topical media & game development

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multimedia platforms

with DirectX 9 digital convergence becomes a reality

learning objectives

After reading this chapter you should be able to characterize the functionality of current multimedia platforms, to describe the capabilities of GPUs, to mention the components of the Microsoft DirectX 9 SDK, and to discuss how to integrate 3D and video.

Almost 15 years ago I bought my first multimedia PC, with Windows 3.1 Media Edition. This setup included a video capture card and a 4K baud modem. It was, if I remember well, a 100 Mhz machine, with 16 Mb memory and a 100 Mb disk. At that time, expensive as it was, the best I could afford. Some 4 years later, I acquired a Sun Sparc 1 multimedia workstation, with a video capture card and 3D hardware accelerator. It allowed for programming OpenGL in C++ with the GNU gcc compiler, and I could do live video texture mapping at a frame rate of about one per second. If you consider what is common nowadays, a 3Ghz machine with powerful GPU, 1 Gb of memory, a 1.5Mb cable or ADSL connection and over 100 Gb of disk space, you realize what progress has been made over the last 10 years.

In this chapter, we will look in more detail at the capability of current multimedia platforms, and we will explore the functionality of the Microsoft DirectX 0 platform. In the final section of this chapter, I will then report about the work I did with the DirectX 9 SDK to implement the ViP system, a presentation system that merges video and 3D.






4. multimedia platforms



projects & further reading

As a project, I suggest the development of shader programs using Rendermonkey or the Cg Toolkit, or a simple game in DirectX.

You may further explore the possibilities of platform independent integration of 3D and media, by studying for example OpenML. For further reading, among the many books about DirectX, I advice  [Luna (2003)],  [Adams (2003)] and  [Fay et al. (2004)].

the artwork

  1. dutch light -- photographs from documentary film Dutch Light.
  2. ViP -- screenshot, with morphing shader, see section 4.3.
  3. impasto -- examples, see section 4.1
  4. impasto -- after a painting of van Gogh, using Cg shaders,
  5. 3D vision, from  [Sullivan (2005)], see example(s) section 4.2.
  6. idem.
  7. photographs of DirectX and multimedia books, by the author.
  8. DirectX -- diagram from online documentation.
  9. ViP -- screenshot, with the news and animations.
  10. DirectX -- diagram from online documentation.
  11. DirectX -- diagram from online documentation.
  12. ViP -- screenshot, featuring Abramovic.
  13. Peter Frucht -- Reality of TV news, see section 4.3.
  14. Clima Futura -- architecture diagram.
  15. signs -- people,  [ van Rooijen (2003)], p. 248, 249.
The theme of the artwork of this chapter is realism. In the documentary dutch light, it was investigated whether the famous dutch light in 17th century painting really existed. The photographs shown here are a selection of shots that were taken on particular locations over a period of time. However, as an art historian formulated it in the documentary: dutch light is nothing but a bag of tricks shared by dutch 17th century painters. The examples from impasto demonstrated that, after all, realism is an arbitrary notion.

(C) Æliens 04/09/2009

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