Weird behavior of scripted controllers in 3ds Max 2011

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,technical | Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

I just bumped into a very weird thing.

I have a master object that stores a Custom Attribute definition with some reserved value containers and a function that gets called from withing scripted controllers (float_script()) that calculates a wheel’s circumference based off of the input data (wheel radius, distance traveled etc…).

Now, I’ve noticed there is a constant call to this CA function when I have a graph editor open and simply move my mouse cursor on screen across the viewports! This is pretty bad for the setup I have since it forces the wheels to update their rotation values many times more often through a single frame than it should! I have no idea why this is or how to stop it, but it’s something you should consider when tweaking your rigs!

This happened on 3ds Max 2011 x64, not sure about other versions, though.

Crysis 2 – minor tweaks

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions,software,technical | Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Ok, it wouldn’t be the TD inside of me if I didn’t customize the game at least a tiny little bit before even starting to play. :D

So the absolutely first thing I did was to change the game’s language. I can’t stand Czech localization (though, admittedly, it was done very well in this particular example, to be perfectly honest). Unfortunately, there isn’t a super simple way for an average player to do this. You have to modify a config file called system.cfg, found in the root of the Crysis 2 installation (i.e. C:\Program Files\Crysis2).
In there, there’s a line that says g_language = Czech (in my case, obviously), simply rewrite the locale name to your pereference (mostly, probably, English).

After that was done, I started playing. Now, I have a 24″ widescreen monitor (as probably most of the people on the planet), which makes it even more baffling why the devs kept the default FOV option at 50 degrees?! I changed that to something more pleasant and “natural”, 70°. To do that, simply open up the game’s console by hitting the ~ key (delete the semicolon!) and type:

cl_fov = 70


or whatever value you like. Try several options which one will suite you best.

After this, you should also consider tweaking the near FOV (for drawing the weapons you hold etc…) and the sprint FOV (when you’re running). These are the commands (with my settings):

r_DrawNearFoV = 60
pl_movement.power_sprint_targetFov = 70


If you need to change anything else, try searching the web for the right command. Unfortunately, I don’t know if there is any particular command for listing all the available commands, so, this was just that. :)

I don’t feel the need to modify anything else anymore. :D Enjoy the awesome game!

Crysis 2 – buy this game, now!

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions | Monday, March 28th, 2011

Crysis 2

I don’t play many games often, but when I do I tend to be very picky and I stick to the genre that I usually enjoy, like FPS or RTS. Now, as for Crysis 2, that’s actually my “first” Crysis game I’ve played and I have to say one thing: this game fucking rocks!

It’s the best FPS since Half-Life 2 (that I absolutely love)! If you haven’t played it yet or considering buying it, just don’t think, buy! If you pirated this game, fucking rot in hell, because the dev team, Crytek, put so much effort into this beauty that it’s a sin not paying the few bucks for such a wonderful gaming experience!

Kudos to all that worked on this masterpiece, it’s awesome!

duber studio plugin distribution system

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions,software,technical | Monday, March 28th, 2011

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

An overview of the setup at the duber studio that I use for synchronizing and distributing plugins, scripts etc… on all my machines at the studio using Deadline and Dropbox.

Direct MD5 checksum object comparison behavior in IronPython prior to version 2.7

loocas | miscellaneous,Python,technical | Thursday, March 24th, 2011

I’ve recently bumped into a strange problem that kept on crashing on me on my Virtual machine testing my latest IronPython script.

The problem was that a dircet MD5 object comparison of files originating from the same source, i.e.:

from System.Security.Cryptography import MD5CryptoServiceProvider
md5 = MD5CryptoServiceProvider()

file1crc = md5.CreateHashs(file1Stream)
file2crc = md5.CreateHashs(file2Stream)

file1crc == file2crc

returned, in IronPython 2.7, expected True, but in earlier versions, I got False.

This is the actual checksum converted to a string, so you can see they really are both identical (though computed from different sources):

>>> System.BitConverter.ToString(destMD5)
'2A-74-7D-5F-CC-FD-B6-75-57-C0-30-28-E4-BB-A4-0C'
>>> System.BitConverter.ToString(srcMD5)
'2A-74-7D-5F-CC-FD-B6-75-57-C0-30-28-E4-BB-A4-0C'

Interestingly enough, when I compare the two strings, the result is True.

After an hour or so of experimentation, I had to re-write the script to compare the strings rather than the actual MD5 checksum objects directly, in order to make my script compatible in earlier versions of IronPython.

I still haven’t received an answer to this behavior on the IronPython public mailing list, so, I really don’t have an answer as to whether this is a bug or some kind of a feature that isn’t clear to me. I’ll report back when I get more info.

Still no Visual Studio goodness for me

loocas | opinions,Python,software | Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Visual Studio 2010

Once again, after the promising IronPython Tools for Visual Studio 2010 were included in the installation of IronPython 2.7, I decided to give Visual Studio Express another shot. Well, VisualStudio Integrated Shell, to be exact, as Express doesn’t specifically support IronPython.

I’m fairly inexperienced with Visual Studio and also I don’t code very large script/programming projects, thus a full Visual Studio suite is a complete overkill for my needs, however, I really like Instellisense and Autocomplete features it offers, but mainly I really dig the Forms or XAML designers.

(more…)

Dropbox

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions,showcase | Friday, March 11th, 2011

Dropbox

I’m amazed how long I’d been avoiding Dropbox. I knew about the service for ages and a few friends of mine and collegues had kept on suggesting me starting using the service. But I’ve always preferred FTPs and other methods of distributing and sharing data.

The thing is, for my clients, FTP will always be the best way to share data with them, but for my collegues and partners, Dropbox just beats everything else! Hell, I even considered writing tools that’d automatically synchronize my dirs at work and at home over the VPN etc… but then I recently “discovered” Dropbox and I felt ashamed I hadn’t started using this awesome service before!

What I use Dropbox for right now is rather simple. I setup two accounts, one for me personally and one for my company’s file server. I linked the two together using simple folder sharing Dropbox offers and I use that folder to synch all my plugins, scripts, settings etc… between my workstation and my file server. This “centralized repository” is then being synced individually among all my render nodes and workstations at the studio using another brilliant piece of software, Deadline, so that everything is up to date and all the machines are using the current tools.

I’m planning on installing a company Dropbox account on all my workstations so that all the workstations are up to date immediately and only the render nodes get the full synch using Deadline. Or, perhaps, I’ll finally finish writing the Deadline plugins that allow for running Python scripts as jobs on all the nodes, so I can perform maintenance and synch operations without actually having to execute any of the rendering apps. We’ll see about that.

However, another thing I’m going to definitely do is sharing my public Dropbox folder with my collegues so we can easily skip the upload – download hassle, especially when there is no FTP access (yes, some companies have weird security policies).

Anyways, Dropbox is an easy to use, very flexible, genius service that everyone needing to transfer files or carry files on them should definitely check out. Did I mention it’s also free? ;)

3ds Max 2012 announced

loocas | 3ds Max,miscellaneous,opinions | Sunday, March 6th, 2011

So, I can finally publicly say that I’ve been a part of the 3ds Max 2012 beta testing team. :)

Now that 3ds Max 2012 has been announced, I’d like to comment on the matter.

First off, there aren’t many new features in 2012, however, the ones that got there, namely Nitrous, are great and show where is Max headed in the future. Unfortunately, due to the very short development cycles, the new features aren’t as polished or finalized as they could be, but, that’s something we have to deal with. Another thing is, 3ds Max 2012 addresses a lot of the performance and stability issues. Mainly performance, which is always great. Though, there is always room for improvement.

Overall, I think 3ds Max 2012 is a great release and with the biggest obstacle out of the way (the old Viewport system), the future development of Max seems pretty good.

One feature I do miss a lot is, of course, Python. But even at this front Autodesk finally seems taking some action. You’ll see in the near future.

In the mean time, also check out the new Maya and Softimage 2012 releases! Some very, very nice features in both that I’d love to see in Max ;) as always…

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