Apr 18, 2009

Simulated Depth

Recently we've been looking into the various ways to simulate depth in a 3D environment, with the obvious ways being Anaglyph and Lenticular glasses. But one of the ways that strck us as interesting was taking two viewing angles and rapidly swapping between them.

We're not sure this is viable to implement but it's definitely worth another look if we were to lower the difference between the two viewing angles and drastically increase the speed. Doing this just might create a simulated depth with no special glasses needed.

More on this as we move forward.

Apr 13, 2009

IE Inspired Rage

After a bit of a holiday rampage against Internet Explorer, we feel we've gotten the anger out of our systems.

Now, Internet Explorer 7 and earlier will see a link at the bottom of the page with the option to get Internet Explorer 8. In all seriousness, if you are still using IE 7 and earlier, you really should do yourself a favor and at the very least grab a copy of Internet Explorer 8.

While not our first choice here at Andromeda3D (being which would be Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, and pretty much anything except Internet Explorer) we would at least like you to stay up to date, not to mention there is marginally less wrong with IE8 versus IE7 and lower.

We're just saying...

In Other News

Fixed most of the errors with IE browsers and our website, with the exception of the curved corners on the text box. If you are using IE7 or lower, you're just going to have to deal without the fancy corners.

There is still more to come with this design so stay tuned as we continue to blow things up and put them back together again for your amusement.

Happy Holiday (Easter) if you're celebrating,

- The Management

Apr 12, 2009

Down With IE

If you're using Internet Explorer for viewing our site, you'll probably notice it redirects to a firefox website and the option to switch.

We know there is a large amount of people who use Internet Explorer, but we also understand that it's not because of choice but because it came preinstalled on your computer. With that in mind, we have to tell you that over the years, designing websites that work across all browsers and then having to literally implement every known hack just to get it to look the same for Internet Explorer is very time consuming and frustrating.

We're probably sacrificing a lot of traffic by doing this, but it's something we feel needs to be done. For the sake of the Internet, and web designer sanity, please choose a browser that is standards compliant. It doesn't have to be Firefox... it could be Opera or even Google Chrome.

Whatever your choice, please just take some time to check them out and unchain yourself from Internet Explorer.

If Internet Explorer one day decides to be standards compliant and join the rest of the world in this digital age, we will gladly support it ourselves. But until then, we simply don't have time to continue pandering to a broken browser, and as an intelligent person neither should you.


- The Management

Apr 11, 2009

NAI: Not Another Interface

Something which has been on our minds as of late is what seems to be a never ending barrage of cookie cutter interface designs online. It doesn't matter if the website is about science fiction or flash tutorials, they all have the basic layout of navigation bar and layout resembling a newspaper page.

I've personally seen some really interesting interface designs for websites, but they seem to lack intuitiveness or go deeper into the paradigm. To this end, we've redesigned the Andromeda3D website as a work in progress as we check out some interesting ideas that we've been looking over.

If you haven't noticed, we started with the idea of the Cooliris wall as a gallery, and then tried out the Zoomable user interface as a secondary. Unfortunately, the zoomable user interface did not carry over the original tags we had for the cooliris gallery and had to be scrapped.

This in turn was brought to our already knowing attention by a number of persons posting anonymously in our shoutbox and a couple of emails. To put things straight, we never said those technologies were ours and in point of fact, each image from that Flickr gallery is properly tagged with copyright descriptions and links. The zoomable user interface we were trying out did not carry the information over like the cooliris gallery did, and we were looking into alternatives at the time in order to rectify this.

We would like to take a moment to courteously thank the anonymous people who posted in our shoutbox accusing us of things which were both untrue and easily rectified through a simple email or actually following the Flickr links on the items to see they are properly tagged.

Anonymous people, pat yourselves on the back. You deserve it. As a result of your efforts, we've launched a redesign which was nowhere near complete, has not been tested, and omits any and all information about this project sans a small blurb on the main page.

The Andromeda3D project is a private project to discuss the merits of different technologies avaliable today, and also define which advances should be brought together under a single system for the benefit of the Metaverse as a whole. Much of our discussions revolve around the latest cutting edge advancements and how (if possible) to incorporate it in a real time fashion to benefit the overall virtual environment.

Obviously there is no single technology which will do this, and there are a plethora of computer graphics advances in the industry to benefit from. In this light, you now understand what the flickr gallery is about and what we are discussing. It is all fine and good to talk about the advances in computer graphics and new technologies, but a lot of what we are seeing in the industry is a half hearted collaborative toward a unified and better system.

To this end, the discussions vary in our beta team from reviewing such astounding advances in grass and tree lighting (Kevin Boulanger) to Ambient Occlusion in real time (pioneered by Crytek).
We also are looking over such middleware as Allegorithmic Substance Air which enables real time streaming of procedural texture data in miniscule amounts of filesize. Also in discussion is the Silverlining procedural volumetric clouds and atmosphere middleware to enable highly realistic and detailed clouds.

No single entity is going to be responsible for a next generation Metaverse system, and it is going to require a solid review of everything there is in recent advancements. As a result, what started as an effort to bring our reviews and conversations to the public has ended with simply putting them back behind closed doors until we are ready to share our findings again.

One of the things which was taking us so long with redesigning the site was merely the point of topic for this blog entry. We actually have about 5 or 6 different design layouts on the table, but have yet to test them thoroughly. We like the idea of a zoomable user interface, but are not totally satisfied by the interaction metaphor. We've dabbled with making a full 3D environment as the website, but again aren't completely happy with that either.

What you see today is the temporary layout we have chosen until such time that we have decided on our actual full layout. In the meantime, all review and discussions concerning the latest technologies in computer graphics and our feelings on them will reside behind closed doors for our beta team only.

If you wish to add your input to our discussions, you will from this point forward have to sign up for the forums section to participate. We look forward to your continued misinformed blathering in an environment where you no longer are shielded by the safety of a hit and run atmosphere.

- The Management