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25. August 2011

 

In putting together content for this site, I find myself working in Visual C++ which presented an unintended consequence, the project folder’s files are big, huge in fact!  Most of the problem boils down to the intermediate files that Visual C++ generates for intellisense and pre-compiled headers.

 

Therefore each time I wanted to post a code example to this site, I had to go through and delete all of these temporary files or my archives would be huge.  Worse still, every time I open up the solution, they would be regenerated.  ( Yes, you can move these files outside of your folder as a possible work around ).  I figured with the whole me being a programmer thing, I could throw together a program that did this work for me.

 

Therefore I present to you ProjectCleaner.  Aim it at a folder containing your project or sln file click “Clean Project” and it will go through and delete all the temporary cruft ready for you to zip up and share.  For the record, it deletes log, tlog, pch, pdb and obj files as well as the ipch folder.

 

image

 

 

Here are the results after applying to a relatively simple project folder:

image

 

As you can see, it results in a 37MB reduction in size, which saves more than just a small bit of bandwidth.

 

So, if you are finding yourself needing to shrink your Visual C++ projects down to share them, this tool may prove useful.  The source is exceedingly primitive.  It’s written in C#, requires .NET 4.

 

 

Files:

 

CleanProject.zip  -- program executable

CleanProjectSource.zip -- source code

Programming

25. August 2011

 

I am currently working on a beginner level tutorial using SFML and just ran into a show stopper that I want to share.  If you are already using SFML 1.6, this is probably old news to you, but it caused me enough pain that I want to share it here.  Maybe someone in the future will find this on Google and they wont end up wasting a couple hours like I just did.

 

Anyways, I was developing away at my game and doing most of my work on my portable laptop, which has an integrated Intel chipset.  On occasion I did a little bit of work on my primary development laptop which has a higher end Radeon GPU and everything works fine.  Anyways, earlier this week Deus Ex: Human Revolution came out and PC gaming being what it is, I had to download and install the latest drivers.  Fast forward to today, I load up the project make a few changes and:

 

image

 

Completely hung.  Zero response whatsoever.  If I run the same application outside of Visual Studio, it requires me to kill it in Task Manager.

 

So I jump to the logical conclusion and figure it was something I changed recently in my code, so I start hacking and slashing out the changes until I am back to nothing.  Still hangs.  WTF?  Now I start hacking even more until the point I get to my main() consisting of a single return statement and still it hangs!  WTF x2?  Obviously at this point it’s a linker problem, and my lost likely culprit is SFML, so off to Google I go!

 

End result, yes, the dynamically linked version of SFML apparently has a bug with the OpenGL implementation of modern ATI drivers.  Yay.  Apparently it is only in the dynamic version of SFML, so you can switch to static linking and it will go away, but when writing a tutorial, this kind of added complication simply isn’t realistic.  That said, there is a work around and there is a fix... of sorts.

 

Apparently the problem is caused in atigktxx.dll and you can grab a copy that works here ( along with additional explanation ).  I haven’t an actual clue what the bug itself is ( it’s wayyyyyy outside my code ), but by including this copy of atigktxx.dll in your executable folder, it overrides loading the one that is installed on your machine, thus preventing the bug.

 

Oh, and although that post was in February and the fix is “coming soon”, the problem still occurs.  I do however believe this is fixed in the 2.0 version of SFML, but please don’t quote me on that!

 

So, long story short, if you are using SFML 1.6 and you want to support ATI cards with recent drivers, ship your game with atigktxx.dll in your executable directory.

 

Oh and moral of the story…  don’t always go blaming your code first!  I kow have a ton of damage to undo that I needlessly caused!  Moral number two…  ATI still suck at making drivers!

Programming ,

21. August 2011

 

When just starting out with Blender, figuring your way around the UI is probably the most difficult step.  One of the most difficult things to come to terms with is creating and closing windows.  This is something that changed massively from Blender 2.4 to 2.5, so a lot of the documentation out there is simply out dated.

 

This video shows you how to arrange Blender exactly how you want it.  Once you figure out the way things work, it is amazingly power, but it can be confusing at first.  The video is of Blender 2.59 and is shot at 1080p for maximum clarity.

 

 

Customizing Blender 2.59’s User Interface

EDIT (8/25/2011): Click here for Vimeo video.

Art

17. August 2011
 

I’ve been a little to focused on C++ I completely missed and forgot to mention that a new release of Blender, Blender 2.59 was release (*cough* 3 days ago *cough*). A ton of new bug fixes, include one specifically for exporting to Unity, have been addressed.  Additionally added support for 3D Mouse(s?), Custom Keymapping, an Ivy and Tree generator.

 

Click here to download now.

 

I will check shortly to see if it works “out of the box” with Unity.

 

EDIT: 8/17/2011  Nope, default export didn’t work.  Can’t say I’m shocked.

EDIT2: User woodn has provided an updated importer script.  Download it, extract the .py file and extract it to your Unity install directory /Editor/Tools folder, overwriting the existing importer.

After updating the import script it would successfully import dae files, but wouldn’t automatically process .blend files, at least for me.

Art ,

16. August 2011

 

Well if you are a student that is, yes!  Autodesk has made an absolute ton of their programs available on a 36 month license for students.  That said, there is a very big but… and we will get to it in a moment.  First off, here are the applications they made available:

 

AutoCAD®
AutoCAD® for Mac
AutoCAD® Civil 3D®
AutoCAD® Electrical
Autodesk® Alias® Design
Autodesk® Alias® Automotive**
Autodesk® Ecotect® Analysis
Autodesk® Inventor® Professional
Autodesk® Maya®

Autodesk® Moldflow® Adviser
Autodesk® Mudbox™
Autodesk® Revit® Architecture
Autodesk® Revit® MEP
Autodesk® Revit® Structure
Autodesk® Simulation Multiphysics 
Autodesk® Smoke®
Autodesk® Softimage®
Autodesk® 3ds Max®

That is a pretty awesome list and making them available to students for free is an absolutely brilliant idea for locking in future users down the road.  Now here are the buts…

 

If you are creating a game, you are violating the license.  This license is explicitly for personal learning.  The personal part even excludes use in a lab or classroom environments, however more to the point, if you want to use the software to work on a game that is going to be distributed ( even freely ) you are violating the license!  If you use the software to create graphics for a website, you are violating the license.  In a nutshell, legally, you can only use the software to learn or post your works to Autodesk’s community.  Now posting your work to a 3rd party like DeviantArt for non-commercial gain, I do not know the legal status of that.

 

As to who qualifies as a student, I will let Autodesk themselves answer that.

 

A faculty member is an employee at a primary or secondary educational institution or any degree-granting or certificate-granting educational institution or any learning, teaching or training facilities and who upon request by Autodesk is able to provide proof of such status.

A student is an individual enrolled at a recognized degree-granting or certificate-granting educational institution for three (3) or more credit hours in a degree-granting or certificate granting education program or in a nine (9) month or longer certificate program, and upon request by Autodesk is able to provide proof of such enrollment.

An Autodesk Assistance Program participant is either a veteran or unemployed individual who has previously worked in the architecture, engineering, design or manufacturing industries, completed the online registration for the Autodesk Assistance Program, and upon request by Autodesk is able to provide proof of eligibility for that program.

 

 

So if you are thinking the cost of your game just went way down because you are a student, you are completely wrong.  However, if you wanted easy free access to learn and evaluate various Autodesk products, you will love this opportunity.

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