Iron man 2 interface made possible – Leap Motion controller


Leap motion presents a new motion controller that can detect your finger and hand motion to bring a fluidic experience to interact with your computer. The leap motion sensor is a high quality sensor and tiny for your computer, be it your PC or Laptop or a PAD,  to detect your finger and hand motions you would naturally do, so that you can wave, grab, pick & put it down and point at something.

This 3-inch motion sensor, would give you to actually enable you to do the Iron man 2 things. See it to believe:

Visit Rober tilton’s Awesome Site

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[Book Review] OpenGL 4.0 Shading Language Cookbook


Heaven Benchmark - OpenGL Rendering Mode

“Modern hardware’s have completely superseded the fixed functionality (FFP) with programmability in complex graphics processing areas such as vertex, fragment and geometry processing. The Shading Language has been designed to allow application programmers to take control of this pipeline (GPU Rendering Pipeline) to produce desired results. In graphics processing hardware terms these independently compilable units are called shader units, and the language is known as the Shading Language. Shader program is a set of two or more shaders that are compiled and linked together. Shaders are part of major graphics API as such as DirectX and OpenGL. The OpenGL Shading Language, widely known as GLSL as defined by the ARB of OpenGL, is based on ANSI C that is capable of doing vector and matrix operations, typical operations in 3D graphics. Shaders are a hot topic and 3D game developers/researchers have shown that they can be put into some powerful use to produce remarkable scene effects and with increased performance. Shaders were widely used in GPGPU early to CUDA and OpenCL as they are capable of accessing GPU processing power. OpenGL 4.00 is the latest major revision, announced on March, 2011 to give a hard competition to DirectX 11 providing extensions for geometry tessellation, 64-bit double precision float point, addition of Sampler objects, instanced arrays and timer query. This book presents these topics with nice examples and in-depth explanation.”

          

OpenGL 4.0 Shading Language Cookbook

Author David Wolff
Pages 340
Publisher Packt Publishing Ltd.
Rating 9.5/10
ISBN 978-1849514767
About the Book “Over 60 highly focused, practical recipes to maximize your use of the OpenGL Shading Language”

The Author

David Wolff is an associate professor in the Computer Science and Computer Engineering Department at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU). He received his PhD in Physics from Oregon State University. He has a passion for computer graphics and the intersection between art and science. He has been teaching computer graphics to undergraduates at PLU for over 10 years, using OpenGL. (This information has been taken directly from the book)

At RateMyProfessor.com, Prof. David Wolff has been rated a 4 out of 5 and the following comments has been given by the students:

“Comment 1: Intro to Computer Graphics focuses on RealTime graphics using openGL. This is Wolff’s area of expertise & a GREAT class to take from him. His passion shows through in the class. If you’re interested in 3D graphics or realtime sim this is a great class. Linear Algebra is a pre-req but basic knowledge of vector and matrix math is really what is key

Comment 2: Prof. Wolffe is the coolest. very clear concrete examples, and clear work expectations. If you’re willing to do a little work, then you will be rewarded for it in spades….”

Unfortunately, the book contains only small intro about David Wolff and not much information is available on the internet. I will probably do a nasty Google scan and update this section at the later time. 🙂

Brief Introduction

‘OpenGL 4.0 Shading Language Cookbook’ was published in July, 2011 by Packt Publishers under the ISBN 978-1849514767. The book covers OpenGL Shading Language core profile 4 and its coupling with the modern hardware, especially, NVIDIA GeForce 400 & 500 series and ATI Radeon HD 5000 & 6000 series. The chapters included are on choosing libraries for GLSL programming, the basic shading technique, Lighting, Shading Effects, and optimizations, using textures in GLSL, image processing and screen spacing techniques, Using geometry and Tessellation shaders, rendering advanced shadows with AA and Ambient occlusion, Noise effect with shaders and animation & particles. The book’s web-page is maintained by the Packt Publishers. The page contains sample chapters, table of contents, and errata info. The book can be purchased in PDF and hard-back forms. Exclusive source code and resource access is only for Packt premium members. For more information on the purchase, please visit the Packt Publishers Page. The book’s preface is short, precise and gives an ultimate overview of the contents of the book. The preface mentions the conventions used in the book.

Not for every living creature…

Caution! GLSL is an advanced topic. Author presumes that you understand 3D and its operations such as 3D transformation, normalizations, coordinate systems and projections at a primitive level.

GPUToaster mandates that the reader is aware of GPU technologies, brief understanding of major Graphics API such as DirectX and OpenGL, Basic OpenGL programming (at the least hands-on with OpenGL FFP), understanding of GPU pipeline processors such as fragment and vertex shaders or the Unified Shader Architecture, must know different OpenGL versions and extensions, must be hands-on with one IDE such as Visual Studio (as the visual studio is the major developing environment) and setting programming environment with GLSL such as linking DLL’s and libraries, must know basic C/C++ programming, must have a NVIDIA (400/500 Series)/AMD ATI adeon (HD 5000/6000 series) GPU installed either in single or SLI/Crossfire mode, Must know specific driver versions that will expose the GLSL extensions and has installed the same (For specific driver version kindly ID your GPU and search on the respective GPU vendor site), and last but not the least – a great passion for 3D programming. It also recommended that the reader understands and ready to solve Mathematics.

Considering you have set up the proper environment either on Windows / Linux/ Mac, you are good to go further and discover the GLSL 4.0 core profile.

Chapter Tour

Considering that you are all set to get dirty with GLSL, the first chapter gives an excellent introduction to the OpenGL Shading language, Core profile compatibility with new hardware architectures, explains the deprecation model that started from core profile 3.0. The chapter gives you a complete insight on the GLEW and GLM libraries that are used to access the GL extensions and core mathematical support designed especially for GLSL respectively. Good examples are given to integrate GLM in your program. Furthermore, author takes you to the in-depth step-by-step tour of how GLSL programs work, which includes writing vertex and fragment shaders, determining GLSL version, compiling the shader, linking the shader and finally deleting the context. This chapter also explains VBO to send the data for processing per vertex with a complete program, uniform variables for infrequently changing data that are suited for transformations and projections. The overall chapter has a smooth transition from topic to topic. I observed no jump; author has been focusing on the chapter’s objective to briefly introduce the GLSL and its programming techniques. Readers will find this chapter a bit time-consuming for the first time, but believe me this chapter is a must-read for GLSL beginners.

The second chapter starts with showing the complete architectural working of Vertex and Fragment shader pipelines of OpenGL. The near most exclusive content includes the replication of the FF using GLSL 4.0. The chapter covers the standard ambient, diffuse, and specular (ADS/Phong) shading algorithm, the implementation of two-sided rendering, and flat shading along with the functions, subroutines and use of discard keyword to generate an effect where the fragment shaders are haulted for writing onto buffer. This chapter is designed for those who are beginners with GLSL (assuming OpenGL previous experience) and also those who have previously worked on previous GLSL profiles. The chapter present’s algorithms to form the basis of the GLSL programming. For the new learners, this is the perfectly recommended chapter. Additionally, the new learners are presented with mathematical explanations and beautifully narrating the effects using highly detailed schematic diagrams before presenting the program to avoid confusion.

The following chapter introduces the reader to produce shading effects such as spotlights, fogs, cartoon style shading, multiple light sources, realistic effect with per-fragment shading, shading efficiency improvement using half-way vectors and directional light sources. The chapter actually extends the previous chapter with advanced techniques and emphases on lighting optimizations. Author has also presented the allowed constants for desired effects in a tabular form. The values and its effects are presented in a tabular form for good understandability. This chapter is recommended too for the GLSL beginners. In short, both the chapters are perfectly designed for the GLSL beginners. These chapters are guaranteed to provide ultimate satisfaction to the readers, especially GLSL beginners. Author uses the same approach that has been followed in the previous chapter.

The fourth chapter shows the importance of textures and how shader opens a huge range of possibilities with shading parameters, displacement maps, normal vectors, or other vertex data. The chapter starts with basic application of 2D color textures via sampler variables, alpha maps for transparency (emphasis on discard keyword), normal maps for creating bumps and wrinkles to the texture (or the faking technique), reflections and refractions with cube maps, technique of image based lighting, texture projection on 3D objects and RTT. The chapter contains full of important techniques that are frequently used in games and designing game engines.

The fifth chapter focuses on the image processing such as edge detection, Gaussian blur, bloom effect, gamma correction and screen space techniques such as MSAA & deferred shading. This is an exclusive chapter that is prepared for both games and computer vision field.

Geometry and Tessellation Shaders are the two new additions to the OpenGL API and hence the 4.0 profile. The chapter starts by explaining the extended shader pipeline that is specific to the newer hardware with full ‘4.0’ support. The chapter covers point sprites with geometry shader, drawing a wireframe and silhouette lines on a shaded mesh, Tessellating a Curve (Bezier Curve), 2D Quad, 3D Surface, and Tessellation based on depth. Chapter 6 is one more interesting chapter that begins with new topics gradually by giving the reader the simplest examples first and then moving to the more advanced concepts.

Realism is achieved with detailed scene effects and the shadows. With shadows, the overall lighting looks realistic. The chapter shows recipes for shadow mapping, Anti-Aliased shadows with PCF (Percentage closer filtering), soft shadows with random sampling, prebaked AO.

Sometimes too smooth surfaces produce unrealistic effects; introducing noise to the surfaces can simulate the imperfections of real surfaces. Chapter 8 deals with various ‘Noise’ introduction methods such as using ‘libnoise’ library (such as Perlin Noise), and using noise textures. Using these techniques readers will be able to learn how to create cloud like effect, wood grain effect, disintegration effect, paint spatter, and night-vision effect.

As shaders provide access to the GPU’s massively parallel architecture, they can be used for vertex transformations in the animations. Chapter 9 (Final Chapter) makes use of the ‘transform feedback’ feature that got introduced with OpenGL 3.2. The recipes include animating a surface with vertex displacement, Particle fountain, particle system with transform feedback and using instanced particles, fire particles, and finally smoke particles.

Likes

  1. Excellent introduction to GLSL programs.
  2. Clear and verbose explanation of code throughout the book.
  3. Flow charts are included for representing the effect.
  4. Algorithms presented by the author are very detailed.
  5. Very consistent flow of the GLSL techniques and the author has achieved a pure cookbook style of description.
  6. The author has presented outstanding and impressive content within second and third chapters (Advantageous for GLSL Beginners).
  7. All topics are outrageously well-researched and designed for a cookbook.
  8. Every shader example is explained in great details in “How to do it,” “How it works” and “There is more” sections. Linking topics have been mentioned in “See Also” section right, after “There is more” section.

Dislikes

  1. Programs included with this book are completely in QT.

Tone of the Book

The author shows his expertise not only with the content of this book but the highly professional explanation of the topics with clear distinction of theory and application.

The Final Verdict

Graphics hardware has emerged dramatically advanced and continues to do so. OpenGL shading language is the first (& only) cross platform open standard designed language and is the industry standard. With OpenGL and GLSL, applications perform better, achieving stunning graphics effects by using the capabilities of both the visual processing unit and the central processing unit. The book is designed for both beginners and experienced developers and artists. I have read OpenGL shading language books before by Randy Rost, and believe me this book is one of its kind. Author is veteran in the computer graphics field, and the content of the book is exactly what today’s GLSL developers need i.e. the GLSL capability, changing Modern GPU’s, closeness to natural phenomenon and real-life industry-standard applications.

Author has displayed his efforts in a pure cookbook style suitable for a variety of audience with graphics background. However, the source code included with this book is presented purely in QT. But reader need not worry as the GLSL code is completely separated out from the rendering code. I will try to present Visual Studio solutions that can be downloaded from the GPUToaster Download Area. Keep an eye on that section for updates.
Additionally, I would recommend you to refer GLSL specification, online GLSL tutorials and algorithm research papers for improved understanding.

Recommended reading : Ozone3D.net. Download GeeXLab 0.3 (a GLSL Tool)

To rate this book, I have compiled final rating depending on the following components:

RATING COMPONENT

RATING

CONTENT* 10/10
TOPIC EXPLANATION – BASIC* 10/10
TOPIC EXPLANATION – IN-DEPTH* 10/10
TONE OF THE BOOK* 10/10
BEGINNER’S APPROACH* 10/10
RELEVANCE TO THE OpenGL Shading Language* 10/10
CONFUSION CREATED** 0/10
MISC FEATURE – GRAPHS, ALGORITHMS AND FORMULAE* 10/10
GENERAL AUDIENCE LET DOWN** (NA) 0/10
QUALITY OF EXAMPLES* 10/10
SOURCE CODE (ONLY QT BASED)* 9.5/10

Overall Rating for the book

9.5/10

* higher is Better. ** Lower is better.

GPUToaster Rates this book 9.5/10.

OpenGL 4.0 Shading Language Cookbook

"Go Ahead" and "Buy", Meets all expectations!

CryENGINE 3 update is here!! : Crydev.net


  

CryENGINE 3 SDK’s newest update is available for download with lots of changes and additions. Surely, this update is expected to be full-filling for the CryENGINEERS!

The latest update is available on CryDEV.net as they are the official partners with Crytek, GmbH. The latest build number is 2572, following are the highlights over the 2456 build.

  • Added ability to save levels to Projects for use with CryDev Projects Database
  • Added redundancy for logoff to prevent “Account Locked” errors
  • Added more flexibility to login username/password allowed characters
  • Added ability for any CryDev user to load any level within the Launcher
  • Added support for building GameDLL using Visual C++ Express
  • Added ability for player to switch seats in some vehicles
  • Added Time:FrameDelay flownode to delay actions for just one frame
  • Fixed several login and logoff crashes
  • Fixed crash when creating new levels
  • Fixed rare crash when deleting an Animation Graph Editor view, along with several other fixes and adjustments to Animation Graph Editor
  • Fixed rare crash if sound system is disabled
  • Fixed several warnings/issues specific to 64-bit
  • Fixed issue relating to mouse and screen resolution in Launcher
  • Fixed issue where AI wouldn’t enter vehicles
  • Fixed issue with Material Editor jumping to different materials against users input
  • Fixed issue with road tool not aligning correctly with edited terrain
  • Fixed “Frozen” material layer
  • Fixed HMMWV not loading in Vehicle Editor
  • Fixed issue with water volume material not displaying water ripples
  • Fixed a few misplaced objects in the Forest sample level
  • Made several adjustments to particle system
  • Made several fixes made to AI system
  • Made several changes to weapon firemodes and other weapon tweaks
  • Improved CryTif support (64-bit and newer versions of Photoshop)
  • Adjustments made to Flowgraph editor
  • Adjusted warning box on Sandbox startup related to NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate error, users can now ignore this warning or have the registry adjusted to fix
  • Fixed TimeofDayTrigger and looping ToD not working correctly
  • Fix for 16-bit float image always generate DXT5 instead of DXT1
  • Adjusted spawnpoint arrow/icon
  • Fixed issue with overlapping water volumes
  • Many fixes/improvements to Maya exporter
  • Several updates to Abrams Tank & MH60 Blackhawk sample vehicles
  • Adjusted motionBlur settings to provide nicer results
  • Added several new asset additions to the Forest sample level, including things like water droplet sounds, sounds for falling debris, etc
  • Made several beautification updates to Forest level including new textures, additional objects, new materials, etc
  • Updated rock assets for improved collision
  • Added rooster boid with animations
  • Updated turtle boid animations
  • Added LODs for several assets, chimneys, railroad tracks, drains, etc
  • Improved several particle effects, including bullet/water impact
  • Added 3ds Max files for railroad tracks
  • Added new low detail texture for terrain
  • Added several new destroyable props and replaced lamp post and power poles in Forest with destroyable versions
  • Added new outdoor toilet asset for Forest
  • Added pickup, pick and throw animations
  • Made several adjustments to the Asset Browser
  • Fixed: Potential crash if no filename is specified for a static vehicle part. Added proper warnings with references to the part and vehicle causing the problem
  • Fixed crash on closing Vehicle Editor when the HMMWW is loaded
  • Destroyable object pieces no longer always sink in water (“kwater” prop was applied even when unset)

Visit CRYDEV.net

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NVIDIA brings updates to developers


NVIDIA PhysX 3.1

As per the roadmap that was revealed quite a few months back, NVIDIA brings in the new update for the PhysX for the 3.x generation of Physics engine.

“NVIDIA PhysX provides game physics solutions for a variety of platforms including PC and all current major game consoles, in both software and hardware-accelerated configurations.”

NVIDIA PhysX first time integrates the SDK for Android. The Tegra 2 line of smartphones will now get the power of GPU accelerated PhysX in competition to the Unity and UDK (Epic Games).

PhysX SDK 3.1 will support,

  • Multiple platforms viz. PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Android, OSX, and Linux
  • New Destruction Tutorial added
  • New improved  Clothing Tutorials added for 3ds Max, Maya, and UE3
  • Upgraded 3ds Max and Maya Plugin
  • VC10 support has been introduced. This version will not support the VC8 anymore.
  • CUDA 4 is fully supported for GPU enhancement.
  • New and Improved APEX library
  • Extensions, Character Controller and Vehicle source code made available in binary distribution.
  • Improved and enhanced examples for developers that will aid in quick learning
  • Backward compatibility with older generation GPU’s
  • Categorized files and folders for XBOX360
  • User’s guide is no more traditional and contains more readable content.

 Developers will get benefit as, [Src]

  • Various improvements to Foundation and classes shared with APEX.
  • Extensions, Character Controller and Vehicle source code made available in binary distribution.
  • Namespaces cleaned up.
  • Cleaned up a large number of warnings at C++ warning level 4, and set SDK to compile with warnings as errors.
  • No longer passing NULL pointers to user allocator to deallocate.
  • Added x86,x64 suffix to PxTaskCUDA.dll
  • Removed boolean return value from PxScene::addActor(…), and similar API calls.
  • Removed individual sample executables in favor of SampleAllInOne from PC and console builds.

Cloth

  • A new solution for simulating cloth and clothing.

TEGRA 2 ANDROID DEVELOPMENT PACK

Tegra 2

Tegra is NVIDIA’s family of system-on-a-chip (SoC) mobile processors designed to enable high resolution and engaging experiences on tablet, clamshell, mobile phone and other mobile computing platforms. As an SoC, Tegra comprises CPU, GPU and image, video & sound processors in a highly energy efficient package that runs a variety of operating systems including Android, Linux and Windows. For full system specifications of the NVIDIA Tegra 250 SoC, please click here.

Tegra Android Development Pack 1.0

The Tegra Android Development Pack installs all software tools required to develop for Android on NVIDIA’s Tegra platform and is the perfect companion for developing native applications for Tegra Developer Kits. This toolkit includes following:

  • NVIDIA Debug Manager for Eclipse 12.0.0
  • Android SDK r12
  • Android NDK r6b
  • JDK 6u24
  • Cygwin 1.7
  • Eclipse 3.6.2
  • CDT 7.0.2
  • ADT 12.0.0
  • Apache Ant 1.8.2

Original CRYEngine 3 SDK is here: CRYDEV.net


If you are not aware of CryENGINE 3 has become free for public and you are one of them who wants to try this awesome engine, this is the time to get your hands dirty.

In July, 2011( read more here: CRYEngine 3 SDK Free Now!!”) , Cevat R Yerli, CEO, Crytek GmbH had announced of Original CryENGINE 3 SDK going free for non-commercial use and completely supporting Crymod.com(Now CRYDEV.net) in an confidential letter.

On 18th August, 2011, Crytek GmbH finally released the CryENGINE 3 SDK which was originally used for creating Crysis 2! on CRYDEV.net and its now available for download for its members. To download your own copy you need to create your developer account with CRYDEV.net and its without any charge.

To support the future game developments with CryENGINE 3 SDK, Crymod(www.crymod.com) has become Crydev – Crytek’s official developer community(Crydev). Apart from just an developer environment, Crydev also offers its developers with original Documentation written by the original developers of the CryENGINE 3.

Crytek GmbH will also be responsible for updating the engine regularly to make sure that the Crydev members are upto date always.

System Requirements [Developer]

  • Supported operating Systems: XP, Vista, Windows 7 (with Windows 7 recommended)
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz, AMD Athlon 64 X2 2GHz or better
  • Memory: GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • Video Card : nVidia 8800GT 512MB RAM, ATI 3850HD 512MB RAM or better

System Requirements [End User]

End Users who only use the game launcher without Sandbox have lower system requirements.

  • Supported operating Systems: Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista SP1 or SP2, Windows 7
  • CPU: 32-bit or 64-bit processor (a multi-core processor is strongly recommended)
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)
  • Video Card: ShaderModel 3 capable graphics card (for example an NVidia 6 series card)

CryENGINE 3 SDK

  • Unlike CryENGINE 3 MOD SDK 1.1, CryENGINE 3 SDK is versioned 1.0 (Original one).
  • CryMod members earlier reported the instability of 64-bit, now the original SDK features both 32-bit and 64-bit Sandbox Editors.
  • Crysis 2 is not required to be installed prior using this SDK (Required by MOD 1.1). Crysis 2 is required to update to version 1.9 to be able to use MOD 1.1 SDK.
  • The SDK also contains the forest.cry level which is a very detailed level and will feature all the CryENGINE 3 effects. The same was not available in the MOD 1.1 SDK. This was reported by many Packt Book Readers (Book: CryENGINE 3 Cookbook).
  • There are Visual Studio Solutions (vc++ project), that means developers can now have the access to the CryENGINE 3’s C++ source code. So if you are thinking of tweaking this engine and use for commercial purposes, then you are free to do that considering Crytek’s commercial license policy, terms and conditions. Please read the FAQs (also, PDF included in the SDK).
  • DirectX 11 is not supported in this version.

Carl Jones, Director of Global Business Development CryENGINE.

“With the release of our SDK we encourage creators to try out CryENGINE 3 and hope it will lead to new companies being formed and using our engine. More importantly we expect to increase the talent pool for CryENGINE developers, as well as boosting our online community of users. This SDK contains more toys than we’ve ever released before – it empowers people to create whole new games from scratch, not just mod Crytek’s own games, so we encourage all aspiring and indie developers to try it out.” 

“For those who want to make the step into commercial gaming, we’ll offer a royalty-only license model for games made with this SDK, where Crytek require only 20% of the developer’s revenues from the commercial launch of their game.”

More info at http://www.mycryengine.com

Register and download SDK at

Time to Show your inner-self!!

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