June 20th, 2011
I wanted to play around with GLSL, so I decided to make something small. Just 1kb in size in fact.
The demo is metaball-based, and looks a little like these, except it also moves:
Download the exe and source here. There are some poor choices made with regard to where computations are performed in the shaders in order to get the exe under 1kb in size. I’m sure someone more experienced would be able to correct this, or maybe I will myself with some more practice.
May 30th, 2011
A lot of things have been going on recently.
- MSc: Exams are over so I’ve started work on my summer project and thesis. The project I’m undertaking is a feasibility study in accelerating multi-variate analysis techniques using GPGPU computing, for the ATLAS project at CERN. I’m surrounded by particle physicists which is somewhat daunting, but hopefully writing CUDA code will make up for that.
- IGDA: As many of you will have seen, I started a movement to create an IGDA chapter in Scotland after seeing how much fun we were missing out on when I was at GDC. Thankfully, I was quickly joined by a number of active volunteers, and on the 19th May we held our first meeting in Dundee which 83 people attended! Here’s what Phil Harris of Square Go had to say about it, and here are some great pictures taken by Teemu Haila. You can find out more about IGDA Scotland through our mailing list, Twitter feed, Facebook page or website.
- CV: I’m now actively looking for work for when I graduate in September, and have updated my CV accordingly. Feedback is always massively appreciated, just drop me an email.
March 18th, 2011
My coursework on volumetric rendering resulted in numerous images of skulls, and since my MSc work has rarely produced anything visual I felt them worth sharing. There’s nothing incredibly exciting going on here, just ray tracing through some volume data, calculating normals with a 3D Sobel filter and trilinear interpolation, shading and then a spot of anti-aliasing.
Ray traced render using 3D sobel filter to calculate normals
Ray traced render
Render using finite difference to calculate normals
March 15th, 2011
Tuesday was our first day in the Moscone centre, and I chose to attend a series of Physics related tutorials. Unfortunately none of the the other scholars were interested in coming to the same sessions, but (to my pleasant surprise) I quickly found others to talk to.
The content of each talk varied a great deal, but (thankfully) I was able to keep up and got something out of all of them. Particular highlights for me were Glenn Fiedler‘s networked physics session, which focussed on how various network models relate to physics simulation, and Erin Catto‘s session on soft constraints, which worked through their use as a stable alternative to springs. While the topics covered were interesting in themselves, I think part of the attraction is witnessing how someone smart approaches a problem or subject.
The photo above is from the Ludum Dare meetup which took place in the evening before catching up with other scholars at the IGDA party.
March 9th, 2011
Monday was the first day of GDC, however as scholars we were instead given the chance to visit a number of local studios. Double Fine was the first port of call, and was a fantastic experience. Everyone in the studio was welcoming and happy to pass on advice, and we were given the opportunity to grill developers from a number of disciplines including Tim Schafer himself. The studio itself seemed a vibrant and lively place to work, packed with artwork and props.
Next stop was LucasArts, a significantly different studio. Again we had the chance to talk to some developers, but in this case recruitment specialists were clearly taking the lead. The tour we were given was fascinating, like walking through a museum of matte paintings and Star Wars memorabilia. Overall the opportunity was definitely enjoyable, but didn’t give much insight into daily life at the studio.
Finally, we headed towards Playdom for an excellent talk on Social Games from Eric Todd. I was entirely unsure what to expect from this before attending, but overall the talk itself was interesting and Eric was entirely open to answering our countless questions so I got a lot from the event.
I don’t want to conclude every single diary entry with a paragraph stating how awesome the IGDA scholarship programme is but seriously, I would never have had these opportunities without it and the organised (Jack, Gordon and Sheri) are owed massive thanks. To any students reading: don’t pass up on the chance to apply next year.