Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Air Ball!

The final excercise in the Game Institute's C++ introductory program is to write an Air Ball game. The original demo for us to follow along uses bitmap graphics has a scoring system, but I decided to cut down the graphics to plain old GDI elipses :) Minor changes to the code, but I'm more interested in the algorithms, plus I'm not going into the gaming industry.

If you're interested to see what it looks like, click here!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Ping? Pong!

Yep took me a few days to get around to do it, but I got my variant of Pong working! It's simple stuff, just bouncing off the paddles and keeping track of the score. Next up is the final chapter :)


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bouncing Balls anyone?

This is an exercise from the 2nd last chapter in my Game Institute C++ programming course. We have to do a bouncing ball simulation, basically just get the balls to bounce all over the screen.

In my implementation, I'm just using an Ellipse to represent my bouncing ball. For each ball though, I have class containing two vectors classes, the first to represent the X and Y position on screen, and the second vector a direction vector. Thus, per frame step, I look at the direction vector and add a certain amount into the position vector.

If you want to see the exe, click here. As I'm using some Game Institute code for the backbuffer and vector operations, I don't think I can post the source code up here. The next exercise before the next chapter will be a Pong implementation! Wee.... shouldn't be too difficult.

New Maxscript

Ok this is a very simple script I was working on to fix gimbal lock issues for lowmax rigs. The word "fix" isn't really very correct, it's more like a hack. The script basically adds another Euler XYZ controller into the rotation list (thus re-setting the rotation axes), and the animator continues work on that.

Hence the name, the GW Gimbal Hack/Fix. You can get it from my gallery page.

Also, been playing around with Maya Paint Effects, this is an awesome tool, I wish max had something similar. This is my test shot: http://www.alvinvfx.com/temp/bambooEnvironment.zip

Apart from the few bamboo meshes in the foreground, the ground cover and distant bamboo are all paint effects.

The objective of this shot was to understand some basic multipass maya rendering. I think Max's multipass controls are easier to understand, but heck I think I can whip up some mel once I get that mel scripting book :)

I will probably re-do the whole shot to include some perspective change (it's a pure nodal pan now), make it more of a daylight shot and see what kinda elements I can add. Right now, I didn't enable the PFX turbulence, perhaps I should try that my next time round.

Signing off...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hmmm what's new on the horizon

I've been quite busy over the past few months, first up I've signed up for several courses over at the Game Institute (http://www.gameinstitute.com). I took up the Game Maths, as well as the C++ for game programmers I and II. I think Game Institute is an awesome online learning service - the coursework is straight and focused, but since I do have quite a bit of programming background, taking it up wasn't _too_ difficult... until at least the Windows API portions :)

Am I switching over to the game industry? Heck no! Basically I was going through the Max and Maya APIs, and didn't know what was all these windows programming stuff, so heck I thought this course would be a good pick me up. And yes it is. I would suggest if you are a pure newbie to C++, check out Ivor Horton's Learning Visual C++ 6. Yes, it's old, software wise, but the contents, such as the basics of programming, inheritance etc are not. Having switched to Java programming after my graduation, I kinda lost touch with pointers and all those memory management stuff. Just FYI, I'm using Visual Studio 2005 (standard edition btw), all the code works great.

Speaking of which, I was introduced to Maya about 3 months ago, and man, it's a blast! Sure, I hated the interface at first, but I got over it in about a fortnight, and I'm able to work on Max and Maya without getting confused over the keys. Well, most of the time :) Maya's simply huge, and thankfully, I had a whole chunk of Gnomon DVDs to learn off. Check with your local library, they may stock a good part of Gnomon's Maya range. Alex Alverez is simply one of the better DVD teachers I've had the chance to learn from. Apart from that, I'm still waiting for my copy of Complete Maya Programming: An Extensive Guide to MEL and C++ API to arrive from Amazon. Sheesh, they're taking like 2 weeks to get the stuff together to be shipped. Perhaps some of the audio cds I got were too obscure lol.

Ah well, will write more soon. I'm on the last two chapters of my Game Institute coursework for Win32 programming, after which I'll be heading into the Maya API :) Since the Max API doesn't have any recent books at all, I thought i'd go with something more current.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Let's start er up!

Hey I'm Alvin and I'll be your host to this "What's New" page for my site. Yep, it ain't a blog mate! I'll be posting bits and pieces of my latest work here, and to see how lazy I am :)