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.: The XØ Project - Laserdisc on Steroids :. (SEE FIRST POST FOR UPDATES) (* unfinished project *)
Hey guys. I'm not dead yet!
I have spent nearly all of this time constantly in and out of hospital and will be going back in for treatment again in about a weeks time. If all goes well I will be back home before Christmas, if all goes really well, I may be able to start contributing to the X0 team again by then, but I really don't know at this stage.
I only managed to get back in contact with the team last night, and haven't logged on here since I left, so have no idea where everything is currently at.
Thanks for all the well wishes, I will post here again once I (hopefully) get back home again.

I will be away for three weeks.
Originally posted by: boba feta
.SAN files Laserman, they're what the rare stuff on Making Magic is encoded in. What do you know about them and is there some sort of tool ala grisc that we might be able to use to decode them?

And I hope it all goes well for you this time round. I'll have a beer in your honour.

Cheers man

e-mail me a .san file and I'll take a quick look, I have the scumm documentation on my machine, but don't have BTM with me.

Multimedia format research based on ScummVM

* a chunked multimedia format possibly with several variations
* multi-byte numbers are little endian (always?)
* no: the chunk lengths are big endian
* chunks are marked by FOURCCs; known FOURCCs:
- iMUS
- MAP_
* carries a payload comprised of different chunk types
* these chunk types are known:
- codec 1
- codec 37
- codec 44
- codec 47

* codec 1: RLE encoding:
- for each line in image height:
- 16-bit number indicates encoded line size
- while there are still encoded data bytes for this line:
- next byte is code
- length = code / 2 + 1
- if bit 0 of code is set:
- value = next byte
- if value is 0:
- skip (length) pixels in output
- else:
- put (value) in output (length) times
- else:
- for each count in length:
- value = next byte
- if value is 0:
- skip pixel in output
- else:
- put value in output

* codec 37:
- assign width and height
- assign bw as block width
- assign bh as block height
- codec must operate on 4x4 blocks
- assign pitch as block width * 4 (not the same as width necessarily since
block width is rounded up to nearest multiple of 4)
- assign chunk size as size of input chunk - 14
- allocate a buffer with that size
- read chunk_size bytes into new buffer
- sequence number LE_16 @ chunk[2]
- decoded size is LE_32 @ chunk[4]
- maskflags = chunk[12]
- make table with pitch and chunk_buffer[1] as index:
- index *= 255
- if (index + 254 < sizeof(table) / 2)
- assert error condition
- for i = 0..255
- j = (i + index) * 2
- offsettable = maketable_bytes[j+1] * pitch + maketable_bytes[j]
- if (chunk[0] == 0)

- else if (chunk[0] == 1)
- "missing opcode codec47" (?)

- else if (chunk[0] == 2)

- else if (chunk[0] == 3)

- else if (chunk[0] == 4)

* codec 44:
- iterate through the encoded chunk from 0 to size - 14 (?):
- size of encoded line = next LE_16 in chunk
- while size is not 0:
- count = next byte
- pixel = next byte
- put (pixel) in output (count) times
- if size of line is not 0 at this point:
- count = next LE_16 + 1
- copy (count) pixels from encoded stream to output
- at the end of line, output buffer rewinds by one pixel (?)

* codec 47:
- chunk size = size of chunk passed in minus 14 bytes
- sequence number = first LE_16 of chunk
- encoded graphic data begins at chunk + 26
- the bytes at chunk[12] and chunk[13] serve as initializers for
deltabufs[0] and [1] respectively
I will be away for three weeks.
If you want something from me, speak up now!
I have to go back into hospital for about 3 weeks (or so), and this time round I'm pretty sure I won't be up to strolling down to the internet cafe.
So if anyone is waiting on anything from me, answers, physical stuff whatever, please drop me an email in the next 24hours before I head off and I'll try to get to it before I go.

Otherwise I'll be back towards the end of April.
***The &quot;Darth Editous&quot; Episode V DVD Info and Feedback Thread*** - a work in progress
Originally posted by: Darth Editous
Just out of interest, why the skin colour change? Most of the holograms tend towards blue-white blowout in the OT

It's meant to look a little closer to the original Emperor, who has a green cast to his face under the blue hood. Funnily enough, the preceeding holograms of the Star Destroyer captains are almost full colour...


Ahh, as I said I really haven't watched ESB for a long while. I liked the idea of him being a lot darker under the hood in your third image, the first time I saw ESB the emperor was a 'mystery' figure and so hardly being able to see his face kept him mysterious as you couldn't tell who he was, of course the prequels changed all that...

In my mind I was thinking of something tending towards this colour pallete (very bodgy quick mockup), but if the rest of the holograms are not like this (my memory is a piece of crap these days, along with my concentration) then I am probably way off base.


Nice job on the background plate restoration, I did one a while back but it wasn't as good as yours.
***The &quot;Darth Editous&quot; Episode V DVD Info and Feedback Thread*** - a work in progress
Originally posted by: Darth Editous
Here's a screenshot showing 1) the original Emperor 2) my first attempt 3) my new (in-progress) attempt. What do you think?

Emperor evolution


Wow, great stuff.

I like somewhere between #2 and #3. On #3 his irises look a little too 'white' or maybe just look too white since his skin colour change towards sepia - they jump out at me like night of the living dead zombie eyes. (although that could be a good thing?). I like #3 though with the extra darkeness under the hood, and the way that the hood looks less like a tea towel, even if it is a bit far towards soft, I still like it better.
Of course in motion with the flickery effect etc. it probably looks totally different, and the above is just personal opinion.

Just out of interest, why the skin colour change? Most of the holograms tend towards blue-white blowout in the OT (or do they, I've spent so long with my head up my bum on ANH I haven't looked at the other movies for so long in any detail) the last one feels a bit more force ghost than hologram.
Need Help making Lightsabers For ANH
If you want to give Cinelerra and Ubuntu a go, they are both free and can do sabres easily.
For Windows, I hear good things about Jahshaka, but haven't really looked at it yet, same with zs4 http://www.zs4.net/

I took Wax for a spin a while ago and it was impressive for the price (free) http://www.debugmode.com/wax/

Otherwise I'm not really up with the free software available on the PC, I'm sure there must other open source or cheap compositing packages for windows?

Otherwise you could do them a frame at a time, using virtualdub to export them and a free paint package like gimp to paint each frame.
Looking for a good magazine about 3D imaging.
We had a full collection, but I rarely found Muybridge all that useful for people, a lot of the movements are interesting but just didn't seem to turn out relevant for the sort of work I had to do, but it is handy as you get a huge variety of 'keyframes' of different people and animals all from the one spot, so they are worth having as a reference.

I absolutely agree that if you have had no formal art training, do an Anatomy for the artist course, and if you are going to be doing 3D texturing and lighting (not just modeling), then do a painting course, it will give you a really good understanding of light and texture which is indispensible.

You don't have to do an expensive course, even one of those cheap evening 'adult ed' courses would be just fine. The first thing we would do with any modeller was to put them through some short traditional art courses, it makes a *huge* difference.
Looking for a good magazine about 3D imaging.
You would do well to check out the siggraph libraries, there is a *ton* of stuff in there, and I'd check out medical anatomy books. I don't know of any specific magazines.

Back at animal we had a good selection of anatomy and movement books, understanding anatomy is indispensible for modeling truly realistic characters.
Also compiling a movement library can be a good idea, this consists of getting together video footage of different creatures moving. You take animal documentaries, movies etc. and edit all of them out into species and movement types.
You end up with (for example) a group of footage of cats running at full speed, another of gorillas walking, big cats leaping onto prey etc.
Then when you get to rigging and animating your characters you can pull out the relevant footage with ease and have a reference to how these animals move in reality, from different angles at different speeds under different lighting conditions and so on. By studying them you get to understand how they should be animated.

Also, before you pony up any cash, go to your nearest university and browse through their library, and see what you can find in the medical secction on anatomy and biomechanics/kinesiology, and look at the journals section of the university, there are an astounding amount of journals on the most esoteric of subjects and you might get lucky...
<em><strong>The &quot;9000&quot; Saga Edit</strong></em> (outdated thread)
You can always try taking your disc down to the local DVD rental store and ask them to run it through their resurfacing machine, most have them and they have saved my arse a few times, unlike those home resurface machines these ones polish the disc to look like brand new and often will allow a previously problematic DVD to read perfectly - even ones that didn't 'appear' to be scratched.

So can you browse the problem DVD in question at all? i.e. can you see the filenames or do you get a read error straight away?
Help In After Effects - Moving An Object Toward A Vanishing Point
I assumed they already had a camera in shot and would either manually keyframe or use an expression to 'automate' the movement - or do it the really hard way in 2D and keyframe the position and scale of the object (or create a totally separate effect in AE and comp that back in.).

Really I'd do it in a real 3D package like Maya or Max and comp it back in, but from what I've seen of AE's capabilities it should work OK, but I also am not an expert in After Effects, I have only ever used it when clients specified it as a requirement.