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DLL Talk / The Matrix1Utils plugins collection

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Manson_NS
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Posted: 27th Nov 2013 22:53
Yea,I kinda figured as much - it just seemed it might be beneficial for other purposes than the specific one I needed it for.
I'll have to stick in those extra functions to compensate then - thanks a lot for working it out, and the thorough response!
IanM
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Posted: 28th Nov 2013 21:26
Part of the problem is that sections effectively disappear on loading. That means that both of the following are effectively identical when loaded:
+ Code Snippet

+ Code Snippet

I've just remembered that I did have an ini-file plug-in prior to the utilities - you can find the download at http://www.matrix1.demon.co.uk/DBPro/TPCDLLS-downloads.html. I haven't used it for a long while but it should still work with the latest DBPro.

Manson_NS
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Posted: 7th Dec 2013 03:38
Well after sorting through it back and fourth, it's becoming clear that Styx did have some rather unique features in terms of investigation of an "unknown" .ini file. As you suggest Ian, a few investigative functions must be added through DB code - thank you for pointing me in the proper direction!

I do have an other request though, which (again) might push the original intent of your functions, but your Bezier curve function is working quite nicely, and such I'm hoping that you'd extend it's functionality a little further. The current functionality will not get a uniform spacing between the points returned - the returned points will cluster around the input-points, which would be nice to have an alternative to.
I do not know the basis of calculating the bezier curve, but are the local directional changes available within your code? For analytic purposes of curve-data it would be very nice if these points could be identified. Again, secondary DB-code could do these things, but if it's already in there, it would be nice to have made available.
Green Gandalf
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Posted: 22nd Dec 2013 16:46
IanM

Good to see you around again.

Two questions:

1. Is there a quick and simple way of finding the first occurrence of a string in a file?
2. Is there a quick and simple way of skipping a fixed number of lines in a file when reading?

I'm working with text X files and need to locate certain sections of the file quickly and easily. At the moment I'm doing a series of line by line read strings till I find the lines I want. This seems inefficient to me (and is certainly slow) - especially when I know how many lines I want to skip.

I looked at your Matrix1Util_16 and _22 functions but couldn't see exactly what I need.



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IanM
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Posted: 22nd Dec 2013 22:37
If this is a one-off read of the file and you are not doing random access type reads, then the way you are doing it is probably the right way already - It's hard to tell without know what you are aiming for.

But in answer to your questions:
1. Yes. I assume you want the whole line?
2. Yes, with a little coding.

An approach I've used before for the 2nd part of your question is to cache the file offsets of the start-of-line positions in an array. That also, as a side-effect, can give you the whole line when searching for a string to get the whole line (see below).

You have a choice of building the index up front, or you can build it as needed. For example, when you start your program you only know that the first line is at offset zero. When you need line 5, you just read through the file until you reach line 5, recording the offsets of the all the lines up to that point. If you then need line 3, then you know the offset is already in your array, and can carry out a simple lookup of the offset, and read your file from that position. If you hit end-of-file before you get to the line you need, then you know the file doesn't have that line number.

Searching can be done by mapping the file into a memory bank and using the SEARCH BANK function. This will return an offset into the bank that also matches the offset into the file. You can either binary search the array for the offset equal or just prior to this offset to get the line start, or can step backwards through the memory bank character by character until you hit the previous end-of-line, then step forward to get the offset.

If your text file doesn't change often, you can pre-generate the index up front, and load it into an array directly.

If you need any help with the coding, let me know.

Green Gandalf
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Posted: 23rd Dec 2013 13:19 Edited at: 23rd Dec 2013 18:56
Quote: "If this is a one-off read of the file and you are not doing random access type reads, then the way you are doing it is probably the right way already"


It is a one-off read (well it would be if I could get the whole things done first time without errors or oversights ) of several X files which have a similar structure but varying numbers of vertices, polygons, etc.

I'm converting some X files to a format supported by the current version of FPSC Reloaded. The details tend to vary somewhat depending on the exact X format used - but files from a given source, e.g. Tree Magik, tend to use the same format layout which simplifies things somewhat. In the case of Tree Magik most of the work can be done natively using DBPro and is very quick. The only sticking point is the need to find out which texture the X file uses.

In other cases things are more awkward. For example, the models I'm working on at the moment use two materials for a single mesh and you can't access those directly from within DBPro. I need to access them because I want to convert the two materials to a single material using a texture atlas. The way I'm doing that is to identify the vertices which relate to the two materials and then modify their UV coordinates so that those relating to one material are scaled to the range [0.0 - 0.5] and the other to the range [0.5 - 1.0], i.e. the new texture has one of the original textures in the upper left and the other in the lower right of the new combined image. Fortunately, for the models in question the two groups of vertices don't overlap so there is no problem with needing two sets of UV data for a given vertex. Also, the polys for these models are arranged so that the first umpteen polys use the first material and the rest use the second. That means I need only locate the position of the change over. Once I know that I can do the rest within DBPro using the vertexdata commands, etc. For example, somewhere in the X file there will be the following structure with a change somewhere down the list like:
+ Code Snippet

I then also need to find the texture file names within the two material definitions - but that part is quick as only a few lines are involved.

But when all this is all automated properly I'll be processing each file just once. My problem at the moment is that it's almost debatable whether it's better to do the scanning of the X file manually by scanning the file visually or whether to write a program to do the task for me.

Ideally I'd have a modelling package which does all this for me - but the ones I have don't seem to be up to the task.

From what you've said it seems that my present approach is as good as any. I just noticed that the slow part was the searching through the files line by line and wondered if I'd missed something simple before putting all the steps together.

Edit Just had a look through your memory bank functions. Would repeated use of your bank string$ command be essentially the same as using the DBPro read string$ except faster of course? If so then I can probably simply modify my existing code to use your banks instead.

Edit2 I see it isn't the same. I'll probably be able figure it out but run out of time now.

Edit3 Found time to finish this. Your memory bank commands did the trick nicely - and 1001 times faster than what I was doing before. No significant run time delay now.



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IanM
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Posted: 24th Dec 2013 16:15
Ooh, loads of edits. How did you do it in the end?

Green Gandalf
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Posted: 24th Dec 2013 19:24
Here's the code I used:

+ Code Snippet

I attach a sample X file used for testing.

All I need to do is to add this code to my other code which changes the X file data and texture.

I'm sure my code could be optimised and improved - but it works nicely for the objects in question.

Aside Odd. As I was typing this the following message popped up on my screen:

Quote: "The MySQL server had problems trying to fulfill that last query, it might be under heavy load right now or it might have been a linking/query error. Please try again in 10 minutes. If it happens again drop a note to paul@thegamecreators.com trying to give as much detail as possible"




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IanM
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Posted: 24th Dec 2013 21:16
I see what you're doing there now, although that first loop can be replaced with the following two lines of code for a slight speed increase:
+ Code Snippet

It also occurs to me that if the code was made more general (ie, always searching for each section from the beginning of the bank instead of always working forward through the file and assuming an order to the sections in the file), that the code may work correctly against multiple X file formats. There will naturally be a minor performance hit.

Green Gandalf
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Posted: 25th Dec 2013 02:13
Quote: "although that first loop can be replaced with the following two lines of code for a slight speed increase:"


I can't believe I didn't notice that since it's effectively what I've done later in the code.

Quote: "It also occurs to me that if the code was made more general (ie, always searching for each section from the beginning of the bank instead of always working forward through the file and assuming an order to the sections in the file), that the code may work correctly against multiple X file formats. There will naturally be a minor performance hit."


Yes indeed. Now that I understand your memory bank functions I might well do that at some stage.

Thanks again and Happy Xmas!



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GIDustin
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Posted: 30th Jan 2014 20:10
IanM:

I like using WHILE loops, especially when loading files or using your lookups, but they are tremendously slower than FOR loops due to the overhead of callbacks or whatever it does.

Could you be talked into making a new WHILE / ENDWHILE that does not include all that overhead?

BatVink
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Posted: 30th Jan 2014 20:32 Edited at: 30th Jan 2014 20:33
@GIDustin, it's less stylish but you can use something like:

+ Code Snippet

GIDustin
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Posted: 30th Jan 2014 22:10
Well, I have been doing workarounds like that, just wanted to clean up my code. This looks really easy to understand:

+ Code Snippet

This isn't as easy, but gets the job done much quicker:

+ Code Snippet

Not sure if I will run into problems after 4b iterations of that last one though...

IanM
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Posted: 30th Jan 2014 23:58
Unfortunately, there's no easy way to update or replace the existing built-in commands - they are part of the machine code that the compiler writes and not a part of any plug-in.

I can suggest another alternative to what you are doing though:
+ Code Snippet

I find that having the test in the middle of the loop like this can simplify things (especially if the code before the exit condition is more complex, of if multiple conditions need to be checked).

GIDustin
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Posted: 15th Feb 2014 18:56
IanM:

Is there any way to stop current message when using your set error function command? I do not like how DBPro just flat out crashes when you try to load an image which isn't a valid image. I was wanting to use your error function command to "capture" when invalid images are loaded, and recover from it, but it isn't looking like I will be able to.

IanM
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Posted: 16th Feb 2014 00:47
There isn't a command that does that, no. There's also the problem that the call to the error handler is a direct jump, not a 'gosub' so you can't return from where you came. Finally, not returning from the error handler, leaves the stack in an untidy state.

However, there's a relatively complex way to deal with these issues, and that's by handing the image loading off to a coroutine (kind of like a thread with its own stack, but they don't run concurrently).

Here's a proof-of-concept for you to take a look at:
+ Code Snippet

Yes, it's a little messy, and I don't guarantee the speed. You can use a similar mechanism to handle any type of resource loading (eg objects, sounds etc).

Also, the error handler stuff doesn't understand coroutines, so when you set an error handler, it's set program-wide and not just for the coroutine. I may change that in the future, but if I do it won't affect this code.

Clonkex
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Posted: 10th Mar 2014 03:14
@IanM:

I'm creating a kind of simple game in AppGameKit for mobile devices and it requires the use of bezier curves (or more precisely, paths). Would it be possible for you to give me some tips on your implementation of bezier curves in your plugin?

IanM
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Posted: 14th Mar 2014 17:49
Clonkex
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Posted: 15th Mar 2014 01:43 Edited at: 15th Mar 2014 01:47
Thanks but you took too long I solved it myself

EDIT: I did plenty of research and found your link first, but none of the links quite explained it well enough in terms of games until I found this, which is by far the best tutorial I found: http://devmag.org.za/2011/04/05/bzier-curves-a-tutorial/

Brightside_
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Posted: 20th Mar 2014 21:03 Edited at: 20th Mar 2014 21:17
Nice commands SET LIMB DRAW PRIMITIVES,SET LIMB DRAW VERTICES but what if I need to hide only part of limb?For example polys from 5 to 20
and from 100 to 150 and dont touch other polys?Can it be done?
IanM
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Posted: 20th Mar 2014 23:57
Unfortunately not, or at least, not simply. Those two commands simply adjust an existing structure within the guts of DBPro (the sMeshDraw structure), which only allows the upper limits to be set.

To get the effect you are after, you need to shift the indexes you want to draw to the front of the index array and use the SET LIMB DRAW PRIMITIVES command to limit rendering. Doing this won't be as efficient as limiting the number of vertices to be transformed as well, but it will be easier to code.

Brightside_
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Posted: 21st Mar 2014 11:46
You mean use Set Indexdata command?
like this ( make first vertex - last vertex ) ?
+ Code Snippet
IanM
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Posted: 22nd Mar 2014 15:44
Maybe, but you'll need to take care to keep your faces intact and not lose track of them either.

One way would be to keep your indices in an array/memblock/bank and to refresh the object's indices from that source data when it needs to change.

Diggsey
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Posted: 24th May 2014 01:45 Edited at: 24th May 2014 01:46
I was compiling some old code today and ran into this incredibly weird bug.

When I run this code, the first letter of "Hello, world!" flickers on and off. Uncommenting "call function name" fixes the problem.
+ Code Snippet



Even weirder still, adding "set draw target 0,0" before drawing the text also fixes the problem.

[b]

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IanM
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Posted: 26th May 2014 18:31
Yeah, it's a strange one. It has been reported before, but I have never managed to track down what causes it.

One wierd thing about it is that as long as the function call is in the loop, anywhere in the loop, the problem will appear. Also the problem is linked only with the CALL FUNCTION NAME/PTR commands/functions, not with the initialisation of the plug-in itself.

Diggsey
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Posted: 26th May 2014 23:28 Edited at: 26th May 2014 23:29
Calling "set current bitmap 0" before drawing the text also fixes the problem, and the only thing that does is this:

+ Code Snippet

And "iCurrentBitmapNumber" is always correct because I can test that with "current bitmap()", so it seems like either "pCurrentBitmapSurface", or the D3D render target or depth/stencil surface are being affected somehow by "call function name/ptr".

[b]
Diggsey
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Posted: 29th May 2014 01:36
Alright, I've refined it slightly further:

It's the "m_pD3D->SetRenderTarget ( 0, g_pGlob->pHoldBackBufferPtr );" specifically which fixes the problem.

As for the cause, inside "call function name" you call a function named something like "CreateCoroutineDefaultStack" which does the tricky stuff, and that part does not cause the problem: even if I replace that call with NOPs the bug still happens.

You call an unexported function (so I can't find out the name) immediately after converting the input string to lowercase. If I had to guess I'd say the problem was with that function, although I was unable to test that theory because without calling it the program crashes.

[b]
Zero G Scott
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Posted: 22nd Jun 2014 01:32 Edited at: 22nd Jun 2014 04:11
While using the SCANCODE NAME$ command recently I had a few incorrect key names appear.

148 ~` key was assigned the T key name.
144 =+ key was assigned the Q key name.
69 Num Lock key was assigned the Pause key name.

Is this verifiable by anyone else or could it possibly be my laptop keyboard confusing things? Just curious, I'll probably be able to work around them if needed.
MonoCoder
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Posted: 15th Jul 2014 13:52 Edited at: 15th Jul 2014 14:10
I think there's a bug with Camera FOV() and Camera Aspect():

+ Code Snippet

It should show 22.5 and something like 1.6; instead both are zero. It's trivial to workaround but thought it was worth pointing out anyway. This is with DBP 1.071, latest (27/05/12) M1Utils.


edit: expanded example. I considered that, as these functions are in the callback plugin (#26), they could be for use in callbacks only. Just to be sure:

+ Code Snippet

All zeroes though.
Jeff Miller
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Posted: 16th Jul 2014 03:49
Monocoder - When I run either of your codes posted above I get correct values reported, not zeroes. I'm using the same versions of DBP and M1Utils as you describe.
Burning Feet Man
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2014 13:26
Yup, I've used FOV & Camera Aspect all the time without any complications. I tested the code from your first example, works OK.

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Burning Feet Man
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Posted: 26th Nov 2014 11:45
OMG, I just discovered the Memory Bank command set, and most importantly "Search Memory Bank"... How the heck did I not know about this 5 years ago! I DEMAND AN ANSWER!

Although early days, I dare say that this completely solves my data.file issues where I've been stuck figuring out how to shove my data into either an array or a memory block... so much formatting and messing about. But with Memory Banks, BOOM, just shove it in and search. Instant results.

Further to this, a quick search on these forums, and absolutely no one has talked about "Search Memory Bank"??? Are these commands an unspoken secret or something. >_> I wanna know limitations damnit, and don't you dare say "the sky" or "my imagination"!

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Clonkex
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Posted: 26th Nov 2014 23:18
Burning Feet Man
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Posted: 6th Dec 2014 12:28
Hey IanM, I'm hoping you could help me out here.

Below are two commands that load a .DBO model into play;

+ Code Snippet

+ Code Snippet

You'll notice there's a flag on the default "Load Object" command called "DBPro Mode":
The load mode parameter controls how the data loaded from the model is handled, and which behaviour is required

I'm curious if you're able to add this flag to your Make Object From Bank command, or even create a command called "Set Object DBPro Mode" which can update a loaded model to a different DBPro mode.

I've added my model as an example, you'll see it contains both red & green features. What I'm trying to do is change the Red to Blue, for example. I'm hoping that I can do this when exploring the .DBO data in a memory bank, then changing it & reloading the model.

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Green Gandalf
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Posted: 6th Dec 2014 18:27
Just had to reinstall Windows on my desktop and encountered the following weird problem with your plugins. I kept getting missing DLL messages pointing to the files MSVCP71.DLL and MSVCR71.DLL despite there being copies littered all over my Compiler folder.

The first completely unsatisfactory solution was to place copies into every project folder which needed them. I then found a message from Evolved somewhere where he advised users of his software to make sure copies were in the WINDOWS folder. I then checked Windows on my laptop where I knew this problem didn't arise and sure enough there were copies of the two files in the WINDOWS/SysWOW64 folder.

I then copied those two files over to the same folder on the repaired system and everything is now fine.

I mention this in case anyone else has a similar problem with your utilities. (I'm using W7.)



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Burning Feet Man
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Posted: 7th Dec 2014 00:22 Edited at: 7th Dec 2014 08:41
Green Gandalf,

I too have had this issue when reinstalling DBPro on new computers, Windows 7 & Windows 8.1. I find that placing the .DLL files in the Windows\SysWOW64 folder fixes the issue. Not too sure how to distribute my .EXE files to those without these .DLLs though... or perhaps they're only needed on compile? I haven't tested this yet.

Regarding my "Load Object" query, I found some more information;

Quote: "
LOAD OBJECT

This command loads a model into the specified 3D object number. You must specify a model in the X, 3DS,
MDL, MD2 or MD3 format. Once you have loaded the 3D object file successfully, you can use the specified
3D object number to position, rotate, scale, animate and manipulate your 3D object. The object number
should be specified using an integer value. The optional Load Mode parameter controls how the data
loaded from the model is handled, and which behaviour is required. An additional Reduce Texture mode also
controls a run-time scale down of the loaded texture plate. Be aware that when you load an object that
has associated textures, you are handing over texture management to the engine which will attempt to
save texture memory by re-using textures previously loaded from the same filename. To take over texture
management, use LOAD IMAGE and TEXTURE OBJECT commands.

Load Mode:
0-DBV1 legacy behaviour
1-DBPro : out of the box new pro standard
2-Leave states alone to keep material/diffuse effects
3-Leave states alone to keep material/texture effects
4-Ensure object blends texture and diffuse at stage zero
5-Leave states alone to keep multi-material effects

Reduce Texture Mode:
0-No Reduction
N-Divide By N

Syntax

LOAD OBJECT Filename, Object Number
LOAD OBJECT Filename, Object Number, Texture Mode
LOAD OBJECT Filename, Object Number, Texture Mode, Texture Reduce
"


Mode 2 is what I'm interested in getting working with "Make Object from Bank";

2-Leave states alone to keep material/diffuse effects

EDIT: As always, a picture says 1,000 words.



EDIT 2:
Some more digging about, Lee introduced this toggle around 2006.

http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=72514&b=15

EDIT 3: Ok, wtf. I throw Wings3D into the mix, export to .X, then to .DBO, and this file behaves differently. -_- I'm gonna have to put a project together to review this stuff.

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Green Gandalf
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Posted: 7th Dec 2014 12:38 Edited at: 7th Dec 2014 12:47
Quote: "Not too sure how to distribute my .EXE files to those without these .DLLs though"


I would simply make sure they are in the same folder as the executable. I've just checked my laptop and there are LOTS of copies of those files. It's amazing how many quite different vendors have had to resort to that. Here's a quick selection:

PaintShop Pro
CyberLink (they account for most of the copies, i.e. about 30 out of 47 !! - looks like one with every sub folder covering things like web cam, DVD editing, etc)
Malevolence
Several demos from TGC and forum members
Civilization 4 (3 copies, one for each expansion )
Heroes of Might and Magic 5 (3 copies)
Witches Cauldron

Looks like Microsoft could do everyone a favour and include the damn things in WINDOWS/SysWOW64 and similarly for other versions of Windows. I guess that would be too much to ask.

CyberLink could organise themselves a bit better too.

Edit You'll have to wait for IanM to respond to your Load Object query. That DBPro help file entry is one of the most unhelpful ones I've come across. What on earth does "out of the box" mean? Is it a technical term I've missed somewhere? I suspect it's one of Lee's jokes.



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aerostudios
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Posted: 15th Feb 2015 13:34
The link at the start of this thread to your C++ runtimes does not link to a post. I need to know what runtimes are required. My newly released game is crashing, and I suspect it's because of the missing runtimes.
Clonkex
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Posted: 15th Feb 2015 14:08 Edited at: 15th Feb 2015 14:09
Quote: "The link at the start of this thread to your C++ runtimes does not link to a post. I need to know what runtimes are required. My newly released game is crashing, and I suspect it's because of the missing runtimes."


The link is in the old format, but the number is correct. I just guessed and put the number from the old link into the new format and it works. This is the corrected link (I'd edit the first post and make a note of the problem there but IanM is a mod and mods can't edit other mods' posts ):

http://forumfiles.thegamecreators.com/download/959271

IanM
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Posted: 15th Feb 2015 15:41
I've updated the link. Thanks Clonkex. So I'm still a mod?

@Burning Feet Man,
(Sorry for the delay in replying )

I don't know exactly what that flag does and (as you've probably noticed) the features of the plug-ins are currently frozen, so I'm reluctant to dig into it and make changes.

But why are you modifying the data like that? Why not simply load the object directly using the mode you require, then modify the vertices of the objects directly? Why do you have a need to do this in a memory block?

Plugins 18 and 12 are where you should look.

Stab in the Dark software
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Posted: 2nd Apr 2015 04:14
Ian I have a question about the "SET DEFAULT OBJECT GROUP" command.
It seems there is only 2 groups to use Group zero and Group one.
Why?

It seems that no matter what command I use there is only 2 groups.

WindowsXP SP3,Vista,Windows 7 SP1, DBpro v7.7RC7
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IanM
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Posted: 2nd Apr 2015 20:25
You're doing something wrong

Here's a working example - colouring object by object group, and then rotating some of the object by group too:
+ Code Snippet

Stab in the Dark software
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Posted: 3rd Apr 2015 01:56
I apologize I was doing something wrong.
That's what I get for posting when I'm tired.
Thanks for responding so fast.

WindowsXP SP3,Vista,Windows 7 SP1, DBpro v7.7RC7
Stab In The Dark Editor
The coffee is lovely dark and deep,and I have code to write before I sleep.

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