Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Scene Objects and Jerusem Circles

Finished the basic structure of the Jerusem Circles. Actually pretty simple stuff, the complications will come when I add animations to the promenades. I tried placing the Jerusem circles into it's own scene as a prelude to actually installing them onto the sphere of Jerusem itself. Seems I've introduced all kinds of problems (bugs) into my complex scene object library going over to OpenGl ES2. And to top it off, I didn't document how my scene objects get imported into my library from the source itself. It's time to do more documentation of the source code. So, study, study, study, that's the theme for a while. Doxygen seems to be the eminent package for creating source code documentation. So, a bit of study and I should be on my way to documenting and understanding the code I created for inserting the Circles into my library. I'll be using the same code for all complex objects like the 7 other circles that are on Jerusem. Still, it will take a while to finish these circles as I have a multi-headed problem here. First, the level of complexity in these objects preclude being able to present them in the Jerusem scene all at once. Most computers will just be taken to their knees if they have to deal with that level of complexity and present all the spheres of the system at once.

To handle this situation, I'll develop my own level of detail (LOD) engine. The LOD engine works this way; say Jerusem is a small dot on the screen, the computer doesn't know that it shouldn't draw every detail on the face of Jerusem. It just crunches all the math for every detail of every circle no matter the size of Jerusem. That 's the nature of traveling closer and farther away from objects in a computer scene. So it's up to me to put in code that says, Jerusem's a dot, control how detailed the circles and Jerusem are. What you want is that the detail level increases the closer you get to any given circle. So I have the computer say to itself, 'Hey I'm this close, so increase the LOD'.  When you're on the circle itself, the whole thing is really clear. Even then, how can I possibly show 150,000 pearly gates with full detail? So a lot of math to be done here. On any of the newer computers, there is an engine that reduces polygon count on an object, it's called a geometry shader. Well I'll have to use that when it's available, if not, brute math will need to be done to get it working on a computer that has no shader for it.

No one said this was going to be easy!!!! I have no idea how I'm going to figure this out. A lot of study to be done for that one. But first back to complex objects for today. And picking on OpenGl ES2? Well that'll have to wait for now. Native Client may be close to release but I'm not ready for it yet. At least, I'll be able to put the basics of the whole system on the Internet, with or without the ability to select an object on screen. 

God, I hope my brain keeps working in my old age, after all, I am almost 60 now. I really need to get this system to a place where others will grasp how important it is to place Urantia Book information into a 3d system. The thing about the Urantia book that stands out above everything else is it's unwavering consistency when addressing structurally complex information. When the depth of the interconnected complexity is seen, I can't imagine anyone ignoring it's unwavering consistency. It outshines even the scientific community of our day. 

There's a strange stubbornness to the human race in general, a kind of built in resistance to change and the Urantia Book is a really big change to common religious belief. First, a lot of it is deep intellectual stuff. This resistance is there for a reason, of course, it's a built phenomena that helps us from drifting backward when we take a jump in evolution, either physically or socially. If you resist a change then when you adopt that change, the level of resistance you had first to the change has two effects. First, it makes you question the change, the more the resistance, the more the questioning so that insures that the jump you're going to take is well founded. Second the same resistance will keep you from changing back. 

I remember a 67 year old women that did accounting in 1986 for a firm I worked for. She looked at the keyboard of her computer and said 'Do you really expect me to learn this crap?'. She was working up to 6 days a week and didn't want the difficulty of learning computers. The boss was forcing her into using computers to account for the business. After the accounting training, I didn't get a call from her. The call came from her boss 7 months later. He wanted me put in an upgrade to the program I had written for them. When I got there, she didn't want me touch her computer, she had gone from working 6 days a week to doing it all in one day a week and she didn't want to take the chance that I would send her back to the old days when it would take that long to do the work.. Funny huh! She resisted going into it and would resist going backward after accepting the change.
 I started the system on June 2nd, 1996. It'll be 15 years come June 2nd and it's just now beginning to be capable of animating parts of the Urantia Book.

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