So, update time. Getting ready to present this on Thursday and to be honest its been pretty frustrating progress.
Control System – this was to create controls which could adjust the various aspects of the cameras which changed the stereoscopic effect. I ended up using Max/MSP to create this interface, for two main reasons – the aforementioned problems with rendering normal Processing derived imagery in the OpenGL environment I had created and it gave me a chance to explore how to link the programs together using OSC. This is important to me as I see OSC as a really important way of gluing programs and controllers together in the future. This process was pretty painless and its nice and easy to set the parameters in Max to what I need to output. So this part of the project has come together well, I can now make adjustments on the fly to the camera’s position (ie, how far apart they are) and their focused view (ie, how far back the centre of the focus is, bascially adjusting the convergence point of the composition). This allows me to fine tune the anaglyph effect in real time and was one of the main reasons for undertaking this project (real time adjustment means that for different environments the projection can be tailored specifically).
I am going to look at extending the control system to affect the animation aswell, controlling what happens with objects and how they are drawn. Doing this with OSC opens up the possibilities of audio control and many other external parameters controlling the graphics – exactly what is needed for future installation etc.
Sooooo, thats the successful parts covered – now the not so successful.
The biggest problem I seem to be facing is that as I am using an OpenGL call to get the cameras how I need / want, this causes all sorts of problems with how normal processing calls are drawn. For example trying to import a jpg image doesn’t work in normal code, which has caused me all manner of frustrations, and I need to look at writing a GLU / GLUT call to draw a texture on a plane. I will try and resolve this before end of play but at the minute the environment is purely basic 3D shapes, good for showing the principles working but not the most exciting of graphical projects.
On reflection there could have been different ways to work through this project. Learning what I have in Processing has been really useful but I have spent most of my time trying to work out issues that occur bringing OpenGL into Processing, and the lack of documentation and tutorials about this. It might have been better for me to take a bigger plunge initially and go straight into learning Open Frameworks and using straight GL / C++ to achieve what I have, more of the time could have been spent learning the system instead of finding work arounds in Processing – but then thats part of the fun of coding yeah?
So, couple more days to get things further on – will play with the ‘prettiness’ and add more to the animation side of things, increase the control parameters and see if I can work out how to get flat jpg images in there – this would increase the scope loads…