. While I was trying to be careful and back up work each day on the Mac servers, I don't have all the door work I did last week. So I do some content creation for my sequence calendar and try something new. (see Flash tutorial post)

A flash Tutorial

I was looking for a way to have a button in a movie, so you have to hit a moving target to click the button. No luck yet, but an interesting look at Flash position tweaking of graphics.