Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm just a sorrow expert now

"You can't have more than unlimited...it's the end of the geometry race."

Unlimited Detail, a software company, has announced today they think they have a program that will put ATI and NVidia in the dust. Are they right? We don't know. This is still early early in the production phase; as far as I can find, Unlimited Detail has only been around six months or so.

But it's a big dream, and maybe, just maybe, they can back it up. If for nothing else, it's worth it watching strange hallucinogenic animals and Mayan temple stones wander by while the overly chirpy English announcer tells us what we're really seeing.

What we're really seeing? Point cloud technology, instead of polygon technology, and that is revolutionary. Another breakaway from the pack they say they offer: scalable point cloud graphics. Definition: if you have a 1024 by 768 screen display, you display one point--one pixel--for every point on your screen, and it will never be more than a 1024 by 768 screen can hold. Conversely, if one is running in the 2600 pixel range, point cloud technology does the same thing: renders exactly what your screen can display.

The algorithms on how all this works get a tad complex, but in short: it is scalable, point-based 3D rendering technology driven by the direction the camera is facing. What that means: it shows you what you're looking at. Does that also mean it isn't rendering anything behind you? Yes. How fast can it grab and render new details when you turn?

So far, no one's asnwered that question, but the answer should be fascinating.

As the How Stuff Works blog said, "If all of this is true, and if it is all done in software rather than a hardware graphics card, then we should expect to see this technology exploding in the very near future. Some game manufacturer will take a chance on it, create a game with stunning detail that blows everyone away, and then the industry will follow because it has no choice. If it is not true, you will never hear about Unlimited Detail again."

Those are some pretty large ifs. But then, if they manage this at all...ATI and NVidia have some big competition in store. Leaving aside the question (rather large in my mind, at least) of whether or not existing hardware graphics cards, designed for polygonal display, can render point cloud displays. (I'm pretty sure they can, but so far, no one's asked that question, either.)

In grid-based news, I have been banned from another region! Haven't figured out why, yet, and may not bother, because the hair I had some interest in, I have discovered, was available as a free gift via Miss Diesel's XStreetSL listings. So, for the low, low price of zero Lindens, I was able to pick up Maria, the hair I was interested in, as well as Reley and Ana.

Then we ran into problems.

First problem: the hair I was most interested in? Comes in a box with a landmark and a notecard. The notecard has a picture of the hair; but there's no hair in the box. Guess it's a good thing I didn't buy it with actual Lindens, huh?

The second hair, "Reley", alphas like crazy, but good gods, it is such a deep, rich, unusual shade I just might be willing to forgive it.

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Isn't that a gorgeous color? It was called "Magenta" and reminded me very much of Analog Dog hair, save that I don't think she's ever designed such a shade. Really, really pretty, especially at sunset, when all these pictures were taken.

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Not that anyone needed to know, but that's the hair from the back, just so you understand what's going on.

Of course, Midas Blazer created the hair, so I'm a little confused as to what Tanja74 Diesel's part in this was. Buying it to resell?

The other hair I ordered delivered, "Ana", was a demo.

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Yep. There I am, with a big "DEMO" cube on my head.

So, kind of confused. Three freebie hairs; only one usable one after unpacking the three boxen. One says come to the store to get it; which I can't do, being banned. One says have this wonderful hair; and it turns out to be a demo. Only "Reley" is worth keeping.

And, even then, only if you don't move in front of any alpha surface, or, you know, walk around.

And she didn't make any of them. Puzzling.

In the meantime, My Ugly Dorothy has set aside a small area for hanging out, discussing new releases, and stalking lucky boards. Seven of them, in fact, and you can see pics of them on Schnaeppchen's blog.

I have a thing right now for tearful skins. Plus, the cat-whiskered girl just looks cute as hell.

The down side? They are group-only boards. So...you'll need to sacrifice a group slot it you really want 'em. Plus, seven boards does not mean your letter will come up any faster. After three hours lingering in the store, I have three of the seven skins.

(On the plus side, if you only want one or two of the skins...you're golden. Also, I think she's having a skin sale--most of the skin boards tilted up against the wall at angles seem to be priced at a Linden each. If you like pouty girls who look alternately sunburnt, slightly embarrassed, or tearful? My Ugly Dorothy is so very much your shop.)

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