I decided to open an Microsoft Azure account, and use the $200 in free points for new members to render a better version of my colony ship panoramic scene [edit: click here for an external view]. I was still unable to add atmospheric media and radiosity inside the station habitat. They simply take too long to render, even with dual 8-core CPUs and 32GiB of RAM. If I could afford several virtual machines linked together to form a render farm, maybe it would be feasible to enable them. But that would cost a lot more than the points I have available, I think.
Google Cloud has a similar offer for new customers, but limit you to a single CPU with 4 cores and 8 threads until you “upgrade” your subscription. So I did not find it very useful.
I created a fork of Joseph Hewitt’s GearHead version 1.100. It features mainly graphical updates, as well as some additional terrain object types. Joseph has decided not to merge these changes into the main trunk in favor of a more comic book-like style, so I am unlikely to work on this any further.
In other news, I fixed my GeoGebra applets so they work again in browsers that no longer support Java, such as Google Chrome. View them here.
I’ve put a lot of work lately in my Colony Ship POV-Ray model. The latest version can be viewed at DeviantArt, here.
I’ve also updated several of my illustrations for Wikipedia. The switch from POV-Ray version 3.6 to version 3.7 required changes to how pigments are defined among other things.
Lastly, I updated ToEE d20 Inspector to fix some bugs related to how skill points are calculated and distributed. They should no longer be wildly inaccurate. You can find the program listed here.
I noticed this week that some links to tutorials I had written a long time ago had gone dead, either because the websites they were hosted at went down, or because the websites they were hosted at transitioned to a new content management system or wiki. I fixed these links where I could, and re-wrote them and incorporated them into my website where I couldn’t. See my POV-Ray, Lego, GearHead and Geometry pages.
Today I also started working on a new panoramic scene for GearHead (now abandoned by its creator, judging by the game’s website) based on my previous Spinner Colony scene. Since I bought a new computer I am able to render them much faster in POV-Ray.
Here’s a sneak peek:
Here are my latest two renders. I tried to render at a higher quality level, including atmospheric media and a nice area light, but it was simply taking too long. The source code can be found on my GearHead page.
(Click for larger views.)