Thursday 27 May 2010


I have now purchased plane tickets for Euskal encounters and Assembly. I'll be giving some sort of lecture at Assembly too so come and see me if you are around.

I'll be bringing one demo for each of these parties too.

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Timing in demos

In my previous post, I talked about aligning visuals and music by introducing "delay/speed-up taps" for DeltaT.

It was suggested that an even better solution would be to make all effects as functions of an input value f going from 0 to 1 and then scaling that accordingly. This is actually similar to what I am proposing. But whether it works or not depends on the granularity (and number) of your effects.

A "part" is a long segment (1 minute+) that consists of very many effects. I find it much easier to tune the timing of a part than of the many effects within the part. What I do now is this:

Record the demo as an .avi, then play it back (with the music) inside my engine. This is much faster to load and "scratch" (forwards/backwards). The delay/speed-up taps can then be added and their exact timing copied as is into the original real-time demo.

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Visual/Music synchronization

Ok here is a good idea I had that will make my (and hopefully your) life easier:

Lets assume that your visuals are ahead of the music (in terms of production time). How do you make sure that they fit perfectly? I'm not talking about the easy case of a "beat every other second with a screen flash" but of longer segments that may need to fuse and they are off by a couple of seconds or more.

This is what we do: lets say that the music is slower than the visuals. You introduce a small "delay" factor that is a function of time. So:

DeltaT*=1.0-0.1*sin(max (0,min (1, (time-20)*0.1)));

this will slow down time for the visuals by the integral of this function all over 10 seconds. It is not noticeable. (Yeah I know, it is not really all that framerate independent, maybe you have a better way of doing so?).

Once you digest this piece of information I will continue with the rest.

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Tempest within your brain

My sources suggested at the possibility of a Satori demo at Assembly 2010.

Yes, you read it right. The masters of controlled noise, ambience and hypnotic effects could be there in person. If so I'll pay my respects.

Friday 14 May 2010


Over the past 4 days a dark cloud is hanging above me. The new soundtrack for "iconoclash" (now almost breaking the 4 minute threshold) is my perpetual companion: the music plays in my head wherever I go. Its sorrowful melodies blend inside me when I cycle in the morning, when I shower, when I sleep.

But I'm in no emotional tension anymore. My graphics work is in very good hands. Bring on the rest!

Monday 10 May 2010

Gentlemen; allelujah!

Finally, after months of silence we got a draft of the first 2 minutes of the music for Iconoclash, by courtesy of Leviathan. As I understand it they'll work like that: Leviathan will set the rhythm/chords, then Amusic will add the melody/orchestration. When the first draft is made then they'll add live instruments/vocals/whatever is needed.

The piece so far is very rough, as expected at this phase, but its mood is spot on. I wonder where they'll take it next!

Thursday 6 May 2010

Bad news

Oops... seems like I've lost part of the demo when I foolishly deleted some files yesterday. Serves me right for storing everything in a directory called "temp".

Oh well, it's frustrating but we'll survive. :-(

Monday 3 May 2010

Snooker and demos

Have you ever wondered: if the demoscene was a sport, what sport would it be? I've been thinking about it recently while watching the snooker world championship on BBC.

I've been an avid snooker fan for the past 13 years. I'm fascinated by the complexity of play, the perfection of rules and combination of technical skill, logic and imagination.

There are other parallels between snooker and the demoscene: first of all, unlike most other sports, snooker players/demoscene groups stay around for more than a few years (since mind deteriorates slower than body). It is not uncommon to see players stay in the circuit for 20 or more years! Just like the demoscene, snooker is also very topical, a kind of curiosity only really popular in great Britain and some commonwealth states.

But for me the most obvious connection is this: you either get snooker/demoscene or you don't. People are saying "why waste your time on something that won't make you money" or "what is fascinating about baize and balls" - it is an esoteric society you belong to and it gets better and better the more you get involved with it.