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Transparent crystal effect?
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Shadow Sovereign
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Question Transparent crystal effect? - 01-05-2007, 09:02 PM

Ok, I'm pretty much goofing off at this point, and have concocted a modification of a starfighter with a phasor (a laser amplified by a refined crystal), and I'm trying to give it a colorful effect.

The outer shell is a semi-transparent cone with a jet black color, along with another semi-transparent cone with a dark purple shine... a Dark-Energy Phasor, if you will. But I am having problems with trying to make the dark purple cone visible, because the moment it submerges into the larger Black cone, it tends to disappear completely. I've tried resizing the cones to compensate, and even though it's helped, half of the crystal is still not appearing (it's two cones each, backs against one another).

These sort of slight little annoyances are usually the harder problems to solve sometimes, but I'm hoping anybody will have some ideas as to how to rectify the problem (namely Dr. Jim.... he's omniscient! ).

Any help on this problem is greatly appreciated!

Edit: For those of you who still use Cathode Ray monitors, you may have to boost your monitor's brightness a little...
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File Type: jpg Shadowphasor Example.JPG (12.8 KB, 325 views)

Last edited by Shadow Sovereign; 01-05-2007 at 09:03 PM. Reason: Add a notey thing...
   
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DrJim
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Question 01-05-2007, 11:14 PM

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Originally Posted by Shadow Sovereign View Post

(namely Dr. Jim.... he's omniscient! )...
Not on even numbered Saturdays apparently - don't understand the problem. The purple cone is the thingy in the middle of the picture - very visable.

Couldn't come up with any way to make it disappear when I tried what I thought you were doing. Need more details or the code that's giving the problem.
   
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A little light on the subject...
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Shadow Sovereign
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Lightbulb A little light on the subject... - 01-06-2007, 12:56 PM

My bad... I probably wasn't clear enough about what I was talking about...

Here.... I've circled the area where I'm talking about.

The two inner cones are back-to-back, like the outer ones are. However, the rear cone cuts in half when it is placed a certain way into the rear outer cone. What I'm trying to do is to make the rest of it visible.

You could try making the example yourself to see a little more about what I'm trying to say. Use some brighter colors if you need it.

Again, I appreciate the help.
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File Type: jpg Shadowphasor Example1.JPG (13.6 KB, 336 views)
   
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See translation at end!
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DrJim
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Red face See translation at end! - 01-06-2007, 10:51 PM

It does help - a bit - to see the problem. not much, because I don't know how to fix it in Alice. The problem is when you join the two cones, you get two bottom surfaces and thus, if each is 50% opaque, the combination becomes completely opaque and you will see the combined surface at every angle except edge on.

If you use a dual cone without that surface (dual cone_obj), the whole object has the set opacity at any angle - but I don't know how do that in Alice.

The one in the picture and the attached file was done in Anim8or - but unfortunately I got the origin way outside the dual cone. (If anyone wants to fix it - see following post - I've attached the .obj file.) The .ase file for it is also attached in case you want to import multiple versions and try to combine them - if you import them to another parent - say a sphere - and then get them positioned right once - they should stay correctly positioned when you move the parent.

(If you want me to translate this to English - "Sorry - you're out of luck." )
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cones.JPG (2.1 KB, 333 views)
Attached Files
File Type: a2w Cone test.a2w (15.8 KB, 506 views)
File Type: zip dualcone_obj.zip (2.3 KB, 503 views)

Last edited by DrJim; 01-08-2007 at 08:41 PM. Reason: Added comment on changing origin.
   
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I'll give that a shot...
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Shadow Sovereign
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Default I'll give that a shot... - 01-08-2007, 05:47 PM

Well, I'm not in school right now, so I can't do much about it, but tomorrow, I'll try to look into it, see what I can tweak. Thanks for the input, Jim.

Now to figure out how to do the continuous laser beam... that's gonna be FUN!
   
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GO GATORS (watching the BCS game while I write this)
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DrJim
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Talking GO GATORS (watching the BCS game while I write this) - 01-08-2007, 08:24 PM

I'm really thinking if you're going to try to do this type of thing, you need to spend a bit time and get at least a little familiar with one of the free 3D graphics programs. The attached is from Anim8or - which I find quite easy to use - but there are other options as I've noted in earlier posts. (Nearly all will also need Biturn to convert from .obj to .ase format - but for simple things like this, that's pretty error free.)

In Anim8or, all you have to do is select the cylinder object from the default screen, click on it to set the parameters you want, make sure it's still selected (I'd also use the position>move to center option) and export it. Try .obj first - if you don't get good results, try .3ds. Both very occasionally give problems -if so, just start over with slightly different parameters.) Then convert it to .ase, use the "import as texture" method you discovered earlier and then edit transparency, color, position, size, etc. in Alice.

I attached one pair of .obj and .ase cylinder files (the cylinder is fairly big physically) to show what you can do. This cylinder has a nice aspect ratio - but it still has end caps - so if you wanted a longer, transparent beam, you'd run into the same trouble as with the cones. In Anim8or (or the others), you have lots of options - taper and bends as well as end caps, for example.

Have fun!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Anim8or_Cyl.JPG (18.5 KB, 301 views)
File Type: jpg LaserBeam.JPG (14.4 KB, 301 views)
Attached Files
File Type: zip Cylinder.zip (3.6 KB, 480 views)
   
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PogoDaMonkey
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Question 01-09-2007, 10:44 AM

Speaking of Anim8or, I like the program, kind of like Alice for 3d creation, stand alone, no installs, I just keep it on my flash drive just in case I want to make something really quick. But Biturn is still giving me problems, every time I download the .rar file from the site referenced in your post, I get the same message when I unzip it...something like "The library file is corrupted or damaged," and hence, it wont run. Any advice? A little off topic, I know, but you seem to know what you are talking about, DrJim.
   
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Biturn problem.
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Cool Biturn problem. - 01-09-2007, 11:55 AM

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Originally Posted by PogoDaMonkey View Post
... you seem to know what you are talking about, DrJim.
If now I just can keep enough people fooled.

I've had the same type of problem with Biturn - can't right now tell you how I solved it because I only have the regular Winzip on this machine and it doesn't work with .rar (or at least, work very well - haven't tried too much).

My favorite compression/extraction hardware is 7 Zip, which is free - see the writeup on it in Wikipedia. I'm pretty sure it worked with Biturn 0.88. It also does a nice job on .a2c and .a2w files.

The other option is WinRar (or some name pretty close). You may have to do a search on ".rar file compression" to find it or the link may be on the Biturn site. Haven't used this much but it's worked fine when I have.

There are also some versions of Biturn on the site that seem corrupted - at least I got the same type of message you mentioned. I just tried another version - can see minor differences between them and none are totally free from errors - though they are probably more error free than the files I'm trying to convert. I'm personally using ver. 0.88 - got it working and it does fine - but the choice was more accident than anything.

Also had a good version just stop working a couple of times - I have no idea why. I just reloaded a new copy from another machine or disk (if you do get it upzipped, keep a clean backup) and it worked fine.

Hope this helps. Please post any good results from Anim8or for use in Alice if you come up with any.

Last edited by DrJim; 01-09-2007 at 12:01 PM.
   
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Mmm....Doooonuuut...
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Shadow Sovereign
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Talking Mmm....Doooonuuut... - 01-10-2007, 06:19 PM

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Originally Posted by DrJim View Post
I'm really thinking if you're going to try to do this type of thing, you need to spend a bit time and get at least a little familiar with one of the free 3D graphics programs. The attached is from Anim8or - which I find quite easy to use - but there are other options as I've noted in earlier posts. (Nearly all will also need Biturn to convert from .obj to .ase format - but for simple things like this, that's pretty error free.)
You're probably right... the limitations of Alice, even the CD version, is proving to be difficult to manuever with what it's got, and my Anthrodragon.a2c, Laser Tank.a2c, and several of my other modified objects proves that I can only do so much. I guess its time to take these things one step further...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJim View Post
This cylinder has a nice aspect ratio - but it still has end caps - so if you wanted a longer, transparent beam, you'd run into the same trouble as with the cones.
Well, that just complicates the problem, and yet, provides me with an idea. What I want to do is to make a phasor beam (usually, like in Star Trek or something, phasors go as far as they can in a continual beam) that will strike an object, and make the program check to see if a particular part of the beam is striking an object. If so, I could write a method to make the beam long enough to just touch the object, and put a flame or some visual effect on the end of the beam. I'd try to do scorch marks too, but then Alice would probably hate me for messing up her bedroom while she's off in wonderland with that friggin' cat...

I do have a question about Anim8or: If you can make any object with it, can visual effects be made, or am I just asking for too much?

Thanks for all the feedback, Jim... this'll help me greatly!

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Originally Posted by DrJim View Post
Have fun!
Oh, trust me, I will!
   
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Shadow Sovereign
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Default 01-10-2007, 06:20 PM

Wow, I think that just counted as my longest post ever!
   
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