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Messages - Stefan

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2241
3D-Tech News Around The Web / AMD's Gamers' Manifesto: Gaming Evolved
« on: March 17, 2010, 05:31:11 PM »
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MD recently spent some time with us telling the story of how its game developer program works; what it does, what it doesn't do and how AMD plans on using its team and technologies to further the PC gaming community. But does the story add up? Can AMD convince gamers that with open physics, open 3D and Eyefinity they are the better player than NVIDIA?

Full story at PCPER

2242
Download via PhysXinfo

2243
3D-Tech News Around The Web / ATI 10.3a Catalyst Driver Update
« on: March 17, 2010, 05:23:33 PM »
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AMD is putting out a new "performance" driver that sports some very aggressive frame rate increases according to AMD. The new "10.3a" driver will soon be released to the enthusiast with a WHQL driver coming in shortly behind that. Interestingly enough, the non-WHQL will have a couple more tweaks than the WHQL version.

Full story at HardOCP

2244
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Windows Phone 7 minimum specifications
« on: March 15, 2010, 09:50:06 PM »
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The GPU needs to be DirectX 9, and the CPU needs to be a ARMv7 Cortex/Scorpion or better. Screens need to be at least HVGA, and have a resolution of 480×320.

Full story at SlashGear

2245
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Fermi is a totally recast architecture, representing what the developer terms ‘the world’s first computational GPU’. It removes all the major HPC-related weaknesses of the current generation.

Full story at HPC Projects

2246
3D-Tech News Around The Web / GDC 2010: NVIDIA theater presentations
« on: March 15, 2010, 09:07:02 PM »
Misc. videos at NVIDIA

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     APEX Clothing with 3ds Max
     
     NVIDIA Immersive Gaming–3D and Multi-Display Support
     
     Practical Triangle Tessellation
     
     Enlighten: Total Artistic Control over Game Lighting
     
     Unity for Engineers
     
     Physically Simulated Clothing By CCP (EVE Online) Using NVIDIA APEX
     
     APEX Vegetation with the SpeedTree® Modeler
     
     Vision Engine 8
     
     Parallel Nsight: GPU Development in Visual Studio
     
     Practical Use of Tessellation in Unigine Heaven Benchmark
     
     Lip Syncing with Face Robot using Softimage 2011
     
     Advanced OpenGL, OpenGL ES and OpenCL debugging and profiling using gDEBugger
     
     CryENGINE®3
     
     DMM2–Next Generation Digital Molecular Matter by Pixeluxc.
     
     APEX Destruction using PhysX Lab

2247
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We will continue to develop Shattered Horizon. We believe the zero gravity FPS deserves a serious backing. For the next game project, we have ideas, but I don't want to talk about them yet, except to say we will always try to include something of the unconventional in what we do.

I'd also like to highlight the fact that in the other half of our office, our 3DMark team is working on some seriously awesome DX11 stuff. It looks great, and that focus and investment in the latest graphics tech has benefits for the game studio too.

Ful story at CVG

2248
Download here

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Added OpenGL 3.3 and 4.0 core features Set. Fixed copy to clipboard in database page (Windows). Added DirectX February 2010 detection. Fixed XML error at startup in Latin language (French, Spanish, German). Fixed error with holed renderer (renderer that supports OpenGL 3.0 and OpenGL 3.2 but not OpenGL 3.1).

OK, now we just need OpenGL4 drivers (Fermi 197.15 anyone?)

2249
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The new driver announced today boosts application performance across the board with some notable standouts: CATIA by more than 25% and 3ds Max & PTC Pro/Engineer by more than 20%!

Full story at FireUser

2250
3D-Tech News Around The Web / NVIDIA OptiX Version 2 Beta 3 available
« on: March 12, 2010, 09:54:15 PM »
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Version 2.0.0 Beta 3  March 11, 2010
Welcome to the second major release of the NVIDIA OptiX ray tracing engine and SDK. Within this package
you will find the libraries required to experience the latest technology for programmable GPU ray tracing, plus
ready-to-compile samples demonstrating classic ray tracing results and other basic functionality. 
Support:
Please post comments or support questions on the NVIDIA developer forum that can be found here:
http://developer.nvidia.com/forums/index.php?showforum=43. Questions that require confidentiality can
be e-mailed to OptiX-Help@NVIDIA.com and someone on the development team will get back to you. 
System Requirements    (for running binaries referencing OptiX)
Graphics Hardware:
  Most CUDA capable devices are supported, though only the latest “GT200” or “Fermi”
class GPU will provide support for running OptiX on multiple devices.
Graphics Driver:
  The CUDA R190 or later driver is required.  The drivers found corresponding to the
CUDA 3.0 beta (http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=149959 195.39 for
Windows and 195.17 for Linux) are highly recommended.  The 196.21 drivers currently
posted are incompatible with OptiX.
Operating System:
  Windows XP/Vista/Win7 32-bit or 64-bit, Linux 32-bit or 64-bit, OSX 10.5+ (32-bit
executable support only).

2251
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Intel Ticker Tape - particle demo
« on: March 11, 2010, 06:08:32 PM »
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Ticker Tape is a tech demo that showcases complex particle movement using aerodynamic calculations such as lift and drag. This is all done at high framerates by utilizing an n-way threaded framework and SIMD optimizations. Included in the demo is the capability to dynamically vary the number of threads and usage of SSE so the benefits of both can be easily seen.

2252
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Wunderwerk Engine - backyard demo
« on: March 10, 2010, 08:38:48 PM »
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Wunderwerk Engine is an OpenGL-based, exclusively shader-driven, cross-platform game engine. It is designed to power Wunderwerk Game Creation System, a set of tools which enables its users to develop high quality computer games without having to write a single line of code.

The demo shows dynamic lighting and shadows, the physics system and some post-processing effects including light bloom, depth of field and dynamic reflections.

2253
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Swan is a small tool that aids the reversible conversion of existing CUDA codebases to OpenCL. Its main features are the translation of CUDA kernel source-code to OpenCL, and a common API that abstracts both CUDA and OpenCL runtimes. Swan preserves the convenience of the CUDA <<< grid, block >>> kernel launch syntax by generating C source-code for kernel entry-point functions. Possible uses include:

    * Evaluating OpenCL performance of an existing CUDA code
    * Maintaining a dual-target OpenCL and CUDA code
    * Reducing dependence on NVCC when compiling host code
    * Support multiple CUDA compute capabilities in a single binary

Swan is developed by the MultiscaleLab, Barcelona, and is available under the GPL2 license.

[via]

2254
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Unreal Development Kit: March 2010 Beta
« on: March 10, 2010, 05:53:11 PM »
Download mirror

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The March 2010 UDK Beta upgrade notes are as follows.



New UDK features and tools:



- Autodesk FBX format support (FBX version 2010.2)

* Static meshes, skeletal meshes and animations can now be imported from FBX files

* The FBX format is supported by many 3D modeling packages

~ including 3ds Max, Maya, and MotionBuilder.

* Download FBX plug-ins from Autodesk

~http://autodesk.com/fbx

~http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/FBXImporting.html



- Interactive Static Meshes

* Static meshes can now be configured so that all instance of that mesh placed in a level can become dynamic and react with physics when shot or pushed, giving the environment a more interactive feel.

* The advantages of this implementation are:

~Consistent behavior

* all objects using that mesh will be interactive, instead of it depending on level designer set up.

~Transparent to meshing

* L.D.s don't have to do anything special, but they can prevent specific objects from being able to become dynamic when necessary.

~These meshes are lit like any other static meshes until they move so there is no visual impact to using this system.

~No additional performance or memory cost to these meshes except during the short period when a mesh is being physically simulated.

* This system is intended for use with small decorative meshes that don't have any gameplay implications.

* The interactivity is client-side and is not replicated.

* http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/InteractiveStaticMeshes.html



- New Attachment Editor

* For displaying and modifying object relationships

* Lets you view and edit the attachment graph for a selected set of actors

* http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/AttachmentsBrowserReference.html



- mipmap sharpening

* Increases perceived resolution of textures w/o memory or performance impact

* http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/ContentBlog.html#MipGenSettings



- Property window favorites

* Simply mark a property as a favorite and it will always be displayed at the top of your property window.

* Combined with the search capability, this will greatly stream-line data access in the Unreal Editor.

* http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/PropertyWindows.html#Property Window Favorites



- New texture viewer options

* To reimport textures and to 'Compress Now'

* Allows artists to easily preview results of texture compression

* http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/TextureProperties.html#Other actions



- In Editor Stats viewing

* Enables the stat HUD in editor viewports

* http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/StatsDescriptions.html#In Editor Stat Viewing



- New Kismet actions

* stream in cinematic mip-levels

~Allows sharing textures of in-game and cinematics characters

~http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/TextureProperties.html#Num Cinematic Mip Levels

~http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/KismetReference.html#Stream In Textures

* Set VectorParam and Get Location and Rotation

~Adds the ability to get the location and rotation of a socket or bone (if the target is a pawn with a skeletal mesh)

~Makes it possible to hook a kismet vector object.

~http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/ContentBlog.html#New kismet functionality for "Set _VectorParam" and "Get Location and Rotation" actions



- New 'Select All Visible Levels' option in level browser right click menu

* http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/LevelBrowserReference.html#Context Menu





--- Improvements

* Continued moving UTGame native functionality either to UnrealScript or to the UDKBase package.



* Content Browser

~now tracks recently used assets

* click the new "Recent" check box in the filter panel to show these

~asset list now supports drag and drop

~search now works with full asset path names

~sound cues can now be moved/renamed like other assets

~localized sound nodes can now be moved into different packages



- Crowd Population Manager improvements.

* Now supports streamed GameCrowdDestinations.

(listed as "fixed crowd issues with level streaming" in the engine news)

* Improved LOD support.

* Improved designer control over population manager using Kismet.



- Lighting

* character lighting improvements

~fixed shadows from non-directional lights on characters

~added a WorldInfo property CharacterLightingContrastFactor

* scales up the light environment's primary light

* scales down the secondary light on characters

~added a WorldInfo Lightmass property LightEnvironmentIndirectContrastFactor

* increases the contrast of lighting volume samples

* multiple dominant light improvements

~dominant spotlight cones can now intersect as long as one of them is shadowed in the intersection

~when multiple dominant lights affect the same primitive, only the brightest is used

~dominant lights are now toggleable at runtime

~dominant lights no longer allow bForceDynamicLight set to true

* improved cinematic lighting

~added light option bNonModulatedSelfShadowing

* use normal shadow blending when shadowing themselves

* use modulated shadow blending on everything else

~added light option bSelfShadowOnly

* allows shadows from the light to not affect anything but the caster

~added a higher quality filtering method to reduce aliasing on character faces



- Editor improvements

* you can now press the F2 key to select the builder brush at any time

~ also, added new menu command for this: Edit -> Select Builder Brush

* selecting objects is now super fast, even with tons of objects!

* after a map build the editor will now blink in the task bar

* added auto-save support for asset (non-level) packages!

* added 'Select All' to the viewport right click menu

* 'show references' dialog window now allows more than one open at a time

* you can now customize your PIE launch URL string

~ just right click on the Play In Editor button to edit the URL

* dynamic volumes can now be initially disabled (new 'Disabled' property)

* 'Reimport' now works with skeletal meshes and sound waves!

~just right click on the asset in content browser, and select 'Reimport'

* level browser now prompts you before streaming volumes are cleared





--- Changes requiring a re-save or change

* Any texture imported since the December 2009 UDK build that had its import-time texture format specified as TC_NormalmapUncompressed will have had its source art (stored in the .UPK file) corrupted when the package was first saved.

* This source art data is only used when changing texture formats in the editor at a later date and is not used for gameplay.

* The bug that caused this corruption has been fixed in this UDK build, and code has been added to detect content with this problem.

* If you see a warning dialog box when changing texture formats in the editor, the best course of action is to re-import the texture from the source file.



* Matinee material parameter tracks have been rewritten to create runtime instances of MaterialInstanceConstants so that they do not affect content objects which could have had unintended side effects.

~However, as a result of this change, a Matinee can now only affect the materials on objects in the same level as the Matinee.

~This is required so it can determine the affected objects at save time instead of iterating all Actors at game time.



New UDN documentation

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/UDKCommunityLinks.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/EditorPackageSaveProcedure.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/CharacterEncoding.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/AttachmentsBrowserReference.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/ColorPicker.html


Updated UDN Documentation

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/LevelBrowserReference.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/UnrealUnits.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/AnisotropicLighting.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/CascadeUserGuide.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/InstancedMaterials.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/InstancedMaterials_TimeVarying.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/PhysicalMaterialSystem.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/UnrealScriptReference.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/SCCIntegration.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/LevelOptimization.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/UIDataStore.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/AudioSystem.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/UsingWaypoints.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/CrowdSystem.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/LitTranslucency.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/DebuggerInterface.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/MainEditorToolbar.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/UE3MinSpecs.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/CreatingHairUsingAlpha.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/MaterialsTutorial.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/CreatingNormalMaps.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/MassiveLOD.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/CustomLighting.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/VisibilityCulling.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/ParticleExamples.html

· http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/ShadowingReference.html

2255
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Unlimited Detail Technology reckon their clever tech is the biggest leap in realtime 3D graphics in decades. If what they say is true, we’re going to wave goodbye to games rendered in polygons, and hello to games free from cubist edges and limited model counts...

Full story at RPS

2256
Source: ShackNews

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Unreal Engine 3.0 on iPhone GDC Impressions
by Brian Leahy Mar 09, 2010
My first session at GDC 2010 was "Bringing Unreal Engine 3 to iPhone" and I was excited to hear all about Epic Games' plans for the iPhone, iPod touch and the like. What I got, however, was a programming-heavy talk about the challenges with bringing the technology, made in C++, to the iPhone, which uses Objective-C and Xcode.

It won't be much use to you all filtered through my brain--I've only dabbled in programming. The most interesting bit I took away was that the were able to put the engine onto the iPhone 3GS (required) 90% intact as C++ code. The remaining 10% is the platform-specific Objective-C that interacts with the engine.

The engine was shown briefly running on an iPhone 3GS and it looked great. It doesn't run at 30fps yet, but using some creative shader techniques, Epic was able to preserve much of the look of UE3 while shrinking it down to Apple's latest and greatest iPhone.

2258
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AMD has developed new parallel GPU accelerated implementations of Bullet Physics’ Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) Fluids and Soft Bodies/Cloth. The new code written in OpenCL and Direct Compute will be contributed as open source.

Full story at PR-Inside

[via]

2259
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Jenkins Software has released Echo Chamber, a free data mining and visualization utility designed for game development.

Supported usage includes:

• Video playback with framerate and memory usage reports as the session progresses

• Heat map of player and opponent activity overlaid on the level map

• Combined multiplayer session recording

Using RakNet or other programming libraries, developers record game metrics during play to a remote SQLite backed database server. Performance impact on the game itself is minimized as processing occurs on the server.

During analysis, data can be queried with SQL statements and displayed using table, line graph, histogram, symbol chart, pie chart, heat map, and 3D scatter plot formats. Playback supports static views, animation, and single step by frame count.

Echo Chamber is free to download, use, and modify, with the source code released under the GPL license.

The source code, an example video, and other information is available at http://www.raknet.net/echochamber

[via]

2260
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Phong Tessellation Demo
« on: March 05, 2010, 04:27:39 PM »
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-------------------------
|Phong Tessellation Demo|
-------------------------


Author: Tamy Boubekeur (tamy.boubekeur@telecom-paristech.fr - www.telecom-paristech.fr/~boubek)
Version: 0.9
Related publications:
 - Original technique: Phong Tessellation. Tamy Boubekeur and Marc Alexa. SIGGRAPH Asia 2008 - ACM Transaction on Graphics, vol 27.
 - Extension to Quad and TriQuad Meshes: As Simple As Possible Tessellation for Interactive Applications. Tamy Boubekeur. GPU Pro - Advanced Rendering Techniques. A.K. Peters, 2010.

Disclaimer
-----------
This demo has not been optimized by any mean and has for only purpose to illustrate the visual improvement offered by Phong Tessellation.
It is not bug-free, use it at your own risks.

Requirement
-----------
This demo requires OpenGL 2.0 hardware and has been tested on Windows Vista with a proper OpenGL driver installed. The directory contains all useful dlls, namely: QT dlls and mingw dll.

Usage
-----------
Use the mouse on the rendering window to navigate around the model. The right panel allows to select the model (triangle-based, quad-based and triquad-based) and to set up various parameters.

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