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Creation Date: 2002-10-10
Greetings. If you haven't seen the first five pages of JF Final Scene 1, then you are missing out. Click the links.
Scene 1, Page 1
Scene 1, Page 2
Scene 1, Page 3
Scene 1, Page 4
Scene 1, Page 5.

I looked up geodesic dome on Google and found American Ingenuity Geodesic Homes. This picture is what came out of it. This dome will hopefully find it's way into Scene 6 and will replace a very ugly bitmapped skin. You see, bitmaps are made of a matrix of square pixels. You may create the the bipmap from anything you wish: curvy, straight diagonal lines, or a full 3d rendering, but it remains as square pixels. When you zoom in, you get pixellation. That is bad. My problem was that I had diagonal lines as bitmaps so that the work would be easier. The solution is to use polygons. It took an hour, but I think it was worth it. Scene 6 will happen and it will look good using this dome. The lesson for today is to use those polygons! You see, with a Riva TNT2, you are going to try to save as many polygons as possible. You're going to use exactly 16 MB of textures and if the player sees pixellation, so be it. But usually you find ways to ensure no pixellation. The main thing, though is fewer polygons. There are tricks and algorithms that make the polygons as few as they can do. The whole BSP system was originally made so that you could have three single complex room drawn at all times, no more no less. It also lent itself to very nice game stuff like collisions and monsters whose AI only calculated when you entered its vicinity. Of course, that meant that you were severely limited in what primatives you could use. Sad, but true. They tried to make it more advanced with slanted objects, but made it far more complex and buggy. So the TNT2 has gone away. Few gamers (even casual gamers) still have a TNT2. I gave away my TNT2 with my P2-400 to a friend who had never worked on a computer before. He liked Red Alert better on the PlayStation. He played Half-Life and hated it. So back to my point, everyone has a GeForce, GeForce2, ati Raedeon, or better. So the big advantage is super fast polygon rendering. Instead of 10k polygons per second, we can do 300k. Are you going to use them? YEAH! What are you going to use them for? Character's faces, bodies, shadows, buildings, and making pixellation go bye-bye. This Geodesic dome with all the piping is 800 polygons. That's not much, seeing as each character is 1,000 on a GeForce2-based game. For such an important, awe-inspiring piece, I say it's worth it. The other way to do this is to make an 8-bit 2048x2048 texture. Do the math, it's 4 MB and it will not look as good as the real thing. Why do I say the real thing? Because those pipes are exactly what would be in real life, where the texture is not. Also with the texture, there is the problem of pixellation at very close distances (<1 meter). There may or may not be ways to delete the outside (in case you will only be on the inside) so that you can reduce the poly count to 75%. Also, there is certainly a way to make it look better. You can see a slight bit of seperation etc in that since I was too rushed to get it done.

So since I'm doing this, am I trying to say that I won't have Scene 1, Page 6 done by tomorrow? Well, that may be true. I will try, though. It is important to me to get JF Comic done both well and quickly. A possible future lesson is to work out a rough draft of your comic with stick figures on paper using a mechanical pencil. I've done that will Scene 1 Pages 1-5. I haven't done 6-8 yet, but I will soon. You see, I just draw boxes to start out. Then I think about the plot and I draw stick figures inside and redraw the boxes around them. Then when I get to actually doing it on the computer, I know what I want it to look like. I can do the animation and the direction very mechanically, which is what I like.

I finished reading Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. It was a great book. It was very comical, showed a good light on hackers, and was intriguing if not totally left-field. I read the first 50 pages the very night that I loaned it from the library and decided to stop reading Neuromancer by William Gibson. While they both have to do with goggling into a 3d internet and hackers saving the world with use of manual weaponry, I found Snow Crash to have very much more compelling characters. The fact that Neuromancer's main character is a part of a deplorable underworld and Snow Crash's main character has the last name Protagonist makes a big difference. But now I will go back to reading Neuromancer. It's kinda funny that I stopped reading Neuromancer because shortly before, I stopped reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged to read Neuromancer. Neuromancer is interesting I must admit. My mom told me that my father read Neuromancer when I was a baby. It makes logical sense. My father and I learned computers together. Although he had a 34 year headstart on me, I have caught up in many areas and even surpassed him in a few areas. He currently does not program c or c++ while I do. Of course, he makes good money programming while I do not. But back when I was 13, I decided (as stubborn as I am, I still believe this) that I will become a scientist, not a programmer for hire. However, I have learned quickly here at the U of W that pencil and paper physicists are Ph.D.s while I am not. So I have to use my immense knowledge of programming to float my theoretical physics with experimental and computational physics. I actually don't mind. It makes me happy that my programming experience will help and that my happy lifestyle as a hacker will continue even though I am becoming a scientist. Talking on that subject, my professor complemented on my low ICQ number. I recently reopened my account for use with my physics research. My number is 3308570. His number is a factor of four larger. I started using ICQ for the Nanocomputer Dream Team around 1995 when I was 15-years-old. Ah yes, memories of when I was the best in everything. Back when I plotted and schemed of all the great things I would do in the near future. Here I am. What can I say in defense of myself? I'm still plotting and scheming, but the time table is more reliable, more near, and contains more detailed information.
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