Ogre

Pose animation refactoring done

Yes, pose animation has now been put on steroids. Multiple poses can now be referenced in a single pose track’s keyframe, and they will be blended together using an individual influence per pose, interpolated along the track, and scaled overall by the animation weight. The result is that you can define reference facial animation poses (expressions, mouth shapes) and script them being combined in various ways over the life of an animation, for example to create the sequence of of a character making a particular speech, with all the right mouth shapes matching up with the words and yet not taking very much in the way of storage.

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Bag o' mixed news

A whole bunch of things to talk about today. Firstly, I’ve been feeling pretty awful over the last couple of days and think I’ve caught a bug which has been doing the rounds lately, taking out quite a lot of people at work. So far I haven’t taken any sick leave but I’ve been too tired in the evening to do much OGRE work. Nevertheless, I’m planning a small rework to the pose animation features I’ve already done, mainly to move the actual definition of poses out of animation tracks and just refer to them in the tracks themselves with an influence level, allowing you to script the pose blends in tracks, which is much more powerful but doesn’t require any more actual features than are already there.

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More bloody DOS attacks

I had to waste yet more time today tracking down what was causing the OGRE web server to slow to a crawl. This time it wasn’t a DDOS attack, but a single IP from Vietnam that was hammering the server with shedloads of requests every second. All the requests were individually valid, so if this wasn’t an intentional attack, it was a really crappy spidering tool written by some clueless muppet who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

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Whoah

Here’s what happens when you add some custom shader effects to additive texture shadows and make a mistake (the image on the right is what it should have looked like):   Groovy, man.

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DDOS attacks

Well, today at 13:00 GMT the OGRE site was deluged by hack attempts from hundreds of separate IPs in an obvious case of botnet attack. It was trying to run a script through an old phpBB hole (which we’ve patched - good to know the hours I spend doing security patches weren’t in vain) , which was located on a Turkish company site which had clearly been compromised - I’ve notified the admins so hopefully they’ll remove it and tighten their security.

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Shadow technique #4

I just added a new shadow technique to OGRE, namely additive texture shadows, bringing the total number of techniques available to 4 (modulative stencil, additive stencil, modulative texture and additive texture). This technique allows you to gain the benefit of the additional lighting accuracy you get by using masked-out additive lighting, whilst using texture-based shadows which are more GPU-friendly than stencils. As before you can of course use custom caster & receiver shaders, and custom shadow texture formats, in order to implement more complex shadow setups such as depth shadow mapping.

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Faraday and Franklin must be spinning in their graves…

For Gods sake, why are those regulating the US patent system incapable of determining the difference between a genuine inventive step, and a bean-counter just trying to cash in by using flamboyant wording about something utterly, pathetically trivial? Case in point is Creative this week rattling their sabre (or should I say toy rattle, because that would suit their mentality better) about a patent they have over “selection by the user of a least one track in a portable media player as a user navigates through a hierarchy using three or more successive screens”.

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2 MMO platforms utilise OGRE tech

You might have seen the recent Slashdot post about Multiverse, a new MMOG platform getting a bit of press at the moment. Well, it turns out that their client uses Axiom (now merged with Realmforge since leedgitar left), which is a C# port of OGRE. It’s a shame they didn’t use OGRE directly, since Axiom always trailed behind OGRE a while, and I can only assume Realmforge hasn’t made that lag up completely yet (I may be wrong though).

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2 OGRE games on front page of mainstream PC games portal

Well, this was a welcome surprise - one of our French users pointed out that the French gaming portal, JeuxVideo, today had 2 OGRE-powered games featured on their front PC page at once, Ankh and Pacific Storm 😀Because this obviously won’t last as more articles come up, I’ve saved it for posterity (click for full page): For those of you who can read french, here’s the full previews: Ankh | Pacific Storm.

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Didn't they do well?

I was pleased to learn today that Ankh has picked up two awards at the German Developer Awards in the last few days, for Best Game and Best Soundtrack. Well done to all the team at Deck13, it’s great to see and I’m dying to see the English version in January. I hope you remember to send me that free copy like you promised Thorsten 😉 English language reviews are rare at the moment but the scores coming in from German sites are very good - invariably in the high 80s and very close to the review scores given by the same sources to more high-profile games like Farenheit.

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