Plasmation update 3

This week I focused on getting the design documentation and technical documentation complete for the project.

Database design

Some things I ran into was that because the data for the online tool will be saved in a database, there needs to be a decision to what format the data is saved in. The 2 choices were to store things in the database as their own fields, for example “camera_x” or “tint_red” “tint_blue” etc. But some thing would need to be relational and in second normal form. This occurs in the curves that happen over time. Things like the colour of the effect transitioning over time need about 4 numbers per node in the curve editor. This would cause an indeterminate size of data for each scene. Therefore, after some research, I’ve decided to just make numbers saved per frame without curves. This means the database will have a table called “keyframes” and these will all belong to certain scenes. They will contain a number for which frame it is, certain colour and other data, and in the app they will simply transition in a normal “lerp” (linear interpolation). Future versions could have curve types like “easing”. But I don’t have time to make it more complex.

New interface

Because of this new keyframe method, I had to re-make the design documentation and change the example screenshots.

Screen export


As you can see, the interface now does not have any tabs for “workspace” and “export” view, but rather you simply see what the finished product will look like. Each layer will be rendered to a graphics buffer and caches for easy scrubbing through the timeline. The 3rd button on the bottom-left of the time-line is an “add keyframe button” which will add a keyframe to all layers.

The reason I didn’t want to combine the layers into a single buffer is because the fluid simulation would otherwise need to be updated for all layers rather than just 1. This also allows transformation of layers individually without having to re-render the images underneath. 

Further along this week, I will be putting the fluid simulation in the tool and set up the javascript framework for it to render to buffers.

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