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Comparing My Work to Unreal Engine?


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#1 shurcool   Members   -  Reputation: 439

Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:59 AM

This is obviously a bit of a plug for my video, but I have a question. Once I settle it, I can delete the movie project off my drive and keep the final version only.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ynWOZeW7Zw

Do you think it's okay for me to compare my work (for my computer science master's degree) against the UnrealEd level editor like that, or would they take it down because I'm violating some copyright laws?

It's okay if you're not a lawyer, I just need a rough estimate of the risk. Thanks!

Edited my question to be more on-point.

Edited by shurcool, 15 February 2012 - 01:25 PM.


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#2 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2397

Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:10 PM

which I believe is better than today's de-facto solution.


Better or worse are subjective terms, one can only compare individual parameters. At least that's how academic work should be. Standards these days are pretty low and rarely used to advance the field.

I seem to remember that such thesis requires one to form a hypothesis, then verify it and attempt to confirm it.

Such work therefore proposes a new technique which improves something. Perhaps the time required to place of boxes on flat surface. Then one would run an experiment, define demographic, the usual workflow, compatibility with existing tools and toolchains, evaluate the responses based on some questionnaire, perform a statistical analysis and finally conclude, if results are statistically significant, that technique improves (or not) certain aspect.


Reason I mention this is because lack of scientific method in favor of empty words keeps computer science from being acknowledged as scientific field, at least one of any relevance.

run into trouble once they see it?


No, they won't break your knees or put you to sleep with the fishes.

But it can cause trouble if the technique is advertised as better, but some designer points out there is a very important reason why UED doesn't use it.

And everything else in between. Trouble is again subjective.

As for usage of UED in video, that's up to legal teams all around the world. Or anyone else - YT doesn't disciminate when it receives a takedown notice and simply declares you guilty until proven innocent.

If trouble applies to losing your only copy, then instead consider buying two USB drives and keeping a local copy there.

#3 menyo   Members   -  Reputation: 494

Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:32 PM

Like Antheus said better is a relative turn. What if you want to make a map with floating objects, also wall and ceiling objects like lamps need to be floating. The system of ued is a lot more versatile then the one you are presenting. I only think this system is a improvement when it is added to the current system of ued. Like a hotkey that switched you to and from your system to the original system.

In terms of legal, since it's for your degree i don't think you will get into trouble. And like Antheus said, the worsed thing that might happen is to remove this video and you are still able to make a video of how your system works and what the pro's and con's are vs other systems.

Current Project: TechnoFlux read all about it on my

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#4 shurcool   Members   -  Reputation: 439

Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:16 PM

which I believe is better than today's de-facto solution.


Better or worse are subjective terms, one can only compare individual parameters. At least that's how academic work should be. Standards these days are pretty low and rarely used to advance the field.

I seem to remember that such thesis requires one to form a hypothesis, then verify it and attempt to confirm it.

Such work therefore proposes a new technique which improves something. Perhaps the time required to place of boxes on flat surface. Then one would run an experiment, define demographic, the usual workflow, compatibility with existing tools and toolchains, evaluate the responses based on some questionnaire, perform a statistical analysis and finally conclude, if results are statistically significant, that technique improves (or not) certain aspect.


Reason I mention this is because lack of scientific method in favor of empty words keeps computer science from being acknowledged as scientific field, at least one of any relevance.

As it took me 2 years to do my master's degree, believe me, I know the scientific method. I've used it during that time.

Here, all I said is that I believe this method is better - which is my opinion. I didn't say it is better. However, it is better at certain things, as numerous experiments have shown (as outlined in the results section of my thesis). In fact, it's faster by a factor of 2-3x in terms of task execution time, with somewhat higher accuracy - for specific tasks that we've measured it against traditional systems.

That's why I'm pretty open to just say better, because the difference (in task time) is so highly significant. If it were a difference of 10-15% I would use more scientifically-accurate terms.

run into trouble once they see it?


No, they won't break your knees or put you to sleep with the fishes.

But it can cause trouble if the technique is advertised as better, but some designer points out there is a very important reason why UED doesn't use it.

And everything else in between. Trouble is again subjective.

As for usage of UED in video, that's up to legal teams all around the world. Or anyone else - YT doesn't disciminate when it receives a takedown notice and simply declares you guilty until proven innocent.

If trouble applies to losing your only copy, then instead consider buying two USB drives and keeping a local copy there.

I just wonder if I'm breaking any copyright laws by showing a video of UnrealEd. I would prefer if they didn't take down this video.

After all, I could've used any other implementation that uses the standard widgets technique: Valve's Hammer, 3ds Max, Maya, SketchUp, or even my own custom implementation of it. I just happened to use UnrealEd because I liked it.

Like Antheus said better is a relative turn. What if you want to make a map with floating objects, also wall and ceiling objects like lamps need to be floating. The system of ued is a lot more versatile then the one you are presenting.

Yes, it's quite easy to think of exceptional cases where this interface would lose its advantage. However, if you look at most video games and rendered movies, the vast majority has gravity or other attachment mechanisms and very few objects float in mid-air.

Of course, this sliding system has ways of dealing with exceptions. In the end, you can just fall back to the widgets approach and have the same power/control.

The sliding technique is there to be used when you just want to quickly move an object (or hundreds of objects) somewhere and not worry too much about the exact positioning.

I only think this system is a improvement when it is added to the current system of ued. Like a hotkey that switched you to and from your system to the original system.

That's exactly how it's meant to be. It's just another tool you can select for moving objects. I don't want to take out or remove functionality. Just replace the default with one that's more optimized to the average use case.

#5 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2132

Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:15 PM

I just wonder if I'm breaking any copyright laws by showing a video of UnrealEd. I would prefer if they didn't take down this video.


I doubt it they'd do shut it down. If they are at all interested, and if they have any common sense at all, they should adopt your technique. I think it's pretty neat.

Regarding the floating objects comment. That's a pretty easy workaround. Right-click the object in question, check mark "Apply gravity".

There's no snap tool on Unreal Ed? It's pretty common in Photoshop/Illustrator and other drawing/designing apps.

#6 shurcool   Members   -  Reputation: 439

Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:14 PM

I doubt it they'd do shut it down. If they are at all interested, and if they have any common sense at all, they should adopt your technique. I think it's pretty neat.

Thanks. :) I hope for the same thing.

Once you figure out a few key details, the implementation becomes pretty trivial.

I'm hoping to get around to getting it closer to a free plug-able library, so it's easier for more people to reuse it. The API should be fairly simple: it only needs to be provided access to viewport information, and a few ways to render the geometry into an offscreen buffer.

#7 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 16 February 2012 - 07:42 AM

One thing that might make you sound cocky in your video to people who use UDK is that there is a "snap to grid" function in UDK. As long as your models are properly sized, snapping to grid is probably the fastest way to place objects in a scene.

Not that your work is trivial, I would just highly caution against saying it's "better".

I doubt epic didn't have a reason for doing it this way, and claiming 'better' opens you up for the criticism of, "Yours is better in X scenario, but in Y scenario, which is the case 95% of the time, our way is better." Semantics can be very important as far as not offending people goes.

#8 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2397

Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:49 AM

I just wonder if I'm breaking any copyright laws by showing a video of UnrealEd. I would prefer if they didn't take down this video.


Problem with copyright is that it's not YT enforcing it. Takedowns are also not subject to usual laws or trial.

YT receives a takedown notice from anyone, claiming they own the copyright. In order to avoid prosecution and delisting from DNS, they voluntarily comply.

Note that there is no usual due process involved. There are no courts involved, there is no need for proof. All it takes is for someone to fill out a form. "Someone" - there is no need to prove ownership of anything, nor detail or prove actual violation.

For several related experiences, see this recent thread.

Nothing is in any way related to what the content is. It could be 2 minutes of black screen with no audio.


Conclusion here is:
- If the video has any value whatsoever, or better yet, if it's not completely disposable, keep a local copy. Any online service may at any point remove it.

#9 shurcool   Members   -  Reputation: 439

Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:08 AM

One thing that might make you sound cocky in your video to people who use UDK is that there is a "snap to grid" function in UDK. As long as your models are properly sized, snapping to grid is probably the fastest way to place objects in a scene.

Snap to grid can be helpful to align objects more precisely, but I doubt it'd be faster IMO.

Not that your work is trivial, I would just highly caution against saying it's "better".

Yeah, by now I'm starting to see it's better for me to shut up and let the demonstration speak for itself. I don't seem to make things any better when I explain the motivation behind the Slide technique and the weak points of widget ways.

I doubt epic didn't have a reason for doing it this way

I'm sure it's very much related to the fact the original UnrealEd was made more than 10 years ago, and back then there were limited advances in 3D UIs. And Epic probably never allocated enough resources to redoing something that's already done, because I'm sure there are always more important things (in their view) for them to do.

#10 shurcool   Members   -  Reputation: 439

Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:09 AM

Conclusion here is:
- If the video has any value whatsoever, or better yet, if it's not completely disposable, keep a local copy. Any online service may at any point remove it.

Thanks. Of course, I'll be keeping a local copy of the final compressed video. What I don't want to keep is the edited video project and the original source footage.

#11 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2397

Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:24 AM

Thanks. Of course, I'll be keeping a local copy of the final compressed video. What I don't want to keep is the edited video project and the original source footage.


Because two 4GB USB keys are so expensive?

#12 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:08 PM

Snap to grid can be helpful to align objects more precisely, but I doubt it'd be faster IMO.

I don't think it would be that much slower for someone that knows what they are doing. It's approximately 3 clicks to get it exactly where you want it anyway.

Not that your work is trivial, I would just highly caution against saying it's "better".

Yeah, by now I'm starting to see it's better for me to shut up and let the demonstration speak for itself. I don't seem to make things any better when I explain the motivation behind the Slide technique and the weak points of widget ways.


I doubt epic didn't have a reason for doing it this way

I'm sure it's very much related to the fact the original UnrealEd was made more than 10 years ago, and back then there were limited advances in 3D UIs. And Epic probably never allocated enough resources to redoing something that's already done, because I'm sure there are always more important things (in their view) for them to do.

I'm sure Epic hasn't thought of UI/Productivity improvements in the last decade.

Out of curiosity, how does your demo handle complex/convex geometry?

#13 shurcool   Members   -  Reputation: 439

Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:08 PM

I don't think it would be that much slower for someone that knows what they are doing. It's approximately 3 clicks to get it exactly where you want it anyway.

It's really hard to discuss things like this over the internet via text. So much easier, and more convincing to show a live demo. Posted Image

Out of curiosity, how does your demo handle complex/convex geometry?

Equally well. It's very general, and works with any set of triangles defined to be objects. This is a common concern, and it's a direct consequence of me showing simple geometry in most of my demos. The reason for that is because my modelling efforts were the bottleneck, not the Sliding algorithm hehe.

#14 shurcool   Members   -  Reputation: 439

Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:24 PM

If anyone's interested, you can glance over my thesis pdf that describes Slide in excruciatingly full detail.

Also, in appendix E you can find a very early pilot study that compared an early version of slide against an XYZ-axes method, with the associated result graphs (page 175). It's not unusual to see 2-3x difference in task completion time. However, this result was known from many previous studies going back as far as 2005~, and taken as a given. Hence it wasn't my main goal to replicate those results, but rather to work on other aspects of the system.

#15 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:27 PM


Out of curiosity, how does your demo handle complex/convex geometry?

Equally well. It's very general, and works with any set of triangles defined to be objects. This is a common concern, and it's a direct consequence of me showing simple geometry in most of my demos. The reason for that is because my modelling efforts were the bottleneck, not the Sliding algorithm hehe.


What did you export your geometry from to begin with? If you can import geometry from Maya or Blender, you can use the stock Teapot/MonkeyHead models that come packaged with each.

That would be much more impressive than blocks imo. Almost to the point of doing yourself a disservice by not getting some complex meshes.

#16 shurcool   Members   -  Reputation: 439

Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:49 PM

I have a pretty basic loader that opens .dae files (Collada format) that I export from SketchUp. It doesn't do advanced things like materials, textures, just plain geometry. If Blender exports as .dae, then what you suggested is possible. But it's almost much easier just to get some random hi-poly model from SketchUp's 3D Warehouse.

I already have a few more complicated scenes that I used to test various things. I just used the scene with boxes because I wanted a task where you just have to move around a lot of small objects, rather than one highly detailed one. Of course, I could've used highly detailed boxes, but that didn't happen.

#17 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:18 PM

I have a pretty basic loader that opens .dae files (Collada format) that I export from SketchUp. It doesn't do advanced things like materials, textures, just plain geometry. If Blender exports as .dae, then what you suggested is possible. But it's almost much easier just to get some random hi-poly model from SketchUp's 3D Warehouse.


http://code.blender.org/index.php/2010/12/collada-importexport-team/
It looks like it might be native o.o




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