Logo AltSci3D Manga Director
Creation Date: 2003-07-23

AltSci3D Manga Director

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AltSci3D Manga Director (AS3DMD) is a program that lets a person create a 3d manga like Javantea's Fate. The idea is to put each object in its place and take a screenshot. While it seems quite straightforward, it's quite impossible to do this with 3D modellers. Most modellers use only polar axes (rotational plus distance from center), which doesn't allow easy access for you to see what you want. AS3DMD uses cartesian axes with full rotation axes. This is better known as: WASD or Doom/Quake-style motion. The second function of AS3DMD is to allow you to load several seperate model at the same time. While most modellers allow you to do this, it is usually very hard to move them into correct position. With AS3DMD, it's quite easy. In fact, it's getting easier. Currently there's functionality to drag and drop objects to where you want the, but it is not correctly implemented. By the time the 1.0 version is out, it will have this. Currently, you push the models around with WASD like the camera. It works quite well. Another function which is simple, yet very useful (and missing from most modellers) is one button screenshot. When you want to take a picture, you press F12. When you want to take another picture, press again and the photos will be numbered correctly. This allows you to take as many screenshots as you want. What is very cool is that AS3DMD saves each frame of the animation in a file that you can play back and edit. In the lower left hand corner, there are VCR-style controls that allow you to move back and forth between frames in your animation. Each frame is a different box in the manga. So with these VCR controls, you can take screenshots for an 8-box manga with 16 clicks. AS3DMD is fast, too. The technology is so new that only two years ago, rendering a scene in JF would take a full second. Working at one frame per second is quite impossible. So now, with the GeForce2 (mid-2001 hardware) I am able to create scenes that are quite complex in real time. The code currently exists to extend AS3DMD to very large numbers of polygons on very mild hardware. This begs the questions: when will the first in-medium real-time 3d manga become a reality? As soon as decide to release it. It's already there, but tar.gz support would make it easier.

AltSci3D Manga Director (AS3DMD) puts you into the position of me, the director of Javantea's Fate. Not unlike a first-person shooter, the director must navigate through complex situations such as: finding pointers to NULL, debugging memory leaks, and copying code from every tutorial website on the web.

Just kidding. Currently, AS3DMD is ready for early beta testing/use. A bit of modelling, some hex editing, some text/xml editing, and a bunch of keyboard work to navigate a camera and you can create a 3D manga like Javantea's Fate. The first two parts of that first paragraph are true. First, AS3DMD is in the position that I am in. Secondly, it uses the WASD controls, just like a first person shooter. But instead of the mouse to turn the camera, it uses the d-pad. With the camera, you move the actors around a scene and then you pose them and take screenshots. These screenshots can be manipulated in a photo editor. Then you put six or so of them together and you get a page of manga. Currently, it won't support printing since it is fairly low resolution, but it won't be long until I can render 300 dpi 11x7 pictures like real manga.

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