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Old 02-04-2007, 01:54 PM   #381
djmac
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I apologize for what I wrote.
I just had the wish that DreamScene would make me able to see the aquarium even when I was working on the Desktop, not only when I was NOT working :-)

By the way: DreamScene from Microsoft (how I understood it) does the following: You select a screensaver or a video and it runs behind the icons. A hacker already made it work under Windows XP and Windows Vista.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2sEUtLqu_4

I think "marrying" something from Microsoft should be his own decision and I think also that he would mention it. Bringing something to a windows-platform with directx8 or 9 will also make it able to run on Windows Vista.

Thanks for telling me, that Goldfish was from a different artist. I really didn't know this.

P.S.: I don't know why, but could you tell me, why you certainly hate Microsoft and their latest Windows? (no offense, just interested)
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Old 02-04-2007, 05:38 PM   #382
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Originally posted by djmac:
I apologize for what I wrote.
I just had the wish that DreamScene would make me able to see the aquarium even when I was working on the Desktop, not only when I was NOT working :-)  
I don't think any offense is taken. It's just Jim's philosophy. You can run the Aquarium in a window (press the "F" key) and keep it on top (go to Settings by pressing SPACE). Or you can get a 2nd monitor to run the Aquarium.

Originally posted by djmac:
Thanks for telling me, that Goldfish was from a different artist. I really didn't know this.  
* SereneScreen Aquarium was created by Jim Sachs, of Amiga and Commodore 64 development fame. His artwork graced the covers of many magazines of the day and he created all the graphics for the game Defender of the Crown.
* Goldfish Aquarium was developed by an Hollywood special effects artist animator Eric Daniels
* DreamAquarium was developed by another Hollywood effects guru, Alan Kapler.

Originally posted by djmac:
P.S.: I don't know why, but could you tell me, why you certainly hate Microsoft and their latest Windows? (no offense, just interested)  
Microsoft really screwed us on the Microsoft Plus XP pack. It was supposed to be $20 like all the others before it and buyers get a discount on Marine Aquarium. Instead it was $40 and no discount was forthcoming. People were furious about having bought what amounted to a demo for $40 and then having to buy the Aquarium "again" for $19.95, for a total of $60. For every 1 "upgrade", there were dozens of angry phone calls from people demanding an "upgrade" price. It was a fiasco. This is what happens when you don't document conversations on videotape, audio tape, and paper.

As for writing software that only works on Windows Vista, it surprises people to know that Marine Aquarium is a 2MB download that runs on 10 year old 16MB graphics cards on computers running Windows 98. And yet it looks better than most of the other ones out there. Jim is proud of the fact that the Aquarium is lean and backward compatible. Marine Aquarium 3 will be less compatible, but he's not going to make it XP/Vista only unless a gun is held to his head. Jim spent months rewriting the Aquarium in DirectX 8 only to find out that screen savers written in DX8 run poorly or not at all on Windows 98. He scrapped this work and went back to developing the DirectX 6 version.
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Last edited by feldon34; 02-04-2007 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 02-04-2007, 09:55 PM   #383
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Yeah, what he said.

Actually, just a couple of notes. My buddy Eric Daniels would probably rather be called an Animator than Special Effects Artist. You can spot his name in the credits of countless Disney animated films, and he won a bunch of awards for his work on Tarzan.

MA3 is being written in DX8.
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:45 PM   #384
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ok feldon30 - now I understand the thing about Microsoft.
I hope they don't do that again!

Thanks for the words Jim. here a short list of erics' work I founf on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0199926/

Now I even don't waste my time (or should I) asking about that xbox project, that Jim wasn't allowed to make a few years ago.
After XNA is (nearly) free of charge - a port from dx8 to xbox360 would be simple, wouldn't it?
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:50 PM   #385
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Getting his name in the credits isn't a high priority for Eric, but he's had a hand in a huge number of animated productions over the past 20 years, including a stint with "The Simpsons", and recently "The Robinsons" for Disney. His wife Margie is also a top animator.
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:24 PM   #386
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Jim

I thought you might be interested in this post

http://dreamaquarium.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=632

It talks about the technology being used behind DA.
--Vish
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:00 PM   #387
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Yeah, I've heard of the Houdini software, but with a base price of $17,000, it seemed a little steep. Plus, I don't see anything in their literature that says it exports DirectX format. I'll look into it further.
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:23 PM   #388
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Hey, Jim... Thanks for the kind words!

I've never met that DreamAquarium guy, but since he's an award-winning effects man, I'm not surprised that he uses Houdini. It's my software of choice, too... but in my day job I rarely get to choose which software I use.

Incidentally, my very first demo of Goldfish Aquarium (one pathetic, homely little goldfish that wiggled from one side of the screen to the other, then stopped... yes, that was the entire demo) was done in Houdini. But I had to switch from that to Lightwave, and create all my final animation in C++ code rather than Houdini's environment. Why? Because I rarely get to choose which software I use in my night job, either.

Seriously, though, Houdini is the best, but overpriced. Maya gets all the limelight, but Houdini gets the job done every time. There's nothing you can't do with that software... except learn it quickly.
----------------------------------
E R I C D A N I E L S, a n i m a t o r
Goldfish Aquarium Screensaver
----------------------------------
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:35 PM   #389
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At my age, I can't seem to learn anything quickly (or at all)
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:39 AM   #390
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I've seen the Goldfish demo.
It's what got me excited about the Goldfish Aquarium.
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:46 PM   #391
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Just to get things back on track in this thread I wanted to give an update on MA 3.0. Jim is continuing work and has about 50% of the items done in 3D now. Morgan and I have seen a mock-up in 2D of the finished tank and it really looks great.

There are certainly components left to do in 3D, and we don't want people to start making judgements based on a draft at this point, and more importantly, competitors have been known to liberate/borrow/steal Jim's work so no actual shots can be released to the general public yet. But, Jim has given us permission to describe, discuss, and answer questions about what we have seen.

So if you have any questions or requests, now is the time.
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:40 PM   #392
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That's brilliant news! And while it might be nice to take a peek, just knowing that things are progressing well is sufficient.

Having said which, spill the beans! What's done, what's still to do? I'm hoping that all the scenery is done and it's the fish which remain still to be done; or am I being a tad naive?

Are we allowed to ask of what the scenery now comprises?
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:15 PM   #393
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You are always allowed to ask anything you wish, just with the caveat that either:

I don't know the answer.
Can't answer
Or may leave it up to Jim just how much he wants to answer.

But you will always get a response.

At this point as far as I know from what Jim has told me, he is working on the new background items and has about 50% of those done in 3D, with the rest to go. While I have seen a completed shot of what he is shooting for, I don't know exactly which items are done and which aren't at this point. The new tank is faithful to the original with many extras added in. Realize that items could change as the need arises during creation.

As to the fish, I don't know if he has made a decision on releasing it with the fish we have now and upgrading them afterwards, or will want to redo the fish before release.
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:27 PM   #394
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3.0 will probably be released with the 2.0 fish, then upgraded as I complete each fish in the new format.

Working on a sea fan today.
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Old 02-15-2007, 09:08 PM   #395
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Are you taking applications to test the beta versions yet? (pick me pick me)
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:42 AM   #396
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Don't forget you'll need some beta testers in England - the effects of the differing magnetic fields from the earth need to be allowed for! (That's not a complete fabrication, high end CRT monitors will usually need adjusting if moved from the USA to England, just for that reason.) Okay, it's 99.9% a fabrication - I'll see if I can invent a better reason later... (there's always the "I design PC hardware and Graphics cards for a living" one, but that's a bit over-used, although true - but I suspect fish experts, which I'm not, make better testers in many ways).

One more serious suggestion, how about e-mailing/PM-ing the 2D pic to a few people on the forum who you're reasonably sure aren't involved with competitors (perhaps watermark each one differently first)? It'd certainly cheer me up a bit (see elsewhere for why).

John
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:51 AM   #397
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Embarassed

May I point out that though jleslie may have a point, living way up here in Scotland, we are nearer the North Pole than London, so it may be better to pick your tester from Scotland, just to see if living nearer to the Pole has any effects on Marine Aquarium. Anyway, looking forward to the eventual release of version 3, I have used this screensaver since Adam was a boy. Jim
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Old 02-16-2007, 06:07 AM   #398
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Nah! - The North of England is where the true testers reside. If the fish in MA 3.0 can survive our climate, they will survive anything!
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Old 02-16-2007, 07:10 AM   #399
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We still have some time before any kind of testing. Jim has to finish the other half of the coral first.

As to releasing any sort of shot in email or otherwise, no I am sorry. Jim requested that it go no further at this point, and I gave my word it wouldn't.
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:39 AM   #400
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Just to manage expectations a little but, the new background is very faithful to the old one, but updated with higher resolution images. Some of the corals have been changed out, and as has been mentioned, the new background is nearly two widescreens wide. So if a normal screen is 4:3, the new background will be roughly 10.6666:3 (32:9) wide.

There are some areas that don't have all the corals in yet too.
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