Blog

  • Early PC Graphics

    September 3, 2004

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    These were created to pad out my 20-slide portfolio submission to the Computer Graphics Design MFA program at RIT. I was curious about 3D anyway, so I downloaded POVRay to my PC, got out the graph paper, and started plotting shapes and writing down coordinates…

    Oh, yeah, there wasn’t a GUI for POVRay back then that I was aware of. You entered coordinates in by hand using a scene description language. So it’s amazing that these images look like anything at ALL :-) For all I know, POVRay is the same, but there are plenty of free 3D modellers and renderes available now!

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  • Method Software (1997)

    September 3, 2004

    Method Software

    Method SoftwareThe user interface and code was written in Java / IFC to integrate with Method’s chatroom engine. I was the lead interface designer and GUI programmer for Qualia.

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  • Other Design (2001-2002)

    September 3, 2004

    MIMC 2001 Show Animation

    Series of stills from Award Show animation, presented at the 2001 MIMC Awards. With creative help from many to make a success: Bevan Wang for the initial series of screens & musical direction (I was so stuck), Alen Yen for initial script direction and additional graphics, Duncan Hsu for additional graphics. Producer Vinny Fahy, also shooting video footage.

    The animation was created in a huge Flash movie, dumped to AVI, and then composited with AfterEffects (it just happened to be more stable than Premiere). The resulting movie was converted to DiVX and played straight from a 1.0GHz PC through the production company’s a/v feed at a solid 30fps at 800×600. It looked fantastic.

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    Graphics User Interfaces & Websites

    406-98-method.jpgMethod Software Graphical User Interface Design. I also implemented this in Java. Created at Qualia, Inc (defunct). 1996.


    406-02-unifund.jpgWeb site design and integration for Unifund LLC. Created at Active Edge. 2002.


    406-03-ddc.jpgCustomizeable slide show Shell for presentation. Flash. Created at Active Edge for Design Dot Com. 2002.


    406-98-otosel.jpg406-98-otowatch.jpg406-98-otopick.jpgSeries of user interface concepts. Freelance work for 1to1TV. 1998.


    406-01-skychart.jpgSky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart GUI design concept. Award winning! Created at Interactive Factory for Sky & Telescope Magazine. Implementation by Tom Beyer / Interactive Factory.


    406-02-tiegui.jpgApplication GUI redesign for Rez1. Created at Active Edge for TIE Solutions. 2002.


    Flash

    • coming soon
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  • MFA Thesis (1995)

    September 3, 2004

    The MFA for Computer Graphics Design Program at RIT required a thesis to graduate. I’d always wanted to make a game, so I thought maybe I could put together something about a favorite topic: Space Travel! I wanted to get the feeling of early aviation prior from around 1920 to 1935, when travel was an adventure.

    oo

    I created a number of renders using 3D Studio R3. This Moon Base was the final destination. I created a bump-map source using a bunch of tools, then brought it into 3DS R3 (that’s the DOS version, sonny).

    One nice trick was to use a touch of the layered fog feature of 3DS R3…just a tiny bit above the floor. It adds to the dusty effect in the shadow of the crater rim. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough memory to really get the high-resolution cratering I wanted; this angle is the only direction that hides the edge of the world. This was a 32MB 486 running at 66MHz.

    User Interface

    The central theme of my Thesis work was multiplayer interactive tile-based adventuring, using Director 4.0. Two Macs (PPC 7200 machines) were connected via a serial cable, and two people could explore and chat at the same time. You can see the elements of the screen here… it borrows much from Ultima I and Internet Relay Chat (IRC). In fact, it worked like you’d expect such a hybrid to work.

    The map is actually tiled graphics. I wrote a Director XObject to do fast screen scrolling using QuickDraw calls, which gave the game acceptable performance. By using a tile as an “stamp sprite”, I could both overcome the 24 sprite limit and have a dynamic, fast display. It was quite a trick back then. I also wrote a map editor in Director that would load/save maps as you walked from location to location. Alas, I spent more time programming than drawing, so the tile graphics were rather rushed.

    Although my MFA Thesis focused largely on the 2D tile-based adventure experience, I created some animated “cut scenes” to enhance the sense of place. There were four stylistically-simple animations, done in about a week. All were created and animated with 3D Studio R4 (free upgrade!) and an additional 32MB of memory for a whopping total of 64MB! Wow!

    If you’re really curious about the details, I tracked down and converted the thesis into PDF from the original Quark doc. It’s at least fun for the pictures.

    » Read Dave’s MFA Thesis (PDF) must…resist…editing…thesis…

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  • Idle Thoughts

    September 2, 2004

    Related to the pickle jar is my Queue of Inquiry. After I lost my real pickle jar, I used to keep both project ideas and questions in a journal named “ideabox” on my PC, with convenient shortcuts scattered on my desktop and quick-access toolbars. The big idea was that I’d be able to look back at it someday and see what general fields of inquiry I kept coming back to, and this would be a Good Thing.

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