Monday, December 22, 2014

Video Game Photography

As games continue to become more realistic, there is a new niche for video game "photography".

This is where you take a screen shot as if you were shooting with a camera. I apply the rule of thirds, make sure everything important is in frame, make sure the image tells a story and evokes an emotional response.

Here are some sample shots from games I've played recently:

 Bioshock Infinite

 Half Life 2

 Remember Me

Vanishing of Ethan Carter

I may play around with taking them into Photoshop and applying some of my tricks.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Our Christmas Movie Schedule

I went searching on google for the best Christmas movies. Hugely disappointing and annoying lists were returned. So instead of relying on google for help...

I've put together a Christmas movie playlist from tonight through to the 24th.

Some of these I haven't seen before and some are family favorites. The Grinch is always the last thing we watch before Christmas.

December 19th:

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

The Santa Clause


December 20th:

Frosty the Snowman

Miracle on 34th Street


December 21st:

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

It's a Wonderful Life


December 22nd:

A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Muppet's Christmas Carol


December 23rd:


Buddy's Christmas Musical


December 24th:

Polar Express

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Project Tango Available for Developers

I got an email to purchase a Tango this morning.

I placed an order. Let's see what I can do with it...

Here is a prior post on the tango:

When I get it I will do a detailed unboxing of it.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Half Life 2 for the DK2

Half Life 2 for Oculus DK2

So you've got the DK2 and are itching to play Half Life 2? Well... put down your beer. You've got about 15-30 minutes of work to get it all ready to go.

These steps are a succinct visual walk through of instructions and comments found here:

Download Oculus SDK 0.4.4 Beta (as of 12/8/2014)
I was originally using an older version of the beta and Half Life 2 wouldn't recognize the DK2.

Turn on the DK2

Update your DK2 firmware

Put Rift in extended mode
Half Life 2 does not work in direct HMD mode.

Set the monitor resolution so that the frequency is 75hz
If you don't do this, you will get judder in the game. It makes it unplayable. Finding the right resolution that supports 75Hertz may take a while. I had to go all the way down to 1024x768 before I found a resolution that worked.

Enable Half Life 2 beta
Right click on the Half Life 2 game in steam and it will open this dialog. Go to the betas tab and enable beta updates. Half Life 2 will download new stuff when you close this.

Add launch parameters
Half Life 2 must run at 75 Hertz so there is no judder. You need to pass a few launch options.

Enable Virtual Reality 
Within Half Life 2, go to options and enable virtual reality mode. You will also need to run in a window.

Disable Motion Blur
Turn off the motion blur. It can be found in video - advanced.

Enable Developer Console
Turn on the developer console in the keyboard tab.

Set refresh frequency
Open the developer console by pressing the ~ (tilda) key when you are at the menu.
Enter this:
fps_max 76

Enlarge Camera Tracking Bounds
The tracking camera's default boundary is very tiny. Lets fix that.
With the developer console open, enter this:
vr_translation_limit 100

Start Virtual Reality Mode (May require restart of Half Life 2 to see it)
You should be good to go. Start up Half Life 2 and enjoy. If you don't see it you probably don't have the DK2 on, its firmware is old or you don't have the latest Oculus Run time.

Side Note:
developer console settings must be re-entered every time you launch the game:
fps_max 76
 vr_translation_limit 100