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A gaming and technology blog by TWHL admins Penguinboy and Ant. A music blog by TWHL users Ant and Hugh.

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Take a look at all the journal entries from our members.

User Journals

avatar JeffMOD 9 comments | 28th May 2014, 19:27 PM

I decided to give learning Source Filmmaker another shot.

I uh, I made a thing.

avatar TJB 18 comments | 22nd May 2014, 19:36 PM

wat

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I'm going to assume that this is because of lighting related tutorials and forum threads that I may have posted in.

avatar Suture 29 comments | 21st May 2014, 16:24 PM

Claiming dubs while I still can.

avatar satchmo 10 comments | 20th May 2014, 15:22 PM

Das Keyboard 4 unboxing.

My son inherited my Model S Das. Fast typing starts young.

avatar Penguinboy 9 comments | 14th May 2014, 13:07 PM

I posted a link to my (very basic) JavaScript RMF loader/renderer in the Shoutbox yesterday and a few people said they were interested in learning more about JavaScript and 3D stuff, so here's my official guide to learning JavaScript and/or 3D stuff! Hopefully someone finds it useful or interesting :)

Even if you're not interested in learning programming, I would recommend clicking on the links to the D3 and three.js websites - the examples for those libraries are really damn cool!

JavaScript:

What you need to get started:
- A computer
- ...(with a browser)
- .......(that's not IE, use Firefox/Chrome/ChrOpera)

Learn the core language: Eloquent JavaScript is a slightly old, but still relevant introduction to JavaScript, and programming in general. No previous programming knowledge required!

Learn some basic HTML and CSS: This video series from Google is said to be a good introduction to HTML and CSS, as well as some more stuff about JavaScript.

Learn more about HTML, CSS, and JavaScript APIs: MozDev is one of the best resources for doing front-end web programming. It covers every API and element that Firefox supports (or might be supporting in the near future) - which is basically everything you'll ever need to know.

Look at cool JS libraries!

- jQuery - easy HTML/CSS manipulation, AJAX, HTML events

- Backbone - write a single-page application like all the other cool people! I'm writing one at work at the moment. SoundCloud is an example of a single-page website made using Backbone.

- D3 - a super-cool library for graphing and displaying data in a visual way. Supports topography/maps, graphs, animations, interactivity, and other cool stuff. The examples are great!

- three.js - Really easy OpenGL (see below) for the web! I used this for my RMF demo. There's tons of examples, so it's really easy to get started.

3D stuff (I only know OpenGL, sorry DirectX fans!):

What you need to get started:
- A computer
- A graphics card that supports OpenGL 3+
- Programming knowledge. You can't just jump into 3D programming, you need to know the basics first. JavaScript works, but so does C, C++, C#, VB, Java, Python, and many other languages with OpenGL bindings. JavaScript is one of the easier options due to the three.js library (see above).

Learn how to use (modern-style) OpenGL: Learning Modern 3D Graphics Programming is one of the best modern GL references out there. You may have heard of, or stumble upon, the NeHe tutorials website - be careful! These tutorials (especially the intro ones) are mostly for OpenGL 1.0, which is extremely slow and no longer part of core OpenGL! Learn the new pipeline that is in OpenGL 2+, you will save a lot of time.

Learn GLSL: The above tutorial will get you started with GLSL shaders, but you can use websites like http://glsl.heroku.com/ and https://www.shadertoy.com/ to work with GLSL without needing all the extra wiring up that OGL requires.

Skip all of that and learn three.js instead: Skipping the OpenGL stuff will certainly put you at a disadvantage, but three.js allows you to get started with 3D programming without having to deal with the lower-level stuff. If you want a quick 3D fix without having to learn loads of really difficult stuff, you could do this, and learn the complicated stuff later!

OpenGL bindings that I know of:
- .NET: OpenTK
- C/C++: GLEW
- Java: JOGL
- Python: PyOpenGL and PyGame
- Others: Just google "opengl <your_programming_language_here>"!

Bonus: Put all your work on GitHub (it's free!) so other people can learn from your work!

I put all my code on GitHub, you can check some of it out here:
Sledge: https://github.com/LogicAndTrick/sledge
The JS RMF loader from above: https://github.com/LogicAndTrick/sledge-js

Double bonus: Help me out by contributing new features to Sledge >____>

avatar Instant Mix 27 comments | 9th May 2014, 18:12 PM

Sat my Mathematics for Physics exam yesterday.

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I spent a good hour or so on B1. It was completely wrong.
I didn't even attempt B2.
B3 I attempted the very first part, and failed.
B4 was incredibly easy for 10 marks so I think I've screwed it up.

I don't think I've passed.

Isn't there someone here doing engineering?

avatar Archie 12 comments | 7th May 2014, 17:13 PM

Look what just arrived signed by the Author :)

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avatar Tetsu0 4 comments | 7th May 2014, 02:00 AM

Semester Over!
My final project was a moderate success.. almost...
Automatic Bottle Opener:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRhLXIHeIT8

That ate a lot of my time :(
So did the book though :P
Bleah.
2 more semesters to go and I'll have my engineering degree.
Cant wait.

avatar The_(c)Striker 13 comments | 4th May 2014, 20:13 PM

What is a good file hosting site these days?

I used to upload files for the map vault on filefront(now gamefront), but they delete them after a while.
Also, linking from my dropbox account or something like that doesn't feel very secure either.
... so?

Also, when is TWHL going to increase the 2mb limit and allow for more than one screenshot? :\

avatar ninja defuse 4 comments | 3rd May 2014, 21:41 PM

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.”

Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life

avatar zeeba-G 17 comments | 30th April 2014, 15:33 PM

In order to listen to music at work I decided to make this. It helps prevent the speaker from projecting into the break room which I'm working from currently and sharing with another co worker.

I'd use headphones but am not allowed.

I used my laser cutter to quickly cut it out. It works really well.

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avatar Dimbeak 5 comments | 23rd April 2014, 15:20 PM

So, today I took my Software App II final. In fact, I just now turned it in and I'm passing the time in class.

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Our final was to take a rubber band ball and add a background to any theme.

avatar Archie 22 comments | 22nd April 2014, 11:55 AM

Freelancing is a terrifying prospect. I can make more in a day on the right job than I would in a month of permanent employment, yet there is absolutely no guarantee of work.
After an embarrassingly bountiful end to 2013, the work dried up during Jan and Feb (Very few shows get shot in the winter months due to lack of daylight hours, so there's almost no post-production work until spring) and I took an unavoidable break.

However, I got hit with a massive tax bill of £900 because I earned more than I expected in December last year so I've had to go back to a permanent job for the moment because I can no longer wait for the freelance work to pick up. What's the job? Post-production Coordinator. Minimum contract of 3 months. Been here 2 weeks and already bouncing off the walls out of lack of creative output. I'm managing 8 edit suites and a dub suite. Managing. Not using. Nnggg.

What's particularly annoying is that literally two days after starting this position, I got offered one of the most lucrative freelance gigs of my entire career (VFX on Irn Bru's official Commonwealth Games ad - anyone familiar with Scotland will understand why that's a huge deal) and I've had to turn it down.

tl;dr:
When I'm freelance, the security of permanent seems so appealing. When I'm permanent, I get super exciting freelance opportunities.

avatar Dimbeak 10 comments | 19th April 2014, 02:48 AM

For the love of God.

I made another green explosion instead of a yellow explosion.

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The moral of the story is to not be colorblind.

avatar The_(c)Striker 23 comments | 14th April 2014, 23:34 PM

It is now legal for me to drink alcohol in the U.S.A.

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avatar TJB 5 comments | 8th April 2014, 21:42 PM

I did a stupid thing and bet all my money on a horse with 50 to 1 odds.
I won though so that's alright:

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So I guess technically I'm a billionaire now.

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Celebratory party is at my place, I'll buy you all jetpacks so you can attend.

avatar The_(c)Striker 16 comments | 7th April 2014, 20:43 PM

I've got this annoying problem with the windows command line. Every time I start it by itself or through some program( think cmd from "RUN" or a program when compiling in Visual) it shows extremely small text. Even if I try to modify the font from its properties, the next time it will still start like that.
I'm using Windows 8.1.

Does anyone know what the problem is?

avatar Dimbeak 14 comments | 5th April 2014, 15:34 PM

So, I've been spending a lot of time with the highschool drama club.

We've done a production of Annie, and I've gotten a pretty big part, for this being my first year. I played one of the villians/comic reliefs of the musical, Rooster. If you aren't familiar with the musical, then all you need to know is that he's a sleezy, backstabbing con artist.

Pictures below.

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avatar ciba43 6 comments | 29th March 2014, 14:49 PM

A little 'Help Me Do Something' journal

I want to try my best at making maps for Source. I would like to know which Source SDK to use and which is required to make maps for native Half-Life 2. No mods, no EP's, just HL2.

Basically the question: Should I use Source SDK 2013 (2006, 2007) or Source SDK Base to make maps/mods for Half-Life 2?

avatar Tetsu0 5 comments | 29th March 2014, 01:07 AM

For all you Aussies.
A dedication.

avatar Urby 3 comments | 28th March 2014, 16:33 PM

The Alchemist's Wish

“Curses!” the tormented wail echoed through the stoney hallways of the castle. “This one’s come out green! It’s supposed to be blue!” A glass beaker shattered as it struck the cold stone floor, the green fluid within it sizzling as it spread and began dissolving a nearby rug.
The castle alchemist, Ebenezer Brothbrewer was hunched over his work table, wildly flicking through the pages of an enormous recipe book. He had lost track of how long he had been working. It could have been hours, even days, but he would not rest until he had figured out the ingredients for a very special brew he had once created by mistake.
“How hard can it truly be to turn oneself into a dragon?” he said aloud as he stood straight, his bones creaking audibly as he did. He slumped back into his naturally hunched posture and continued turning the pages of his book. “Why did I not write it down?”
He was mostly talking to himself, although some of his muttering caused Woodrow, one of the many cats who called the castle home, to stir in his sleep on top of one of the bookshelves lining the walls. He sat up and yawned, looking down on the frail old man ranting below him with great disinterest. Displeased with having been woken, he slowly moped along the row of shelves before leaping down onto the floor and gleefully trotting out of the room to find a new, quieter spot.
Brothbrewer paced back and forth across the room, scratching his bearded chin, completely oblivious to his previous attempts which littered the room. His most recent attempt was still rapidly dematerialising the large rug in the middle of the floor, while another was slowly climbing one of the walls, attempting to escape through a window. Suddenly, an ingredient he had not yet considered popped into mind. He quickly strode over to his ingredients cabinet and pulled out various vials and jars, checking the label on each.
“Aha!” he laughed “Cinnamon!” he practically skipped back to his bench, confident that this was what he had been missing all this time. He took another beaker, filled it halfway with water, and added the ingredients he had arranged on his table one by one. Then, he opened the jar of cinnamon, tipped some of the powder into his hand, and sprinkled it into the mixture. Satisfied with the amount, he took out his wand and used it to stir the concoction, before taking a step back and watching with high hopes. As the clear liquid began to take on a colour, his eyes almost welled up. It started out incredibly pale, before turning to a bright sky blue, darkening a little, and finally, as though to mock the poor man, rapidly morphed to a deep, dark purple and stopped. Brothbrewer’s eyes were still tearing up, but now they were twitching too, as he felt an intense building up inside him. He shook his head and tiptoed over to the beaker, quickly stirring the mixture again with his wand. Nothing. It remained purple.
He felt something snap. Actually, he felt two things snap. The first was something deep inside his head, his rage at its peak, the second was the wand in his hands. He let out a furious roar and brought both fists down on the work table either side of the beaker, which exploded.
When he opened his eyes, he was lying on his back, looking up at the mossy stone ceiling. He sat upright and rubbed his eyes, and then gazed at the dark purple smoke that was pouring out of the small crater in the table top. Then he noticed a strange light, shining inside the billowing smog. It grew brighter and brighter until suddenly, a small winged creature burst out of the smoke cloud with an audible pop. She was a beautiful, tiny creature, her dark brown hair swaying ever so slightly in the wake of her brilliant bright wings. Her miniature body was slim and without imperfections, covered by a small dress which ended halfway down her thighs.
“You’re a fairy” gasped Brothbrewer, the words sounded mad even to him, his eyes focused on the remains of the beaker “I’ve created a fairy.”
“You have summoned a fairy” the gorgeous being corrected him. “I am to grant you one wish. Then I am free to return to my true home.”
A grin crept across the wizards creased and tired face. He scrambled to get to his feet, then eagerly skipped over to the work bench, his face only an inch or so from the creature’s. Excitedly, he blurted out the first thing that came into his head. “I wish I could remember this blasted dragon potion recipe.”
The fairy almost looked shocked. No wish for great fortune or fame, no wish for eternal life or to be guided to the heavens regardless of sin or religious beliefs. Men often wished for such things without thinking of the consequences and usually paid the price. This one however, was much easier to please. “Very well.” she said and vanished in a bright flash, a single sheet of paper in her place. It fluttered down and landed neatly on the bench top. The wizard hurriedly grabbed the recipe, scanned it with his weary eyes and gathered the ingredients. Adding them one by one to a fresh beaker, he watched the liquid form with wide eyes, finally he had it, as he saw the mixture turn a brilliant blue. He leapt with joy, his cries echoing through the hallways. He calmed himself down, poured the liquid into a vial, and corked it for safekeeping. Then he set it aside and began trying to remember how he summoned the fairy.
It was purple. He knew it had to be purple.

avatar Instant Mix 13 comments | 25th March 2014, 22:09 PM

I have a go at the barman at WhyNot ( club in edinburgh ) as he was doing a "promotion" that if you managed to throw a pound coin into what was a wine bottle cooler filled with water with a lemon in it and get it to balance on the lemon, you win some shots or something. I told him that it's pretty much impossible. About 6 shots of tequila later, I lose memory.

And that's where my fucked up night begins.

I have flashes of memory - I vaguely remember walking on school grounds and trying to jump over one of the fences, I also vaguely remember jumping over loads of people's garden walls , I remember being in some posh housing estate, running up some random hill, arriving at Edinburgh Napier university buildings, and then walking along a long-ass road back into the centre of ediburgh.

Why was I on school grounds? Why was I in some bloody housing estate? Was I getting chased? Why did I leave the club? So many unaswered qeustions - ones that will never be answered.

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Photo my flatmate took when I walked into the flat. I'm a complete mess. My face is completely grazed and think I have a black eye, my hands are ruined, legs hurt like mad, feet blistered... and I haven't slept at all.

I managed to take a video ( why, I have no idea ) when it started to become daylight again, passing a morrisons. ( https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10201350617679012&
l=6960608814893549845 if you are curious )

I was looking on google maps and couldn't find this hill I was walking up nor the houses I was running through, however a mate told me the video above was taken near somewhere called Hunter's Tryst - I looked it up on google maps.

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At the very top of the map is george street, the street Why Not is on. To the right of that and down a bit (Near where it says Opium) is my halls of residence.

The red circle is the area the video was taken.

Why on earth was I that far away from edinburgh?
Moral of the story is, never drink snakebites, strongbow, and then copius amounts of tequila and sambucca

avatar ciba43 32 comments | 23rd March 2014, 13:51 PM

I just love codes :D

010011010110000101101011011001010010000001110011011101
0101110010011001010010000001110100011011110010000001
1001110110111100100000011101000110111100100000010101
0001010111010010000100110000101110010010010100111001
00011001001111

Btw, it's binary.

avatar 2muchvideogames 5 comments | 22nd March 2014, 20:47 PM

I watched a playthru of to the moon. It made me really sad.

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..

avatar The_(c)Striker 7 comments | 21st March 2014, 00:19 AM

I... I...

I was bored.

Honestly.

avatar Urby 5 comments | 16th March 2014, 00:36 AM

Started playing the original Fallout 3 alongside New Vegas but decided to record my adventures in DC.

Presenting: Falling Out with Lord Casserole - Wasteland Brit and self proclaimed bastard.

avatar zeeba-G 14 comments | 15th March 2014, 23:14 PM

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Waiting for this bad boy to arrive in the mail. 40 Watt Full Spectrum laser cutter.

avatar Suture 6 comments | 13th March 2014, 00:04 AM

Got hooked back into some DOOM modding and gaming. Love me some DOOM.

avatar The_(c)Striker 27 comments | 11th March 2014, 08:38 AM

Finally found an impressive list of traditional foods from my country. I realize not all of them are very specific to our country, but they're very often cooked. I think I have tasted a bit from all of them.

link

When I was young I used to love cabbage rolls, mostly because I was a lazy ass.

avatar rufee 14 comments | 5th March 2014, 10:25 AM

Entered the second decade, in other words turned 20 :)