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Creation Date: 2002-10-26
When I get in my groove, I can tell you one thing: you best not be in my way, 'cause I'm one crazy sucka. This is part of my plan for the perfect model. It is body 2 version 0.1. About the name, I've decided to start naming my models so that I can identify them easier. All my models are named stuff like jav40gs1p5.ms3d and stuff like that. Of course, that tells me that it is Javantea using body number 40 and it is the g style and then animation is used for scene 1 page 5. But that's kinda confusing. What about jav33es.ms3d? What is it for? I have no idea. I have to open up MS3D to see wtf it is. And when one is in pursuit of the perfect model, one accumulates over 400 models and model revisions in one year. That's right, there are two dozen EGv1s, one dozen EGv2s, at least 100 Javs, and about 200 seperate body parts. Getting things as good as they are takes a lot of work. Enough about my agony, what about this model? Well, I was looking at the EG model (aka the DA model) and the Jav 40 model and I was absolutely amazed at how good they are. I could easily use them for the rest of JF models and not have to worry much about people dissing my artistic talent. But then I thought: the fruits of one year of modeling is hardly a finished product. So I thought about all the small problems I have with the two models. The first is pinching. If you aren't familiar with pinching, it's when a model uses a skeleton and you rotate the skeleton, the faces turn inside-out. You might be able to see it on some of the JF comic pages. I try to get rid of this as much as possible. So I decided to use diverse tactics on this model. Instead of the cross pose, I decided to put the arms at 45 degrees downward. That will help fight pinching when the arms are down at the sides, which is the more likely pose. I also bent things so that they would work right under the circumstances that are usually in my animations: punching, kicking, running, talking using body language. This model specifically targets pinching. I think that it is my best model in the view of working with the skeleton. You've probably noticed that the body is not in correct proportions to reality; I noticed that also. When I have time I'll stretch them to the correct measurements. I have them for myself. Of course, I am not exactly a correctly measured person, but who is. I'm 6'2" and very lanky. My arms are long, my legs are long, and I'm fairly thin. What can I do about it? It doesn't show it enough in JF, but my reach is good enough to punch a short person without fear of a counterpunch (perhaps you'll see in Scene 1, Page 6-8).

The next thing that I'd like to point your attention to is the number of triangles in this model: 176. It lacks hands, feet, neck, and head, but those are simple enough. Note that most of my models are 500 total, about 300 by this point. That means that I've found a very frugal way to use polygons in this model. It is fairly important to have a super-low poly model in your portfolio. Back in the day of Nintendo 64, with the burgening business of 3d console games, developers had to be frugal, yet very professional. The animations had to be good with no pinching in a large range of animations. The animations often weren't even skeleton. They didn't have enough processor to do a lot of those calculations. Silly, huh? Also, they didn't have much RAM for textures, so most of the textures were 8 bit 64x64 (4 kB). I mean, just look back at Tomb Raider 1. Lara was a few hundred polygons. They had to render her with software, on a Pentium 1 133 and such. Isn't it crazy? Nowadays, they use models with 1000-5000 polygons which are made from bezier curve models. Final Fantasy is a benchmark for me, since they attempt to use the latest hardware and software to make their games. FF7 was a low poly game. It actually was very frugal while being beautiful. Cloud and Yuffie as well as the rest of the crew are absolutely wonderful. I have a poster of Yuffie on my wall to the left. I'm not talking about the FMV, I'm talking about the real-time rendered versions. Using the limited Sony Playstation platform (specifically RAM and processor) they made models that were smooth and that worked well for their game at around 500 polygons and 64k textures. The next two FF's improved on quality (FF8 had squished characters for a certain type of gamer that likes that kind of thing) without improving the hardware, which is cool. FFX was a huge improvement. Using the PS2, FFX was able to expand the 3d environments and the polygons used on the characters by a factor of 10 or so. Nice, huh? They use characters with around 5,000 triangles and 1 MB of textures. PS2 is still low on RAM, but it has the advantage of not running a terrible operating system: Win XP like XBox does. If you have 128 MB of RAM, running Win XP on it is a shame. I recently installed Linux on my spare old 2 GB hard drive and I checked free memory. I was absolutely amazed to see how little it used, even when running KDE (the Graphic User Interface). Switching from Win98 to Linux gives me 60 MB of RAM for free. If that isn't cool, I dunno what is. When I finally switch over for good, I'll be able to use that 60 MB of RAM for all kinds of evil purposes: mainly textures. It's really odd that a developer has to deal with the fact that even though the user has 128 MB of RAM, 96 of that is used by Windows at all times. A video game running under Windows gets as much RAM as a PS1. A video game running under Linux gets 3x as much RAM as a PS1. But most game developers are developing for Windows instead of Linux. So they limit the RAM they use and keep swap files and they go to the hard drive often: loading time. With Linux, it could all be loaded at once, thus no loading time. No going to the hard drive for a texture. I hope you'll forgive my rant, but I'm a slave to RAM. Whenever my computer slows down, it's because it's accessing the HD. Whenever my computer crashes, it's because Windows either didn't manage my memory properly or put too much stuff in the swapfile. Microsoft advocates say that Win XP solves that problem. I call BS. I know for a fact that Win XP crashes as much as W2k and that crashes 75% as much as NT and that crashes as much as Win 95 which crashes slightly more than Win 98. If Microsoft would rewrite their fscking OS once in a while, I wouldn't have these problems. That's right. Microsofts OS's are not unique, Win 95 was built off Win 3.11, Win NT and Win 98 were built off Win 95, W2k was built off NT and Win XP was built off W2k. They have no will to make a new OS from scratch. Why when people still buy their new version built off the old version. A new OS will introduce as many bugs as they fix. But if they don't write a new OS from scratch, Linux will pass them in every aspect, including ease of use.


At 4 PM yesterday, I got on my bike and rode dowtown. What a fun ride... Not! Competing with heavy traffic is not cool at all. Seattle has a few bike paths on the streets, I'll give it that, but they all lead to dead ends for the cyclists. You go from a nice bike path to the middle of a traffic jam. Exactly what use is a bike path if it doesn't lead anywhere? So I went and I tried to obey traffic laws while I jockied for position on the streets. I got to Westlake Center at 4:45. I wasn't going shopping (I don't have money even if I wanted to shop). If I were, I would have taken the bus for the reason shown above. I was there for Critical Mass. Critical Mass is a world-wide monthly bike ride in busy streets. It's purpose is to call attention to bicycles as an alternative to fossil fuels. Bikes do not get enough respect in the streets and the fact is that bicycles not only have the same right that cars have to be there, but that they are extremely efficient. Most people see bikes as a non-polluting form of transportation. There's no tailpipe and no gasoline used, so it must be pollutant-free. I agree that it is not polluting, but for different reasons. In thermodynamics and earlier in Freshman Physics, one learns that in order for work to happen, energy must be transferred. In the bicycle equations, where is the energy transferred? Respiration burns glucose with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, water, and energy (an exothermic chemical reaction). The body stores ATP, but that's biology more than physics. Anywho, a cyclist eats noodles, vegis, and tofu, his/her legs spin, s/he breathes oxygen in and carbon dioxide out, and the bike goes forward. So there are three sources of pollution that we have to look at: carbon dioxide emission, food intake, and bicycle manufacture. First off, all humans driving or cycling emit carbon dioxide and intake food. It is guaranteed that cyclists must eat more by simple physics. However, cyclists are 60-80% efficient at converting raw food to work. Automobiles are around 20-50% efficient depending on whether you have an SUV or a sedan. Do the math and you get how much better bicycles are than automobiles. However, there is one factor that bicycles are far better than automobiles: the use of oil. Cyclists eat food which is a completely renewable resource. Oil is not a renewable resource. There is a limited source of oil and currently it is causing major wars across the planet. Another factor is physical fitness. Excercise directly relates to health (not the other way around) and bicycles are a perfect method of exercise. An automobile is an engine of destruction while a bicycle is a tool of health and benign personal transportation. So Critical Mass started a bit late and everyone talked about fun stuff while they waited for key people. Half of the people were girls which made me happy. When everyone was ready, the two dozen of us got in a group and took to the streets. The first thing I noticed was that one of the leaders purposefully put his bicycle in front of a car. We needed to take the whole street, but I thought that we would let all the cars go by. As I would later learn, that is part of the goal of Critical Mass. So we took the whole street and turned onto 3rd. We took the entire two lanes (twenty bikes can easily take up two lanes five deep). We went through a few green lights and stopped at one red light. Then we went through a red light where there were no cars. We went through a green, but then there were defensive drivers at the next red light, so we went through that red blocking the legal road users. I would never do such a thing since I'm a fairly defensive cyclist that values my life very highly. 200 pounds of person and bike do not stand a chance against 1000 lbs of a car. With or without a helmet, you stand no chance. People say that you should wear a helmet on the odd chance that you might get nicked by a car into a bush and hit your head at 5 MPH. That happened to me and my helmet split in half. Of course, I've also been nicked by a car at 10 MPH and my helmet never touched anything. So I was a bit cautious when going through red lights. People shouted good things at us. I had a bit of a problem with the busses encroaching on my lane. There were four or so of them and they take up 125% of a lane. But I survived, so I won't curse at them. So then we turned up and over on 5th. It is a four lane one way. So we naturally took the entire thing, which we could easily do with 20 people. The few cars behind us weren't very happy, but we were going 15 MPH which is the unwritten city speed limit. They just didn't like being behind anything, I guess. So we all stop at a big red light and I see behind me is a cop car. I've heard of Portland Police breaking up the 1000 person Critical Mass over there, but we weren't breaking any laws at that point, since the law clearly states that bicycles follow the same rules as cars (including riding in empty lanes in front of lamer cars). So the cop puts on his megaphone: "Clear the roadway!" Were we supposed to run the red light or go onto the sidewalk? Riding on the sidewalk is illegal and dangerous to pedestrians. So we stayed there. But we were turning anyway, so when the green light came soon after the cop's unobeyable command, we headed east. We went under the huge arch of the World Trade Center and passed a few cars. Past the arch was a huge hill. I assumed that we'd all head to the right lane so that cars would be able to get around us. No, we would not give up either of our lanes. We hogged the entire road at 5 MPH stranding ten cars or so. One guy shouted, "Get out of the f*cking way!!!" a few times. He argued with one of the leaders at the stop light on the rights of the road. I felt particularly sorry for the BMW who was right behind us. I usually am polite enough to inconvenience myself to allow cars to get around me. It makes me feel better, especially when I pass the same person when they're stopped at a stoplight. Anyway, we got all the way to Broadway on Capital Hill. We turned left in front of oncoming cars which was quite a rude maneuver. We went down Broadway at 10 MPH hollering at all the people on the street. We looked and acted like a bunch of pansy gang thugs. The cars behind us on Broadway weren't happy at all. One decided to use the yellow turn lane to pass up. He sped right into a red light where he stopped. Of course, we just swarmed him when we got to the light. We continued until we got to the Asian Art Museum which was our destination supposedly to jump in the leaves. There weren't any leaves, but we parted ways. Finding my way home was fun. Broadway to the bridge is downhill and that means all the world on a bike. Of course from the bridge to my house is uphill which means all the world on a bike, too. I was extra polite to the very few cars that I encountered on my way home. I don't quite know what I learned from the experience, but I definately know that bikes do not get enough respect on the road. Renewable fuels are the way to go and bikes use the ultimate renewable fuel: yourself.
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