Sunday, 18 December 2011
Saturday, 17 December 2011
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Here’s a great pack for adding a bit of Indian Culture to your movies in the form of a traditional Indian taxi, road signs and textures, props for your interiors and some authentic Indian costumes. There’s an intricate fireplace, privacy screen and ceiling fan for your house interiors, a road and pavement texture (along with kerbstones to separate them), plus a selection of market stalls and telephone/ power cables to dress your streets.
Both costumes (a pajami for your female characters and a kurta for the males) have pattern variations and, as usual, there’s a version of each that you can tint to any colour.
Thursday, 8 December 2011
We promised we’d get it to you by the end of the year, and here it is. Moviestorm 1.5 - shinier, faster, and with all-new added goodness. It’ll make your hair more lustrous, help you lose weight, and wash your clothes even whiter than before. Okay, maybe not, but it will help you make films faster and better.
Moviestorm 1.5 includes a lot of new features. You can find full details in the patch notes here, along with the main bug fixes. Here are just some of the highlights:
Terrain editor: change the default mountains around the edge of the set.
Import video into the cutting room: you can now mix scenes from several different movies, or mix in external video files.
Save gestures to stock: once you’ve created a gesture for a character, you can easily use it again in other scenes or movies.
Tint the sky: gives you much more variation in the feel of your exterior sets.
Timeline grouping: group several activities together on the timeline and move them all together.
Text to speech allows you to create basic dialog without an audio file or microphone.
WebM video format gives better performance and quality on a wider range of hardware.
Dressing room user interface makes it easier to find costumes.
Screenshot button in Camera view makes it easy to create storyboards or stills.
Timeline user interface has been made clearer and easier to use.
Some Cutting Room filters now have options for different strengths of the filter.
Extra Large Set is a new stock set with the floor grid at 100m square instead of the normal 50m square.
You can now render stereoscopic 3D left and right eye views as separate renders, allowing you to re-combine them in the 3D software of you choice.
New audio filters give you better control over your sound.
Just start up Moviestorm as normal. It will automatically update the launcher (not the main program). Then when you're ready, you can update Moviestorm from the launcher when it's convenient. Be patient, it could take a while, especially if you're on a slow connection.
If you have repeated problems downloading the file, you may need to temporarily disable your virus checker.
As far as we can tell, your existing movies should work fine with 1.5. There are however, a few things to watch out for.
Mods: we've tested some mods, and we haven't found any problems, but we can't 100% guarantee that your mods will continue to work.
Video: If your movies have video files playing back on props, you should convert those videos to the WebM format; they will then play back faster and with audio. More info about WebM.
Lighting: we fixed a bug with ambient lighting which meant that it was extra bright under some circumstances. You may need to adjust the ambient lighting to compensate.
Doors: we changed the pathfinding for going through doors. In some cases, your characters may take a different route, and will walk through walls instead of being stuck..
Dance floor: the dance floor works differently and you may need to tell each dance floor to flash instead of them all flashing at the same time.
If you have problems, please check the support forums http://www.moviestorm.co.uk/forums/ or contact support via the Web site http://support.moviestorm.co.uk/dashboard.
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
I was planning to shoot all the illustrations for the next volume of my series of filmmaking books this week. That usually involves taking about 150 images, of which maybe 60 or 70 get used. I generally do this by taking a full-screen screenshot of Moviestorm's camera view, then pasting it into Photoshop, and cropping out the area I need. It's a laborious task: even if each one only takes a few minutes, and even using macros, it all adds up. I generally allow 2-3 days to do it all.
Moviestorm 1.5 includes a new feature that's going to make a real difference to this process. In the camera view, there's now a screenshot button that exports a still. No more PRT-SCRN - flip to Photoshop - paste - save - flip back to Moviestorm every time I want an image. Just click, and the job's done. Even better, I won't have to suffer my PC running out of memory once I'm dealing with Photoshop files that have vast numbers of layers of high-def images. I reckon it's going to save me at least a day's work.
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
You know when you've mostly built a scene, then you realize you need to change a few things early in the scene? You shift all the activities on the timeline and that's when you find that all your carefully set up timings are now just ever so slightly off and it's immensely frustrating to get them all back again.
With the new timeline grouping feature, you can CTRL-click on several activities at once and move them all at the same time. Voila! Your timings are preserved. No more fiddly adjusting everything back to how it was.
That's going to be a huge time-saver.
Monday, 5 December 2011
So, Movember is over, but my grips are far from! The memsahib is far too in love with ‘em (not).
Thank you to all that contributed to bring awareness to such a worthy cause – I am thrilled to say that you have helped me contribute £225 to the Movember appeal ...and in the true spirit of these things, I am proud to say that I have given my plums a good squeeze, and there is nothing to report. As for the clacker, I leave that investigation to another day.
If you wish to get a future missive on my hirsute journey, please let me know.
Until then, toodle pip and tally ho!
Among the list of new features is the terrain editor, so you're no longer constrained to flat sets. Here's a couple of very quick examples of what you can do with it.
Saturday, 3 December 2011
Friday, 2 December 2011
Windows users still use CTRL, of course.
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Monday, 28 November 2011
He did, however, let slip that the long awaited sword fighting pack will be released "in time for Christmas", and that before that, there will be an "Indian pack" that's been ready to go for a while, just waiting on some code that's in the new release. That will include some interior and exterior sets, plus a few costumes - acha hai!
I'll try to get the guys to snap a couple of screenshots of the new stuff when they're not so busy, and we'll post them for you here.
Monday, 21 November 2011
After being put on the back-burner for a while due to development of Moviestorm 1.5 and various Bonus Content assets, we are now almost ready to release a complete pack, called "Construction Site".
As you may have guessed by the name of the AddOn, this pack contains a selection of Building/ Construction props for your Moviestorm Scenes. There's a back-hoe type digger, a cement mixer, scaffolding, a skip, bricks and blocks, safety fencing and piles of sand which you can drop into your set like any other Moviestorm asset. For your characters, there's overalls for both male and female characters with an option to add high-vis waistcoats. Of course, the obligatory yellow hard hat is also included in the pack - we wouldn't want your characters to get injured...
All being well, this pack will be available in the marketplace before the end of the week, and it will be priced very competitively (in Moviestorm Points) against our previous packs.
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Friday, 11 November 2011
And here's the first photo of the new fuzz. This is Day 6. Dashed fine, what?
Some people climb mountains, run marathons or bike across China. The lengths of human endeavour to support a needy cause can know no bounds when a driven individual decides to try and make a difference for a particular charity. So, those of you that know me will not be surprised to hear that I have decided to push my body to endure new lengths of suffering, all in the aid of stuff that my fellow man suffers from, but are crap at taking care of –
the wifeprostate and testicular cancer.
There are loads of stats about how bad the problem is, but I think Peter Griffin sums up the problem we face best ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHKTE75dgE4
So, for the month of November, I am devoting my top lip to bring awareness to the importance of giving your plums a regular squeeze, and potentially allowing a suitably qualified person to go where no man has gone before, all in the name of male health. I have the full intention of growing some truly embarrassing facial hair, that Dizz will absolutely hate.
If you would like to support the cause, you can support my Movember campaign by making a donation by either:
*Donating online at: http://mobro.co/andrewkennedy64
*If you want to go old school you can write a cheque payable to 'Movember', reference my name and Registration Number 2133058 and send it to: Movember Europe, PO Box 68600, London, EC1P 1EF
If you'd like to find out more about the type of work you'd be helping to fund by supporting Movember, take a look at the Programmes We Fund section on the Movember website: http://uk.movember.com/about
I thank you!
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
At the end of last week, the QA Team were presented with the first release-candidate of Moviestorm 1.5, which now has around 1600 individual tests to pass before it’s released. During this time there will be some tweaking of features to check that they behave exactly as originally specified, and almost every aspect of the program will be pushed to its limits on various hardware platforms and different operating systems before you folks get to download and install it.
So, no news this week then? On the contrary!
You’ll notice that the landing page image at the top of this post has not three, but four buttons. That’s because we have a new, modified Autosave function, which I am now allowed to explain to you. Previously Moviestorm’s autosave feature incrementally saved project information on a “per-movie” basis, giving the user a confusing choice of time-stamped files for recovery. The new method is much simpler to use, and to explain... Moviestorm now backs up your work at a predefined time interval, completely independent to the saved file in your Projects folder. If you exit the program without saving (or experience a crash, powercut, or inquisitive child pushing the power button), Moviestorm will simply ask you if you want to continue where you left off. This means that you don’t have to worry about loading the wrong backup file (and thereby jeopardising your saved movie), as Moviestorm doesn’t go anywhere near the saved project. Dave is actually so convinced by the new system that he’s also removed the Save confirmation dialog, improving workflow that little bit further. We’re looking forward to you guys getting hold of it, it really does make a huge difference!
Monday, 7 November 2011
Thursday, 3 November 2011
For this update, we’re bringing you a microphone held-prop so that your characters can perform a selection of singing, interviewing and recording animations.
Unlike microphones available in our other packs, this one has a wider selection of animations allowing your characters to sing, rap and carry the microphone from one location to another, or perform interviews in a outside-broadcast type way. Also, the microphone itself can be shown as a singing microphone, outside broadcast microphone or voice recorder, depending on your needs.
As always, the download is free if you are a paying customer of Moviestorm Complete or Moviestorm Themes – you just need to register for the license at the bottom of the following page and then all of the bonus content will be installed the next time you use Moviestorm.
(p.s. Bonus content is not currently available for Moviestorm Education users due to the lack of internet connectivity needed to regularly update the pack. However, we will be updating Moviestorm Education’s content to include all appropriate Bonus Content for a future upgrade).
Wednesday, 2 November 2011
As regular visitors to our forums will know, we have big plans for the next version of Moviestorm. We’ve already talked about the headline features such as the terrain editor and option for oversized set area, improved character animation, rewritten autosave feature, more flexible character creation tools, advisor system, plus improvements to the performance and stability of the program – but there’s one feature that we haven’t yet mentioned...
The way that Moviestorm handles video has been completely rewritten. We have adopted the new WebM video format developed by Google as our new standard, which offers great performance and image quality even on older hardware, plus the advantage that it’s as friendly to the Mac OS as it is to Windows – this means that most machines will playback the new movie format “out of the box”, and those that don’t will only have to do a small update for compatibility.
Another great advantage of adding this format is that the way Moviestorm handles video clips has had to be re-written. A side-effect of this is that you can now run video on Moviestorm props in the Director’s View in real-time (even on modest hardware) and with sound playing. You can also add videos in the Cutting Room that can be dragged to the timeline in the same way as your camera shots. This means that you can import footage into your Cutting Room bins and drag video clips into your movies without the need for an external editor. If you’ve previously had problems with running out of system resources on complex multi-scened projects, you can now simply render them out separately and combine the clips in an empty Movie, with almost zero overhead.
Of course, we’ve left the old video format in there for those users who have an established workflow that they don’t want to alter, but we think WebM is the way forward...
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
With Halloween quickly approaching, we’re bringing you a selection of props and animations to help you shock and scare your audience! There’s a tragedy/ comedy mask (always particularly unsettling when used in the correct context!), and a hockey mask that you can customise by adding your own texture. In addition to the masks, we’re also providing a set of gruesome weapons for your characters to wield, in the form of a machete, a hot poker and a plank with protruding rusty nails! We’ve also included animations for these props so your maniacal characters can intimidate even the most hardened horror aficionado.
We’ve given you the tools, now go and terrorise your virtual neighbourhood!
Wednesday, 5 October 2011
This week’s Bonus Content item is a rather-useful pot of pills that you can use as a static prop (e.g. placed on a surface within your set), or a held prop (that your character can use). When it was first mentioned on our “possible bonus content assets” list, I started to think of possible scenarios where such a prop might be useful, and I think this particular asset is going to prove to be quite popular!
There’s essentially four main parts to this prop:
• A customisable pot that can be used as a set item
• A customisable tablet (capsule or pill) that can be used as a set item
• A held prop “pot” with animations for your characters
• A held prop “tablet” with a show/ hide command for your character to hold in his/ her hand
Basically this means that it’s a pretty flexible prop, useful as set dressing as well as getting you characters to re-enact that gritty medical drama scene.
We hope you all enjoy the latest update, and please remember that you will only get these assets as a paid subscriber. If you haven’t yet registered for the Bonus Content pack, you can do so from the Marketplace page.
Monday, 3 October 2011
Monday, 19 September 2011
How do you get good at telling stories with cinema? It comes down to experience, of course, and experience comes through practice. So how do you get experience in film making, when it takes so much to make even the simplest piece of film? You have to find actors and crew, there are lights and cameras to buy, writers to bully, locations to find… and there are some scenes you just can’t film at all without a crazy budget. It’s a problem filmmakers have faced for a hundred years. But now there’s a solution, in the form of Moviestorm.You see, Moviestorm doesn’t just allow you to make finished movies if you are already an accomplished storyteller. It allows you to grow your own talent by putting in movie making hours.As I said earlier, in the world of filmmaking, practice usually involves a lot of equipment, money and mostly time, both yours and other people's. It's hard for most people to put in the hours. It’s a lot like a pilot who hasn't got easy access to a plane. So what does he do? He books time in a simulator. Even if a trainee pilot has regular access to a plane, he still books a lot of time in a simulator because it's cheaper and safer than using a real plane. He can practice whenever it’s convenient, and by logging enough hours he improves his skills almost automatically.The same is true of any technical ability which has some art to it. The more you do it, the better you get. It's a creative muscle memory. It's the same with creativity and mastery of your storytelling chops. The more you do it, the better you will get. Shots flow to shots in a seamless hypnotic glide, because you know what you are doing and you know exactly where to go at any one time, in the service of your story.This excellent series of books will guide your development. In each of the carefully structured and easy to follow exercises Matt leads you through all the movie making tricks you will need, from the most common to the most difficult. It's an easy regime to follow: just read what's on the page and do it. Then do the next one, and the next, and work your way through Pretty soon you'll be flying through them and your mastery of both Moviestorm and film technique will grow.From the foreword by Phil South
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
The keen-eyed amongst you will have noticed a small update today when you started Moviestorm. We've added a new item to the Bonus Content AddOn pack in the form of a set of binoculars that can be used as a static prop or held prop for both male and female characters. You can get the bonus pack from the Marketplace if you are a current paid subscriber.
We're looking forward to a stream of spy, soldier and ornithology movies that feature this new prop, so please post them up to your channels as usual! Remember, there is now a dedicated thread in the forums so that you can suggest future props for us to make, so feel free to make a request or two!
Thursday, 1 September 2011
This week, we've added a nice elevator to the Bonus Content addon for all of your Moviestorm building interiors. The model has multiple variations; one-sided, two-sided, tintable, free-standing, part of a wall, etc. plus there's a few animations provided (such as opening/ closing the doors, pushing buttons etc.) to make it really easy to use and incorporate into your sets.
As usual, paying subscribers with the Bonus Content Addon will get the update automatically the next time they start Moviestorm (you can find out if you are eligible for the pack here.)
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
We're in the process of testing a few building site assets that may soon be distributed with the Bonus Content pack (unless we decide to go for a bespoke Construction Pack), to help users create construction scenes within Moviestorm (as illustrated by the image shown, kindly provided by warmanivan).
The general idea is to slowly provide quite a diverse selection of more abstract props and costumes, allowing all you Moviestormers to create content of any genre. As always, we keep a close eye on all the forum threads and support emails, along with all the other methods of communication to get a feel for what our users want us to produce next. Keep those requests coming, they are all noted, even if we don't respond immediately!
Monday, 8 August 2011
One major piece of functionality that we've been promising for a while is the ability for two characters to interact with one another whilst using held props. Moviestorm uses animation blending to fill in the gaps between poses so that the characters don't "snap" from one pose to another, but when a character moves out of position and has to blend back to "Idle" all sorts of horrible things happen. Add the extra complexity of held props claiming a characters joint resources and the system often gets confused ...
Well, the times are a-changin'.
The code is now in place to support the Fantasy Swords pack (among others), meaning that held prop activities can be used to their full potential!
Ivan has been playing around with the new code for a little while without unearthing any major problems, and has even put together this stylish little teaser to hint at what's coming soon ...
Monday, 1 August 2011
There is now an update available for the Bonus Content pack that include a couple of ATM's (or cash machines, if you're from the UK) and some animations so that your characters can use them. As usual with the Bonus Content, your pack will automatically update when you next restart Moviestorm. If you haven't yet applied for your Bonus Content license, you can do so at the bottom of the following page: Bonus Content Marketplace page
Please note that trial users do not have access to the Bonus Content pack.
Friday, 29 July 2011
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
We're calling these “Asian Male Hairstyles” due to the original design specifications, but we've found that they work surprisingly well on characters of all ethnicities... I've attached an image of a couple of characters to this post, so you can see what to expect.
The first of these hairstyles is morphable (you can increase the length of the fringe/ sideburns/ back), and there are colour variations for both hairstyles as usual.
If you are a paying subscriber, you can apply for your Bonus Content Pack at the bottom of this page. If you already have the pack it will update automatically when the patch is released. Bonus Content (which lasts as long as your Moviestorm subscription) is not available for trial accounts.
Wednesday, 8 June 2011
The pack contains a selection of earthenware style pots, a useful market stall that you can fill with your Moviestorm wares, plus a costume for both the male and female characters as you can see in the following video. Keep your eyes peeled for the release of 1AD over the next week.
Friday, 27 May 2011
We've got another great asset for you to download as part of the Bonus Content this week, in the form of a rather useful wheelchair. Characters can sit in the chair, put their feet onto the footrests, and power the wheels with their hands. You can also animate the chair (with or without a seated character) by using the same shift-drag method as animating Moviestorm cars.
As before, this object will update automatically if you already have the Bonus Content Pack, or you can get the pack with this (and the previous bonus content) from the Marketplace page (if you are a current paying customer).
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
If you already have a license for the previous object (the smart phone) then your AddOn will automatically update the next time that you start Moviestorm.
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Finally, Ben's putting the finishing touches on the wheelchair (shown in the image top right) so that the characters will be able to get in and out of the chair and propel themselves around the set.
Over the last few iterations of Moviestorm, we received the occasional comment from users that it would be nice if there was an option to turn the background mountains on and off, depending on your scene. As it happens the last time that it was mentioned, we were discussing the code changes that are required for the next release and this time, the feature made it into our list. Dave is in the process off looking into a mechanism to show/ hide the background mountains, and we're aiming to get this new functionality into 1.4.2.
Also, there's going to be new elements of the UI which will help organise multiple, similar items in the Dressing Room. This means that you will be able to select a hat (for example) for your character, and then decide on which sub-object of the hat you want from a separate panel. This means that you can have 20 variations of similar hats using only one “master” thumbnail, meaning that you don't have to scroll through every variation when you dress another character.
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Friday, 8 April 2011
If you have a current Moviestorm subscription (permanent or periodically), you can download this item free. Just go to the free asset page to download it!
Monday, 4 April 2011
In addition to the more complicated Max to Moviestorm workflow, we've also created a quick Sketch-up tutorial to make sure that we cater for everyone.
You can find the new section of the website by going to modding and we'll be updating this section very shortly to provide even more information about importing your own assets into Moviestorm.
Friday, 1 April 2011
As the new engine allows any company member to create and edit pages, I thought it would be a good idea to put this to the test by means of a practical task. We're always trying to encourage our users to get into modding but it's obviously quite difficult to get started without some guidelines and tips... So, after a quick introduction on how the web interface works, we started to put together a very concise "How To" section of the website, especially dedicated to people who are trying to get their own content into Moviestorm (please see the attached image).
We're hoping to get these pages live at some point next week, and they will include tutorials on every aspect of Moviestorm Modding, from importing images, through Google Sketchup and finally some really in depth stuff for all you Max, Blender, Milkshape gurus.
Friday, 25 March 2011
Monday, 14 March 2011
As we had the opportunity to spend most of the day with the class, Alex introduced the students to the Set Workshop view in the first session and then we answered a few questions while they practised making their own sets within Moviestorm. We had just enough time to demonstrate the Dressing Room and Directors View before lunch, and finished the day with the Camera Workshop View and Cutting Room. The students picked up the software very quickly and were able to start assembling scenes in a very short time (despite a couple of hardware issues that we have brought back to the dev team to find solutions for), and seemed comfortable finding solutions to their problems between them when they got stuck. Seeing their progress was a testament to their computer skills, and also reinforced our beliefs that most people can get a project up and running in Moviestorm within a day, even if they are new to the software.
We'd like to thank Steven Thorne at Long Road Sixth Form College for allowing us to come in and demonstrate Moviestorm, and to the students for being so receptive. We look forward to returning and seeing your movies in a few weeks' time!
Thursday, 10 March 2011
- Technique: what you’re going to focus on
- Purpose: why this is important
- Preparation: what you need (typically, the type of scene that works best for this)
- Exercise: what you do
- Review: analysis of the two versions and how they differ
- Followup exercises: more things you can try to develop this technique
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Thursday, 3 March 2011
As a result of this change, if you have one of the old-style Moviestorm recurring subscriptions (i.e. a Bronze, Silver or Gold with points every month), or a new-style recurring subscription prior to February, it will expire when it reaches its next renewal point. In order to continue using Moviestorm after this time, you will need to set up a new subscription. Sorry about this - we're not entitled to simply use your existing details to set up a new arrangement on your behalf.
If you have any queries, problems with broken accounts, renewal problems, or any issues at all with the new system, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or via the support system on the Web site.
Saturday, 19 February 2011
Friday, 18 February 2011
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Well, the time has finally arrived!
A few lucky users will have already received an email with the download instructions for the Moviestorm Skeleton files.
Over the next couple of days, we'll be updating the list of video tutorials so that our pioneer modders will have all the information needed to export characters, props, animations, accessories, etc. from their chosen 3D package into Moviestorm.
As you can imagine, this is quite a scary time for us. We're hoping that this will lead to a wider modding community, of users who are able to generate their own quality content within Moviestorm, but it does kind of feel that we've opened Pandora's Box! Time will tell... Hopefully with our users' help, we will soon be able to define export processes from all the major 3D tools for content that is then useable in Moviestorm.
For those of you that applied for the skeletons, but haven't yet received an invitation, don't worry. We will arrange a second batch as soon as we can, and we won't ignore anyone.
There is also a dedicated forum to this project in the Modding Section of our message boards, and you can bet we'll be popping in from time to time to see what's happening!
Friday, 11 February 2011
Just a quick note to update you keen modders on the release of the Moviestorm skeletons...
For the people that have registered their interest in joining the Beta program for the skeletons (for want of a better phrase), we sent out a short email explaining why the release has been slightly delayed. Basically, we've recorded a few tutorials using Camtasia screen grab software that show how we use the data here at Moviestorm, to try and give you guys as much of a head start as possible. We're now at the stage where all this stuff has been recorded (with nice voice-overs, explaining the processes), but the file sizes for the videos are huge (many gigabytes)! So, a little re-packing is required, then we'll get the pack put together and ready to go out, in a more manageable bundle.
For our first group of users, we already have more than enough requests. But don't let that stop you, just drop us an email at email@example.com if you are interested in getting hold of the skeletons, and we'll keep your contact details on record for the next round of releases, which will hopefully become more and more user-friendly as the pioneers point out the flaws in the export processes.
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
Monday, 7 February 2011
Friday, 4 February 2011
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
- You'll need a copy of 3DS Max 2008 (or above) with a cal3D exporter. Earlier versions of Max will not open the files.
- You've had some experience with animating, skinning and creating meshes.
- Don't share the actual data with anyone until we give you the go-ahead. You can release mods you make with it, though - making sure other people can use them is a critical part of the testing!
- Talk to each other and try to sort out as much as you can before asking the dev team for help. We'll create a dedicated forum where you can discuss the skeletons, and we'll look in from time to time and give advice where it's most needed.
- Be prepared to assist other modders when we make the data public: either help out in the forums or make some tutorials.
Monday, 31 January 2011
"I have stripped the Male and Female base files to a minimum state and put them on [the server]."
They need a quick check over from Ben & Amos before we sign them off, and then we'll be able to release the Moviestorm skeletons to the modding community. With luck, that'll be some time this week, but no absolutely guarantees.
They'll be unsupported and undocumented, but we're sure that some of the more enterprising modders will find ways to make them work and do some weird and wonderful stuff with them.
Monday, 24 January 2011
If that made no sense, here's a translation for non-programmers. "Unused code made it go slow when you did stuff. Took out kludges & spaghetti and made it better."Well, I've had fun this week. I did some profiling and found that there were some very odd things going on. Why, for example, were there over 160,000 bounding boxes in a particular - fairly simply - scene? Why did the performance problems and crashes only happen when I switched views? And the like...You will be glad to know that I have answers to both of these and more. A few accidents, going back to last summer, resulted in some innocuous code being checked in. Innocent it looked. But it had the side-effect of adding multiple copies of objects to the scene when it was loaded or changed view. If you stayed in the set workshop though, you'd never see it. And in fact, I found two completely different areas of code where this was happening, leading to a seriously exponential over-allocation, gobbling of RAM, and also CPU cycles. I have removed the first offending item as it was an accident; and I have added extra bullet-proofing to stop the second happening.Thirdly, those 160,000 boxes came about as a result of some debug code that was used to test our snapping sockets. When you stacked objects, the collision detection system got a bit confused trying to partition things and got stuck in recursive hell. The code was unused anyway, and I have removed it.Lastly, I have made further modifications - I have speeded up some of the critical loops in the code, and also cut out a bunch of redundant work. The result is that movies load a bit faster, take significantly less memory, and render faster. We think that the performance reduction happened in the summer for release 1.4.1 - we had a few reports of sluggishness. If so, we should be nimbler now than we were then. You should see the results for the next release of the product.Toodle pip!