Tuesday, March 17, 2009

3d last edits

Assuming this looks similar posted as it did in the render view, this is my final of my scene for 353, or whatever the class is that's on maya. Using both a warm and a cool from similar angles for the front light, and some side fill from around the corner. It reall became all about framing the gobo figure in the end, I don't even know if people will realize that there's a turn at the end. But it's time to stop futzing and say 'done' (see previous post on 2d final about being done on time). I'm happy with what I've learned, at the end focusing on lights almost felt like being back in the theatre at the control board again, only the render times make it less fun. The new machines should help that for little scenes like this one (can you say 10 gigs of ram? sheesh).

Out of Time

Well, the wire is fast approaching for the final projects. In the theatre, on of my former professors had a saying of sorts: "Completed mediocrity is better than incomplete genius." A half finished project will never be as good as a finished one, and when the curtain goes up you'd better be finished.

For the tank game, I feel I've learned a lot. Using as3, using classes, creating things at run time or setting them up on the stage and referencing them; learning wise this was a successful project. Playing it is kinda fun, but it is very obliviously not finished. I never did get the wall collisions down, and the rest of my many to do lists.. AI is the big one I want to still get at, as it is a big learning goal. Setting up levels and a reset button and a score board are smaller hops. Here's where I say that even though this is it for the class project, I'll still finish the game. Well, I don't know if I will; I tend to get distracted by new projects and leave off the last 30% of details and polishing, which feels like 50% when your doing it.
Anyway, links. Here's the Fla file, then all the supporting classes: Wall, Crosshair, BadGuy, Main, Shell, and Turret. Download if you want to see my conglomeration of code. Most of it is in Main, which is both the 'class' for the player's tank and the controller that calls to all the classes through pointers, or arrays of pointers. The walls each have a different instance name, and the player tank doesn't need one as it uses the Main class. The others are created at run time.

[edit] Please let me know if the links are broken.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lost my way, but had fun

I really don't know what I'm doing with this scene anymore. I had fun toying with a gobo to create the shadow, and added some NURB 'wires' which kinda look like the figure is holding a spear or something. But really... I just don't know. I learned a lot getting here but I'm not sure if this is all it is, or if I could have divine inspiration/drive to make it something... else. better?

I should play with skinning in the uv mapping way, on something more complex than the trash can cubes.

Note to self: Old maya books apply perfectly well to new maya stuff. It's not like there have been any changes on the order of Word 03-07. Now if only maya could read the old files...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trying to make sense of the Art dept web page

First, finding the thing. We all know the SOU web page search engine sucks like a hoover, but in this case it kinda works; the top 10 hits are the 'meet the faculty' pages, which are actually in the art dept. section. (Usually the web page search brings up some news article instead of a website location.) The department listings may not be in your hands, but you could get and link something like SOUArtHomePage or something.
Ok, the top page.
Can you tell they're pround of their new/refurbished/existing building? And their windows? nevermind describing the acutal environment, let's talk about tonnage of steel and window counts (including skylights and doors). This feels like the builder's logo should be at the top, not the department. The buildings are nice, sure, but it's how their used that would be interesting to prospective students. Student art galleries? Labs with windows or projection screens? large studios for drawing painting sculpture, kilns, ect.
I'm one of those part time students that rarely get around to graduating; I've been here since 2002, and I think the buildings weren't quite new then. You can't still call them the 'new' CVA.
Try talking about past students finding success to lure in outsiders.
Have you heard of a slide show? One picture that doesn't even show the buildings doesn't help, it hinders.
Meet the faculty: get pictures. Get blurbs from everyone, maybe a quote.
Advising: what is this page here for? Why doesn't it tell you?
Facilities: here are good pictures that should be cycling through on the 'home' page. The writing is still terrible though. Consider your audience, do they want a huge paragraph of commas and semi colons, or key items in a nice list pointing out the important things first?
Staff directory and catalog links work. And are pretty good, for current students who know what they are.
It seems to me like this web page is trying to cater to 2 audiences: current and prospective students. Jumbling them both together may or may not be a good idea; it can work if you start each page informing the user what the page is for and maybe who will likely be using it. (ex: Advising: here student can find the applications to the various degrees offered by this dept.)
Or you should just separate them, so you can be lazy on the current student pages and not need to explain everything as much.
For a good example, check out the School of Business
This critique has been rambling and jumbled, the web page shouldn't.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tankity can't shoot through walls

But, if he works at it, he can drive through them. Normally he bounces off, like he's supposed to, but... yeah. I'm working on it. I should use bitmap collision detection, but I think doing so would mean re working the tank's code at a very fundamental level, so I'll try this for a while instead.
Beware of rotating near walls.

And enjoy shooting your friends.

Stuff to remember to fix:
-Tank speed (Too fast)
-Shell speed (too slow)
-Wall bounce at corners (probably should just re-work it)
- Walls around perimiter, or something.
-Reset button

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Friends of Tank

Tankity Tank has friends, the red tanks. Tankity can shoot them, and they go boom. What? Don't we all wish we could do that now and then?
Cripes I've been sucked in by the interactivity class blood lust....

Ok, anyway, now that the links working, what do I do next?
-Add walls, around the perimiter and interior.
-Add backwards ability to main tank.
-Make the enemies move
-Make them shoot
-Make them shoot roughly at the player
-Make opening splash screen, and reboot level options
-Make several levels
-Add lives to the player tank, simply restarting the levels when you die
-So forth and so on

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Without anything better to do.

I think I'll blame the weather. That's easier for me to accept than any personal problems of enthusiasm or motivation or lacks there-of.
I almost didn't come to 'class' again. I was reading at home a freakishly addicting book called "Water for Elephants." I don't know what it is that makes you not put the book down, I guess a combination of 'everyman' believeable ness or characters that are larger than life without doing anything steriotypical, riding a fine line between subtle hints of their dark parts and - I don't know. Anyway, the book is short (I've been reading it since this morning at 8 and am half way through) so it won't suck my attention too long.
So I do manage to guilt myself into coming to class. And I sit at the computer. I look through my blog to see where I'd left off on the 'scene.' I look through some classmate's blogs to see what they're up to. It all looks better than mine. I watch Cody's posted link to the Warhammer Trailer, which I've seen before but still looks really cool. It stops and I literally sit and stare at the screen.
I want to... sleep? I'm not that sleepy just tired. Lacking ummfh. Maybe a slurpee, surgar and caffiene... Something. Or go home and nap.
Then, staring at the last rendering of the scene, remember mile's suggestion to photoshop it to check lighting ideas...
I do.
I think of something to work on.
I start working.
And now an hour has gone by, with some profit to the scene; I like it better anyway. Still need to skin things, I think that'll require me to do the lighting over. Lit fog is kinda fun, needs to be subtle of course. Helps show where the light is coming from.
So. A to do list for next time:
Lit fog light around corner.
Skin the other things.
Darken the trash cans.
Work on the dumpster skin (don't know how that broke down).

And get sleep or whatever I'm lacking. Maybe a multi-vitamin.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tankity turret follows the mouse

See it here.
Trig put up a good fight, and Flash added some great difficulty of its own, but I over came and it works.

[update] Now it shoots too. poping out instances of the Shell class. they are stored in an array, and when one leaves the screen it is removed from the array. I had to use a 'splice' command to remove an item from the middle of the array, then loop through and scoot eveything up a place, then remove the last spot from the array (so nice to have re-sizable arrays), so you can have a 2nd shot stop while the first one keeps going. Also you can only have 5 shots 'in the air' at once.

And, dear followers (like anyone other than Miles or Bridget sees this but I can dream), you might have noticed the tank got really small. That's much closer to final game size, so there can be a couple tanks and some walls on the screen.

Woot! A good day's work.

Tankity To Do list

- Link the turret's rotation to the mouse pointer, so the turret points at the mouse.
- Make it shoot a shell.
- Add a bad guy to shoot.
- Add walls
- Bad guy AI (... hm... what week is it?)

And that's good for now