Back from BP08


BP was great, although we didn't win the 64k award. We kind of expected that already.

One thing I rather liked was Bonzaj' (from the Polish demogroup Plastic) seminar on his demo engine "picoEngine", which is totally integrated into Maya. A year ago I already found some info on their engine. And it really looks a lot like nerve, although I have to admit that their engine appears to be set up a bit more professionally :) Anyway, he also showed a scene from their newest production for PS3, which is being sponsored by Sony: Linger in the Shadows.

Next stop: Outline 2008, first week of May.

Off to Breakpoint 08


I'm currently packing my bags for tomorrow's trip to Breakpoint 08 in Germany, which is a huge (one of the biggest in Europe) demoparty. It won't be a regular party visit, since we're primarily going there to visit the awards show saturday night. We don't have anything to release there, as we usually have. I was working on a small 4k intro though, but it will surely not be finished on time for the deadline.

Anyway, looking forward to it already :)

AO in action


Here's a video of a testscene I made yesterday. I was playing around a bit with AO and I thought it looked cool:

Some stats: 1 lightsource (only for specular highlights), 2 shaders, 1 posteffect (for extra contrast), 32000 polygons and calculation of per vertex lightmap took 2 seconds.

Occluding the ambiance


The past few days I've been experimenting with integrating static / precalculated lighting into Nerve, and I just wanted to drop some images I have so far. I've been focussing on Ambient Occlusion, and I'm currently using a hardware (GPU) based technique for precalculating per-vertex AO amounts as described here. This technique was also used (as far as I can tell) by RGBA's 64k '195/95/256'. The results so far seem quite promising, it appears to be quite fast and with some filtering/smoothing the visual results are quite okay. So it could be a quite useful addition to Nerve's lighting model. But I still have to figure out how to handle dynamic/deforming objects, since precalculated lighting won't quite work there.

I do have another alternative, which seems quite cool too: SSAO, which is just a (quite heavy) postprocess effect applying a form of local ambient occlusion. Anyway, that's probably still a bit too hard, so for now I'll stick to precalculated, static, AO lighting.

ps. calculating the AO lighting for the scene in the images above took around 1 second. For around 20k vertices.

Antiphore best 64k of 2007?


Yesterday Izard and I both received the following email from
We are happy to inform you that your production, Antiphore, has been nominated for an award for 'best 64k intro'.

We invite you to take part in the prize giving ceremony that will take place at the Breakpoint demoparty, on the 22nd of March 2008 in Bingen am Rhein - Germany. All the nominees will receive a diploma, and the winners in each category will get a prize statue.
So, against the odds, we're nominated for creating the best 64k intro for 2007. The other 4 contestants in our category are already made public, and by looking at those I don't think we'll actually win the statue (which looks really cool btw). But then again, the fact that we're nominated is already more than we could have hoped for. This is especially true, when looking at last years' nominees in the 64k category.

Anyway, we're definitely going to the ceremony (which is already in 3 weeks), and probably spend some time at Breakpoint. Which is one of the biggest demo parties in Europe.
Btw, more info on these "Scene awards" can be found here.

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