Example – Shapes in ICE and the Debugging Nodes

In the “postSim” tutorial we made shapes out of strands by constructing arrays of point positions. Many ICE users, myself included, forget that there are a bunch of shapes provided already which can be used in this fashion. They are in the “Debugging” section, because arrays like these can also be used with ICE attribute display properties to create onscreen widgets (hint: …or to add points to a pointCloud…)

I’ve found the factory nodes to be quite handy for a number of things, but I wanted some other shapes of my own (such as a star and spiral)  – so I made them, as well as made some adjustments to what was already available (with some digging) to suit my personal preferences. Here is a scene with a number of them, each packaged as a compound.


And here’s the file (softimage 2013 322kb): ICE Debug Elements

While experimenting around with these elements as display objects, I made a “protractor” compound.

It’s of limited production use because of a current problem with how softimage displays these elements in a shaded or hidden line view, and because it wasn’t particularly designed as a tool… it just evolved while I messed around. But it serves as an example of how you can use the “Debug” nodes to create visual feedback (another good example of these debug elements is the factory “bend” deformer in ICE.)

Judicious use of these display attributes can make a packaged compound much more useful, as well as act as a handy jumping off point to make interesting shapes with strands etc. Enjoy! – AM

File (softimage 2013 270kb): exampleICEprotractor

The spiral compound plus the postsim tutorial makes a nice basis for a “cloud chamber” like wallpaper… :)

Comfort and the Sony HMZ-T1 HMD – A Tip

You have the HMZ-T1. It’s awesome. The picture is incredible. The stereo is stunning. Wearing it for more than 3 minutes makes you want to scream. It presses on your nose.

Many people on the AVS HMZ thread, which has become a defacto go-to resource so far, have done a number of mods to make their HMZ more comfortable, and came up with the idea of a “bridge” strap between the forehead pad and the upper strap. The folks at blazin3D even make a simple (and quite nice) package of straps using this idea – but they are constantly behind demand, with a waiting list. What to do?

Well, before you get too far into modding, or make any significant purchases, here’s a fast way to see if this whole “bridge” bit will help you, comfort wise: Get a wiimote replacement wrist strap. They cost a couple of bucks. Then do this:

Hey, two bucks and it doesn't harm anything, give it a try.

It works surprisingly well.

HMZ-T1 OLED display – $800. Two bucks to make your $800 gadget MUCH more comfortable? Priceless. (Does this even make sense?)