Plasmation update 4


  • Got scenes list to display
  • Got user accounts to login and redirect to scenes
  • Made a Facebook page
  • Made another template 
  • Got jquery to work
  • Got three.js into the scene
  • Got the canvas to render a basic scene with a cube

What up

So, I enjoy writing these journals because it lets me explain things to a website, which helps figure things out somehow. 


More website work

The majority of the work this week was sorting out the website templates and getting the users to be able to create an account, login and see their scenes. This was quite easy due to my framework (the “Corn” framework).  I also added it all to BitBucket for version control with git. 

Some issues I had were purely me being an idiot, but still issues and they still take up time. The first one was me trying to use DBO methods of saving the scene once a user created it. I was trying to save about 12 fields at once and it was causing an exception.  I realized it was just because I had spelled the last field differently to the one in the sql preparation query. 

The second issue was with trying to get jquery to initialize the three.js canvas by using $(“#canvas”).appendChild, which should have worked, but apparently jQuery has its own way of doing this which is just ().append. Nice work. 

I managed to get the canvas working in the end and three.js to initialize a cube. Which is a good start. The next step is getting the shaders running. Looking around the net, I found a webGL fluid simulation example by Jonas Wagner where he uses IBOs etc. and texture maps to save things like pressure and velocity for the pressure. I could go through these for some ideas on ways to implement my own type of fluid simulation that includes a pixel shader for the “heat” of each cell which will be based off of a gradient of colours over heat level. This will allow the users to do whatever colour they want based off of these colour gradients. 

Here’s some screenshots (the interface still needs styling up, but that should be done after I get the fluid simulation and exporting done.)





More redesign

I’ve had some thoughts and I still can’t decide on the format of the data in the database. On one had I want to be able to literally post the javascript object data straight to the database like a json string, which would be faster and easier. But on the other hand, this is both insecure and causes the data to be harder to read once saved out to the database and may prove to be hard to debug in the future. it also poses the risk of the data becoming corrupt if I screw up the saving functions at any stage.

After contemplating a lot, the way I am leaning towards at the moment is having the javascript in the editor post json queries to the server that do specific things like “update resolution” or something more compact like “save scene properties”. This would be good because I can just compact and send the needed variables to the server to update only when they need to be. This lets me remove the “save” function, and only leave the “save as” function because the scene will technically be automatically saved.  

The downfall of this is that I would need to write many functions that get and set this data, and these will all need to be written, added security, and tested in the test phases which need to be completed this week. I think there should be a fair bit of copying and pasting for most of it, so I could turn a lot of the repetitive functionality into functions.  

An issue that has cropped up during these redesigning parts is the fact that a simulation will not have much randomness in the particle generation initially. This means it would be a good idea to allow the user to “paint” on the areas where pressure and velocity will start at in the simulation, otherwise it would look very round and boring. I’ve added another tool on the toolbar for letting the user paint on the layer / emitter the direction that the fluid pixels will have from the first frame. This will also give the user more freedom.

Facebook page

Pretty straightforward: created a page, added a picture, and linked it to the footer of the app. I might need to make a Google+ account and something else, like Tumblr, YouTube (for Tutorials), or Pintrest. 


I’ve also started adding things to Trello, making sure I have tickets for everything and that they go into the correct column when done and tested.

 What’s next?

The first thing I want to get working is the exporting ability. THis will require somehow grabbing the pixels out of the canvas element and saving them as a 32-bit PNG. 

In the next 2 weeks or so, I will be getting the fluid system into the application. This will require researching some fluid code done with webgl and implementing it with three.js. Looking at some demos online, this should be fairly straightforward. 

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