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Thread: realtime 3D graphics preview

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoof View Post
    it would be nice to see that in actual laser projection
    Hey Zoof;

    Have you seen the "Enya" graphics show that comes with Pangolin? It's an older show (from 1998), but it demonstrates the "Z cutoff fade" effect rather well. I don't know if it was done using the Pangolin 3D Studio Max plug-in or not though.

    Your video reminded me a lot of the "Enya" show, because it also has a grid that fades away in the background.
    The hard part is to get your DPSS laser to fade properly so the white lines (in my case) don't turn green, blue or red because of the lasers' different modulation curves, especially near the blanking end.
    Yeah, color balance is very tricky, especially if you're using cheaper chinese lasers that have *lousy* linearity when it comes to the modulation curve. I finally replaced my green laser because of this issue. Even so, I never had really good color balance until I started using Pangolin and gave their color palette wizard a try. It makes color balance a snap - even if you have less than an ideal mix to start with. (I'm sure a *lot* of development effort went into that wizard!)
    I'm sure Pangolin got it right too
    Yeah, well, the color wizard that comes with Pangolin is pretty powerful. If you set it up correctly, you'll get perfect white and perfect blends. However, some people don't do it right, or try to trick it, or worse just rush through it in 30 seconds. Then they can't figure out why the color isn't perfect... (I've found that it takes a good 5 to 10 minutes to do it right.)

    You can, of course, train the system manually if you prefer. It's tedious as hell, but if you have *enormous* non-linearity in the modulation curves of your lasers, hand-training the color system might be able to smooth it out even better than the wizard can. But hand-tuning can take hours!

    Adam

  2. #62
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    mixedgas is offline Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
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    [QUOTE=keeperx;67024]based on what im reading, the Zektor could be used (with voltages adjusted) as a laser gaming card sending the data directly to your projector (XY/RGB)
    -------
    The ZVG will work with any analog X/Y Monitor including any dual channel oscilloscope that can be set to an X/Y mode.
    ----------


    I looked at Zektor a while back.

    Zektor is fast,much faster then galvos, and doesnt slow down well. Like most crt drivers, returns its voltages to zero in between points. I talked to the zektor guys two-three years ago, and it came down someone would have to send them a set of scanners and a laser to redo the timing. At the time, I didn't have access to low cost chinese scanners, so if somebody contacted the Zektor guys for a rewite of their code, and sent them galvos and a laser, it could happen. But if you use it commecially, Atari would slap a cease and desist on you faster then the speed of dark. And dark is as fast or faster then light. Those games still are licensed, and many are made as handhelds.

    I'd be wary of hooking a fast crt writer that only draws corner points and no line or anchor points to a pair of good galvos. I'd actually start with a open loop set on that one, less likelyhood of distruction untill I knew what was going on.

    Steve

  3. #63
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    YEah.. gotcha.. those are all valid issues...

    guess ill just wait for the zoofmame

  4. #64
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    Haha ZoofMame, well we'll see what happens. First up is a flightsim of some sort.

    @Buffo,
    I'm assuming that you have either the intro or basic version of ld2k. How does that work with colors? On P's website they say that those systems have 24 and 48 colors respectively. Do they still work with palettes?

    With Laseroids I included a color calibration function. I won't call it a wizard since it is a one step process. Basically it scans a white grid faded to one side. The user plays with the various color controls (per laser: max, min, blank, and linearity) until the grid is white to gray. I've always gotten good results with it on my system. Haven't had any questions about it so I assume it works well enough for everyone who uses it. I have a no-palette philosophy.

    p.s. will look up the Enya show online

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoof View Post
    Bill, it would be nice to see that in actual laser projection and not in computer rendering.
    Sure, no problem. Just come to a PL, ILDA or Pangolin function. There are generally many opportunities throughout the year.

    If I am right, you are in The Netherlands? Well, we tentatively have a Pangolin User Meeting setup for mid June in Amsterdam...


    Quote Originally Posted by Zoof View Post
    Fading / depth cueing is a trivial thing in computer graphics. The hard part is to get your DPSS laser to fade properly so the white lines (in my case) don't turn green, blue or red because of the lasers' different modulation curves, especially near the blanking end. I made quite an effort to get the color control right, so that is what is giving me my photon kicks lately. Of course I'm sure Pangolin got it right too (or even better), being market leader and such. Nice property of the software to export directly to avi.
    Hehe. Patrick Murphy used to say that the X-Y-Z part is easy compared with color. That's true. And yes, at one point in time, that's how we got our photon kicks too. But after much development, we can now produce beautifully lit, textured, and shaded graphics. (See the screen shot I posted in another thread.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Zoof View Post
    I'm assuming that you have either the intro or basic version of ld2k. How does that work with colors? On P's website they say that those systems have 24 and 48 colors respectively. Do they still work with palettes?
    There are no palettes in LD2000 (even Intro). We haven't used palettes since 1992... Basically, when creating the frame, you specify color in terms of RGB. The system figures out how to turn that into something the laser can understand.

    The system can work with really strange combinations of lasers (en vogue years ago) like Red, Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, Violet, and other really odd combinations. It can even withstand people connecting their lasers in a completely backwards way. Our color system is really unique, and is one of the few things competitors haven't copied yet ...


    Quote Originally Posted by Zoof View Post
    p.s. will look up the Enya show online
    If it's available online, then you will see it. We came up with that show originally in 1990 and showed it at the ILDA meeting that same year. It was originally an LD/Amiga show (which shows you how seriously we take the word "compatibility")

    Bill

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoof View Post
    Haha ZoofMame, well we'll see what happens. First up is a flightsim of some sort.
    ZOOFMAME!!!! Priceless!

    Flightsim sounds very cool, btw...
    I'm assuming that you have either the intro or basic version of ld2k. How does that work with colors? On P's website they say that those systems have 24 and 48 colors respectively. Do they still work with palettes?
    Bill answered it better than I ever could. I know that there is a palette file of sorts that is generated by the wizard, but internally the hardware is doing some kind of magic behind the scenes to make the color work. Thus the palette file isn't really a "palette" in the traditional sense. More like a bunch of settings and parameters that describe how the lasers are connected to the controller and how they respond. It's something you need to see in person to understand; I'm having a hard time describing it.
    With Laseroids I included a color calibration function. I won't call it a wizard since it is a one step process. Basically it scans a white grid faded to one side. The user plays with the various color controls (per laser: max, min, blank, and linearity) until the grid is white to gray.
    Ok - the Pangolin wizard is sort of like this, but it does a lot more. I know it calculates three different palettes based on the settings you provide, but the calculations that go into those are beyond me. Still, you have the same setup where you have lines you need to match, both in terms of color and brightness. The wizard goes through several iterations to be sure everything is accounted for. Then it crunches the numbers and saves the file, and poof! All set.

    I think this would make more sense to you if you could see it done in person. If you can make the trip to one of the UK meets (or the benelux met they're planning), then you'd get to see it. I'm sure it will mean more to you once you see it in person.
    will look up the Enya show online
    If I get time this weekend, I'll set up my projector and record that show, then post it on my Ustream.tv page. (I like the music for that show anyway.. Very mellow.)

    Adam

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    Hey Matthijs!
    It's great to see you are tinkering in the mad scientist's bedroom lab again I wanted to try something like that as well, but I shelved my stuff (got frustrated with all the anchor/guide/corner point stuff and couldn't quite tweak it to my satisfaction). I am still in awe of your clean output, and like Gary mentioned, the clipping of the scene is another major accomplishment. If I ever get the "engine" part down, it would be fun to build on. Maybe now that it is getting cold outside, I can fire up the Winter projects again. Great job with the fading too! I went out and peeked at the most recent vids. Man, I searched high and low for some source code for a BattleZone game about a year ago and came up empty handed- I did find a few bits and pieces of 3d wireframe code though-

    Hey Bill, can I come to Amsterdam in June if I own an FB3? That would be a great time for sure!

    -Mike
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails tank.JPG  



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    Quote Originally Posted by mikkojay View Post
    Hey Matthijs!
    It's great to see you are tinkering in the mad scientist's bedroom lab again I wanted to try something like that as well, but I shelved my stuff (got frustrated with all the anchor/guide/corner point stuff and couldn't quite tweak it to my satisfaction). I am still in awe of your clean output, and like Gary mentioned, the clipping of the scene is another major accomplishment. If I ever get the "engine" part down, it would be fun to build on. Maybe now that it is getting cold outside, I can fire up the Winter projects again. Great job with the fading too! I went out and peeked at the most recent vids. Man, I searched high and low for some source code for a BattleZone game about a year ago and came up empty handed- I did find a few bits and pieces of 3d wireframe code though-

    Hey Bill, can I come to Amsterdam in June if I own an FB3? That would be a great time for sure!

    -Mike
    Hey Mike,
    how have you been? Winter time is a great time for lasers. We get these foggy nights that give some great outdoor smoke effects
    Clipping is a bitch Every time I solve one problem, another pops up. I guess that goes with getting to know the ins and outs. For 2D it wasn;t too hard but for 3D I still have to find a way to draw a line that passes through the viewport but it's points are outside the viewport.......

    You have any particular projects in mind for the winter?
    cheers,
    Matthijs

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikkojay View Post
    got frustrated with all the anchor/guide/corner point stuff and couldn't quite tweak it to my satisfaction
    This is EXACTLY why we created the LD2000 SDK. If you work in what we call "vector mode", then you don't have to worry about any of that stuff. You just give the SDK raw lines, and it figures out how to place points on those lines to give you perfect output.

    As a testament, everything you see our software doing is done by the LD2000 SDK...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikkojay View Post
    the clipping of the scene is another major accomplishment.

    <snip>

    Great job with the fading too!
    Both of these, plus a whole lot more are handled by our SDK...

    For people who don't have the time or interest in making their own engine, it is a great time-saver. Using the SDK, you don't have to worry about any of the grunt work, and you can concentrate on the main part of what you are trying to accomplish.


    Quote Originally Posted by mikkojay View Post
    Hey Bill, can I come to Amsterdam in June if I own an FB3? That would be a great time for sure!
    All of our user meetings are completely open. Anyone can attend. And yes, is is a great time, and the fact that we hold it in Amsterdam also adds a certain kind of adult interest as well...

    Bill

  10. #70
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    Bill, stop turning this thread into a Pango advertisement.

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