I've been silent - because I was busy.

Sat 02 October 2010 in Mixed. Tags: Blender, Modelling, Programming, School, Valve. By mrwonko.

As you may or may not have noticed I didn't write anything for over a month. That may partially be due to my lazyness, but it's also because I was busy (i.e. not lazy).

On September 1st, Valve started a contest: Create a music video for the song "Save me Some Sugar" by the (fictional) Band "the Midnight Riders". That's right, Valve invented a band, and they actually wrote and performed songs for the band. And now they let the fans create music videos. I was one of those who did that.

I had actually lost motivation half-way through when many good entries started appearing and Darksiders arrived. Then, on the 28th September, Chet Faliszek, a Valve employee, wrote this:

Damn, these are getting really good as we near the finish. Remember the contest ends the 1st. With this many great entries I think we are going to have to give away more than just one prize. Will have to see if the Riders left anything else behind...

That motivated me to try and finish my video. I barely had any time left, so I started cutting the song to shorten it. In the end I barely finished and learned quite some things. For example that render time shouldn't be underestimated, that you should check that all objects are set to be rendered before rendering 1000 frames (luckily I could get away with only re-rendering the missing object, a spotlight) and that playing Darksiders is way more fun than creating a video. More on Darksiders once I've finished it.

Anyway, here's the video:

At least I didn't have to do any homeworks this week (don't let my teachers hear that, I think I was supposed to do them anyway...) because I participated in the "Mathematische Modellierungswoche" (roughly translates as "mathematical modelling week") and couldn't/didn't have to go to school.

The goal of the Modellierungswoche is to solve one of 4 given problems by creating a mathematical model. The problems available were:

We picked the first one. I liked it because I thought I could program a fire simulation and that's what I did. That doesn't include swaths, but Bernd did some swath related calculations as well.

The simulation is simplified, of course, and the values used may not be close to reality, but it works and you can watch fires spread. It's written in Lua, using SFML via luabind.

It's great how many things can be easily done in Lua, on the other hand the dynamic typing can be a PITA, especially when debugging. Well, I got the job done and there are no bugs I know of. (Of course that doesn't necessarily mean there are no bugs.)

The Fire Simulation can be downloaded here.

Next week I'll be in Amsterdam with my class. We're going to visit museums and stuff, but I'm looking forward most to my planned visit to the Blender Foundation. I'll write more about that once I'm back.


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