Monday, July 16, 2007

Caelum news (at last!)

So, many of you are guessing what I'm spending my time after the exams period (which, by the way, went pretty fine, with the exception of a subject...).

Besides unleashing a lot of ideas I had in mind for pictures, I've got back to the Caelum development. The shaders are under a complete overhaul, and so far they look pretty well. Still want to refactor many things, to make it more physically real, but better to go slow but fine, don't you think? ;-)

Here's a shot I took a couple days ago of its current state. Hope you like it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Art-rage again!

I've lately suffered another art rage. Call me jealous if you want, but watching a couple of classmates draw was the trigger I needed to start again developing an unstoppable urge to draw and paint like never before!

As a start, I had to do a painting I wanted to do for some time now, that is already uploaded to DeviantART, CGSociety, and PixelBrush. I'm reading like mad again the [pb] forums and CGTalk, and practising a lot. Thanks God I also find a lot of time to study for the coming exams :)

So I'll take advantage of this and create a new blog/community so that I (and other contributors, if they want) can post some tutorials, interviews, techniques and experiences. Any suggestions? :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I don't know if I've already told some of you about Indievelopment.

The idea is that the Gamespot crew is releasing a series of videos (most of them home-made) with the tribulations of Echelon, an independent game development studio. This is something like a video-journal, where you can see and hear what indie development is about.

Pure coolness :) I'm loving these series!!

PS: Requires free registration to download the chapters, but it's worth it ;)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

DOF, parallax mapping, scripting and other proof-of-concepts

Probably many of you have been guessing what's sucking all my spare time lately. I can't tell you any details on the project I'm working on, though you'll eventually get all the info available.

However, to keep the masses calmed (well, the small group that actually spends some time reading this :-/), I'll tell you a bit of what you can see in these screens:
Well, first of all, sorry for the crappy images. I promise next time will look better ^__^'

Okay, onto the explanation. These last two weeks I've been working on the basic scene parsing. Right now, you can load scenarios from a script, containing static geometries and almost all the camera features. I'll release a video with the camera system working next time. Right now, it smartly switches cameras and adds some interesting effects such as rolling the camera, vertigo effect, and shaking :)
You probably have noticed the scene is blurry. That's Depth of field. Another effect I feel quite happy with. It kills quite framerate, but on high-end cards it does probably look impressive in many circumstances.
The last feature I want to talk today is that crappy material that makes you want to rip your eyes off. I've beaten my personal record spending 7 whole times getting it to work (yes, that means I was up and programming until 6am yesterday... today... whatever!!). That proof-of-concept applies an asphalt material to an object. The material self-applies the UV coordinates depending on the vertex world coordinates, and even shows cracks as required by an "age mask". Quite impressive to see, and even more if using parallax mapping with it as well! If you pay attention, you'll see the cracks looking like 3D even if it's just a simple polygon! This is likely to be redone, but I got it working (quite an achievement as I'm almost a novice when dealing with shaders!)

Well, that's how "my girlfriend" looks like...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Just wanted you to know I'm pretty busy at this moment (that's why I'm not posting often here).

I finished my exams, and have some good expectations about them, but I'll wait until I've got the final qualifications to let you know.

However, I'm busier than before, because I've took back an old project I really want to see finished. Started it from zero this time, just to start developing it as a serious project deserves. As soon as I have some things working I'll post images/videos here so you understand why I'm this busy :P

As a sneak-peek, this is the result of a proof-of-concept shot after some research regarding fog:

Understand this project means a lot, and I want to tell such a lot of things through it... I simply want this to be done; it's one of my life goals!

Monday, February 05, 2007

More Caelum news

I've just read some extra shader auto parameters have been added to Eihort. For those of you who doesn't know yet, Caelum will support Eihort (Ogre 1.4.x) from now on. Some of these parameters will be extra useful for Caelum (for instance, in the layered clouds support).

Oh, now that I'm talking about layered clouds...

I've just installed a screen movie capturer for Linux, xvidcap, and thought that it would be nice to take a video of the clouds prototype in motion. I'm sorry for the mouse cursor and the sloppy animation. It performs pretty well, but the video was captured at 10 fps :(

Please, tell me what you think of the moving altocumulus :P

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Game development using agile methodologies

Yeah, yeah, I know I told I would be away for some time, but yesterday found this while I was searching for additional reading for one of my exams.

The page in question is, a site maintained by Clinton Keith, chief technology officer and lead engine/tools programmer at High Moon studios. A very interesting read (don't miss his blog!)

As an extra, found a link in his blog to a conference by Mary Poppendieck entitled "Competing On The Basis Of Speed". As Keith says, "one hour of solid gold".
Before I forget, here's the Link to the conference.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

About software static design

People often ask me about suggestions for good class design, so I'll write this with the hope more people will find this more easily.

The concept of class comes from the social classes. Every society has always been stratified, so people is classified into one of those stratus. As such, every class has their responsibilities already defined: A hunter must hunt, a guardian must guard, a paparazzi... Well, so we now have classes with responsibilities. Cool! We have a starting point.

When designing the static part of a model (this is classes, packages...), the first thing we must identify are responsibilities. Good, now we have a set of responsibilities identified but, what do we do with them?
The answer is easy: Define classes.

Societies have needs, and must have responsibles to be in charge of them. So people is classified according to their capabilities and skills to be responsible of those needs. A class is defined by both their abilities and responsibilities. We have the latter, and we're to find the best abilities to take charge of them.

Now our point has become just to find the best design for those abilities, but that falls outside of the scope of this rambling.

One more thing to remember. People usually burns (nope, no spontaneous combustion here; just metaphorically speaking) when they're assigned too much responsibilities. They will become unstable, hard to maintain and keep under control, and most probably, attack you. And so classes do. Try to keep their amount of responsibilities low (I've found the "two responsibilities per class at most" rule quite useful). If you can't, delegate some responsibilities on a different class, just like people do. I'm 99.999% sure you can do it!

Those are just my thoughts about defining classes. You might disagree, of course, but this reasoning has worked great for me in these last years, so I suggest you to give it a try :)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Caelum @ youtube... again!

This is a video from Rigs of Rods, a game being developed using Ogre that recently adopted Caelum for the sky management.
This fan video shows how the game looks with the new sky :)