Build your own Virtual World…

Check out this amazing video – World Builder by Bruce Branit Some day l guess we might be building entire cities virtually like this, walk through them and then create them. Beats a 3D object molder.

Heres a direct link to the quicktime .mov file for faster viewing on your PC. [ Right click, save as, download]

Network Addressed Storage.. [NAS]

Looking for a NAS, with gigabit interface (l’m done with slow access speeds via usb interface to my internal gigabit network) so as to speed up my rendering server farm file access, and expandable with support for additional sata drives and affordable. Finally settled for the DLINK DNS-321 for $130 and bought just one 1Tb SATA drive that was on sale for $87 – a Samsung 10,000rpm 32Mb buffer drive. As sata drives fall in price and l get more bang for a buck l can add to this unit. I can mirror a drive, but the unit doesnt support ntfs etc – which is fine for me since my shared files on this will be media files, mp3 and rendered jpeg pictures. It has a web interface control and can be accessed remotely via ftp anywhere on the net. This system is built on a GPL / Linux based system, and will format your drive to ext2 format. There might be a hack out there for a more native windows file system support.

Update: 5/14/09. I’m returning this item. The file transfer time to and fro ext2 to my ntfs formatted drives is so so slow, about 10-20x (even by Windows wrong estimates). The gigabit connectivity makes no noticable difference, even when on the same Cisco 5 port Gigabit switch as my server. I’ve ended up overloading my faithful dell sc430 server by “creatively” adding this 1Tb drive to it, the server is designed to support only 2 sata hard drives. See picture below.

capture_dns321_300

dns-321_main

capture_dns001

See this website on links for DNS-321 NAS Hacking

dellsc430

Nvidia Quadro FX 370

Have this video card on my main CAD workstation (Q8200 2.33Ghz Quad-core 8Gb RAM Vista 64bit).
Updated the video driver to a nvidia 182.08 windows Vista 64 release after some windows vista problems with the 182.20 release. Seems to be working great.
Ran POV-RAY 3.6.1 Benchmark version 1.02
Results
Render averaged 103.58 PPS over 147456 pixels, in a total time of 1423.63 seconds.
Boinc manager benchmark results:
2344 FP MIPS (whetstone) per CPU
6656 Integer MIPS (dhrystone) per CPU
2-28-2009-11-27-34-pm

My Workstation Cinebench R10 benchmark results: 5/15/2009

Intel Quad Q8200 64bit Vista Ultimate 8Gb DDR2

OpenGL = 2417, i CPU = 2641, Multi-CPU=8879

The HP xw8600 which uses the Xeon 5400 processor, has this specs 3888 (1 cpu) , 23,445 (multi-cpu) and 6571 for opengl

5-14-2009-9-15-57-am

Big Buck Bunny

Internet Explorer 7 vs. Firefox 3?:
2-1-2009-11-31-48-am
Keep getting an interesting error message below while trying to download the Open source movie dvd Big Buck Bunny (2008) for my son – a movie created and finished entirely using open source software – mainly Blender. However, Internet explorer 7 keeps giving the error below on right clicking the download link for the ntsc dvd iso. I tried this from my various workstations at home. Then l tried downloading from Firefox 3 and it works on first attempt! At a download speed of 1Mbps, this 7.7Gb file download will be completed in 2 hours.
Please visit http://blender.org as well as http://www.bigbuckbunny.org for more information on this movie/3d graphics software.
2-1-2009-11-34-01-am

HP Laptop screen problem

I own a HP Pavilion dv6500/dv6625us laptop which l bought exactly a year ago, my first hp laptop (prior to this l’ve owned 2 DELL laptops which l only replaced/gave away when  l needed a technology upgrade and they still work). This laptop now has a strange annoying LCD screen problem, it goes black, shows the hp logo and anything else in the faintest gray which you cant really read, and at times it flickers like a dying flourescent tube light. I sent it to hp support about a month ago, and they shipped it back with a letter saying its fixed. Now for the last 2 weeks the problem is back again. Googling shows this is a common problem, and if l dont get this permanently resolved (sent a support email today) – this will be my one and ony hp laptop. See also this link: http://www.daniweb.com/forums/thread39242.html Problems like this are very irritating when you use a laptop as a mobile office for most of your work.

My quest for a new laptop starts now. Its down to the Alienware area-51 m15x – which is more affordable compared to the M17. The M17 does come though with a ATI CrossfireX GPU enable option. Why l’m researching and blogging about this at midnight shows how dependent my work is on a mobile computing reliable powerhouse.
Update: Got back my laptop, and it works okay so far. The motherboard as well as lcd display was replaced. One thing l have to say about hp support, the response and shipping of a return box is very fast.

Essential lighting…

Working on mastering lighting in 3Ds max. Seems photometric lights placed around the object like a halo is very crucial. Playing/learning graphics meets a “balancing the use of both sides of ones brain” goal in me.
See below images. First shows the setup l now have in 3ds max. Next was the original render using mental ray. Then better lighting, then came photometric lights placed at a reasonable distance above the curve of the beamer [bmw].
3dmax_car_setup

bmw_light001a_400

bmw_light001_400

bmw_light002_400