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  • Wed 30 Jan 2008

    Starwars – The Force Unleashed

    Published at 16:38   Category Game  

    Just look at that and tell me it would’nt be perfect in VR =)

    Fri 25 Jan 2008

    Visual Studio 6 vs 2005 allocators

    Published at 17:43   Category C++  

    (If you didn’t sleep enough, don’t try to understand the following)

    If one day you’re in Visual Studio 2005, creating an object that comes from a DLL compiled with Visual Studio 6, you might run into some allocators issues. Normally things go smoothly because your object is allocated and deallocated with the VC2005 allocator if you create it yourself, or by the VC6 allocator if you’re using specific creation functions that come with your DLL.

    What can become very tricky is when this object has a virtual destructor, which means that your object was allocated with the 2005 allocator, but is deallocated with the VC6 allocator. This is not good, and will probably result in a crash nearly impossible to solve unless the above-mentionned DLL is re-built for 2005. Which may not always be possible if you the owner of the DLL doesn’t want to do it himself or give his source code.

    Here’s a solution (I’m really happy we have code gurus here..) : allocate the memory for this object using the VC6 allocator. How do you do that? Easy (aha)! Simply load the VC6 runtime dll (msvcrt), find the pointer to the allocator function, and call it !

    vc6handle = LoadLibrary(TEXT(“msvcrt”));

    typedef void* (*vc6_malloc) (size_t _Size);
    vc6_malloc vc6funcptr = (vc6_malloc) GetProcAddress(vc6handle,”malloc”);
    TheClass* toto = (TheClass*) vc6funcptr(sizeof(*TheClass));
    toto = new (toto) TheClass;

    FreeLibrary(vc6handle);

    You’ll notice that the new function takes the buffer that was allocated as a parameter. This is not the regular C++ allocator, but a custom one that can take a previously allocated buffer.

    I won’t even explained how they did understand the problem …

    Any question? =)

    Thu 24 Jan 2008

    Circula Floor Video

    Published at 12:16   Category VR Devices  

    I already had a link to the circula floor video, but now I’ve uploaded it to YouTube so that I can put it in the State of VR – Devices, so here it is again :

    YouTube Preview Image
    Tue 22 Jan 2008

    The state of Virtual Reality – Displays (part 3)

    Published at 22:20   Category VR Displays  

    Today gentlemen, we will be talking about VR displays!

    Yay!

    Read “The state of VR – Displays“.

    Wed 16 Jan 2008

    The state of Virtual Reality – Devices (Part 2)

    Published at 14:00   Category VR Devices  

    After speaking about the applications of VR, let’s talk about the devices used to interact with those virtual worlds.

    Read “The state of VR – Devices“.

    Tue 15 Jan 2008

    PanoramaScreen – Panoramic Quake3

    Published at 9:55   Category Game, VR Displays  

    YouTube Preview Image

    Introducing the PanoramaScreen :

    The PanoramaScreen is a cylindrical projection environment for 360°-panoramic projections, which has been developed at the ZKM | Institute for Visual Media in collaboration with the iCinema Research Centre, Sydney since 2005.
    The screen has been implemented to display panoramic movies via 4 or 6 projectors, such as 3D animations or video footage. For the recording of 360°-moving imagery, the Institute specially developed a high resolution 360°-PanoramaCamera.
    The screen can also be used for stereoscopic VR-applications. Furthermore, the environment is equipped with an 8-channel audio system and offers by means of the Panorama Display Software, a software system developed at the Institute, a wide range of applications for interactive real-time applications, which are being further developed in the context of international artistic and research projects and co-operations.

    The first version of the PanoramaScreen [PSI] measures 3.50m in height and 10m in diameter. The second version of the environment with currently a higher resolution  [PSII] measures 2.80m in height and 8m in diameter.

    Thanks to Whaly ;)

    Sun 13 Jan 2008

    Stereoscopic 3D Film and Animation – Getting It Right

    Published at 21:03   Category VR Displays  

    Ken Wittlief, a senior engineer at Vuzix (formerly  Icuiti Corp), “makers of VideoEyewear and other micro display systems”, has written an excellent article about do’s and don’ts when creating a stereoscopic entertainment. Here are some highlights of the article, but I highly recommend you to read it all :

    (…) our depth perception is only good out to approximately 200 yards. Beyond that distance everything appears to be flat, and we use sideways motion to judge distances. (…)

    The first rule of getting it right: you have to know how the images will be viewed. You are creating a virtual space in front of the viewer and you must know what that space is, before you can start placing shapes and objects at different distances. The reward for your attention to this detail is that it is possible to create images that will appear to exist in real space, across the front of the theater, extending halfway out the screen towards the viewer, and receding back for 200 yards or more.

    (…) Focus is an issue with no easy solution. The best we can do with existing systems is to not violate the convergence/focus lock the viewers eyes have learned over their lifetime too harshly. [Don't] push objects off the screen more than half the distance to the viewer (…).

    (…) The average person has an Inter Pupil Distance (IPD) of 2.5 inches.   (…)  limit the separation on the screen to the minimum IPD that might be present in the audience: around 2 inches.

    (…)  The second rule for getting it right: don’t turn the audience into giants! You must use the correct camera separation for the camera field of view. For animation this means that first you must put your viewer into the virtual space itself. If you are animating bugs then how tall is your viewer? Do you want it to feel like the person watching the film is 6 feet tall, looking at bugs on the ground? Or do you want to bring your viewer down to bug size, so his eyes (your cameras) are the same distance apart as the bugs eyes?

    (…) The third rule for getting it right: set your cameras to converge on the most distant objects in view, and adjust your separation so that infinity is 2 inches apart at the screen, and let the foreground objects find their own place in that space. Resist the temptation to converge your cameras on the center of attention. If you really want to lock the viewers attention on one area, then use a depth of focus effect to blur the rest of the image, so the viewer will not be inclined to look around the area at other things.

    (…) The fourth rule for getting it right: you must know the timing of the projection system. (…) But when objects move quickly there comes a point when your brain sees the left view in one place, and the right view in another place, but then the left view has moved considerably and your brain cannot pull them together. The result is you see two objects: the stereoscopic 3D effect is lost.

    Fri 11 Jan 2008

    Stereoscopic phone

    Published at 17:16   Category Tech, VR Displays  

    Nec is introducing the N704iµ, reportedly having a stereoscopic screen. I can’t find any more information than this picture, so if you come across something interesting, please leave a comment =)

    Thu 10 Jan 2008

    Intel may put GPU into CPU and develop realtime raytracing

    Published at 13:45   Category 3d, Tech  

    I found on Dom’s blog this Ars Technica article talking about the research of Intel to create a “many-cores” architecture that could include a GPU :

    From what has been revealed so far, “Larrabee” appears to be the codename for a so-called “many-core” [>8 cores] architecture that will include a variety of actual products and implementations. (…)

    Larrabee parts will have ten or more in-order cores per die. Each of these cores (…) will support up to four simultaneous threads of execution.

    (…)

    So while Intel won’t publicly talk about any actual products that will arise from the project, it’s clear that a GPU aimed at real-time 3D rendering for games will be among the first public fruits of Larrabee, with non-graphics products following later.

    (…)

    Daniel Pohl (c) The Inquirer

    Intel employee Daniel Pohl was on hand at last week’s IDF to give demonstrations of a version of Quake 4 that uses real-time ray tracing running on Intel hardware. Charlie at the Inquirer managed to catch the demo, and he published an account of it this morning that attempts to get at where the GPU is eventually headed as a product.

    (…) there’s no doubt that Intel is serious about bringing this technology to real-time 3D games.

    [But] because of the demands of the ray-tracing engine, Pohl had to swap out many of the game’s detailed textures in favor of reflective surfaces that exploit ray tracing, because there was no horsepower left over for texturing. It’s also the case that the demo required four quad-core machines ganged together, and even then it didn’t run at a playable framerate. So those reflective and refractive effects are nice, but they’re not worth that kind of horsepower requirement, especially when you compare the overall look of the resulting game to what single G80 can do with the right coding.

    (…) ditching rasterization for some kind of pure ray-tracing approach is such a giant step backwards in terms of performance that when you factor in the fact that you’re forced to trade programmable shaders for a limited palette of flashy reflective/refractive effects, then sticking with rasterization is a no-brainer.

    (…)

    [Larrabee would seem to be] an ideal architecture on which to run a much more sensibly designed (higher quality, and faster) *hybrid* engine, that traces rays on-demand for secondary effects, while using Z-buffer, REYES, or similar pipelines for primary visibility.

    So we won’t get realtime Renderman today :-/

    Wed 9 Jan 2008

    The state of Virtual Reality .. in 1993 !

    Published at 18:20   Category VR Applications, VR Devices, VR Displays  

    The guys at EVL are posting a lot of videos !!

    Those two show a state of VR in 1993, with an impressive list of videos and applications. It would be really nice to have one such video now =)

    YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image
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