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About MSFlynn

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  • Interests
    Guitars, 3D Modeling Rendering
  • Hardware Platform
  • Self Assessment: Animation Skill
  • Self Assessment: Modeling Skill
  • Self Assessment: Rigging Skill

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  • Name
    Michael Flynn
  • Location
    Lafayette, OR
  1. I'll give it some thought. I've got to do a lot of experimentation first which basically requires me to create landscape features by hand and see if I can figure out a way to create them programatically. The new ideas I have center around extrusions and differing mesh density. I'd also like to create a way for users to indicate things like rivers, lakes, cliffs, mesas, mountains, hills, etc. At the moment, all I'm going to try and do is see if I can figure out how to port AMT from VB.NET to C++.Net. You'd think it would be fairly straight forward - just create the MFC app in C++ and copy the interface and controls then add the appropriate code. Unfortunately, at least in C++.NET 2005, you have to jump through hoops just to display a picture on a button whereas in VB.NET it's already one of the button's properties, but then VB.NET was written specifically to create Windows apps and C++ was not.
  2. For those who don't want to deal with the annoyances of the XP version of AMT running under Windows 7, I have uploaded a version to run under Windows 7: My AM TerraForm Page.
  3. I was thinking about trying to rewrite the old Beta 3 code in C++ as a plugin. I was looking at the SDK Grid plugin code and while some of it makes sense, some of it I can't understand at all. When you click "Ok" it creates your grid but to do that it needs the code for Evaluate.cpp. However, when I look at the code for the Ok button click all it shows is the users input from the control selections being saved to the registry for loading the next time the wizard is opened. Where is Evaluate.cpp called? This is one of the many reasons I hate trying to learn C++ - it's completely opaque compared to Visual Basic. In any case, I have a totally new concept for AM TerraForm which I am going to code in Visual Basic. If it works the way I envision it, it will go beyond any landscape generator that I've ever seen. (Not that I've seen them all!). It will be very slow to come to light though - I'm still primarily focused on music.
  4. It's available on my website: AM TerraForm Thanks, but I'm not exactly a programmer either in the sense that I can write but I'm not a writer. AM TerraForm doesn't "create and manipulate splines at the programmatic level" - it manipulates bitmaps and each pixel in the bitmap represents a CP in AM. As far as the "aha!" moment, that came when it became obvious to me that DXF import for landscapes would never be particularly useful so, knowing that AM saved .MDL files as ASCII text, I simply began with the assumption that if one knew in one's mind the exact construction of a model in AM, e.g. the coordinates of every CP and everything else that makes a model a model, then one need not even open AM to create it; it could be typed into a text editor and opened in AM as a complete model ready for use. One of the big drawbacks for AMT is that it's a stand alone program. Originally I wanted to try and create it as plugin for AM but I couldn't get any help from the AM plugin programming community - I don't know C++ but I could figure out how to make AMT a plugin if I had some examples of using the AM SDK such as how to create splines/patches in the plugin and then have them appear as a new model. After I did AMT I got as far rewriting Steffen Gross' Sample.HXT for VS .NET 2005 but that's it.
  5. Bad news: All versions of the code for AM TerraForm from Beta 4 to 1.0 seem to be gone. I have no idea what happened. I opened that file a little over 4 months ago. I did a system reinstall on that computer a couple of months ago - the only thing I can think of is that Visual Studio .NET 2005 automatically saved projects in the user's My Documents folder and that maybe starting with Beta 4 I just left them there and forgot about it because I always saw the AM TerraForm folder in my folder that I usually save any and all work in. In any case, they're gone as far as I know so v1.0 is all there is. It can be run in Windows 7. I use Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit and it installs just fine. The first time you run it you have to disbale 3D Preview and leave it that way. And you can't manually enter in values into any of the boxes - you have to use the spinners and sliders. Every time the error window comes up you can click Continue and keep going. When you're done, you'll have to click Quit from the error window.
  6. Yet another prodigal son. Like many, my AM journey began with Playmation. It was late in 1992 and like many aspiring 3Ders, I could not afford software like 3D Studio, SoftUmage, Lightwave, etc. I had Autodesk's Animator which was 2D and POV Raytracer which was free. I used to render out sequences from POV and animate them in Animator. I also did 3D simulations with Animator. I had picked up VistaPro and was creating landscape stills and some flythroughs. I had just gotten into computers and DTP/Graphic design in 1991 and was always reading PC World and PC Computing. One day in late 1992 I was flipping through one of those and in the back, amoungst pages of ads, something caught my eye. It was a small ad, maybe 3" tall by 2" wide featuring a guitar with a face. The ad was for Will Vinton's Playmation. 3D modeling and animation software that ran in Windows and not DOS like everything else? And only $349? I decieded that since it was so inexpensive that it had to be pretty crappy but at least I might be able to learn something until I could afford "real" software. (Don't judge me - I know I'm not the only who ever thought that!) I ended up being hooked and never really had any interest in other software except to want some of their features in AM. My passion then, and now, is creating landscapes and sci/fi imagery. When Animation: Master v2 was released in 1993? (there was no AM v1 if I recall correctly) I was still bummed that there was no support for DXF import. I wanted to get my VistaPro landscape meshes into AM. On a different timeline of my life, I was also an aspiring guitarist. (Isn't everyone?) I had gotten serious about it at age 23 in 1984. From '87-89 I was in hard rock/heavy metal band that never played a paying gig and never really got out of the basement. When I got into computers in '91, I started playing guitar less and less. In '99 I heard about Line 6's GuitarPort and subscription service to custom backing tracks to play to and started playing again. I was still spending a lot more time with AM than guitar though. I had written a small, extremely slow program called GridWizard to create AM model files from VistaPro ASCII Z data. I knew nothing of programming and had to learn Visual Basic to do it. A couple of years later I re-wrote it in C++ and it was much faster. In 2006 I used VB .NET to re-write it again and added a lot of features/options. Also in 2006 Line 6 came out with their POD XT Live floorboard and that's when I started to gravitate more towards playing guitar than using AM (I upgraded to the HD500 last year). In 2008 I moved from SE PDX, where I was born and raised, to SW PDX in Beaverton because gas was closing in on $4/gallon and I was driving 25 miles each way to and from work. Right around the corner from my new apartment was a little cafe and bar that I started to frequent with a friend from work. He found out that they had Karaoke Fri-Mon from 9pm-1:30am so one Monday night we went over so he could sing. We got to talking with the KJ who also happened to be the owner of the entertainment company. I had had an idea for awhile and this was an opportunity for it so I pitched him the idea of "Guitaraoke". I would supply the backing tracks and play all the main rhythm and lead guitar parts and people could come and sing as if it were a regular Karaoke track. I had to learn to create the .CDG files for the backing tracks to make them work like Karaoke files and to do a good job, they usually took me 6-8 hours. It was at this point where I had to decide where my time would be spent because I could no longer concentrate on both hobbies and be happy. I realized that I was far more anxious and depressed if I wasn't learning new songs to play than if I wasn't working on some AM project so I left AM behind. Not that the urges weren't there - I gave in over 2 years ago and did this image: Dogstar with v13. I did the guitaraoke thing 2-3 days/week for 4 years until late last summer the economic vicissitude's of the times put an end to Karaoke at Malone's. It was within walking distance if I wanted to walk (I never did since I always brought my board, a rack and 7 guitars) but I could drive there in a couple of minutes. None of KAZ's other Karaoke venues were close enough to be considered convenient and I didn't really want to try and find any place close enough to try and convince them to let me try Guitaraoke so I've been sitting at the home studio stagnating on Guitaraoke because I don't know if I'll ever do it again, and wondering if I should put out singles on iTunes for wait until I have enough finished material for a whole CD. (I have enough material to create 3 instrumental CDs if I were to finish everything). Currently, I've got a bug up my butt to do my own take on the first movement of Beethoven's 5th symphony so I've been working on that for the last 6 weeks. I have two songs ready to record that you can listen to here if you're interested: Soundclick. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can close on my first house (if BofA will get off their lazy sitting parts and finish the repairs!) and get moved to Lafayette. Once I'm settled in, my fiancee and I will decide if I'm going to try and find someplace(s) in Newberg and/or McMinnville to do Guitaraoke. In the meantime, the AM itch is setting in (not that it ever really left - I'm still always checking out my surroundings and asking myself how I would model this or that). Anything I do with AM will in all likelihood be sporadic but I think, at age 50, that I'm ready to divide my time between AM and guitar again, even if it's 80/20. Here's hoping that it all doesn't end 12/21/12!
  7. I've opened the project and it seems that there over 70 errors that are all DirectX related. I'm in the process of buying a house and moving. When I get settled I'll see what I can do to get it to work in Windows 7.
  8. I opened the old project up and there are over 70 errors. It looks like they're all DirectX related. I'm currently in the process of buying a house and moving with my fiance and step daughter. When I get settled into the new "man cave" I'll see what I can do about compiling a new version to run with Window 7.
  9. The new site is here: AM TerraForm I don't know if it will run under Windows 7. After several years hiatus from being a regular AM user, I'm thinking of getting back into it. Not that I've been using anything else, I've been concentrating on music.
  10. It's not the '98 CD - that's as far back as I can find.
  11. The resolution of your image doesn't matter - AMT creates it's meshed based solely on the pixels in the image. Each pixel will represent 1 CP. Transparent pixels will be seen as black. There is a smoothing option for images created with the random fractal generator. It works fine but since I'm not an image coding expert, the code isn't anything near what you'd get in an app like Photoshop, so AMT's smoothing implementation isn't available for imported images simply because you can right-click the image in AMT and edit it in your app of choice which will give you more smoothing options than my rinkydink implementation.
  12. VERSION 1.0 While there are still many things I can do to increase the capabilities of AM TerraForm, I have already exceeded what I originally set out to accomplish 10 months ago, so I'm calling version 1 complete. This version was mostly for giving the community something they were asking for and for gauging what the community might be willing to pay for the effort involved in creating it. Given the almost complete lack of monetary interest on the part of the AM community for further development, I can't say for certain what will happen to it in the future - for the moment it's done. New in this release is Undo/Redo for the Smoothing option. I have also included an fBm-type fractal that I'm calling Neo fBm (for want of a better term). It's the same as fBm but allows you to control the incidence of white pixels in the generated image for landscapes that have few, if any, really high points. You can view screen shots and download version 1.0 here: AM TerraForm (Link Updated)
  13. There's only one problem: I have no idea how to use it. In his example, "point" is a vector; I'm assuming that for a 2D image that it should be a pixel. But what is Value and what do I do with the Noise array? Actually, it works ok. I just used random grayscale values to create the noise starting from pixel 0.0 moving down in the Y direction and left to right in the X direction. Then I smoothed it and used GDI+ graphics functions to scale the image up.
  14. I do have it. So far, while I get the gist of it, a lot of it is still incomprehensible. I have this function that I haven't attempted to do anything with yet that is an attempt to rewrite the example on page 437 in VB.Net: Public Function fBm(ByVal MyPoint As Double, ByVal H As Double, ByVal Lacunarity As Double, ByVal Octaves As Double) As Double Dim Value, Remainder, Noise() As Double Dim i As Integer Value = 0.0 For i = 0 To Octaves Value += Noise(MyPoint) * Math.Pow(Lacunarity, -H * i) MyPoint *= Lacunarity Next Remainder = Octaves - Int(Octaves) End Function I was actually trying to do something like this: Cloud Cover
  15. My code uses the classic mid-point subdivision concept. I have no clue on how to add a setting for lacunarity or fractal dimension. I have some examples in C++ and have seen some in Java but even though they show parameters of the functions they are using, they don't show what the user is actually supposed to enter into the GUI that will be passed to the function as a parameter. While I might be able to cobble something together based on copying other's code examples, I wouldn't really be learning anything or understanding exactly what is going on - I prefer understanding what I'm seeing and then writing my functions line by line so that I can modify them along the way.
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