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Welcome back to the second sneak peek into our adventures with xenko. Together with MLF we've been busy patching the first project done entirely with vl and xenko: Ocean of Air. So far the combination works superbé, and you can experience that for yourself until the 20th of January, if you are in the London area. Alongside the project we explored the xenko code base and now that it's live, we can give you some more insights into our research.
In the last blog post we used predefined entities to set up a little scene graph. This time we will dig a little bit deeper.
Having primitive objects like Box, Sphere, Plane etc. is nice for casual patching and quickly visualizing something. But you will need more sophisticated objects for the final output of your project. What you want to do is designing your own objects that are specific to your use case.
Luckily, game engines have quite similar requirements and came up with a good solution, and they call it entity/component/system, short ECS, which is also the latest hype in Unity. Xenko has a good documentation page if you want to go into detail. But for now let's stay on topic and keep two things in mind:
We found two appealing ways to create custom entities that can also be combined with each other in any way that suits you. You can either patch them or design them in xenko's game studio using their prefab workflow. Here is a simple example for both cases:
Let's look inside the BoxEntity from the last blog post:
As you can see, it adds a BoxComponent to the entity on Create (white) and exposes parameters like Color, Transformation, Enabled etc. as input pins on Update (gray). This is more or less an arbitrary choice of how the BoxEntity is designed and it will probably change a bit before it becomes official. The patch is also an example of how vl's process nodes work nicely together with the entity component model. Each instance of an entity or a component can be represented by a process node and connected with each other in an understandable way.
In the patch we saw the EmptyEntity node, which is a general entity object that contains nothing more than a TransformComponent, hence the transform input pin. To make something useful with it, we add more components (e.g. model, material, audio, physics etc.) to it. There are many of them and you can combine them as it suits your use case. The big advantage here is, that the components are able to interact with each other via the common parent entity and that the scene graph system automatically processes them in an optimized way. This is where it gets interesting!
Let's say we want the box from the patch above to emit a sound from its current position. In order to do that we only have to add a SpatialAudioComponent to the same entity as the box component:
Since the SpatialAudioComponent and the BoxComponent have a common parent entity they will share the same transformation. Also, if an entity has child entities, the children get transformed by the parent. We could use that feature to add an AxisEntity to our custom entity:
Again, there is no need to connect the input transformation to the AxisEntity since it gets added as a child to the main entity and gets transformed automatically.
Here is what a little scene could look like:
Let's add a second one and let them rotate in the scene to hear the spatial audio effect. Aaaaaand action! (works best with headphones):
There is also a super easy way to design custom entities in xenko's game studio and use them in your patch. Suppose we have a 3d model with animation and skinning imported and edited in game studio. All we have to do now is to create a prefab from it and give it a meaningful name:
Learn more about xenko's prefab workflow here. Once we have that it's as simple as this to use it in your scene:
And finally we will start the walk animation:
Starting the animation is also patched in this case, but let's save that one for another post.
The entity component model of xenko works very well together with vl's process node feature. VL's automatic recompile and instant stateful hot reload allows to dynamically combine and configure entities and the scene graph in real-time while the application is running. You can combine different workflows with each other, simple primitives, custom patched entities or imported prefabs. There is no right or wrong, just build up the scene in a way that suits your way of thinking and the requirements of your project.
We still have only scratched the surface here, there is much more to come.
Who id144, dvj_jenda
When Sat, Dec 15th 2018 - 10:30 until Sun, Dec 16th 2018 - 17:30
Where National Gallery Prague – Trade Fair Palace, Dukelských hrdinů 47, 170 00 Praha 7- Holešovice, Czech Republic
<WORKSHOP> #8 w/ Andrej Boleslavský
➖ Mixing Reality using VVVV toolkit ➖
Workshop is intended for artist, designers and developers to get started with VVVV, the platform for visual programming used for real-time motion graphics, video, audio and ever VR.
Andrej will introduce the basic concepts of the VVVV; an environment designed for creative use, which allows fast and flexible runtime editing without syntax errors. If you never tried programming - here called patching - you will love VVVV. If you tried programming before, you will love it even more.
➖ Instruction for participants:
Andrej Boleslavský (SK/CZ) is an independent digital artist purposing technology in the fields of new media art, virtual reality, light installations and physical computing. His work also maintains a strong fascination with the entanglement of nature and technology. In his collaborative works with digital artist Mária Júdová he explores the boundary between physical and digital. He has developed many interactive installations and lectured on open source and creative coding tools. In addition to his work he is actively involved as a technologist for other artists and interaction designers. VVVV is his tool of choice since 2008.
➖15. - 16. 12. 2018
10.30 - 17.30 – Veletržní palác, National Gallery in Prague - Dukelských hrdinů 47
➖ entry: 1700,- / 1300,- students
➖ reserve your seat at email@example.com
➖ capacity is limited
➖ please note: workshops will be held in English
In his short artist talk Andrej Boleslavský is going to tell us more about his creative work as an independent digital artist purposing technology in the fields of new media art, virtual reality, light installations and physical computing. He will lead us through his latest projects he's been working on as well.
15. 12. - 11:00 - 11:45 – Veletržní palác, National Gallery in Prague
// FREE ENTRY
MORE --> INPUT #8 Artist talk w/ Andrej Boleslavský
// An intensive series of new media workshops and artist talks presented by notable artists focused on the intersection of art & technology.
// Experience the artists through different perspectives as lecturers, workshop leaders and their new media practice (performance, installation, video art)
// more info on www.lunchmeat.cz/input
// organised by Lunchmeat z.s
// co-funded by Ministry of Culture, Czech Republic
// supported by Prague College
For TodaysArt festival of 2018 Carolien teamed up with RNDR to create projections on De Volharding.
De Volharding Building (1927–28) is a design by Jan Buijs and is De Stijl or cubistic in conception, influenced also by Russian Constructivism and clad entirely in glass. It was "a city-scale luminescent sculpture", an internationally famous example of architecture of the night, "probably the most frequently cited example for the potential applications of a future 'light architecture' in 1920s Europe".
During TodaysArt the light panels on the facade where once again illuminated, this time by means of digital projections.
The light panels transformed from being carriers of data about the festival into individual organically moving color pixels.
Made possible by Asahi and Peter Zuiderwijk
previously on vvvv: vvvvhat happened in October 2018
one week to go for the opening of We live in an Ocean of Air which you normally wouldn't have to care about but in this special case, how this connects to you through this blogpost is, that this is the first fully vl + Xenko project we've helped to realized. if you're in london between December 7th and January 20th, go see it, it is good, promised! if not, let's hope that everything goes well, because then the thing should go on tour and maybe come a bit closer to you.. here is a little teaser:
but that is not all:
next up: we're going to evaluate where we are with vl-standalone and xenko after this above mentioned project and we should have an update for you by the end of this year. and everybody yayy.
looking for a job at where it all once started? here are two opportunities athttp://meso.design
several works in progress announced:
and something in chinese:
that was it for november. anything to add? please do so in the comments!
Θ Theta: Sensory Feedback System is an interactive installation for two people that generates images in the mind of one user with the help of the neuronal activity of a second user. It is a feedback loop that both users close by wearing each one a EEG device and looking into blinking lights that are synchronized to the frequency of the other user's neural oscillation. The lights blink so fast that the mind tries to give them meaning creating patterns and forms that resemble real objects, scenes or landscapes.
Neural activity is codified in light and both brains communicate with each other using a non-human language. It is a syntax composed of frequency and amplitude of bioelectrical signals that travel through cellular membranes because of visual stimulation.
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