20 Years since Terminal Pacity

Around the age of 15 I started to code after a family friend gave me a BBC Microcomputer Model B that his local army barracks were throwing away. Though primitive, it was a wonderful machine that showed me where my future lay. I learned BBC BASIC and a smattering of 6502 Assembly to gain performance and then moved on to PC. I bought a second-hand 286 PC for something like £20 and migrated to QBasic and x86 Assembly using Gavin Estey’s tutorials.

Replacing Disqus with Github Comments

I’ve been considering removing comments from this blog for a while; mainly because the site doesn’t trigger much discussion and I didn’t like keeping the overhead of Disqus around. After looking into Disqus load-time behaviour I was pretty shocked what I was forcing on people loading the site (although you really should be using the likes of Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin).

   blog

Three Methods to Extract Frustum Points

Getting frustum points in world-space can be useful in a number of scenarios, such as debug visualisation or building a coarse volume around a partition in your frustum. Each method can be used depending what information you have available to you and what you want to avoid recalculating.

   math

Mixed Precision GPU Noise with HLSL

I posted an article a while back, entitled Very Fast, High-Precision SIMD/GPU Gradient Noise, where I outlined a technique for achieving double-resolution noise at speeds close to that when using float arithmetic. The key observation was that floor could be used on cell boundaries to mask off the ranges that require double arithmetic, allowing the bulk of the work to use float arithmetic.

   noise, gpu

A New Host, Server and Site Generator

And we are back! It must be a year now since my old site donw.org went dark for many reasons, including being busy working on my own game. There’s some big changes with this new setup: I own the domain donw.io this time round. I’ve gone through a bunch of domains – donw.org, donw.co.uk, etc. – that I used to pay somebody else to manage for me. That was obviously not the right way of going about this as I no longer own them.

   website

Very Fast, High-Precision SIMD/GPU Gradient Noise

A recently published article by Inigo Quilez on Voronoi Edges highlights the technique of shifting the co-ordinate frame of procedural algorithms to improve precision. This is a really important little trick that I felt was worth reviewing, as it provides huge benefits to world generation at a planetary scale.

   noise, simd, gpu

Skeletal Animation Looping with Autocorrelation

This is a bit of a fun post highlighting how some simple maths can be used to create great visual results. With some basic statistics, we can create looping skeletal animations from an input data set that contains non-exact loops. A typical example is a motion capture sampled run animation: This is derived from the CMU Graphics Lab Motion Capture Database, which has been converted to BVH files by Bruce Hahne.

   animation

Quaternions and Dual Quaternion Skinning

For some reason I like quaternions. I fell in love with complex numbers back in school when I found out that they made more sense than real numbers. While it might not exactly be helpful to visualise quaternions as an extension of complex numbers, there’s something in there that just grabs at me. Unlike previous posts, I’ve managed to update to D3D11 so I’ll be discussing implementation details in terms of HLSL (Shader Model 4, as I also have a D3D10 dev machine).

   quaternions, animation