A list of projects under development and under consideration:
Through spineFORGE, I plan to provides products and services that tackle multiple aspects of the development, visibility and enjoyment of immersive digital worlds.
S P I N E is a simple foundation for building real-time, network-aware immersive applications.
This software development kit (SDK) is designed to make available the multimedia components and low-level operating system functionality required by distributed virtual-reality programs in a clean, consistant package.
Spine provides easy access to powerful 3D graphics, high-fidelity surround sound, high-speed user input and the massive storage capacity of today's personal computers. Spine is built around a flexible, low-latency, message-driven network core, and will ship in source as well as optimized binary formats for certain platforms, enabling applications developed upon it to remain fast, slim and customizable.
Spine is intended to be used across platforms and within applications of various scales and complexities. Spine was designed to be simple, non-intrusive and flexible.
Construction Phase: Implementation ~ 55% (emphasis on ~)
The S P R A W L SDK is a framework for developing scenes and worlds for immersive applications.
Sprawl will provide more advanced access to the elements of a virtual world than the system-level Spine components do, enabling more rapid access and manipulation of the contents of your digital universes.
Sprawl is a high-level scene manager, that allows you to build worlds programmatically and declaratively using bottom-up or top-down approaches.
Construction Phase: Prototyping ~10%
The S U R V I V A L SDK is a planned artificial intelligence framework for building interesting and exciting behaviour into your immersive world.
Survival will allow flexible control of artificial entities within your digital worlds. Of course spineFORGE encourages the use of Survival to control objects and types within a Sprawl scene, built into a Spine-driven application ;) but in no way are the 3 API's bound permanantly to eachother - you should be able to use them piecemeal.
Construction Phase: Design ~5%
spineFORGE is developing a range of technology demontrations alongside Spine, and indeed, I am using them to actually develop the framework and test it's suitability for developing real-world applications.
Here are some shots of the work so far :
Scary Maze is a simple demo of a tiling indoor rendering system, which allows the easy editing of a grid-based maze in 3D. It shows off dynamic vertex lighting with strobing and a flashlight. The user can edit the maze and then jump in to explore and return to editing with a simple switch of modes.
workSpace is a fun desktop computing environment built around a space simulator. This is an experiment to test alternate representations of one's work area, which will allow you to control your computer as though you were controlling an orbiting space-craft.
Here at spineFORGE, we are very interested in representing, simulating and archiving the natural world digitally. The Garden is a realistic, interactive forest walkthrough that acts as a testbed for Spine technology as well as being a wonderful record of some of the flora (and eventually, fauna) that we see around us.
The Garden shows off the Spine Level-Of-Detail terrain system
that allows scenes with distant vistas.
The demo also includes a full day-night cycle, the lush sounds of the bush, and a captivating walk-through feel.
The garden allows rudimentary terrain editing that tests the distributed environment manipulation capabilities of a Spine-based system. 3D models, textures and sounds have been provided by RiC Shields, Jean-Pierre Allers, and Sarah Kruger.
Here is a very high-detail forest scene rendered with the Spine terrain system.
This scene is a small forest 1/2km by 1/2km with 200,000 trees and other natural objects.
The walkthrough allows multiple immersed users to patrol the forest and check out the scenery as the sun goes down.
I hope to eventually support procedural landscapes as well as artist-built ones.
Mokele Mbembe - Blocker of Rivers
Deep in the heart of uninhabited parts of the Congo Rainforest, it is legend that a large, scaly, elephant-like creature with a long neck and tail lives in rivers and swamps.
The natives call it, "Mokele Mbembe".
Pygmy tribesmen have identified western pictures of Brontosaurus dinosaurs as the unknown creature they have seen.
Venture into the rainforest, swamps, and highlands searching for a hidden secret...
Here are a bunch of rather unfinished and often obsolete learning materials, hints and tips for programmers, artists and other computer users:
Construction Phase : Design
The Spine Composer graphical application is a general scene composer and generator for creating immersive digital environments using a folder-based, drag-and-drop method that integrates your planning and design with the actual application implementation.
Composer is a dynamic, non-linear, non-destructive scene builder, editor and real-time visualization package. Build your world out of premade obects created in various digital content creation tools such as Maya, Blender or Lightwave, and use flexible procedural "DrawModules" that you can plug in to randomize the layout and design of the different elements of your environment. Lay out the structure of your world like you organise your computer's folders.
Composer allows you to build worlds using a simple, familiar, customizeable interface based on everyday desktop tools. Composer is built on all 3 of the lower level spineFORGE components, Spine, Sprawl and Survival. Composer allows users to build 3D multimedia productions and experiences in a graphical, rather than programmatic way.
Composer's user interface is structured around the TAO methodology - Types, Actions, Objects. First lay out the TYPES of things in your world, then decide on the ACTIONS that affect them, then lay out the OBJECTS in the world. Objects are entities that belong to a Type. Once you have done this, a simulation of the environment can be started. Composer will allows you to plan, build and immersive yourself within a world of any description.
[Find out more about spineFORGE]