Life goes on

One of the bigger things that have been finished was the Direct X .X fileloader. After creating some complex objects and scenes and importing them into the PlayGround, I noticed that lighting wasn’t looking like it should and so I added a small debug-function to the X-loader for outputting the vertex normals into the vertex color to see if normals were loaded correct. And guess what? I forgot to multiply the normals by the rotation part of the meshes’ matrix, which caused them to point into wrong directions. [Read More]

Not much happening

Note: As with the last entry, this is not about programming, so skip if you came for programming information. So as told in my last post I got that new shiny GeForce 6800 and I decided to play some newer games and replay some of the recent ones with the higher details I can now set. Sad thing is that I have almost no free time due to personal reasons, so it’s about 1 or 2 hours of spare time a day in the end. [Read More]

It's here

Note : No programming news in this item, so if you don’t wanna know about my new gfx-cards, skip this post. As usual, Amazon was lighting fast with their delivery. The mail that my new graphics card was dispatched arrived yesterday in the late evening and the card was already here this morning. Why I order hardware at Amazon? Because getting any of the GeForce 6800 cards for AGP is almost impossible now. [Read More]

Follow up to the last post (and more)

So I finally implemented the new DirectX 3D file format (I mentioned in the last posting, the terrain and vehicle in the screenshot are loaded from .X files) into the NewtonPlayGround. It wasn’t really much work and I also did some more additions to the loader. It now loads textures into a global texture pool, which saves much memory when you have several meshes with the same texture in one scene (e. [Read More]

Switching formats

So I’m doing 3D coding for quite some time now (over 6 years afair, at least with OpenGL) and the only 3D file format I’ve used in all those years was the 3DS - format, which is still widely used (due to the fact that almost every 3D modeller can export/import it and there are plenty of loader) but by nowadays standards totally out-dated. And due to it’s age this format has some drawbacks that recently made me want to get rid of it. [Read More]

Porting the NewtonPlayGround

Porting small demos (like the SDL-Newton demos) is something trivial, but porting such a big application like the NewtonPlayGround is a rather hard and also time-consuming task, so I’ll have to put some thoughts into this before making decissions that I later on may regret. Porting it to other OS’es than Win32 was initially not on my list, but Dominique Louis pointed out that I should use SDL to start with porting, but sadly that’s not the only thing that needs to be done. [Read More]


…is gladly over as I prefer winter. But the title is there to describe the latest addition to the NewtonPlayGround, namely Springs. Implementing them was rather easy, and I took my informations on springforces from this article. Right now there are only unlimited springs in, but I also plan on implementing limited springs. If you’re interested, you can see a video of the newly added springs here (1.75 MBytes, WMV). Depending on how you use them they give some nice, unpredictable (at least for humans) results that make for some great fun. [Read More]

Cel Shading

Some time back I already did two demos on cel-shading, which is an easy to implement technique to give a whole scene a comic-like look. It’s especially good-looking on scenes that aren’t too complex and incoroprate mainly basic primitives. So I decided to put this render mode into the NewtonPlayGround : As you can see when comparing the two shots (Well, in case you didn’t realize it : the left one has cel-shading on, the right one not) cel-shading really gives that scene some unique and interesting touch. [Read More]

Newton's new Vehicle Container

It has long been promised and finally it’s gonna happen : Newton’s overhauled vehicle container is on the way. And luckily I’m an SDK developer, so I already have access to the new beta SDK and implemented it directly into my current build of the NewtonPlayGround. And with one word : awesome. The container prior to 1.35 was not only inflexible but also very hard to configure. Creating vehicles with a stiff suspension was almost impossible and getting a vehicle to react the way you wanted it to react often took hours of testing and tweaking. [Read More]

Different Shadow Techniques

This time it’s not a topic about physics, but about rendering. One important thing that gives the user a feeling about how a body is positioned are shadows. Since shadows are a nature given “feature” of reality everyone will be able to at least guess the position of an object by the size and perspective of it’s shadow. A very small shadow usually tells you that an object is far above the shadowed object, and the bigger the shadow get’s the closer the object approaches the shadow receiver. [Read More]