It seems the old adage ‘It never rains, but it pours’ is particularly appropriate at the moment. I seem to have had something of an influx of business enquiries & early stage project talks recently and it’s been fairly time consuming to keep up with it all. All too often I’ll find that most of the day has gone answering business-related emails, talking on the phone and IM, and addressing the paid work I already have going, leaving just enough time to do the forums and perhaps a few bits of Ogre but not much more.
I love seeing stuff like this. axyzimages just released details of an interactive historical walkthrough application they did using Ogre for the ‘Castles of the Dukes of Brittany’ Museum, which is really not that far away from here, wedged as our little stretch of sea is between Normandy and Brittany. They reproduced an impressive 11 districts of the city of Nantes from the 18th century (1757 if you want to get technical), allowing a user to walk through medieval streets, take a stroll along the 18th century waterfront, that sort of thing.
I see the MacBook Pro has been upgraded again, and now comes with (minimum configuration): 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 1440 x 900 resolution 2GB memory 120GB hard drive 8x double-layer SuperDrive NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 128MB SDRAM Now that’s suddenly very interesting, given that previous MacBook graphics chipsets were rather underwhelming for the price.
Relatively soon I’m going to have to do some hardware & software upgrades to my equipment here - the initial driving factor being that in order to realistically work on a DirectX10 rendersystem I’m going to have to upgrade my main machine to Vista and buy a 8800 (my main machine is, and probably always will be nVidia based). Yes, I know I can do it using the reference driver, but really, that just sucks and I’d rather be sticking a fork in my leg.
Some of you might already know that I started Ogre originally primarily because I wanted to shield my sensitive eyes from the absolute horror that is native D3D code. Obviously it wasn’t long before it was hiding GL too but that remains the original reason I started it - to plaster over wrinkles deeper than Mother Theresas. Anyone who’s had to write a significant amount of D3D code knows what I’m talking about - horrible all-caps structures, unbridled use of Hungarian notation, incredibly sensitive order-dependent windowing hooks, device loss & restoration nightmares, the list goes on.
I got some very interesting news in my inbox this morning; Linden Lab, makers of Second Life, have aquired Windward Mark Interactive’s WindLight and Nimble technologies, both of which I worked on under contract for WMI on and off over the last few years. For those who missed the original post, here’s what I’m talking about: This is Nimble (volumetric cloud rendering) from last year when I first created the prototype, which uses Ogre obviously, and it incorporates WindLight (which is doing the lighting), which was originally written in 2004.
As you may have detected, I’ve been oddly quiet for the last few days, mercifully saving the blogosphere the trouble of carrying my enthusiastically spouted verbiage. The reason is that it’s been a rather busy week, with 2 contracts on the go at once and rather less slack time than I had hoped (no editor work this week), so the forums have been skimmed rather more hurriedly than usual. One of these contracts involves work on OGRE itself, so I can talk freely about it now you can see the results of it in CVS - some enhancements to light scissoring and clipping.
Yep, I’ve been full-time self-employed for 6 whole months already. Where on earth did that go? 😕 I was getting frustrated at the weekend, partly because of that milestone - feeling like I had nothing but an ever-expanding TODO list in that time. I’m generally always dissatisfied with my productivity - it drives Marie crazy, but it’s a trait that I can’t seem to shake off. Occasionally I’ll be contented (typically for a couple of days after the end of a project), but pretty soon that ‘I wanted to get more done today’ feeling will start creeping back in, the knocking-off time in the evening will start stretching out again, and the weekend working will sneak back, despite my best intentions.
It’s a fairly simple thing, but by far my favourite viewing mode in 3D editors is ‘hidden line mode’ - it’s basically just like regular wireframe modes but you can’t see through the triangles. I like it because I think it gives you the purity of wireframe modes without the clutter. XSI has a specific mode for this, in other tools you can approximate it e.g. in 3DS you can use flat mode and enable display of face edges - although you tend to get garish solid colours and white edges instead of plain areas and coloured wires like XSI does, which is also how I’ve done it.
Someone pointed out to me that OGRE is mentioned in Game Developer again this month, which is very cool. This time it was in their news pages: I’m pretty sure they won’t mind me posting the image of it here since the text is just from press releases anyway rather than copyrighted articles. It’s not a huge mention but it’s nice to be included - the last time we were mentioned was in a box-out in a larger article about engines, I think about a year ago.