OH MAH GAHD, killer render!

So, after resetting my PC, I lost DAZ Studio 2. Because the official website doesn’t even distribute DAZ Studio 2 anymore, I thought I’d give DS3 another chance. I’d sort of forgotten why I hated it. Tongue out

And then, when I installed it, I remembered. Tongue out Crappy content library that took ages for me to get to grips with, no hideable windows, screwed up subdivision… guh. Sad Was just about to uninstall it, until I said "No, no… let’s give it more of a chance, maybe it’ll pick up a bit."

And… it sort of did. I figured out how to fix the subdivision on the SubDragon (it was appearing in the scene all blocky, and was rendering blocky, too), and I installed a new set of environments and objects, including RoundStone and SquareStone, probably two of the most versatile objects in DS. Open-mouthed I found a motherload of objects and environments on RapidShare, and got a premium account to be able to get them within this millenium. ~£6 for 30 days of unlimited downloading, and it was worth every penny. Open-mouthed

I DO like the new workflow system in DS3. Smile There’re three buttons at the top of the screen, "Load", "Pose/Animate" and "Render". Each of these buttons take you to different screen setups – I’ve got a single large viewport and the content manager in the "Load" screen, I’ve got three viewports, a smaller content manager, a parameters list, a surface list and the timeline in the "Pose/Animate" screen, and I’ve got one big viewport, a render settings dialog, parameter list and surface list in the "Render" screen. It’s great! Open-mouthed

I tried a couple of test renders of random object, and they were fairly unspectacular and pretty badly detailed… until I changed what I like to call the "magic" setting… the BUMPMAP setting! Open-mouthed It’s a pretty standard setting, sure, but it’s AWESOME. It usually starts at 0.010 positive and negative, but if you set it to 0.10, your render begins to erupt WIN. Open-mouthed And when you create some custom lights and tweak them well, your image screams even MORE win! Open-mouthed Just as long as you don’t overdo it, you could make quite an awesome image.

So, now that I’d started to LIKE DS3, I started poking some environments, trying to get a couple of ideas for good renders. I added the RoundStone Well environment, and after a minute or so, something clicked, and I got an idea. Open-mouthed Imported a SubDragon, injected some extra morphs, applied a character preset, picked the closest pose to what I wanted from the preset poses (it was MILES away from what I wanted, but it was the closest out of the lot Tongue out), posed him until my brain was ready to fall out (the claws were especially difficult), messed with bumpmaps, added lights and shadows… and after many hours, many irritations and two broken limits (the limits were stupid anyway Tongue out), I was NEARLY finished. Tongue out

Here’s the NEARLY finished render:


(BIGGER is better. Apart from when you’re fat. Wink)
(There’s just one tiny thing I wanna change in that render, and I can do it through Photoshop, but it’s not installed at the time of writing. Tongue out)

Hehe… um… that’s, yeah, that’s awesome. Open-mouthed I don’t care if some DAZ Studio nerds or any artists criticise it and say it’s crap, because they’re just WRONG. Tongue out But yeah, that’s really good, probably my best… although that one of Emerald and Whirlwind was pretty damn good, too. Smile

Still got a couple of things to do, mainly shadow, lighting and texture tweaks, but that’s all, methinks. There probably won’t be an amazing amount of difference between this render and the final render, to be honest. Smile

Heh… it’s funny. I’m doing a programming course… yet I’m quite liking this 3D business. Open-mouthed HATE creating objects, though. Tongue out

Anyhoo, I’ll finish this off later on. Buh-bye for now! Smile

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There’s a new game on Steam…

Yeah, so… if you’ve got Steam, and you like Indie games, you may have noticed Metal Drift, which came out like… 2 days ago. It looked and sounded quite cool, so I got the demo.

As SOON as the game started loading a level, I immediately said… "This was made with Torque." And it was, because it had the exact same loading bar as my crappy Torque games did. But, I ignored it, and learned how to play the game in the tutorials, before starting a game with bots.

It had quite a good intro to the level, and it seemed quite good, and it was quite a good idea… sort of. It would’ve been better if it was more… y’know, fast paced? And more interesting than just getting a ball and taking to your opponent’s goal, while shooting everyone in your way with extremely slow, boring weapons that took forever to reload. I don’t like how you can’t aim BEHIND yourself, either. If there’s someone chasing you to get the ball off you while you try to score… it’s impossible to fight back, and you’re GOING to die. This game’s another piece of evidence proving that anyone who uses Torque doesn’t have any knowledge about making a good game. Tongue out I also didn’t like the ridiculous 10-second respawn time. You move slow enough… it’s not like you’re gonna catch up with the ball carrier you got owned by if you spawn in, say… 3 seconds.

I finished one game, ending in a draw with the bots. I WAS quite impressed with the bots, I noticed little to no stupidity among them at all. After a short "intermission" style thing, the next game started.

And… it’s here where it showed the UNBELIEVABLE crappiness of Torque, and why you should NEVER use it. Tongue out

A few seconds after the start of the countdown (there’s a 30-second countdown before each game), I heard a BUZZ, and a chat message "Flag lost – resetting" or something similar. Then it happened again. And again. And again. Until the fly-over of the level passed over the ball spawn area… and I saw the ball spawning in the area, falling THROUGH THE FLOOR, and spawning again.

WTF?! Confused Try, y’know… TESTING the game BEFORE you release it?! It’s clearly evident that they DIDN’T test it that much, because it was on build 106. Meaning they compiled the source code ONLY 106 times before deciding it was bug-free and releasing it. I’ve compiled the source and did a playtest of ULSG well over 1000 times now, and I’m still finding problems. Tongue out

When the round began… the game IMMEDIATELY crashed. FAIL. Tongue out Didn’t bother loading it again, I just deleted it. Tongue out Shame, really… it COULD have been a fairly GOOD Torque game. Ruined by pathetic testing, bad design and the general crappiness of the engine itself. Tongue out

Anyhoo… what else? Well… a couple of things: firstly, I’ve picked up Dragon Tail again. I’d stopped writing it for a while, cuz… well… I dunno, really. Tongue out There was no particular reason, cuz I love writing it, and it’s never boring to write, either. But ya, I’m continuing to write it every so often. Open-mouthed I’m in excess of 135,000 words now, by the way. Surprised

Secondly, I’ve been neglecting ULSG for a while, and I’ve gotta pick that up, too. I’m having a bit of trouble thinking of things I should do with it. There is SO MUCH to do in every part of the game… and I don’t know where to start. I’ll get there, though. Open-mouthed I already have some things planned for V14 – a major menu system update, title screen and main theme among them. I was GOING to put these things in V13, but I don’t like to upgrade something twice in one version. Besides, it’d work well in blue, which is going to be V14’s "colour". Open-mouthed Yes, each version of ULSG since V9 had a colour. V9 was silver, V10 was gold, V11 was purple, V12 was red, V13 is green, and V14 will be blue/turquoise. Open-mouthed I dunno why. Tongue out

Thirdly, I’ve got Windows 7. Finally got rid of that slow RC copy, and the computer is SO NICE to use now… the slideshow background is fixed, and I can navigate around folders at super-speed again. Open-mouthed
Message to Microsoft: You are awesome again. Thanks for an awesome OS. Wink
And to you idiots out there who say it’s rubbish or isn’t much different from Vista… please just die. Tongue out

Finally, you can catch me on Facebook now. Open-mouthed I’m not giving a link out, cuz I don’t want spammers or randoms on there. If you want to add me (and you know me), just search for my real name and send me an invite. Smile

Right, I think that’s everything. I’ll see ya later! Smile

AH-HAHAHAHAAAA!!

OH MY FREAKING GOD, this guy just made my day… ALREADY! Open-mouthed Some random dude posted a comment on my ULSG trailer, saying (I quote) "MongMaster you son of the bitch. I send e-mail to you." You can see it HERE, and you can read my reply there, too.

I was thinking "What the frig?", so I checked my e-mail… and I find one from that dude. And here it is:

YOU bitch !!!!! son of the bitch !!!!
Give me cheats for Ultimate lame ship game v13 motherfucker.
motherfucker motherfucker motherfucker motherfucker motherfucker motherfucker motherfucker !!!!!!!!!!!!

ROTFLMFAO! Open-mouthedOpen-mouthed I think this has to be the WORST attempt at trolling I have ever seen. It’s GOTTA be bad if it makes you laugh for five minutes afterwards. Open-mouthed If he’d asked NICELY… I’d have given him the WTFBOOM cheat, but… y’know. Tongue out

Dude, Aloha02-whateveryournameis… if you somehow find this and read it (and can actually understand it), check the vid you posted on. I didn’t think it deserved or needed a direct reply. Tongue out

Ah… you know you’re making a buzz when you start to get hate mail. And I like that feeling of satisfaction when hardly anyone can beat what you’ve made, and that BIG feeling of satisfaction when someone actually has to try and interrogate you to be able to beat it. Open-mouthed

Anyhoo, I’ll see y’all laters. Don’t feed the troll. Smile

OH NOES, SCARY LETTER!

I got a letter today from the TV licensing people, basically trying to force me to pay their extortionate fee just to be able to watch 2 channels. I’d be okay with getting a letter telling me about the TV licence, but NO, it tries to scare me and make me pay for a licence by using "facts". I am apparently "prioritised on the database", and since this was sent to pretty much every student… that means that EVERYONE in the entire village is prioritised! How stupid. Tongue out I may have paid for one at some point, but they can screw themselves now.

But oh noes… if they don’t hear from me, they can send "Enforcement Officers" to my address. That’s funny, because they wouldn’t be able to get past the front block door without a key. And if they could, they still wouldn’t know the code to the flat door. And then even if they knew that, they’d still need the key to my room. Besides, if they enter my room or even our flat without our permission, that’s technically breaking and entering, which is… like… illegal? Tongue out

And then there’s some scary messages on the back part of the letter, and I tell ya, they’re freakin’ GENIUSES, they know SO MUCH!! Sarcastic

"We know you’re a student."
Oh, I’m living in halls of residence and it’s only a 20 minute bus ride from University… how did you know that I’m a student?! Surprised Sarcastic

"We know that over 12 million computers were sold in the UK last year."
Congrats, you know something pointless! By the way – I BUILT my computer, so I don’t really factor into your statistics. Tongue out And LOL, OVER 12 million? Nice guess… I could be just as right as you are by saying "Over 3 computers were sold in the UK last year." Tongue out

"We know for you, the laptop is the new TV."
OOH, EMPHASIS WITH BOLD TEXT! That’s funny, because I freaking hate laptops, and if they ever became the new TV, I’d shoot myself. They’re small, weak, plastic, power-hungry pieces of crap which start to overheat within 5 minutes of turning them on, and they can’t do anything apart from run word processors and browse the web.

"We know that 99% of students took laptops or PCs to halls this year."
Well, I know that 100% of that previous statement was generated through made-up statistics! And this is the year 2009, of freakin’ COURSE we’re gonna bring laptops/PCs to halls! Tell me exactly how many PCs are at Storthes Hall, and I’ll start to take you seriously. Tongue out

"We know the location of every unlicensed room in UK halls."
Well, you obviously don’t, because pretty much EVERYONE got one of these letters, and a lot of people already have a TV licence.

"We know that students in England recieve an average of 14 hours’ tuition a week."
Oh, right… and this proves…?

"We know the average weekly workload for students in England is around 26 hours."
Again, I ask… this proves…?

LOL, then there’s a blank line. Tongue out

"We know that at peak times iPlayer transfers 12Gb of TV into rooms across the UK every second."
iPlayer has an upload rate of more than 12Gb?! ZOMG! Being a huge, rich TV broadcasting company, I didn’t think that the BBC could afford like, y’know… a WEB SERVER! OMFG!
And anyway, what does that prove? iPlayer doesn’t need a TV licence, because it’s not live TV… it’s a streaming video service, you jeb ends. What, you’re gonna make us pay a TV licence to watch YouTube soon? F U.

"Now you know you need a TV licence."
IN BOLD TEXT!! No, I don’t, you’re not getting in my room, and since there’s a shared aerial for the ENTIRE BLOCK (that’s (8 rooms x 8 flats) + 8 communal TV’s), you can’t track who is using the TV at any time, so whatever device you use to figure it out is useless. Sample conversation between your "Enforcement Officers":
A: "STOP! One of the people in that block is watching TV without a license!"
B: "Okay, which room is it?"
A: "Uhh…"
B: "Well?"
A: "That one!"
B: "That was just a guess, wasn’t it?"
A: "…Yeah. Screw this, let’s go to Greggs."

"We know that around 181 channels are being watched by 16-24 year olds at any one time."
What, are you fuckin’ stalkers or something? I can make up numbers too, y’know. Last year I made £73,489 from my job. No-one will believe me if I say stuff like that, but if the TV licensing people say it, OMG it must be true!

It’s so funny, too… because they DON’T know my name! The letter was addressed to "The Present Occupier". Tongue out It’s impossible for me to take them seriously.

To the TV Licensing people: your threats and scary messages won’t work on me, you dimwits. If you wanna come around, you’ve gotta send me a letter first, anyway. And when I get that, I can SO EASILY hide my aerial wire and booster box before you arrive. A few questions for you:

Do you know where I’m going to hide my aerial and booster box?
Do you know how many fingers I’m holding up right now? (I’ll give you a clue – it’s more than -1. Tongue out)
Do you know how many teabags are left inside this box of Yorkshire Tea?

Thought not. Now go troll someone else. Tongue out

UPDATE!!

Oh ya, one more thing. Open-mouthed Yesterday, I think I broke the world record for the worst ping test ever:.

FIFTY… FOUR… PERCENT… LOSS. Surprised And incredibly, the ping jitter is HIGHER than my average ping. HOW?!
But then… about 1 1/2 hours later…

It’s insanely good! WTF?! Yes, this was to a different server… but the problem with the first result WAS my connection. I couldn’t even load up Google within a minute. Confused

You give it a try, it’s cool. Open-mouthed
http://www.pingtest.net/

This IS tomorrow! :P

Ya, I sort of said "I’ll see you TOMORROW for the big install", but I forgot. Tongue out

The install went well, and the drivers installed okay… but I never noticed any extreme performance increase like I was expecting. There are still slight FPS hiccups in all of my games. They’re only small, like… 5 FPS or so, but when the FPS suddenly drops as I’m aiming in a shooter, it throws my aim straight off and REALLY frustrates me. Sad

Windows 7 also kinda irritated me by not giving my graphics card the maximum rating of 7.9 (it gave me Graphics and Gaming Graphics scores of 6.9, which, strangely enough, is only 1 point more than my old 8800GT, which is supposed to be about four times less powerful), but I rarely take the Windows Experience Index seriously. 3DMark Vantage gives me a graphics card score similar to everyone else with a GTX295 (just a little bit lower), yet I’m getting nowhere near the gaming performance that other people have benchmarked on review sites and stuff – people can get like… 80FPS average on Left 4 Dead, whereas I hover around an unstable 50-60 because of the random framerate drops I get. I think this is because, A) My processor is now too SLOW for my graphics card, or B) Because Windows 7 has now slown down so much that when I’m using my computer, it’s kinda like riding on the back of a giant snail. Never actually HAD that experience, but I can probably safely say that it’s quite similar. Tongue out

I’m gonna guess (and HOPE) that it’s B. If I DO need a new processor… feck. Tongue out But I’m refusing to get an i7 – WAY too expensive for not much of a noticable performance difference. Maybe I’ll get one of those new six-core (techically 12-core) processors when they come out. I’m sure THEY won’t cost a bomb… Tongue out Open-mouthed

Anyway, I’m off for now. Can’t wait until Windows 7 comes out… then I can reset my computer. It’ll be like LIGHTNIN’! Open-mouthed

I’m back at home! For now. :P

NOTE: This was actually written about 19 hours ago on my phone, which wouldn’t even let me post the entry because Windows Mobile and Opera are both crap. Tongue out So, if you’ve already "read" this entry, you might want to come back and read it again. Open-mouthed

Is this
where I write stuff? I dunno… this Opera Mobile is absolute turd – it’s
completely mashed up the webpage, so I can’t use emotes, and I don’t know WHERE
I’m typing. :S

Anyway,
as you may have guessed, I’m writing to you through my mobile phone, the
ZOMGnia. 😀 And 15 minutes ago (at the time of writing, anyway) it was
officially the start of mah 19th birthday. 😀 I headed back home for my
birthday, cuz… well… I can. 😛

Sunny
(my bird) I can tell has missed me… A LOT. He was singing and whistling and
talking loads when I came in. 😀 Looked a little bit scruffy, but he’s pretty
old now, so I sort of expected it. 🙂 Raul (my cat) is… well… a cat, so he
can’t really show THAT much emotion. Still as psycho as ever, though. 😛 And my
fishies are doing well, too, but one of them (Butch) is most likely gonna be
dead soon, unfortunately. 😦 He was on his way out, anyway, cuz he was a bit
thick – getting stuck inside one of my ornaments a few times while I was asleep
probably wasn’t too healthy for him. 😛

Gonna go
to bed in a li’l bit, but BEFORE THAT, my GTX295. I’ve seen it… and… I.
WANT. TO. INSTALL. THIS. NOW. 😀

It’s
MASSIVE! Bigger than I thought, but also a little lighter than I thought – I
was sort of expecting to nearly drop it when I first picked up the card. 😀 I’d
get a pic of it for you to ":O" over, but phones don’t support
uploading stuff to sites via FTP, AFAIK. 😛

It looks
prettiful – it’s got a nice design and it has a cool picture of an angel on it
(not like it matters anyway, cuz my case isn’t one of those gay,
transparent-sided ones), and it looks REALLY well built and thought-out, too.
It also looks quite durable… but, hehe… I’m not gonna put that to the test.
😛

It’s so
very nearly out of the rest of my computer’s league, too. I JUST ABOUT meet the
card’s requirements: a dual core processor, 2GB of memory (I got 4GB. 🙂 ),
550W PSU (this is according to the back of the box, even though the manual says
I need 450W minimum and NVIDIA say I need 680W minimum (not too worried, since
I got 700W 🙂 ), a PCI Express 2 motherboard, and TWO 6-pin PCI Express
connectors. Ouch.

I’ll be
heading back to my flat tomorrow, so I’ll tell y’all what I got for my b’day
and what the new card’s like when I get back. 🙂 Not expecting much for my
birthday, purely because I don’t even know what other realistic things I want.
😛 Realistic, as in stuff my parents could afford, such as NOT a quad-core
processor (don’t want an i7, for various reasons :P) and NOT a watercooling
tower. 😛

By the
way, anyone intested in buying my old 8800GT? I’ve taken care of it, and it
still works like a charm. I’d also say it was probably one of the greatest
graphics cards ever made, it’s like… the perfect mid-high range card – it
fits most people’s requirements. 🙂

Anyway,
I’m off. 🙂 I’ll see yas tomorrow for the BIG INSTALL! 😀