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Demos Amiga Demoscene Archive Forum / Demos / TBL - Starstruck
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Alkaron
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#1 - Posted: 8 Aug 2006 09:18
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Here is a link to a version that works on a Native Amiga68060..

http://www.exotica.org.uk/~buzz/amigascne/TBL-Star struck-PartyVersion.zip

if this link wont work search scene.org, it might be there too later on..

IF you have not heard about TBLs Starstruk, let me just say that it was the winner of Assembly 2006 and it REALLY kicked some butts, and it competed with 13 other demos (PC only). The best demo ever made on a classic Amiga, still cant belive what you can achive with a 92ish computer.. Fun that M$ was the main sponsor of that event :D
z5_
Member
#2 - Posted: 8 Aug 2006 12:49
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Before i take the trouble to put it on my Miggy, does this demo need 64Mb Memory (in which case it's bad luck for me as i only have 32Mb)?

Other than that, you just have to love the way TBL did this. I mean, after Requiem, everyone thought that it would be their last demo on Amiga. But what did they do? Just enter a competition amongst 13 pc demos, kick harder than ever before and... win. That is quite brilliant if you ask me :o)

It shows once again that demomaking is a real passion for those TBL'ers and that they take pride in what they do.

Now who is up for a challenge next year...
xeron
Member
#3 - Posted: 8 Aug 2006 13:03
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i have 48Mb in my A1200, and it needed to allocate a 50Mb chunk... so so I guess 64Mb is required.
sp_
Member
#4 - Posted: 8 Aug 2006 13:04
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I've watched the avi several times and I love it..

The Design, music, sync and feelling is nice

The critics:

The woman scene is a bit borring.
Raytraced anims is not my favorite. Demos should be realtime.
z5_
Member
#5 - Posted: 8 Aug 2006 13:21
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Raytraced anims is not my favorite. Demos should be realtime.

Ok, can somebody explain if (and if yes why) this is a masterpiece in terms of breaking records or doing the impossible on limited hardware.

When i see such a demo, i always think: graphics people make anims in Lightwave or whatever and these are then played with a Lightwave player.

Then again, the 4 coders behind this will probably kill me for thinking (and saying out loud) this, but this comes from the fact that i don't know shit about coding. So it makes me curious. Please explain the technical achievements :o)
xeron
Member
#6 - Posted: 8 Aug 2006 13:39
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Its not like the anims are purely animations; they are animated textures on a realtime skybox, which is in itself pretty cool.

I don't think it stops the demo ruling ;-)
winden
Member
#7 - Posted: 8 Aug 2006 15:58
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jsut ran this on 1260 live, so i can comment... tech-wise, the improvements are mostly on the shaders: they managed to up the complexity (such as the mecha-fish with the seafloor having both an area light and shadow) while keeping the speed very good (i estimate between 3 and 4 frames / refresh, which is around 20fps in newschool terms). Most of these were already hinted at on Requiem anyways. A big point is that none of the parts are running in half-height size :)

Oh and about the background anims, well... that's one of the things I always liked about oxygene demos (vision and control for example), that they tried to mix a bit realtime with generated backgrounds to spice up a bit some parts. It's not like they aren't recognizable, what do you think?
Toffeeman
Member
#8 - Posted: 8 Aug 2006 21:43
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It's a shame no one makes any hardware hack demos any more on Amiga. It's all c2p stuff which is more PC than Amiga. They still do this sort of thing on C64 so it's a shame the Copper and Blitter don't get programmed anymore :0(

Still it was so good to see the Amiga winning the Assembly with this awesome 68k optimizing demo :0) I loved the credits part and the shadows on the landscape were cool but I would prefer to see it on a real Amiga. Do they run it on a real Amiga at the competition ?

I loved the music on the 1995 demo I've been listening to that ever since the weekend :0)
dalton
Member
#9 - Posted: 9 Aug 2006 01:10
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animated textures in a skybox? i don't really get it. what's the advantage compared to just animating the entire screen?

i guess if you animated the entire background screen you could just aswell put the object in the animation to make it look better, but it would all be pointless!

_very_ solid demo, i guess this is what you call revenge =) hope to see it on real hardware soon.
klipper
Member
#10 - Posted: 9 Aug 2006 02:18
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loved every frame of this, a true masterpiece! I know the version floating about right now is the Party Version and I really hope TBL spend a little time tweaking the hell out of this for the final release. Would be a crime to not make the final as perfect as they possibly can I think.
rload
Member
#11 - Posted: 9 Aug 2006 10:40
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@dalton. .. if you animate the skybox you can still look around freely while a pure animation limits the camera path a lot more.. I think its a great trick, not as if its any less legal than what games nowadays do.

The framerate was good on normal amiga.. As for precalc.. hmm. theres a 35 meg datafile :) I bet it contains a lot of animated skyboxes which take up 6*256*256 bytes per frame I guess. There is more things too.

Kalms told me he tried out 3 new rasterizing techniques for this demo, but none were as fast as the traditional tbl rasterizer :(.
Kalms
Member
#12 - Posted: 9 Aug 2006 10:46
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dalton: animating the skyboxes takes less diskspace. Coding routines for a non-interactive demo is just a special case of procedural video-compression anyway. The particular blend of programming+art that we do when developing demos give us strengths and weaknesses in different areas: we can generate sharp, high-quality video at up to 50fps but exactly *what* we're able to show is determined by the technology that the programmers have developed.

The things that we can comfortably show using our routines is just a narrow spectrum of what can be shown using a video stream, and it is not at all intuitive what is easy to show and what is not. This is one of the things that give demos their distinct style that differentiates them from regular prerendered video clips.

When making a part for a demo, there's always the tradeoff -- how much diskspace, memory and CPU are you willing to sacrifice to get a certain desired image quality?
rload
Member
#13 - Posted: 9 Aug 2006 10:46
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as for the hardware hacks.. I think most people don't like the effects that only rotate some plane. People are mostly impressed with graphics and then they attribute the great graphics to the coder. Good graphics -> Good coder. Still there are some great ideas in demos usually (animated skybox). I like the subtractive alpha stuff in the credits part.. The way the text and graphics fade in looks great (kind of soft-drawing). Also the shadows in the mountain scene puzzles me a bit. That might be some of the same stuff as in the credits (only applied differently) or it might be an animated bitmask.
noname
Member
#14 - Posted: 9 Aug 2006 10:48
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toffeeman: there is no need to be sad about evolution. it just doesn't make sense anymore to use specialized hardware that performs slower than if you just use the available 68040 or 68060 processor. but if you want to turn back the time a little bit, you can check the assembly oldskool demo by rno from this year ("fruitcake") or demos like "major release" from da jormas.

dalton: with skyboxes, the camera can be rotated.
z5_
Member
#15 - Posted: 9 Aug 2006 12:15
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To the other groups:

You were all smashed into pieces (literally this time) in the greetings and this demo is pure arrogance on TBL's part.

So who's going to take revenge and kick TBL in the next compo's.

(hell, everything is good to motivate the Amiga scene) :o)

Seriously, can we expect a 32Mb version or is this near impossible?
And what is the principle behind a skybox?
sp_
Member
#16 - Posted: 9 Aug 2006 13:06 - Edited
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loadr:

Seems like they've ony animated 5 faces in the cube since the camera is not turning around 360 degrees.
It saves some space but I think you loose the "realtime feeling". Another problem with the animated txtures is that they look a bit blocky. Probobly because of the compression teqnique..

(I've only watched the avi so might be wrong)

z5:

When you go and buy a house on the internet you've probobly seen ads where its possible to watch a room from 360 degree angle.

If the camera isn't moving only turning. you can generate a txturemap box of around the camera posion. so basicly you only need 6 txtures to be able to look around in all angles.
Kalms
Member
#17 - Posted: 9 Aug 2006 13:25
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skybox principle:

Build a complex 3D scene.
Decide where you want the camera to be placed inside the scene.
Render out 6 images of the scene -- camera looking up, down, north, south, east, west.

Build a new scene, which just contains a cube.
Put the 6 images you previously rendered out onto the sides of the cube.
Place the camera in the center of the cube.

Now, rendering a camera view in the first scene gives the same result as rendering the same view in the second scene. You can rotate the camera, but not move it.

So you can have arbitrarily complex surroundings just by rendering a perspective-corrected texturemapped cube. That's quite useful for object shows...

32MB version:
Probably not. We don't want to put any loading breaks into the demo and we would probably need to squeeze the datafile down to about 20MB for that to be reasonable. Chopping the data to half without affecting the visual/aural quality is a lot of work, and very low priority.
xeron
Member
#18 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006 12:26
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Would you consider a 48Mb version for strange people like me with 32Mb on the Blizzard and 16Mb on the SCSI? ;-)

z5:

On a PC or Mac with quicktime, check out this example of a skybox:

http://www.jimisweet.com/qtvr/2005/02/10D_364_6415 .mov

While the textures are loading, you can see the "walls" of the cube (click and drag in the display to pan the camera). Once the textures are loaded, you can see the park from any angle as if you were there. The whole scene is still just that cube, so with as few as 6 textures, you can make a very realistic scene that can be viewed from any angle; you just can't move within it.

Now imagine that the textures of the skybox are animated; you can view the animation freely from any angle. The backgrounds to the woman at the beginning of starstruck, and the yellow robot are animated textures on a skybox (the actual woman and the robot are realtime rendered on top).
xeron
Member
#19 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006 12:32
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z5:

Also, the tunnel part in Silkcut:

http://ada.untergrund.net/showdemo.php?demoid=356

(images 19 - 22) is a less subtle use of skyboxes... in silkcut it was pretty clear that a skybox was being used (ignoring that the tunnel was too detailed to be rendered realtime on Amiga) because the framerate of the tunnel whooshing past you is noticably lower than the framerate of the camera panning within it.
z5_
Member
#20 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006 12:54
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@xeron:

Fascinating :) Thanks for the explanation.
dalton
Member
#21 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006 14:02
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it makes perfect sence for some kind of interactive application... rendering 6x256x256 animations as textures inside a cube is a cool technical feat. But if you just reflect on effective use of cpu and storage, a simple animation of the entire screen (1x320x256) should be both faster and less space consuming. (considering that there's no such thing as free camera movement in a demo)

I guess this turns out into a philsophical question about what demos really are about. I'm not flaming here, I think the skyboxes are really cool too =)
xeron
Member
#22 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006 14:11
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@dalton

At least animated skybox make creating the demo easier. With pure animated backdrops you have to re-render them every time you change the camera motion. At least with the skybox, you set the animation going and can make the camera do whatever you want... it also makes it a lot easier to match the position of the realtime 3D with the animation while the camera moves.
Kalms
Member
#23 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006 15:35
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dalton:

the spider has 10 frames of animation x 5 faces of the cube being animated, for a total of 10 * 5 * (256x256) pixels = 3.27MB of raw data, regardless of how long the scene is being shown.

I don't know how long the spider is shown offhand, but it is at least for 20 seconds. Let's say that we have at least 10fps animation. An ordinary per-frame animation would take:
10 * 20 * (320x200) = 12.8MB of raw data for 20 seconds of video.

So, in our case, a straight animation would be more space consuming than a skybox animation. CPU consumption is noticeable, but manageable (rendering takes a bit less than a frame).
z5_
Member
#24 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006 18:35
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By the way, both Starstruck and Fruitcake are now added to the website :o)

(i went a bit overboard concerning the Starstruck screens: 55 screenshots... they all looked so damn sexy that i had a hard time eliminating which ones not to use :o))
Cefa
Member
#25 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006 19:53
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Congrats to you kalms and all the other guys in TBL freaking great demo. The 3d models are great, Tudor sure is good at making the most out of the low poly objects. And the song by Olof is really very good. Any way of uploading the full 44Khz version somewhere??

Cheers
z5_
Member
#26 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006 19:59 - Edited
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And the song by Olof is really very good. Any way of uploading the full 44Khz version somewhere??

ftp://mirror.support.nl/pub/tbl/download/audio/Sta rstruck.mp3
Cefa
Member
#27 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006 20:15
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Isn't that full version before it got its freq lowered (amiga can't play 44khz streams) and compressed??
Kalms
Member
#28 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006 21:09
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The linked file is the original 44kHz version. For the demo we converted it to a 22030Hz 16bit mono stream which we then compressed using an ADPCM-like codec.
kufa
Member
#29 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006 22:59
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Quick question for you kalms: i m currently investigating which codec to implement / use, did you make your own ADCPM codec or have a good suggestion?

PS: my gf is going back to liu next week, so i ll be around too. We should go for a drink there or in sthlm :)
dalton
Member
#30 - Posted: 11 Aug 2006 00:48
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@kalms

i think i understand it now... it didn't cross my mind that you loop the animations inside the skybox. it's now obvious to me that the skybox is the best way to do those scenes =)
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A.D.A. Amiga Demoscene Archive, Version 3.0