Thomas Sampson

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Killzone 2!

After playing but mostly watching my friend play Killzone 2 from start to finish (almost!) on the ps3 I have been blown away by the game! I have been getting really interested in rendering techniques of late and the visuals and cinematic effects used in killzone 2 are like nothing I have ever seen before in video game. Here are a couple of great “making of” videos for the game which cover the following areas of interest..

  • The deferred rendering engine
  • A demonstration of the rendering pipeline at each stage
  • Cinematic effects (pixel speeds/motion blur/noise/bloom etc)
  • A look at a ps3 devkit
  • A tour around a debug build of the game
  • The use of the PS3’s SPU’s
  • The sound technology and layers used within the game


Online File Coversion

I know how anoying it is when you get a file you cant open, and that happened to me today when I received a “docX” file from work. I stumbled upon Zamzar which is a great web service which will convert files from many file types to a long list of other file types, and all for free. The service worked great when converting my “docX” file to a simple “doc” file and boasts a long list of file types for documents, images, videos and even archives!

So Whats the catch?

  • Ads (and plenty of them)
  • Document is emailed to you shortly after conversion
  • Converted file must be retrieved within 24 hours after conversion

Other than the points above, brilliant free service. Something like this should definately be integrated into Google Documents which currently lacks support for most of the files zamzar works with!

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Optimus Maximus

The Dynamic Keyboard shown in the video is still a protoype but looks very cool. Using the specialist drivers and software bundled with the keyboard, each key’s “letter” or “symbol” can be completely manipulated, made possible by the LCD screen on the surface of each key. This is implemented by creating keyboard “Layers” within the software and assigning them per application. So for instance you may have one keyboard layout for Photoshop, one for Visual Studio, another for Half Life and so on.

Although it does not demonstrate how in the video, I am assuming that you can create logic to change key patterns and combinations dynamically, for example while holding shift in Word, the letter keys change to their specific functions (c = copy, v = paste etc). This type of adaptive keyboard can also be used to display dynamic data on un-used keys. For instance the number of Unread mail in your Gmail inbox, or perhaps your remaining HDD space ( a similar idea to the minature displays bein manufactured on the front of some laptops). Some of these ideas could be usefull, others pointless.

Who will use the device?

The main areas I can see this being adopted are….

  1. The Design industry (Where Designers utilise many keyboard shortuts across many packages to increase productivity).
  2. The Gamer (Who would appreciate the developer of the title packaging a specific keyboard “layer” with their game to make finding that all important rocket launcher much easier!!).
  3. In a multilingual environment where people of different nationalities and languages share the same input device (perhaps in an airport or other public place).