1. Background

Screenshot from an early version of a.D.D.i.c.t.When the team was founded, BoyC already had experience with writing an introtool, and the reincarnation of the first a.D.D.i.c.t. (advanced Digital Dynamite intro creation tool) was already half done. The first a.D.D.i.c.t. was written in tmt pascal, after mekka & symposium 2002's dissappointing 17th place. Zoom already had a look at the old version in the summer of 2002, but apart from a weird scene he made there was no cooperation between iNQ and DD. (And that scene was never used anywhere either) The much advanced C reincarnation of the tool had a new and more comfortable GUI, which made it more usable.

2. Preparations

Having a half done introtool made the best shot of the team clear: a 64k intro. The decision was not hard to make, although it raised new expectations on the code side: namely some sound generating package, which was written by Gargaj, and of course the rapid development of the introtool to a usable level.

3. The Concept

The new a.D.D.i.c.t - showing the first scene.The size of the project was determined by BoyC, because he was the one who had any idea of the limitations of the tool. The decision fell to try and show as much of the tools capabilities as possible, thus creating a product with much varied content. The content was arranged intro three main parts, a non figurative abstract design part, a 3d flyby part, and a fast, dynamic tech part. Later came the ideas of having the group's logo before the show, and the credits on The first version of the 'gears' scene.the very end, mostly to provide a big surprise to the hungarian sceners on the party. There were many ideas, one of them was from the beginning on a gear scene, which later took form in a rebuild of the machine from the "13 ghosts" movie. The first ideas for the end of the third part were a museum corridor, with screenshots from the intro as paintings on the wall, and the Conspiracy logo in a vitrin at the end of it. Later in a conversation about Planet Potion, there was talk about the reaction of the polish sceners at m&s2k2, how they were waving the polish flag. This gave the idea to have the hungarian flag as the last scene, before the credits, aiming more to surprise the hungarian attenders of the party. This, of course was not accepted to be done in a poor sine-wave like style, as it would have ruined the feeling of monumentality after the three parts of the intro. Thus the only real effect in the intro was chosen to be written: realtime cloth simulation.

4. The Flag

Early concept shot of the flag scene.The Flag effect was the first to be ready, although by the most members it was welcome by the most scepticism. BoyC, writer of the effect is not too good in physics, so they really had a point. Writing of the effect took only an afternoon, which resulted in an executable with an ini file, where one could set every environment variable of the flag. The resolution of the grid, gravity, wind, etc. Zoom spent a whole weekend playing with it, until he finally came up with a somewhat enjoyable configuration. Seeing the waving flag in just this short time gave new power to the team, and the production went on.

5. Music

The main concept behind the sound-generation package was a basic sample generator which is able to create a variety of musical samples, from which the musician is able to create a tracked module. After that, by removing the samples, the coders could create a very small executable, containing only the patterns and module-data, the synthesizer, and the synthesizer parameters, saved by the tool. The sample generator tool wasn't really complicated, it used a very trivial way of generating samples: taking some basic waveforms (such as sine or square), filtering them (a 12db one-pole one-zero state-variable filter and a resonant lowpass was used), and applying a simple distortion. Most of the parameters were either alterable by hand, or automatically interpolatable by an envelope generator. The sample's frequency was also adjustable using a small sequencer tool, which was able to do little melodies or basslines with a small 16-note pattern, using a separate envelope for the notes.

6. Texture Generation

The texture generator.Planet texture.The texture generator part of the tool is basically a 1:1 implementation of the Aardbei (www.aardbei.com) texture generator, done by reverse engineering the fileformat, rewriting the effects based on Ile's Hugi #18 article (www.hugi.de), and inserting it's gui into the a.D.D.i.c.t. If you're looking for tips on texture generation, we recommend you to read Ile's article, combined with the sources included in the Hugi bonus pack it has everything one needs to write a good first texture generator.

7. Modelling

The modeller tool was basically written to easily support a custom _small_ 3D fileformat. There are no vertices or polygons stored in the format, only basic generator data to generate primitives, and their modelview matrix. Basic primitives were only topped by displacement maps. As Zoom became familiar Part 3 - The 'Outer Limits'.with the tool, the quality of his scenes started to improve. Many early scenes were thrown out, because of two things: they didn't fit the concept, or they were not good enough. The first adaptation of the gear scene suffered too, when the csg functions had to be thrown out of the introengine, mostly because they were large, buggy and slow. Mesh smoothing had to be thrown out too. There were three concept videos for the last part, each from movies: The first one was one of the beginnings of The new 'gears' scene in the modeller.the famous Outer Limits series, this had a dynamic hyperjump style start which was only waiting to be done in the intro. The second one was the gear scene from 13 ghosts, and the third one was a cut from a part of the Stargate-SG1 series, featuring some replicators, anarchid like robots made from blocks. This last concept was skipped because of the lacking abilities of the keyframer to easily animate such characters. The first scene to be ready was the landscape with the flagpole. The very first screenshot amazed the group very much, it looked like if it Early concept shot of the 'Space' scene.was some kind of concept art made by Zoom in photoshop... And when it turned out that it was already a screenshot from the tool, we couldn't believe it. This happened later too once, with the first picture of the planet. It really looked like if it was some scanned illustration of the Artreides home world from a Dune book. 2nd scene to be done was the pipe corridor, which immediately took Gargaj's attention, and as soon as the keyframer was that far, he started making wild camera movements.

The 'Glowing-sphere-thingy-flyby' scene. The greetings.
The 'Flower' scene from part 1. Pipeline galore.
The plain textured scene.
Simple distance fog added.
Clouds added.
Hovercars added.
A transparent layer with a subtractive blend to create the illusion of reflections.
Final composite with post effects.

8. Putting it all together

Feedback effect.Rendering to texture.The keyframer.The keyframer was a quick hack as time was getting short, and the group needed to have an indication of the size, so BoyC started working on the intro editor timeliner tool asap. It was working by the second meeting, two weeks before the party, but a crucial element had to be written on the meet: the render to texture event for the timeliner, which allowed the usage of feedback , and Mrc's 2d grid effects. Also the saving of the keyframes in the editor format was done at the meeting, and as soon as that was done, the timing could start.

Last thing to be written was the moving of the gears, as the keyframer couldn't handle such stuff yet. Some extra last small fixes, and the party version was ready.

Some statistics:

The final version contains 131294 triangles and 82441 vertices in 490 objects, 22 of which are distorted in some ways, in 47 scenes (47 scenes in the editor, some of these were used together, rendered in multiple passes). The largest scene is the gear scene, containing 36508 polygons. For timing and synching, 416 events were used, 26 of which were used to render to a texture, these 26 events covering 75% of the timeline (Thus 75% of the rendered scenes was postprocessed with some 2d filter). For the visual improvement of the objects, 53 textures were generated, each with 4 layers (atg stye, this sums up to 39.75 megabytes of raw image data), but only 100 of these 212 layers were used as materials, the rest was used as buffer during the texture generation process. All the graphical data (the scenes, the textures, the animation and the timing events) are contained in a 57035 byte long projectfile, which occupies ~22k in the final compressed executable. 41 samples were generated for the music, with the total length of 4165666 bytes. The music itself is 9:14 long, which would take about 100 megabytes in a 44.1khz 16bit stereo wave file. The music, the player and the sample generator take 18k in the executable (stub included), and the engine to do the rest (generate textures and 3d geometry, render, animate, handle the window, and play back the project file) is 24k with the flag effect included.

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