Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The road turns

I've been quiet for a long time now, so it's about time I gave an update.
It's that I've been fiddeling with an idea lately, and it might be taking shape a bit.
I don't know where exactly I'm heading with it. But I'm going to venture with it for a while.

Not releasing any explicit details but here's a few screens of what I've been working on.

I can talk a bit about the last screenshot. That's a simple sprite preview tool, it already works but I need to do something about user friendlyness:
being drag & drop sprite loading.
automaticly change the size of the preview window and make it stick to the form.
and a shutdown crash that I need to fix. It happens when you close the Controls window to shut down the program. Maybe I can finish it up this week and drop it online. You never know when someone might need a tool to quickly preview a spritesheet animation.
I admit chances are low, but eventually someone might be satisfied by the existance of this tool.

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's alive..... well sort of.

There you go , a rendering scene that displays a rotating church

What more could you possibly want?
I'm just joking, this is just a step that I need to take in order for me to progress.
I'm finishing up on the OBJ importer and I've already written quiet a bit of code for the render scene & the camera's. I've also written the shader ( which rendered the model you can see in the screenshot).
Don't worry, it won't end up looking like that, not by a long shot.

You know like in minecraft where you create your scafold for those big projects?
This is my scafolding, in order to create a tool. I must first define how the tool will work, and I'm almost done laying those foundations. ( Does that sentence make any sense? )

Anyhow , I am almost ready to get started on making this thing interactive and actually tool like.
I think that the coming updates will be a little bit more interesting.

Friday, October 1, 2010

From the C# to the HLSL

It seems that I was arrogant enough to underestimate DirectX. I forgot how intricate it all is and I didn't put any thought in  the use of shaders. Which I'm going to have to use in the tool.

Shaders are also often referred to as "Effects".

Though this might not sound important. It is the backbone of every 3D game you've ever played.
They make almost everything happen. Well they are involved in almost any visual "effect" you see in a 3D application.

I'm going to work on a shader that I can use to continue developing the tool, and I will explain what it does when it's finished.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Step 1: Getting started

First off, I would like to apologize for the downtime I've had. I had to take care of a few personal affairs that took priority over my work.
Applying for a job and whatnot.
But now I'll have a bit of time to work on the tool.

I did however have the time to think about "how" I'm going to create this tool.
And I've decided to create the model importer first. It'll allow me to test various models later on, hopefully catching some bugs in the early process.

After I've written the importer , I'll be moving on and start writing a "scene" class that will manage the 3D scene that users get to see when they have imported the model.

I'm not sure about what I'm writing next, the exporter, or the user controls.
Converting the model to voxels would be an obvious choice.

But, I'm not sure if I want the tool to be able to export the models to the maps.
Personally I think it would "break" minecraft, It's still about creating everything with your bare hands.
Merely exporting things into your map isn't creating.

That being said, I'm going to put the exporter into the "maybe" category. I'll write the tool first.

If I write all of the above. I'll have the base of my application.

That's all for now.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Project #1: MineCraft Blueprints

Not the most original name I must confess but I get to use the excuse of it being a working title.

Anyway, I've been playing some Minecraft and I must say I'm impressed at what a single person can come up with.
You could say that it inspired me to do something usefull myself. So I'll be making a tool for minecraft.
You might want to play the game before coming up with questions, just for safety's sake.

Blueprints? MineCraft? What madness is this?

What will this tool do you ask?

This tool will hopefully allow people to make more intricate structures in minecraft than ever before.
To put it a little blunt and plain. It'll convert a 3D model ( like a .OBJ ) to it's equivalent in minecraft.
It'll convert a 3D model into a voxel model, and save that voxel model to your minecraft save game ( ultimately).

I'll be using C# and propably the XNA framework for this, since I need some practice with the good old C#. Besides the XNA framework is pretty robust, and I don't have to worry too much about device managers & buffers on the DirectX side.
I could write all that stuff myself. But I think that'll be for another project or another time.
I'm also going to start off by only allowing .obj files to be opened. Since I have the most experience with obj files.

MILESTONE #1:  The prototype
What can it do?
Load & display objects from obj files
Convert that model to a voxel model and display it

I'll be uploading working builds along with posts I make.  But I'll store the older ones and put them on a common online portal for easy acces.
I'll also be giving away my source code whenever I feel like it

Hello World

Hi everybody ,

First question you'll be having in mind. What is this blog about?

That's probably the best question you could imagine ( though some might already get it from reading the title).
..anyway there are a few things that you might want to know about this blog.

I'm going to be creating tools. With tools I mean applications which developers or modders can use to their benefit while creating content. Tools that will improve the general work flow of a content pipeline.
By improving I mean making tools that are responsive, easy to understand and work as they should.

I'll be posting updates on the progress of my work here. I do want to note that if anybody has anything to criticise on my work, you are requested to do this in an adult fashion.

I've been considering to blog about something for a while now and I thought it was about time to get things through.
The reason I hesitated was actually pretty simple. I didn't want to be put into the same category as those people that blog about themselves ( including vBloggers ).

I don't dislike bloggers ( except for fred maybe) , some bloggers really manage to inspire others , make them view things from a new perspective and that is what I like about blogs.

My name is Gertjan Van den Broek , and I'm a 21 years old.
and I'm a Technical Artist