Sunday, October 7, 2007

How to Make 3D Video Game Models

A 3d Model is a three-dimensional object you put into a video game. The most common model is that of the player in the game. But it can also be almost anything else you can imagine. Here is an overview of how you make 3D models for video games.

When you make a video game most of the design is done the same way an architect would design a city or a building. It is all very static. You define the shapes of the objects then you insert textures and colors. But this is just the static world that everything happens inside. The real adventure of a video game comes when the models are inserted into the game. And if you are learning how to make a video game using some of the more common software like Reality Factory you don’t have a whole lot of options for making models. This is where 3D modeling software comes in.

To Make a 3D Model you need some 3D modeling software

There are many different modeling software applications and most of them are very suitable for making models for games. Some of the more popular packages are:

-- Maya – A high end 3d modeling package, which is used by professionals and often, used to make movies. It also has a scaled down version which is more affordable
-- 3Ds Max – Another high end modeling package that is very popular within the game making industry
-- Lightwave – This is a professional package at a reasonable cost. If you are serious about 3d modeling this is a good option
-- Blender – This is a free open source software package that has some amazing abilities. If you have no budget this is the way to go.
-- Milkshape 3D – Very inexpensive and easy to use 3d modeling package. They have a nice 30-day free trial period which gives you then chance to learn and test before you buy.

How is a 3D model made?

There are a few different paths to making a model for a video game. Here is a generic overview of the process steps.

1. You design a skeleton of your model. Think of this as the bones and joints underneath. You won’t see any of this when you play the game but these bones and joints are very necessary because they tell the game how the model moves. Exactly the same way your bones and joints define how you move.
2. You design a colorless and texture-less skin around the bones and joints. This is how your model will look in shape.
3. You color in the skin to get the exact look of the model. This is the details of the model. You make the final look here by putting in eyes, clothes, or anything else.
4. You define how your model will behave. You tell the model what joints will move in what directions. This is a big time saver with modeling software because you just tell it the beginning and ending locations and the software draws in all the middle steps.
5. You export the model into a format that video game design software understands. 3D modeling software has this export tool built in and most programs will export to a wide variety of formats for lots of game development software.

Making 3D video game models is not a really hard process and in no time you can make some nice models for your games. But, modeling is a profession that some people devote full time efforts to. If you want to get really good at modeling you are going to have to put in many hours of practice and you are going to have to develop your talents as an artist.

About the Author: For more articles, information, product reviews, and tutorials on the exciting world of making video games for free check out the author’s website at: – Creative resources for making video games for free

If you like creative projects check out the authors project site where you can learn how to write fantasy, make siege engines, terrariums, dioramas and all sorts of other great projects: – Creativity with an Edge

Joomla, Easy Open Source CMS

Joomla - An Open Source CMS worth looking at.
Joomla is an open source CMS system (CMS stands for
Content Management System). I'm currently using Joomla to develop a number of themed web sites. There is a Christmas site, a recipe site and a travel site. Joomla has adapted nicely to each of these themes.

Generally CMS systems are extremely pricey
and somewhat complex to use. I've found Joomla to be quite easy to use
and now a month into using it I am really starting to appreciate it. If
you don't feel like using a simple page development tool and binding
pages together by hand, then you should look at a CMS system. From what
I've found, Joomla seems to be moving forward the quickest. I am
currently using version 1.0.11 which is the latest of the 1.0 line.

Never use 1.0 software, that's what people will tell you and for
the most part, that's true. However in the case of Joomla we must
remember (or perhaps it's my job to educate you) that Joomla's roots
(at least the 1.0 version) are in another CMS system Mambo. In fact, if
you are familiar with Mambo, Joomla will be second nature (and the
other way around).

Joomla is organized in menus, sections, catagories and items. It
fits together kind of like this (general, remember this isn't a book,
it's an article). A menu can link to a section, category or item in a
number of ways (table, list, etc). A section can link to a category. A
category can link to a number of items. So, if you need to organize
your website by menu's or tabs, this is ideal. Of course there is much
more to joomla than that, but that is the first thing you'll end up
doing...just like I did.

Joomla extensions, templates, plug-ins, components
One of
the things I love about Joomla is the wide assortment of plugins and
templates available for it, both commercial and free. I found a site, which has a ton of these things (over 200 freely
downloadable templates). I found one that was appropriate for each of
my sites and with a little modification (you are allowed to modify most
templates as they're part of the GPL) GNU Public License, or LGPL
(lesser GNU public license).

Components that I am using are the metataggenerator component
(downloaded) and the SEO component (allowing more google readable url's
for my web site. Also, like I said I'm using a differently downloaded
(and personally modified) template for each of my sites. My sites are
Christmas, Recipes and Travel. There are a couple more, but why go into
those details.

If you go to, you can actually test drive the software. I did this
before setting up the christmas site. I wanted to be sure that joomla was right for me.
They've set up a joomla based server and give you a demo account to
play with. This is great to get a feel for the software. I think the
site gets reset every 30 minutes or something, so don't expect your
content to stay there. Also, please please refrain from spamming on
this website! The joomla folks have been good enough to give us a great
product and let us try it out live, please don't take advantage of
their good nature by putting spam up there.

Which technologies does Joomla use
You could also call this section "what does my webserver/hosting
package need to run joomla"?

- PHP, joomla is a PHP based system. If you don't know what PHP is, you
should search around a bit. It's a language for web development (I
believe loosly based on perl) which can have html embedded in it. I
personally compare it to Java jsp's. I needed to do a bit of PHP modification on the travel and
recipe sites to make things fit properly, but this is not the fault of the original templates or Joomla, I
just wanted a bit of a different look.

- MySQL, joomla needs access to a mysql database. It's installs will
create it's own tables, but of course you need to have the appropriate
permissions to do this.

That's it...although, if it is running on an apache web server it also
makes the SEO stuff work better as you can (possible depending on your
hosting) change the .htaccess file to rewrite urls appropriately.

Linux makes a nice joomla platform, but there's no reason why it can't
run on any platform which has the above capabilities.

About the Author: Johnny is a software engineer with 30 years experience. He has seen the landscape of computing change from the days of no personal computers and mainframes which took up entire rooms to the ipod shuffle (the clip on one)...amazing stuff. He's spent the last 10 years working on the Java platform and is a strong advocate of Java technologies.

Best 5 Free Seo Tools

Let's face the facts: search engine optimization, for the most part, is hellishly boring. Doing the research, making the on-page changes, writing content and syndicating it is all tedious and time consuming. Fortunately I am not the only one, and like-minded web developers have come up with some great, and best of all, free seo tools.

Let's have a look at some of the best tools for any optimizer:

1. Advertiser Tools ( ): as always, keyword research is the basis of any seo project - you have to get the right keywords or your work will be useless.

This is one of the best free keyword research tools out there, and although the traffic numbers aren't accurate, their related searches suggestions are the best!

2. Back Link Analyzer ( ): this free link analyzer, courtesy of Aaron Wall, is an absolute jewel! The best way to use this is to actually spy on your competition and see where they are getting all that link juice from.

Here is some of the info that Back Link Analyzer can gather from Google, Yahoo, MSN and/or AllTheWeb on the backlinks for the query: anchor text and type (one-way or reciprocal) of the incoming link, the title of the page that has the link and the url that the link points to, ip address of the domain and much more!

3. Hub Finder ( ): yet another amazing tool from Aaron Wall, and this one is even open source! Like me, you've probably found out by now that it's a good idea to get links from the same places that your competition has.

Well this is the perfect tool: you input a keyword or keyphrase, which search engine to use (I recommend Yahoo) and the number of sites that each hub must have in common (between 2 and 10). Wait for the results and then try to get links from each of the sites.

4. SeoQuake ( ): this plugin for Firefox is essential for any optimizer. When active it can be set to show any number of parameters including:

a) for Google: PageRank, number of links pointing to the url, number of pages in its index and cache date;
b) for Yahoo: same as for Google, but with links for domain and link in Yahoo Directory;
c) for MSN: the same as for Google;
d) number of links in DMOZ, Digg, and Technorati;
e) Alexa rank;
f) WebArchive age;
... and many more!

5. Free Monitor for Google ( ): although it's only for Google, this ranking monitor does the job it is supposed to do. It works with all regional versions of Google flawlessly and it supports multiple keywords/keyphrases per url.

Bonus point: 6. The Tattler ( ): although I usually prefer Back Link Analyzer for link analysis, sometimes I need to look at all the data without the fluff.

One of the features I like that I like in Tattler is the possibility to show how many links you have from a certain domain - this is really nice to find out what sites your competitors find most valuable to them in terms of seo.

About the Author: Florin Costache offers seo services (servicii optimizare) through his seo blog called Optimizare site; a very good resource for optimizers is his seo web directory (director web).

Opensource software getting closer to comercial enterprise software

The odds are good that the LAMP stack is running somewhere inside your company. The acronym refers to the foundational foursome of the open-source movement: the Linux operating system, Apache Web server, MySQL database and, collectively, the Perl, PHP and Python programming languages. Development tools such as Eclipse and application servers such as JBoss have also gained popularity—and trust—especially now that major vendors such as IBM, BEA Systems and Borland have adopted or supported them commercially. But what about the next step up the software ladder? Is open source ready for ERP, business intelligence or CRM?

Ready or not, it's happening; the first industrial-grade applications in these areas are now emerging. And CIOs will soon need to decide how to approach these fresh options in their enterprise software catalog. As with the adoption of the LAMP players, these new open-source enterprise applications likely will find their way into the enterprise at a departmental or small-project level. As a result, "we don't see [these applications] on CIOs' agenda at all," notes Michael Goulde, an open-source senior analyst with Forrester Research. But, he warns, "CIOs should sync up with their development teams to see [where such applications] might have payback to the organization."

However, CIOs should tread carefully on such open-source applications, advises Mark Lobel, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers who focuses on information security, including security for financial applications. One key concern is that applications tend to reflect and embed business processes and logic, which often are key strategic assets you don't want to share with others—and open-source licenses can require such sharing if companies aren't careful. Another issue is the long-term viability of open-source applications for specific functions. Open source depends upon volunteer developers for success, but the more niche a product, the smaller the potential pool of interested contributors. As such, grassroots support for specific apps such as ERP or CRM tools may look more like brigades than the armies now supporting broad open-source infrastructure such as Linux, Apache and MySQL.

Still, properly managed open-source applications can save enterprises money and time—as well as reduce dependency on specific vendors. Strani Izdelava

About the Author: Strani Izdelava

A practical use of Open Source Code Softwares

As we started the project of our web site, we knew that the proprietary software costs would be too high for our financial resources. Our only option then was to make use of Open Source Code softwares.

However, within the Open Source Code there are lots of softwares to choose from, and it´s up to the system analyst/programmer to pick the ones that best suit the project goals.

In our case, we picked Linux as our operating system. However we faced a big question: Which Linux distribution ? There are dozens of linux distributions, each one with specific advantages, sometimes with or without paid services.

We chose linux Slackware because we thought that it would suit better our needs, in terms of stability and reliability. Slackware is a conservative distribution, meaning that it only offers in its distribution package kernel versions and third party libraries, once it´s been proved to be stable and reliable. As a result, Slackware is one the most stable Linux operating system on the market. If the user wishes the most recent Linux kernel and libraries, we recommend to look for a different distribution.

Another reason for us picking Slackware, was because of its text interface, which at the beginning may become a bit difficult, in the long run however it offers a better understanding of the Linux environment. This way most of Slackware configurations are done thru text scripts.

Once it was set the operating system, we picked Apache as our web server. Apache is one of the most popular web server in the internet. For server programming language, we chose PHP. Also, a very popular programming language. Our experience with Apache/PHP proves that this setup is very reliable, working extremely well in our production environment. For workstation programming language, we chose javascript, which besides of having a simple syntax, it offers lots of resources.

Apache web server is really a complete web server. Also, it can become very complex with many configuration setups.

For our database, we picked Postgresql. This database has been made available to the public for more than 15 years, and besides of being well debugged, it offers so many resources that it has become one of the best database options from Open Source Code softwares. Extremely reliable, Postgresql has reported cases where there have been databases in production with over 4 terabytes. Besides all of that, Postresql is not the most popular Open Source Code database. A matter of marketing ? Probably.

As for the programming language PHP, we had to use an object oriented application structure. There are many PHP application structures being offered with Open Source Code license. Object oriented application is very important, because it makes programming very easy and scalable up to the point where the system may grow without many problems. Also, it helps to keep PHP code separated from HTML, with the help of some specific libraries, such as Smarty. We make use of Smarty library and we believe that it is a very important resource, which can even make web pages faster thru the use of its cache functions.

Also a very important set of libraries worth mentioning for PHP systems, is the PEAR libraries. In PEAR web site, among the many libraries being offered, there are the database interface DB and the MAIL_QUEUE, which sends emails thru the use of database.

As we came to the end of our project, we had to use some sort of real time database replication. For that we chose the DRBD and Heartbeat libraries. The use of database replication is very important and should not be postponed. Just after 3 months our system got into production, our server hard disk became bad. Thru the use of DRBD/Heartbeat we were able to put the system back into production within seconds, without loosing any data. DRBD/Heartbeat replication is done thru the use of a lan network between the server and slave nodes.

Our project also makes use of ImageMagick (enlarge and reduce images), Iptables (firewall), Tsearch2(text search in portgresql) and Mon (linux monitoring tasks).

Also a very important library worth mentioning is the pseudo APC compiler for PHP. Speed is always a critical factor for internet sites.

Our web site is already in production and based upon our experience we can say that the Open Source Code softwares we picked, proved to be extremely reliable and stable. Open Source Code softwares can certainly be an excellent option for developing web sites.

Roberto Sedycias
IT Consultant

This article is under GNU FDL license and can be distributed without any previous authorization from the author. However the author´s name and all the URL´s (links) mentioned in the article and biography must be kept.

About the Author: This article can also be accessed in portuguese language from the News Article section of page PoloMercantil

Roberto Sedycias has a bachelor degree in Business Administration and over 20 years experience in systems analysis and computer programming. Currently working as IT consultant/chief software engineer for

What is Open Source?

We have Netscape to thank for the term ‘open source’. Netscape decided to release the code to ‘Navigator’, which was their most known product at the time(around 1998). They wanted to “to free themselves of the ideological and confrontational connotations of the term free software”. The term skyrocketed to popularity when it was coined by Tim O’Reilly, a well known publisher in the Tech Industry. Some people have said the term confuses the availability of the code with the freedom to use, modify, and redistribute it. While others have used the term Free/Open-Source Software (FOSS), or Free/Libre/Open-Source Software (FLOSS), consequently, to describe open-source software that is freely available and free of charge. . .

About the Author: Read the rest of the article at

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Web 2.0 - Digging Deeper

Web 2.0 outlines the latest version of World Wide Web - dynamic, highly scalable and organic in growth. The rampant popularity enjoyed by Web 2.0 design patterns has resulted into companies blindly including the buzzword among their highlight features. Following are the state-of-the-art web design and development patterns that may be looked up in full or in part to determine a Web 2.0 company:

(a) Harnesses the potency of small sites that form the majority of the web content. Web 2.0 reaches out to the masses wide and across Internet, generally utilizing algorithmic data management. For example, Googles AdSense indulges in dynamic content generation by placing least disturbing, context-sensitive and consumer friendly text ads across exhaustive Web Pages possible. Likewise, eBay acts as an automatic intermediary between even highly small-scale single individuals dealing in few dollars. BitTorrent renders every client a server that empowers its network to provide both bandwidth and data. As a result, files that are more popular take relatively less time to download.

(b) Sports forte in handling a specialized and distinctive database. Be it Google or Yahoo or Amazon, all offer specialized database services that lends them an unbeatable niche. Web 2.0 applications are not merely collection of software tools, but applications collecting and managing unique and large-scale data.

(c) Encourages user participation to add value. The highlight of Web 2.0 design is that it is empowered by collective brainpower. For example, Google PageRank is based on the number of links (outsider votes) garnered by a website. Amazon outdoes competition by inviting extensive user participation in various ways, including reviews and ratings. Wikipedia grows organically as it allows any web user to add content to be collectively edited and proofread. Open source software projects may be found on certain sites that let users copy/ add code for mutual advantage.

(d) Builds vital database using a natural architecture of participation. Web 2.0 architecture enhances intuitive networking by aiding selfish motives of the target users. It recommends setting inclusive defaults for assembling data gathered by day-to-day use of the application. Like, Napster by design serves earlier downloaded music that helps user activity and builds valuable database naturally. Open source software projects like Linux, Apache, Perl, etc. also sport well-defined extension mechanism that empowers network growth in outer layers akin to onion.

While DoubleClick, belonging to the Web 1.0 era, recently claims over two thousand successful implementations of its software, Google AdSense, the child of Web 2.0 purely, has already crossed hundreds of thousands implementations. The radical success and growth witnessed by the truly Web 2.0 web designs indeed reinforce the relevance and far-reaching prospects of Web 2.0 catchphrase.

About the Author: To read more lease visit :

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