Marching Cubes Tutorial

In Minecraft, you can dig in any direction – removing a block at a time with well defined edges. But other games manage to destruct terrain smoothly, without all the blockiness of Minecraft.

The following tutorial in Marching Cubes, a technique for achieving destructible terrain, and more generally, creating a smooth boundary mesh to something solid. In this series, we’ll cover 2d in this first article, follwed by 3d in the next , and Dual Contouring in the third. This last is a more advanced technique for achieving the same effect.

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Random Path Algorithm

Quick follow up to my previous post, I found the same technique is pretty good at generating organic looking random paths. You simply start with an empty room, and keep randomly filling points until it is no longer possible to add any more without disconnecting the room. What’s left is a nicely wiggly pathway.

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Blue Noise Particles

I’ve released a plugin generates a random arrangement of particles with a blue noise distribution. This is also known as Poisson Disk Sampling.

Shows blue noise distributed particles in comparison to other options

This distribution of particles guarantees no two particles are very near each other. It’s often considered a higher quality particle arrangement than Blender’s default uniform sampling. It’s particularly useful for organic arrangements, and randomly arranging meshes without collisions.

Axaxaxas


I’ve released a Python based string parser on GitHub. This was part of a much more ambitious project that fell through, but I extracted the good part.

Axaxaxas is a Python 3.3 implementation of an Earley Parser. Earley parsers are a robust parser that can recognize any context-free grammar, with good support for amiguous grammars. They have linear performance for a wide class of grammars, and worst case O(n^3).

The main goals of this implementation are ease of use, customization, and requiring no pre-processing step for the grammar. You may find the Marpa project better suits high performance needs.

Documentation can be found at: http://axaxaxas.readthedocs.org

Celtic Knots

I’ve created a Blender plugin generates 3d beziers curves in elaborate “celtic” style knotwork, based off of a framework mesh. Tested with Blender 2.68a. It’s available on github.

Celtic Knots are a intricate decorative design found in Celtic and other cultures mosaics and manuscripts. The knots often include elaborate variations and unusual angles that the plugin does not attempt to create, so touching up the resulting path in blender may be necessary for some designs.

Refer to the tutorial for some instructions on how to use the plugin, and the gallery for some examples of what is possible.

Tileset Roundup

Following my development of Resynth Tileset, I’ve been doing some thinking on the nature of tilesets, and the possible ways to auto tile them – that is, to paint tiles as is with a brush and letting the computer do the tile selection. Let’s review a few possible ways of doing so.

Just to be clear, I’m only interested at the moment in square, non-rotatable tiles. Rotation is another discussion, but excludes the more interesting tilesets. Adding alternative tiles is also not considered, though it is pretty easy to add in.

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