NewtonPlayGround

Share with us how are you using the powerrrr of the force

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Postby Sascha Willems » Sun Jul 03, 2005 2:55 pm

I didn't stop the time, but I guess around 2 hours or so. Since I did not knew what it would turn out like at the beginning it took longer than if I would have drawn a concept or so. But the current version of the playground has been enhanched in terms of usability, so building bigger scenes usually goes fast and easy.
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Postby Julio Jerez » Sun Jul 03, 2005 3:28 pm

Dude.
If you keep coming up with stuff like that some people may even start believing the Newton engine co do real physics?
Awesome.
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Postby Stucuk » Sun Jul 03, 2005 6:22 pm

Nice
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Postby walaber » Sun Jul 03, 2005 7:15 pm

very very cool video!! Newton is coming of age.
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Postby martinw » Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:51 pm

Newton (GD) just continues to blow me away :shock:

Great work, you'll be in the Guinness Book of Records next :wink:
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Postby bal » Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:36 am

Astonishing!
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Postby Sascha Willems » Sat Jul 09, 2005 11:02 am

And another update. Since 1.35 is still in the works (which in my opinion is a good sign, as that what Julio posted about it looks just fantastic) I get the time to put some more stuff/features into my playground.

Some of the very recent additions are a totally redesigned user interface which now uses just icons instead of text buttons. It does not only look much better, but also wastes much less space and uses some sub-menus for better usability.

Next feature that was recently included are special materials. In addition to normal materials you can now also add pre-defined special materials to the material manager which can then be applied to the bodies. See this screenshot for how adding them looks like. Right now there is only a conveyor-material (which btw. was inspired what walaber did, so thanks to that go again for him. Seems he is a well of inspiration, whereas I loose all my inspiration as soon as I startup my PC ;) ), but others will follow.

Third new feature : stencil shadow volumes. I wanted to have them in for a long time but never had the time to do so. Implementing them was rather easy due to the fact that I already implemented them several times. But they're not working 100% and need some tweaking. There is also the problem with shadow volumes and non-closed meshes, so non-closed meshes loaded e.g. from 3DS files can generate errors, but that's something you can't easily fix with stencil shadow volumes, so users will need to take care of that when making meshes for the playground. This feature also eats up a lot of performance, so I'm still undecided on wether I should leave it in the final release or not.


And since people prefer screenshots and moving pictures, you'll get them :

(clicky for bigger view)
Image
You can see the new shadows in here and moreover the totally new user interface on the right side. It includes all options of the "old" one and is very easy to use. At first I didn't think it was a good idea to change the UI to a pure-icon-UI, but after finishing the new UI that thought disappeared.

And since a conveyor belt is very boring on a screenshot, here is again a nice Video (~4 MBytes, WMV, ~60 secs) of it for you to watch. You'll see all the new features in action on this one.


Oh and one last "rant" about Newton : I'm really disgusted about how easy it was to implement a conveyor belt. I went downstairs, made me a cup of coffee and thought "now you'll have some thinking and work to do on implementing a callback for the conveyor belt", but nada...it was just two lines of code and the conveyor belt worked...
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Postby walaber » Sat Jul 09, 2005 11:18 am

as usual this project is friggin' amazing. this is the best single program to show off what Newton can do to anyone, especially new users!

I was also amazed at how easy it was to make a conveyor belt :D

can't wait to see that 1.35 offers us :) :)
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Postby _Tux_ » Sat Jul 09, 2005 12:23 pm

thats great :D

are you applying a different material (with different direction settings) to each part of the conveyer??
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Postby Sascha Willems » Sat Jul 09, 2005 12:32 pm

Yes, that's how I do it right now. But I think I'm going to change this so that the direction vector of e.g. the conveyor material is aligned (rotated) with the body it's assigned to. That would delete the need to have four different materials for such a configuration.
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Simple walker

Postby Sascha Willems » Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:11 pm

Long time silence, but as you guessed I did some work (as time allows me to do, I don't have that much time to spend anymore) and the next release will hopefully give you a nice tool to play around with.

If you have read my blog recently, you'll know that I spent the last days implementing joint motors. For that I replaced hinge and universal joints with their counterparts from the (translated, thanks to _Tux_) CustomJoints unit. I then added a dialog for enabling and setting parameters of the motors connected to a body. My final goal was to build some simple walker (a more complex one will come later), and after the rather long process off implementing everything into playground I finally got a working walker! I'm rather proud of it, cause I didn't just made a demo of a walker, but rather a whole tool chest for creating such walkers. Since the playground already gives you a myriad of tools for doing all kind of stuff with Newton you now basicaly can do crazy stuff like a walking mech.

Here are two shots first. The left one shows the preliminary (may change until relase) dialog for setting up a joint's motor, and the right one shows the simple walker I made today. Click each to get a bigger shot in a separate window :
Image Image

And as usual you can grab a video here (~2.7 MBytes, WMV Format). Please note that sometimes the walker seems to move insanely fast, but that's just because video capturing in the background (maybe I should defrag my hard drive)
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Postby Julio Jerez » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:03 pm

You know what they say once you custom joints you never go back, it seem they start to pay off. A walker designed by just drag and drop and few scripting on an editor, Umm not bad for the little engine that could.
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Postby Assembler » Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:16 am

when could we download the next release?
i'd like to start playing with the playground!
the video is realy cool!
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Postby Sascha Willems » Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:48 am

Since it's using features from the current 1.35 beta I won't release it until NGD 1.35 is released. Depending on how much time I have then it might take some days (maybe even a week) until I put this out.
Right now I'm adding some new features and I'll have maybe have to overlook the vehicle features once Julio has finished work on the vehicle container. Another thing that needs some work is the UI itself, especially some of the dialogs, which are either to complicated to repeatedly do stuff fast or are not organized enough.
And not to forget bugfixing and testing, which really takes a huge amount of time.
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Smells like humans...

Postby Sascha Willems » Thu Sep 22, 2005 4:19 pm

So I just finished implementing motorized joints WITH limits via the custom joints. So now you can have motorized hinges and universal joints stop at a given angle (limit), and the motor will then change it's direction onto the other limit and vice versa. So you can have motorized joints that e.g. rotate a hinge from 45° to -45° back and forth.

So after finishing and getting it to work (I'm rather sick, and doing coding while being sick results in stupid errors) I thought "hey, why not try to now make a humanoid walker. Those limited motors were the only thing that hindered me trying that out". And so I did. At first you must know that I know totally nothing about humanoid walkers. In the first moment I didn't even remember how a real human walk cycle goes (but google helped ;) ) and I then quickly put together a very very basic humanoid walker in my playground without really thinking about if that what I do is right or wether it'll even work.

And ~5 mins. later I got this thing build in my playground and also set up the motorized limited hinges for the upper part of the leg (clicky for screenshot) :
Image

And guess what! After helping it out a bit, by resetting and holding it in the air until the legs are out of sync I got it walking for a rather short time, but it walked :shock:

And lucky as I was there was a camera team from NNN (NewtonNewsNetwork *sg*) around getting all the stuff taped ;) : Video proof (WMV, ~2.2 MBytes)

You see that on the third attempt it walks for a rather short time before going down.

Well, and since I don't really ever never had a clue about how I should do such a humanoid walker I'm rather satisfied at the result it gave me. I guess with some more tweaking and such this thing could really start to walk like a human (though I then wonder why the industry took so long to build humanoid robots. I bet there is something serious I'm not aware of...). And hopefully some people that know a little more about humanoid (or general) walkers will start do create some complex walkers once I release the next version and then show what NGD really is capable of.
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