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Lux Aeterna Luceat Eis





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April 2006


Breakpoint 2006

Amiga Demo compo

ranking 2nd



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User Comments (86)

comment by rloaderro on 20 April 2006

I'll just write down all the negative comments here before anyone else gets to it.

- cameras are too slow and stop once in a while
- nothing happens in the credits except fading
- nothing happens in the blue pixelled picture
- the texturemapper is not the most precise ever
- too much focus on the aquaduct (which was supposed to be an inbetweener part)
- no showoff of the great statue models except their heads
- the golden techno wings were shown from bogus camera angles and do not appear on every computer (strange).
- slow in some parts
- the particles in the second to last screenshot clip against the nearplane. should fade out instead.
- the music stops too much which was not the original intention.
- the heart effect broke just before deadline (gaps in the heart), Also it looks a bit crappy now.
- planets do not usually rotate perfectly axis aligned with the screen border.
- texture coordinates should align perfectly with pixels in the textures.
- the music is mono in 22kHz while it can be stereo in 28kHz
- Not all amigas have tonnes of memory.
- The organisation of the parts is still too rigid compared to what we wanted. It feels like the usual part by part linear demostyle now.
- there should be transitions between the parts.

what is nice
- Best ephidrena graphics ever
- Normalmapping/environment bumpmapping for the first time on amiga (similiar technique as in Far Cry or Doom3 on PC). In face scenes.
- Fading pixels near the camera to black is cool
- Coloured fog is cool
- Glow is nice
- 14 bit streamed music playback is cool
- Sound dithering and noise shaping to reduce equalizing noise is cool.
- new script engine is cool
- 512x512 textures are cool
- Normalmapped planets with halos, antialiasing and adjustable texturedetail level is cool.
- Original orchestra music with high degree of dissonant frequencies is cool and scary.. We actually told Zixaq to delete all parts of the tune that sounded pleasing. :)

comment by noname on 20 April 2006

okidoki, everything has been said already :)
well, just give us a final version then.

i liked the quality feeling but disliked the mapper. i also think you should edit the timeline and cameras for good as the demo is a bit boring as it is now.

comment by mailman on 20 April 2006

Loaderror said it all :) I like those leaves and "eye ghosts" (or whatever this is). Nice, "Perihelion-style" are graphics and modelled girl.

comment by z5 on 20 April 2006

It's too early to comment on the demo so let's just begin with saying that it was really fantastic when i saw the name Ephidrena appearing on the big screen (i was watching the live stream) as Loaderror told that there would be no Ephidrena prods this year. I really didn't expect it :)

Now for some questions: what is that scripting engine all about and who is How? I saw it working in the background extracting all sorts of things... Does it allow making demos faster? Second question: what was the role of Nerve in this demo? And last question: are you working on a final version yet or planning to release one within the next 6 years? :) Honestly, i think i wouldn't exaggerate saying that almost everybody really really wants a final version, judging by comments.

comment by z5 on 20 April 2006

And another question from the non-technical: Winden mentions HDR. Is that the shiny effect on the statues? And is that the effect which is only to be seen in the newest pc games? And if yes, how come you can do that on the Amiga? Also, is that HDR thngie rendered by for example Lightwave and then exported or is this part of the 3D-engine? Man... i suck at this

comment by Vanquish on 20 April 2006

High Dynamic Range. In short, it's a new rendering technique for generating more realistic exposure levels - from really bright highlights to really deep shadows. Or something along those lines!

Here's a link to the video: ftp://untergrund.net/users/hellfire/ephidrena-lux_aetherna_lucia_eis.avi

comment by xeron on 20 April 2006

Out of interest, why does it LHA archive stuff while running?!

comment by winden on 21 April 2006

z5, HDR is done in realtime just like on "big" machines, basically:

1. you draw your stuff normally
2. after all drawing, you start checking all pixels for the very-bright ones
3. when there is very-bright pixels, you render an "halo" effect centered on it with translucence into the scene, so that it gets brigthened

checking the brigthness and drawing the halos can be really optimised if done with care (as it was both on lux aetherna lucia eis and requiem), so don't get too surprised if it's futher optimised on later demos as it always happens...

about this demo, what can I more can I say that is not done yet, don't know right now...

comment by Kaminari on 21 April 2006

Ephidrena gave me the chills with this killer demo. Great design and atmosphere, superb camera work. Why should every demo be systematically fast-paced when you can achieve more dramatic effects with slow pannings? The flyby over the landscape is a wonderful example of such an effect. Lux Aetherna reminded me of 2001 and its Zarathustra scene. What a stunner. I want more of it!

comment by rloaderro on 21 April 2006

@xeron : the lha statements are just the result of the "write packaging script" feature. There are always tonnes of files in use and even more that are not, so hunting down the ones actually in use in the demo is boring.. Therefore the disk routines outputs what they are trying to load/save. If you write the demo output to a file, you get a script which packages all the accessed files from the demo.

@winden , I think calling this HDR is not quite right as the colours in these scenes do not have more range than usual 24bit colours. What is right is that we do some kind of bloom effect which is what you described. Our bloom/glow effect is based on a coarse 16x16 grid where the light intensity is sampled per grid point. This grid is then added to the screen in usual gridexpander fashion. This is probably the poorest glow effect ever, but it works for some scenes and some palettes. I would love it if someone managed to make something a lot better that hides the gridexpander artefacts.

@z5 the glow effect is done in the demo and isn't exported from lightwave.
How did the code that reads the script2.eph and checks that it is syntactically (is this a real word?) correct. Nerve has done the sound code. The sound is 22kHz Microsoft ADPCM which plays back at 14bit quality. To further enhance the output quality some algorithms called sound dithering and noise shaping is used. Sound dithering masks out equalizing noise (it is a bit like error diffusion I think) while noise shaping moves noise from the audible frequency range to a less audible range. There will be a final version. If someone would like to make their own final version they may dive into script3.eph and edit it so that the cameras and fades fit better :)

comment by z5 on 21 April 2006


Any timeframe (roughly) of when you plan to do the final version?

comment by Vanquish on 21 April 2006

I don't post very often (probably much to the annoyance of z5... sorry mate!) but this one is so unique I feel compelled to type.

As far as demos go, it's not actually that entertaining - rather more compelling. The pacing and mood reminds me very much of the film Solaris with George Clooney (not the original russian version) with it's haunting music and slow camera moves of the planet.

Technically it is extremely impressive but as a piece of entertainment, it will be lost on all but the most technical of us. All in all, a very brave and bold release. 4/5

comment by heetach on 22 April 2006

I guess we are all too busy to do anything about it before summer, although the amount of work it takes shouldn't be too discouraging. Without making any promises, I think a re-release at solskogen (late july) would be a reasonable suggestion. (Speaking for myself, I am very eager to get the final version out.)

comment by z5 on 22 April 2006


Well.... that is a long time to wait... meaning: i do hope you won't loose interest in it meanwhile. It really deserves a final version and it's really worth it. I can relate to all points Loaderror mentioned, both negative and positive. Also, one thing i noticed: there is a picture of the "buildings" (similar to the ones in the credits but zoomed) which appears twice but nothing really happens with it. It just fades in and out.

On a separate note, the 3 "pictures" in the demo are really fantastic. In fact, the two scenes with pictures + effects (the leaves and the "particles") are beautiful and very atmospheric (with the sound).

comment by heetach on 22 April 2006

the part with the buildings is what loaderror referred to as "the golden techno wings" that are "shown from bogus camera angles and do not appear on every computer (strange)." As for releasing the final, I would prefer to just do it straight away, but there are just too many other things that need to be taken care of. Anyway, I don't think motivation for finishing it will be a problem this time :). Thanks for the comment on the pics btw.

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A.D.A. Amiga Demoscene Archive, Version 3.0