Max Did It
Coding
,Wed
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Polygon Outlines With Uniform Inset

I want users of my hardware text rendering library firetype to be able to render characters with outlines.

Sounds simple enough, right? Adding an outline to text is a matter of setting a simple value in all major graphic softwares. Since firetype is able to retrieve the shapes of characters from font files, it should not be a problem to add an offset to these and render the result.

Turns out that adding an outline to a simple polygon is not as straightforward as you might think. In fact, to have a robust method of creating polygon outlines means to implement a relatively complex algorithm that encompasses several steps.

Even seemingly minor details like how far each vertex has to be moved to create the outline can create problems. The solution, however, is pleasently elegant, as you will see below. I will cover the other aspects of the outline algorithm in the next posts.

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Coding
,Thu
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How To Properly Render an X-Ray Silhouette Effect in Away3D

Back in February, I published an article which described how the silhouette/X-ray effect works that is used in some games for concealed objects. In the first half of the article, I described the principle behind the effect, in the second part I described how to implement the effect in Away3D.

This is a follow-up to that article, introducing a more elegant, improved way to implement the effect in Away3D.

Rendered Silhouette (XRay) Effect in Away3D

The method described in the original article involved complicated geometric transformations and sharing the 3D context between several separate View3D objects.

The version shown in this article only requires a single class containing a few methods and a single View3D.

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Coding
,Mon
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Rendering Text In Flash Via The GPU

In this article, I want to look at what options you have for rendering characters and texts in Actionscript projects using Stage3D.

I also want to introduce my latest project, the firetype library, which lets you render hardware accelerated texts in Flash in a similar way to Scaleform.

Steps In Using firetype

Rendering Text In Stage3D Projects with On-Board Features

I'm trying to use the current Flash Player's 3D abilities as much as possible to implement higher quality and more fluent graphics in my games.

However, there are certain cases where Stage3D is not on par yet with the classic software rendering features of Flash.

One thing that bothered me while developing both Satellite and Rubberband Racing was the unwieldy way of displaying texts in a project relying on Stage3D to render its content.

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Audio
,Thu
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Rubberband Racing Title Theme

Rubberband Racing now has a title theme!

Rubberband Racer Logo

You can listen to it below!

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Coding
,Thu
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Generate Procedural Motor Sounds in Flash

When developing a racing game like Rubberband Racing, you will need decent motor sounds. Driving a silent car just feels weird (Maybe it won't 50 years from now?).

If I had a loop of a car engine, I could then change the volume and the pitch of the sound dynamically depending on the velocity of the car.

The MP3 Gap Problem

My problem was that usually, you can't make clean loops and save them as MP3 files. Doing so will always introduce gaps into the audio file that will prevent it from repeating seamlessly.

If you are using Adobe's Flash Authoring Software to save your MP3s in a SWF file, then you will be able to loop them, as the program uses a trick to avoid the gap introduced by the compression.

However, I am not using Adobe Flash and I am loading the sounds as single files during runtime, so I didn't have that option.

Instead, I decided create seamlessly looping engine audio by creating it procedurally during runtime.

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Graphics
,Wed
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Rubberband Racing: Rhino

From the maker of the Lilliput and the Cheetah, the new all-terrain vehicle that's sure to bring you home! Max Did It proudly presents, the Rhino!

Rhino

With the Rhino, more diversity is added to the fleet of vehicles available in Rubberband Racing. After adding a small limousine and a classicly designed sports car, the new car to come to the game is an off-road vehicle.

3D Preview

Below you will find a preview of what the real time model will look like in the game.

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Graphics
,Fri
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Rubberband Racing: Cheetah

The Cheetah is the second car I've finished for Rubberband Racing.

Compared to the Lilliput, the Cheetah packs a couple more horse powers and reaches higher velocities. At the same time, it still has a vintage feel to it's sporty design.

Cheetah Showcase

3D Preview

Below you will find a preview of what the real time model will look like in the game.

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Graphics
,Fri
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Designing the Race Tracks for Rubberband Racing

As mentioned on the project's page, one of the inspirations for Rubberband Racing is Micro Machines. Just like the videogame classic, Rubberband Racing features toy cars that drive through oversized everyday scenes.

Rubberband Racing Screenshot

While designing and modelling cars for the game is a rewarding experience, the thought of having to create and texture the 3D assets for an entire level was pretty daunting.

I was looking for a way to create appealing level graphics in short time.

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