Monday, December 12, 2016

PlumeriaSC 3.1 & Free Games

Well it is now truly Christmas and Plumeria Smart Creator 3.1 has just been released. The features include...
- A new more realistic 3D physics engine.
- Four new tasks that make it easier to modify other tasks in the same object group.
- Tables that allow importing more motion and lighting tasks.
...Just to name a few.
Since we have significantly improved PlumeriaSC 3, we created two new games that can be downloaded for free in the Games section of the Solar Fusion Software website.
Take PlumeriaSC for a test drive today and find that there is no way to create an error. Discover and master something exciting and challenging. Let your creative side go and no worries about making errors that are hard to find and cause your computer to conk out.
Finally, as a Christmas gift we have lowered the price of PlumeriaSC 3.1 to $14.99. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

PlumeriaSC 3.0.1 Released

Well since we could only find a few bugs we decided to add new features that would not affect the structure of the projects. The bugs first:
- Fixed the Text Box so that it scales with the size of the window.
- Orienting the circles, rectangles, and rings toward the camera (billboarding) now supports scaling.
- Fixed Number tasks that would not work correctly with Motion.
New Cool Stuff:
- The Project Window now is resizable
- The Simulator and Published Apps support different screen ratios
and much more

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Christmas in July! PlumeriaSC 3 is here.

Plumeria Smart Creator 3 for Mac has been released! It uses an artificial intelligence algorithm and a visual interface to stop the top three problems in programming languages - crashing, freezing, and syntax errors. The interface uses a simulator and a project browser all in one simple window. PlumeriaSC 3 gives you the ability to drag sliders, change popup button values, and modify 3D graphics all in real time. Simply put it uses an interface of an IDE (Integrated Developer Environment) like Xcode and the interaction of a 3D modeling program together. The download and tutorials are free but if you would like to save and open files you can purchase the pro version for $29.95. Download PlumeriaSC for free today!

Monday, May 2, 2016

What Is Order Independent Transparency?

When programming 3D graphics with something like OpenGL the transparency only works when polygons are programmed in the correct order. A new idea for 3D graphics has emerged called Order Independent Transparency (OIT). OIT algorithms do not care what order the polygons are programmed in. There is one big gotcha with OIT though. Every transparent layer has to be drawn in an off screen buffer then combined at the end of the cycle. This can slow a computer’s performance significantly so I usually limit it to 3 or 4 layers.

Recently, faster OIT algorithms have been made. One of my favorites is Weighted, Blended Order-Independent Transparency by Morgan McGuire.  One big advantage is that it draws everything into one buffer per cycle. This means no matter how many transparent polygons are programmed only one layer is needed. If you would like to read more about this idea check out the links below:

Morgan McGuire’s Blog:

This site has more working examples with source code that Morgan did not mention in his blog:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Key Mapping Game Controllers on Mac OS X

I finally bought my first game controller. Here’s what I learned:

Before You Start:
You can use any Mac and a Playstation 3 or 4 controller. If you are buying a Ps3 controller make sure you buy a Mini USB coord and for Ps4 a Micro USB coord. There is a difference! You can use Xbox controllers but from what I have read they require downloading and installing drivers. Also there are other companies that sell game controllers but as the reviewers stated: “You get what you pay for”. 

What You Should Buy:

The Computer: If you are looking to buy a Mac buy a MacBook. I haven’t found a way to get Bluetooth working with anything but a MacBook on El Capitan and Yosemite. Remember you can always buy a bigger screen to attach to your MacBook.

Note: When I write MacBook I am talking about the MacBook, MacBook Air and Mac Book Pro.

The Game Controller: I would highly recommend the official Playstation 4 Game Controller. I have heard Playstation 3 controllers work but are a little more difficult to set up.

The Key Mapping App: I recommend downloading Enjoyable or Enjoy2. They both have bugs but they are free and they work with most versions of OS X. If you want more control at your fingertips you can buy an App from the Mac App Store or search Google.

USB Connection (with Enjoy2):
Step 1: Plug the controller into your computer.
Step 2: Open your Key Mapping App.
Step 3: Create a configuration file for you controller.
Step 4: Press a button or joy stick on your game controller then press the keyboard equivalent.
Step 5: Enable the configuration and open the Game you want to use with it.

If you are looking for a game to test your controller with I recommend my free game Galactic Space Junk in the Games section.

Bluetooth Connection (with a Playstation Controller):
Step 1 Note: I recommend trying the “USB Connection” instructions first so you know it works.
Step 1: Go to System Preferences click the Bluetooth icon.
Step 2: Click the button that says “Turn Bluetooth On”.
Step 3: Press the Playstation button in the middle of the controller to get it to appear on the screen.
Step 3 Note: I read that you should hold down the share button too. If Step 3 doesn’t work I would recommend trying it.
Step 4: Click the “Pair” button and you should be ready to go.

Note: If you have El Capitan or Yosemite, like me, I can guarantee it didn’t work. Try the steps below then the Bluetooth Connection steps above again.

Step 1: Delete the Bluetooth preferences in /Library/Preferences/
Step 1 Note: If you have other Bluetooth devices that have been paired try skipping this step. It may delete them and you will have to pair everything again. Also this is the .plist file in the Library folder with the System and Applications folders not the Home folder.
Step 2: Turn your Wi-Fi off
Step 3: Unplug all of the USB ports.
Step 3 Note: I recommend unplugging all of the ports except for the power coord.

Big Note: If you have an iMac, Mac Mini or Mac Pro you are probably wondering how to open the system preferences and select the Bluetooth icon without a USB Mouse and/or Keyboard. The only answer I can think of is to pair a Bluetooth Mouse and Keyboard. MacBooks have a trackpad and keyboard built-in.

Step 4: Restart your Mac and try the Bluetooth Connection steps again.
Step 5: If the Bluetooth connection does not work take a deep breath and come back to it later.
Step 6: If all else fails you can always plug it in with your USB coord.

I hope Apple will fix their Bluetooth pairing some day, but it seems unlikely for El Capitan. It would also be nice to use any controller with AppleTV out of the box. If you have any other solutions for setting up game controllers feel free to add a comment to this blog post.