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1. ## Unity How can I recognize hand drawn shapes? (eg. the wizard in Trine)

All great posts, thank you!   Echo17's stroke based implementation best matches the slightly-modified idea mentioned above, it can easily recognize shapes being drawn from any combination of directions, so I'll probably use that. It is the first library linked in my original post, Drawing Engine.   The other engine, HyperGlyph, also still stands out - but hasn't been updated in over two years. Drawing Engine was updated two weeks ago, so it makes it a much easier choice.   Thanks again!
2. ## Unity How can I recognize hand drawn shapes? (eg. the wizard in Trine)

Follow up from my own research: ends up there's no simple solution, should have figured. My options are either to go through the full learned state idea where a library is taught what to look for with examples, or you program it to compare against the sizes of a few basic shapes and nothing more.   http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.37.2973&rep=rep1&type=pdf   This article was the most helpful, and it looks like there's no easy or intuitive solution to this. The closest is...   1. Get convex hull for current shape (like putting a rubber band around it) 2. Compare convex hull to smallest of X shape that would fit around it (circle, then square, then triangle, etc) 3. If areas are almost one to one, they are probably the same shape.   It's pretty good for what it sets out to achieve, but it can't handle interesting shapes that are different, but have similar convex shapes (so ellipses and diamonds are tricky for it).   If I find any better options, I'll report back here, but for now it looks like this isn't a good enough approach, so a library is probably necessary.
3. ## Unity How can I recognize hand drawn shapes? (eg. the wizard in Trine)

tl;dr: I want simple hand drawn shapes (boxes, lines, circles) to be identified by my code when the user makes that pattern with their cursor.   Example video   I want to go from mouse input to solid objects based on the (rough) shape that is drawn. This is not edge or blob detection, nor vector art as far as I'm aware, but some sort of path direction/line segment detection. There are X preset shapes, and drawing something similar to one of them will create that shape at that size.   In Trine, this includes a square for a box and a line for a plank (not sure if there are others, but I don't mind that being spoiled for me if there are). So far I'm getting *way* more complex stuff than I need with my Google searches, I think, so turning here for more practical applications at my needs level. "Evolutionary visual learning" was described in one document I found, and that's far beyond anything I want.   Working in C#/Unity, in case there are any relevant libraries I should look at.     EDIT: These two assets in Unity seem to do what I want, but I'm looking to understand how it's done in case I can implement it more cheaply/effectively/simply myself for my own purposes (rather than adopting a new engine to what I already have)   Drawing Engine   HyperGlyph
4. ## OpenGL How to draw visible shadow volumes, but through transparent polygons too

Alright, final product is a combination of the partial solution and a workaround. When you touch a block, it immediately switches to 50% opacity and disables itself as a shadow surface, but also doesn't render before shadows again until after it's back at 100%. The shadows disappear when the crumbling blocks are touched then, but appear as soon as they're whole again, and all transparencies look good.   So it's about 80% of what I hoped for, and it looks good. :) Thanks guys!

7. ## How do I avoid tutorials in a tamagotchi-like?

I'm working on a team right now for a pet game, like Chaos in Sonic, Nintendogs, Tamagotchi, etc. You have various stat bars that you should be keeping filled (not sure of the consequences for not doing this yet - which makes me cautious) and you can level up your character by playing with them, which gives you access to more items to customize with.   So you start the game and there's your pet with a few furniture items you can click on. You can click each furniture item to access a different menu - minigames, clothes, food, medicine.   The goal, I believe, is to level up the character by playing with them so that you can customize your character more, and that's about it.   How do I convey this objective or basic concept without tutorials? Mario, Megaman X, and any direct manipulation game seems to have no trouble with this, but I don't know of any pet games or second/third person manipulation games that don't use a tutorial. Any tips?

9. ## Any options for affordable ray tracing?

Great video and articles, thanks kalle_h! Any idea if he plans to make the code public?
10. ## Any options for affordable ray tracing?

Hodgman: fantastic! What wonderful examples - I'm really keen on that Nvidia one.   ddn3: Windows only! I was unable to open the exe, but working with Unity sounds fantastic.   Seeing Arauna's list though: Do I need any special features to have the light curve in the glass? I have no experience with that, just a lot of curiosity.
11. ## Any options for affordable ray tracing?

So as someone who has dealt with real time graphics instead of prerendered for his entire career, when I look at this..   http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ec/Glasses_800_edit.png   ...I feel like it's still a distant dream. Everything I'm learning is about how mirrors are too hard and how Portal's whole system was simplified to work with multiple cameras/physics in the game. That just doesn't seem right to me. There must be some way, especially with all these new consoles rolling in, to handle bending light, right?   My ideal would be something like these:   http://tobifairley.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/crystal-glassware.jpg http://devrajniwas.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/crystal_wine_glasses_tif.gif http://www.homewetbar.com/images/prod/w-Crystal-Glass-Set-133769.jpg   Reflections and curved/bent light, that's really all I'm looking for. Now, that might be asking for a whole new Google/Facebook (or some equally absurd and impossible amount of work), but I really think there's a workaround I just haven't heard of yet.   If all I want is these two things, do I have any options? Maybe even ones with a camera that moves?   I'd love to have a world the player can navigate where light bends in these beautiful ways. Are there any options at all for that right now?
12. ## Programmatic 2d outline for textures, but with some z-offset

I really like the idea of sending it through a shader, so it can change in runtime.   How do I go from 2D PNG with transparency to an outline though, even with a static value?   I'm sure there's a way to do it without the 24 copies, but what is it? I've heard people mention edge detection before, does that work on 2d? (and as someone relatively new to shaders, how do I tell it to draw the outline itself, instead of just recoloring pixels or moving vertices by an offset?)

14. ## "Soft" shader, or, how do I get this skin-lighting effect?

Fuzz edge is definitely the effect I was looking for (very similar to velvet though), which looks to be a variant of rim lighting, and the wrap diffuse lighting will help too! Thank you all, this is far more than I could have asked for :)
15. ## "Soft" shader, or, how do I get this skin-lighting effect?

You guys always know how to pull off these fancy tricks, so perhaps you can help me with this. Nintendo's newest round of games all have this amazing "soft" look to them visually, no more [url=http://i.imgur.com/AfDGgae.jpg]hard light-to-dark gradients[/url]. Instead, there's backlighting or that layered skin effect, underlighting, *something*. That's what I'm trying to figure out, and then how to do it.   Examples:   Kirby here, and maybe Pikachu's chest just under his arm.   These two cube men, with some ridiculously soft lighting/shadowing system, although I think it might be different from the others.   The back of this girls head, just under her hairline. It definitely glows, but only at the edge of her head.   Here Pascal, the red otter, has the glow all around his head. The girl also has it, but on her jawline.   So I'm guessing the glow is a reflection, due to what fancy-schmancy art class still life taught me.   ^art skewl   Although I'm also inclined to think it's a skin transparency layering mimicking thing, like the PS4 demo by David Cage (only significantly cheaper on the processor, I'm sure).   And I still think that Cube Men one is a different shader/lighting/thing altogether, but I don't know how to describe it compared to the others.   So, thoughts? Directions? Help? I want my game to have friendly, soft, and welcoming visuals. So far, all of the above do an excellent job of that, so I'd like to learn what I can from them. Many thanks!