farbrausch at evoke 10
ps2.0, fast CPU
3d engineer: ryg
visual fx twin: chaos
additional art: cp
we use a lot of stock photos from stock.xchng (www.sxc.hu). so thanks to the respective
authors for making their work freely available!
made using werkkzeug3 by chaos, fiver2, giZMo, ryg (we only used it for timelining
really, no generated models or textures inside and the effects are pure code).
2. hw requirements:
fast cpu (real 2.0GHz+) and a ps2.0 graphics card: gf6 series or a radeon 9600 should be enough
as long as you don't overdo it with the resolution/antialiasing, and it's really quite
smooth in 1024x768 with 4x aa on my radeon x1600. guess it pretty much crawls on gf5x though
(but then, what doesn't).
3. "the story":
no, this is *not* a recycled/updated version of the "cube snakes" from debris. but
yeah, it's cubes again (mainly because none of our artists had time when ryg originally
did the effect). besides, cubes are cool. anyway, it's mainly shader instancing so it runs
on 2.0 shader cards (didn't want to require 3.0 shaders for this and didn't feel like writing
a separate rendering path either). there's some trickery involved to get this high number of
cubes to work without swamping the vertex pipeline though (the problem with cubes is that
they're basically 6 disconnected quads as far as the graphics card is concerned, so vertex
cache hit rates are awful). for the curious, the effects use up to 65536 cubes (all painted
up to 3 times when shadows and reflections are on). that's why you need a fast cpu, because
even with the optimizations we do, this ends up using a lot of batches (which cost cpu time)
and doing nontrivial animation of that much independent objects requires a bit of care when
coding. most of the cubes are actual cubes (i.e. all edges lengths are equal), but the code
doesn't require this (it just looks better most of the time).
the cube-based effects themselves were mostly done by chaos, but the main cube particle
system was done nearly 2 years ago by ryg and chaos following a suggestion by wayfinder;
it was originally sprite-based but never quite fit into anything we did, so it wasn't
released. the new cubes-based version looks better and nicely fits into this demo, so here
we go :)
most of this demo got done in the week before evoke. huge thanks to wayfinder for coming
up with the idea to use photos, drawing alpha masks and doing models and the soundtrack,
which lent a great deal of atmosphere to what would've otherwise become a pretty
straightforward effect show :) (if, indeed, we'd have finished it at all). also thanks to
chaos for the effects, some of the animation and his enthusiasm. finally, thanks to cp for
the vector shapes we used as basis for the greetings part.
-ryg, 10 minutes before deadline (and hours before we're finished :)