Tag Archives: Direct X

Tech Review: Facerig

review-facerigFacerig is a very unusual program where you can actually have a lot of fun. So much fun in fact, That I have literally spent a few hours alone on it, just talking to myself and learning the software so I can make some funny videos later.

However, I’ve found a few notable problems with the software and after a quick Google search I’ve learned that they are either still working on fixing them, or that the developers have stopped caring about fixing them.20131215151557-FaceRig_alpha-stage_03_-_Copy

When I first tried recording with the software, I was met with a loud hissing and static noise that made it impossible to hear my own voice. The problem was that the software doesn’t auto-detect your microphone/headset, rather it sets its own default (even if it’s disabled). This was odd, but regardless I set it to my headset and moved on. But even after doing that, recording with FRAPS was also pointless because it still detected the audio input according to the earlier settings.

But after trying LoiLo I was finally able to clear up the audio for recording and it was pretty great. I really enjoyed it overall, however after restarting the program I found out that the software does not save all of your settings and you must manually reset your microphone and headset each and every time you want to use the software.FaceRig Games

Now this is what I meant by the developers not fixing the issue yet after a quick Google search I learned that this has been a persistent problem for the software and even after a year you think they would fix it but they haven’t so far.

But let us move on to the actual software, it does have a lot of variation and once you do get your webcam working and microphone working for lipsync the animations you can do are incredible, however this all goes without saying that you got to make sure its all probably being detected by the software each and every time you use it.

Their exporting feature also for video and audio is a little disappointing which is the reason why I am relying heavily on using Loilo or FRAPS for the software to get better results, they even have a green screen feature for the software which is amazing for editing the images into other videos but if you are using AVS or other software it won’t be as good as you would hope.maxresdefault

All in all by its own right the software is remarkably fun and I have literally killed a bunch of time on it and the bugs I have encountered although widely known has not stopped people such as myself and others from using it.

I recommend you pick up the software and give it a try sometime it’s really amazing.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

Tech News: Direct X12 – Power Up!

Alright for those Tech junkies out there such as myself you have heard that Windows 10 will change things up a bit. More important in the graphics card area of things avoiding all the mumbo jumbo for the none tech people out there and what this could mean.

Currently those who have used Nvidia and or AMD based graphics cards in their gaming PC’s
could never use both at the same time as the two companies tend not to get along that well.
However with the new Explicit Asynchronous Multi-GPU Capabilities the graphics cards can now at long last get along.
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Essentially its like the Imperials and the Nords in Skyrim both going you know? Why fight!
We got beer and beer is good so lets go drink a beer. The Operating system with Direct X12 being the beer. AMD being the imperials and Nvidia being the Nords regardless of whatever side they are on they can now get along thanks to advancements in modern technology.

What does this mean for the gamers? It means increased frame rates, it means better visuals
and most of all it means the PC master race can keep doing what its doing all along innovating so the consoles can do something better when they aim for their next gen.

I for one am very much looking forward to the new DirectX although I believe I will need to change out my graphics cards again in the future and without a job I guess I’ll be waiting a while.

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-Daniel Clatworthy-

Tech Editorial: Where is Linux going with Gaming?

TuxYears ago, Microsoft decided that Windows would be the gaming platform. Currently if you own a gaming PC, it’s probably running Windows. There’s a lot of historical and technological discussion to be held over this fact that has held in the PC gaming community for countless years.

Really you could say it all began with Microsoft having a jealousy of the old timer consoles like Sega Genesis. They were running all sorts of neat games in the day. DOS did have games as well of course, but there was a fundamental difference. Look at today, if you make a game for the X-box 360, you know it’s going to run on X-box 360 hardware. If you write a game for PC however, there’s all sorts different types of hardware you could encounter. Nowadays encountering different types of hardware isn’t as problematic. In many languages such as Java, a programmer really has to think little of it. Even someone who writes their games in a lower lever language like C++ can for the most part avoid trouble with today’s fancy development libraries and engines. Back during the times of DOS though, developers had to do more of their own work ensuring that their games ran on different machines.

I mentioned libraries minimizing this issue, and a library was exactly what Microsoft created. DirectX was born at this time to give game developers a way to write games that could be built for Windows and be distributed. DirectX was especially important for Windows because it was an OS that enforced more rules than DOS, using resources to keep a more cooperative system. DirectX was designed so that game developers could still eek that performance they wanted.

  How this ties in with this article though, is the fact that DirectX was unsurprisingly only made for Windows. To this day it only runs on Windows, and not on Linux or Mac. There is a noble counterpart however (sort of).

OpenGL is a cross-platform rendering library, it in short runs on anything provided you use it compliantly. It doesn’t make sense to compare it directly to DirectX, as OpenGL is soley a graphics library, while DirectX encompasses things needed for a game in general. You’re better off comparing OpenGL and Direct3D.

You can make OpenGL today run on Windows, Linux, iOS, Android. Hell you could write OpenGL code for the Dreamcast still. The only catch being you have to interface it properly with the platform in question. There are however plenty of libraries nowadays that run with OpenGL and handle these kind of details for you.

The thing is, OpenGL and Direct3D have been competing for years, and there hasn’t been a victor. I say we should want OpenGL to come out on top, but it hasn’t. There’s already a lot of games and game engines written with Direct3D. It won’t just step out of the picture suddenly.

  There is plenty you can learn about the long standing conflict between OpenGL and Direct3D, but I feel it’d be out of the scope of this article to go too far in depth. So I’ll summarize below.

  Many games are written specifically for Windows (use DirectX) and cannot be simply ported to Linux (Don’t use OpenGL or know how to communicate with hardware on Linux). This means that either the game just doesn’t work, or you have to have software such as Wine to use it. Wine is always getting better, but in the end it’s a work around to an application not being able to run native to Linux.

  With the past somewhat explained, let’s talk about now and the future, and the implications of Linux becoming a key player in the gaming world.

  First of all, there’s nothing about Linux itself that makes it a poor platform for games. As a matter of fact, there are a few really nice pros with Linux, some obvious, some not so obvious.

  One that’s great and not known to all, is the fact that Linux distributions tend to be lightweight, some more so than others. The minimum amount of RAM you might need for a game could very well be lower on Ubuntu than on Windows 7.

  Secondly, and obviously, Linux is totally free. This is a no brainer, but I really must point this out. It’s an entire OS for free, Windows can cost a lot depending on which version you’re getting. So maybe in the future you could spend that money not on Windows, but for more RAM, or a better GPU, etc.

  Third point, games do have potential to run better within Linux. Now, I don’t want to get misleading here. Some games today run better on Linux, while some better on Windows. There can be all sorts of reasoning behind this. All in all though, because of the lesser overhead with Linux, there is potential for greater performance. We’ve seen examples with some of Valve’s AAA titles running superbly on Ubuntu, even better than Windows. The catch is some video cards don’t have the best driver support in comparison to Windows, and the games that do run well on Linux are very likely to be running on OpenGL, not Direct3D.

  Now, I just mentioned Valve, let’s talk about Valve. It’s no secret Gabe Newell decided Linux needed some love. It’s also no secret that Valve has actually created their own distro of Linux, creatively titled Steam OS. Valve promised to make their own games run on Linux, and they were serious about it. I was very happy when I switched out of Windows to (you guessed it) and found that I could still play Dota 2 just fine. Some of my favorite titles such as Mount and Blade: Warband also still worked. There are games being released with builds for Linux on Steam, and the number of these games are increasing. Valve is playing a huge role in Linux gaming, what I really believe is the needed push to make Linux gaming dreams come true.