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Submitted by Katascope Visuals, posted on April 10, 2002




Image Description, by Katascope Visuals



This is from my latest visuals software - KataFX 3

The full picture can be seen here:
http://www.katascope.com/KataFX3_800x600.jpg

The Winamp visualization plugin is here:
http://www.katascope.com/KataFX3/Install_KataFX3.exe

KataFX 3 is a 3d editing and display environment for projection visuals (for concerts/shows) using OpenGL. It uses a scrim based gui for interaction.

Notable features:
  • Skinned, resizable scrim gui and windowed/fullscreen
  • OpenGL rendering
  • Three levels of user expertise.
  • Visuals autopilot/ai.
  • Milkshape model support.
  • Can be run as Winamp visualization plugin.
  • Unique licensing.
  • GUI: Visuals software for shows have one important difference from traditional software/games - Multiple viewers. For shows, this means no one but the user should see the interface.

    The only solutions(AFAIK) are:
  • No visual interface at all - Just keyboard and mouse, this just doesn't cut it for creating complex scenes.
  • Dual monitors - Nice, but fewer people can use it, and a lessened sense of immersion.
  • A Scrim interface - It can be clipped by the projector and not displayed. This is what KataFX 3 does.
  • The scrim interface has one important rule: the interface should not, for any reason, drop below its rectangle, or be visible to the audience. i.e. no drop down menus, no popup dialogs.

    The KataFX 3 scrim has four parts:
  • Play - The mode it starts in, will work without any human interaction. (easiest)
  • Groove - The mixer mode, allows tweaking of the autopilot. (medium)
  • Edit - The editor, allows the user to create background or foreground worlds. (hardest)
  • System - Configuration & file/skin loading & saving.
  • Graphics: The interface & display are both rendered in OpenGL. By sacrificing some rendering power to the interface, I gained some nice freebies - The interface looks good up close (and impresses the promoter, which is wise). Another nice benefit is resolution independence. Since it is rendered with OpenGL, it can run at virtually any resolution and still look right. OpenGL handles resampling, so the gui resizes without pixelation -something traditional windows can't do!

    AutoPilot/AI: Shows/raves can easily last 10 hours, an autopilot keeps the user from getting exhausted too easily. KataFX 3 uses an implicit autopilot - Emotion based, with a large database of scenes. The autopilot knows the difference between background & foreground worlds. The background scenes are autofaded in/out. The foreground scenes connect end to end, creating a continous journey. Either can be enabled/disabled in the Groove scrim.

    Legal Issues: The license/eula states the software is free for personal use, but cannot be publicly displayed(i.e. used to make money). This is because I provide projections for shows, and it would be unfair for the competition to use my work. It's the best balance I could find between providing something to everyone without shooting myself.

    Software used:
  • Visual C++ 6.0 - For development
  • CVS/WinCVS - For source control/bug finding.
  • Doxygen - To keep the source from collapsing under it's own complexity.
  • NSIS - Used to create install executable.
  • Paint Shop Pro - Image editing.
  • StyleSkin - A universal skinning tool, used to create the skin.
  • ImageMap - Used to map regions in the skin to functions used in the program.
  • I hope this provides some useful info to someone. Scrim interfaces solve a niche problem, but it's the best solution I've found so far. Sorry, no source available, but the plugin is very customizable.

    Thank you
    Katascope Visuals - www.katascope.com


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    Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.
     
    Dr.Mosh

    April 10, 2002, 03:30 PM

    Excellent! I've been waiting for another good winamp plugin!
    Gonna check it out.

     
    luther2k

    April 10, 2002, 03:40 PM

    Nice, gave me a headache but looks cool. The buttons on the gui don't seem to work very well; the mouse click position seems to be off by quite a bit and I had some troubles exiting from the plugin. Apart from that (can't be too difficult to solve), good work.

    Tim.

     
    Cerberus!

    April 10, 2002, 03:41 PM

    Looks nice, shame i'm running winamp3 beta so i cant try it. Any plans to make it useable with winamp3? (although i have no idea how much/little work that would involve...)

     
    Division By Zero

    April 10, 2002, 03:41 PM

    This visual looks NOT bad
    It certainly deserves a comment

    thanks

     
    Peter Mackay

    April 10, 2002, 03:52 PM

    Looks nice. Good work man.

     
    Wim Libaers

    April 10, 2002, 04:02 PM

    AAAARGH! My eyes!

    Seriously, this looks like some nice work, but don't people get motion sickness after seeing that thing in motion for a while? Perhaps most of the audience is under sedation so they survive the treatment ;-)

    PS: Division By Zero, don't worry. The Spanish Inquisition will be arriving shortly.

     
    Division By Zero

    April 10, 2002, 04:06 PM

    DR MESH .. I love your nick ;p

     
    DirtySouthAfrican

    April 10, 2002, 04:10 PM

    "Deserves a comment"?

    Are we rewarding people by commenting on their stuff? Poommm...

     
    Dr.Mosh

    April 10, 2002, 04:15 PM

    But it's Dr. MOSH!

     
    Dr.Mosh

    April 10, 2002, 04:16 PM

    Yeah, fuck knows what that's all about...

     
    Johan Öfverstedt

    April 10, 2002, 04:25 PM

    Nice visual. I liked it.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Why do you complain at his "deserves a comment"?
    It doesn't seems to make him stop, does it?

    And it isn't very nice to read your complaints against him either!

     
    Katascope

    April 10, 2002, 05:13 PM

    I believe the recent version of Winamp 3 has support for winamp 2 plugins. Older versions of winamp 3 required a special "retro plugin"

     
    Katascope

    April 10, 2002, 05:15 PM

    I tried hard to avoid motion sickness. With projections, there is a much greater risk. You'll notice the camera never moves side/side or up/down. Those are the biggest contributors to motion sickness.

     
    RoofusTGoofus

    April 10, 2002, 06:01 PM

    So to operate the interface do you use only the keyboard so the mouse doesn't appear on the screen either?



    *** DOES DIVISION BY ZERO NEED A BITCH SLAP INTO THE FOURTH DIMENSION? ***

    He certainly deserves a bitch slap into the fourth dimension.

     
    stefan/dxm

    April 10, 2002, 06:07 PM

    FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!FINNISH DEZIN!


    BLEND 0NE,ONE

    FINNISH DEZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN

     
    Division By Zero

    April 10, 2002, 06:09 PM

    Hey guys you all are very lovely ;p

    But:
    I have nothing against bitches, especially when they all are human ;p
    window to 4-th dimension is shown in the pic

    So if you want to enjoy the feeling jump directly in your monitor

     
    CGI Joe

    April 10, 2002, 08:29 PM

    heh

     
    Vlion.

    April 10, 2002, 11:06 PM

    looks impressive- ill check it out.
    and then watch spf.


    Kurt- could you ban DSA and Dv0 pleeeese ?

     
    Katascope

    April 10, 2002, 11:17 PM

    Right, the editor/mixer can be run with just the keyboard. The mouse cursor going below the scrim could create a problem, but I can't just hide the cursor or there would be mouse chasing/finding issues.

     
    Matt D

    April 10, 2002, 11:31 PM

    scrim interface?

    ive been toying with the idea of writing something like this (after i finish my current project), but ive never managed to work out how to drop the interface, sans multimonitor (ugh)

    so how does this actually work? and where can i get some more info on it ;)


    have you considered adding video playback to it? *evilgrin*
    im also assuming your doing a FFT somewhere too? any problems with trying to detect mood changes in tracks while on autopilot?

    looks good man..

    dms0
    -= mmmm tasty =-


     
    Busta

    April 10, 2002, 11:50 PM

    cool image!

     
    AticAtac

    April 11, 2002, 12:04 AM

    There is no need to ban.
    Just ignore postings you don't like.
    Those who "deserve" to be ignored will be ignored ! ;)

     
    Katascope

    April 11, 2002, 12:17 AM

    Well, there's aren't any "official docs" on these kinds of scrims. There is a lot on scrim/info bars for games, but without the same restrictions and needs. Here's what I found from this project:

    Scrim requirements:
    3d rendering/textures for rendering to prevent pixelation
    Long & Thin so projectors can clip it easily
    Movable & Resizable for user placement choice and tweaking
    Cannot use popup dialogs or list boxes unless they fit in the scrim
    Accepts all keyboard commands even if scrim is hidden/minimized
    Allows for easy design/prototyping (Rendering/Hotspot editing)

    Visuals requirements:
    Must have fully automated mode - Does everything for the user
    Must have easy, semi-automated mode - Lets the user tweak it
    Must have precision mode - Slow, but precise(and most difficult)
    Must have autopilot - For those 10 hour shows!
    Must have interaction - Or what's the point?

    other than that it really depends on the needs of the program


     
    postalrat

    April 11, 2002, 12:56 AM

    An art engine?!

     
    Jason Kozak

    April 11, 2002, 02:35 AM

    Maybe the boards could have a personal ban feature? All it would need to do is check if you've blocked that user before showing the post.

     
    hdmx

    April 11, 2002, 02:49 AM

    Something like on /. would not be bad although there are not enough users here for a system like that (/. uses moderation and metamoderation done by the users themselves).

    hdmx

     
    dEViNiTY

    April 11, 2002, 03:19 AM

    Whoa, configurable psychedelism.
    I don't like the skins though. :)
    Video feeds into the app would be cool though

     
    Oliver Markovic

    April 11, 2002, 03:25 AM

    Yes, but remember that some years ago /. was small too. When they introduced moderation, they handpicked a few trusted moderators at first. I think a system like this would work very well here (perhaps around 15 moderators? Seems plenty)

     
    hdmx

    April 11, 2002, 05:10 AM

    Maybe I just fear that if flipcode used slashcode my posts would not be read by anyone because people tend to disagree with me :)))
    That's the biggest problem on /.. People moderate posts "flamebait" or "troll" just because they contain a different opionion. See Moderation - A warning from history (which was itself moderated down to -1!). I think the writer went over the top but the posting contains valid points.

    hdmx

     
    Twig

    April 11, 2002, 05:28 AM

    Nice work - these niche products are always interesting... I notice you said only you can use it publicly - do you not think there would be a market for selling this kind of software, or do you think that competition advantage of having it to yourself outweighs the advantages of selling it?

    ------------

    On another note: I find it easy to ignore one post by Division By Zero, but far harder to ignore 20 flames in response. It obviously doesn't make him stop, so can everybody just try to ignore him? The people who reply with complaints are messing up the boards more than he does (and the others like him).

     
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