Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Decreased Postural Stability

Posted in Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 by Dan Amerson

It just never ends. I’m on the record that I don’t think 3D is a particularly good idea. I’ve previously remarked about the goofy glasses. Imagine my lack of surprise when I saw over on CNN that Samsung had issued this warning:

  • Viewing 3D television may also cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain and decreased postural stability.  It is recommended that users take frequent breaks to lessen the potential of these effects. If your eyes show signs of fatigue or dryness or if you have any of the above symptoms, immediately discontinue use of this device and do not resume using it for at least thirty minutes after the symptoms have subsided.

You can find the full PDF here.

My favorite is “decreased postural stability” a.k.a. you will lose some of your sense of balance. It’s not a lie. I had the same reaction at NVISION a few years ago after playing an FPS for about 15 minutes. I tried to step onto an escalator and almost missed. Seriously, this isn’t a place where we can trick the brain safely. It’s a neat effect to see once a year in a cool movie, but you don’t want it on a daily basis in your house.

Not surprisingly, the PDF also recommends not putting said TV near stairs. dba


GDC Talk

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 24, 2010 by Dan Amerson

I gave a short talk at GDC in NVIDIA’s booth on issues with triangle tessellation that we encountered developing a demo here at Emergent. There’s a streaming audio version up here. Be forewarned that I was yelling into the microphone much of the time because the guys from were across the aisle having a full on jam session most of the show to promote their new six string peripheral/guitar game. In any case, it’s worth a listen.

I’ll be presenting a longer version of the talk at the Triangle Game Conference next month with Jeremiah Washburn representing the art side of the equation. If you’re in town, you should come check it out.  We’re collaborating with AMD/ATI in the interim to make sure the material grows a bit more, and I’m pretty excited about where things are going.


Middleware Meetup Details

Posted in Uncategorized on March 4, 2010 by Dan Amerson

We definitely have critical mass in the comments thread for the original post on the Middleware Meetup to warrant a get together. Everyone seems good with The Thirsty Bear, so I say we leave it there for now. The only wrinkle that I know of so far is that there’s an event at the Bear from 6:30 to 8:30. That shouldn’t be a problem since we’re talking about starting up at 9. I’ll check with the bar when I’m on the ground Tuesday.


  • Location: The Thirsty Bear
  • Address: 661 Howard St., San Francisco, CA
  • Date: Wedneday, March 10, 2010
  • Time: 9PM until …
  • Goal: Meet old friends. Tout your own awesomeness for the year.Share stories.
  • Event: Drink beer at cash Bar (I’m not made of money. 😉 )

If there’s a problem, check here the night of the event, and I’ll post any changes. If you don’t have email and web on the go, feel free to call or text me that evening. (919)272-3073.


SIGGRAPH 09: Day 1/2

Posted in Uncategorized, Video Game Development with tags on August 4, 2009 by Dan Amerson

Let’s review the day:

  • Wake up in Miami because your flights were late on Sunday.
  • Wait on standby hoping you get lucky to get to New Orleans.
  • Miss Anton Kaplanyan’s talk on real time GI that you really wanted to see.
  • Get lucky on a standby flight and at least catch the last half of the day.

Yes, that was my day. I was blessed with a delay at RDU last night that landed me in Miami 4 minutes after my connection to New Orleans left. I did, however, get lucky on standy today. My confirmed flight landed me around 5:30PM CDT.

Once I hit the ground, I swept into Advanced in Real-Time Rendering in 3D Graphics and Games. The afternoon sessions were pretty good. They started with a presentation from Jeremy Moore and David Jeffries from Black Rock Studios who worked on PURE and the upcoming Split/Second. The latter half of the presentation on Split/Second had some interesting tidbits about deferred rendering. However, I was much more interested in the foliage rendering discussion from PURE. There was a very interesting technique presented which rendered color and alpha to separate buffers with a subsequent combine pass. The technique used alpha testing for internal aliasing but relied on a more sophisticated shader to reduce aliasing at foliage edges when combining. I’m really looking forward to the course notes on this since they have more detail on the alpha blending operations that were used. It’s a combination of blending and testing that looked somewhat order independent in the talk.

Jason Yang presented a number of techniques from AMD. I really wish I could dive into them, but he presented a ton of information. I touched base with him after the talk to get some of the papers via email. There was a ton of technical information.

The session closed, for me anyway, with a discussion from Alex Evans of Media Molecule on the rendering decisions in Little Big Planet. I’d summarize them thusly:

  • Make development decisions based on your teams constraints, limitations, and prejudices.
  • Mix a number of techniques into a rendering pipeline that works for you and gives you the look you desire.
  • We’re past DX9, so don’t be afraid to use techniques that don’t fit precisely in the VS/PS model.

Overall, Alex’s talk was great. There were a number of great technical nuggets even when he said we shouldn’t implement them.

I finished the night up having a bite with Mark from NVIDIA, and that was a good time. We had a great creole dinner plus Hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s which is why this post may or may not have made sense. 🙂

And that’s the way it is. More good stuff tomorrow. dba.