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Author Topic: boxplorer in your (large) pocket  (Read 6975 times)
Description: iPad port of boxplorer
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CthulhusPetals
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Posts: 7

Charlie Reiman


« on: November 02, 2011, 07:35:27 PM »

I'm working on an iOS port of the famous boxplorer program. It's been a hard slog since I'm new to both iOS programming and OpenGL but I finally have something showable:

https://twitter.com/#!/stubble_bunny/status/131777498093588480/photo/1

(Apologies if that link doesn't work. I'm not sure how to share pics on twitter yet.)

The rendering space is 512x512, progressively rendered offscreen as a texture. I would have preferred to render directly onscreen but it appears I'm forced to use double buffering so that caused massive problems.

The currently available controls are throttle (left edge), X and Y camera FOV (bottom and right), R and S (labeled). Rotation is via a two finger gesture in render area. Panning is a single finger drag in the render area. I plan to add an absolute/strafing movement control and a panic button in case you get lost in the fractal. Color picking and high quality snapshots are also on the plan. Rendering a full frame takes a second or two so rendering during control activity only renders the center with the rendering progress proceeding outward if you stand still. It works better than it sounds.

I'm using rrrola's shaders, though modified a bit for GLES and the applications specific limitations. The boxplorer v2 shaders (with DOF and whatnot) are probably pushing it too far in performance demands so I don't think they're an option. FSAA is probably out of the question for now. If anyone has any advices for accelerating that shader performance, please let me know. The only thing I can see right now is the surface normals can probably be computed directly rather than via differencing but beyond that, I have no ideas.

At the moment, I'm only targeting the iPad2. The same graphics chip is in everything from the 3GS and up though so a port to lower end devices is not out of the question. The issue is mostly one of how I present the array of necessary controls on tinier screens.

As part of my research I created an animated 2D mandelbox in Processing. You can see it roll here:

http://www.antispork.com/  (Java required)

There is also a WebGL version of this that I created but haven't shared. WebGL stopped working in Mac Chrome with the v15 release so I haven't bothered.

Charlie Reiman
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marius
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Posts: 206


« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2011, 09:49:04 PM »


There is also a WebGL version of this that I created but haven't shared. WebGL stopped working in Mac Chrome with the v15 release so I haven't bothered.


Cool. Don't have an ipad but how was the webgl performance on the same hardware, comparatively?
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visual.bermarte
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Posts: 355



« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2011, 06:10:49 PM »

is it made with objective C?
very nice!
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terrinecold
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2012, 11:13:27 AM »

Hello,
did you make any progress on this topic
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CthulhusPetals
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Posts: 7

Charlie Reiman


« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2012, 12:29:00 AM »

You can see my progress here: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/WWsjxB_W9og&rel=1&fs=1&hd=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/WWsjxB_W9og&rel=1&fs=1&hd=1</a>.

I'm not satisfied with the controls and the performance so I've opted to not release the project as it is. Comments welcome though.
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marius
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Posts: 206


« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2012, 01:54:32 AM »

...
I'm not satisfied with the controls and the performance so I've opted to not release the project as it is. Comments welcome though.

Yeah, that redraw speed make for tedious navigation.

The boxplorer 'speed', like most of it, is also a gross hack. I have been experimenting with a parallel DE computation on the CPU so speed and stereoscopic eye separation depend on distance to fractal surface. But that requires quite some discipline in the fragment code and does no longer allow for on-the-fly changing of the shader.

Haven't had a lot of time for it lately..
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huminado
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 12:43:10 PM »

I've tried these builds:

      win32-2.03.zip
      boxplorer-2.02.zip
      win32-2.01.zip
      win32-2.00.zip

and none of them run on my Vista64 machine (a console window maybe? opens up briefly and then shuts down), while Boxplorer1 does run without any problems.
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marius
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Posts: 206


« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2012, 04:31:54 PM »

I've tried these builds:

      win32-2.03.zip
      boxplorer-2.02.zip
      win32-2.01.zip
      win32-2.00.zip

and none of them run on my Vista64 machine (a console window maybe? opens up briefly and then shuts down), while Boxplorer1 does run without any problems.

boxplorer2 does not have a default configuration built-in, unlike the original.
It is indeed a console app, you have to specify some arguments pointing to the fractal configuration you want to render.
For instance, on windows start a cmd.exe in the directory where you put the .exe and type 'boxplorer2 cfgs/rrrola.cfg'
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huminado
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2012, 11:02:27 PM »

THANK YOU!!!  smiley

Last night the last thing I did was unsuccessfully try to get ssh2 to work on cygwin to do a repository checkout and try to figure this out... smiley  This is much better!!

Please do add a readme file - it may save others some headaches or just giving up (I had given up on this quite a while ago and a new video reawakened it).

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