> ls category
  • Guppy Animation Tools is getting an update!

    Hello everyone! Or should I say, hello anyone? Is anyone out there? I have more I want to say about my math-ridden adventures in VR, but I need to interrupt my irregularly scheduled blogging broadcast to bring you urgent news! I have some time set aside to exclusively update Guppy Animation Tools. I expect this next release will have many breaking changes, so I’ve just released the last maintenance update to Guppy Animation Tools.

    For this update I want to:

    • Rewrite all GUI’s into QT (expect small tweaks to the UI’s nothing earth shattering).
    • Remove features that are either replicated by Maya or don’t seem to be used by many people.
    • Rewrite any code that makes me squint and question my own intelligence. (Guppy Animation Tools was written as I learned python. And it shows in some areas.)

    What does this mean to you, my dear intrepid reader? It means, if you use a feature and want it to stay, have noticed a bug and want it fixed, or want a new feature, NOW is the time to tell me! For everyone else, as you were!

  • Falling Down the Rabbit Math Hole

    Like most of my personal projects, I fell into this math hole with a few (not so) simple items on my agenda. They eventually looked something like this:

    • Learn OpenGL.
    • Make a VR sculpting application.
    • Write this using only C++ and small helper libraries. No big frameworks.
    • Implement a signed distance renderer.

    But I’m getting ahead of myself a bit. In the beginning, I discovered signed distance fields while doing research for a shader I was trying to write in Unreal Engine. I saw a bunch of cool examples, and wanted to dive right in and figure out how all this stuff worked! Unfortunately, all the examples I was looking at were written in GLSL. Learning a new complex subject and trying to translate that into Unreal’s shader system was more than I wanted to chew off. So, I opened up Unity for the first time, and started coding (that’s simpler, right?).

    As it turns out, this WAS simpler. After learning the basics of how modern game engines were organized in Unreal, picking up a little Unity was a breeze. Coming from python/c++ background, C# was very straight forward as well, especially with the great IDE integration with Visual Studio Code. I really enjoyed learning C#. I wish this language had more adoption in the fields I normally work in.

    To get started, I read a few signed distance field ray marching tutorials specifically for Unity. For more information, I inspected a number of shadertoy shaders. Then I dug in deeper, and got the whole thing to render in VR. My backwards approach to learning unity gave me a good laugh at the time. I started with learning the shader system, then how to integrate my shaders with C#/SteamVR, and only at that point did I learn how to spawn an object.

  • All play and no work makes Jack a dull applicant.

    Yes, I have in fact been doing work this past year! Lots of it, actually. A 45 hour standard work week doesn’t leave much time for anything else. Which is why this blog and Guppy Tools have sadly been neglected. Don’t get me wrong, Guppy Tools isn’t broken. I just haven’t been able to give it the love it needs to reflect my current skill level. I hope to change that soon though.

    What’s my current skill level you ask? Well, it just so happens that I recently asked my supervisor at Luma Pictures if I could show off a little of what I’ve been doing. And luckily for both of us, I got the go ahead! May I proudly present: Close Contact, a C++ deformer I made solve to approximate collisions a few months ago.


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