Friday 30 December 2022

December 2022: Virtual Reality

I'm back from a nice vacation where I got to try out a couple of VR tech things - firstly the Oculus, which is a headset and a controller for each hand that has a variety of buttons and joystick thingies, was really interesting. Pressing button combinations let you pick up, throw, point, push, holster (or back holster) many digital things and you can "cast" what the player is seeing on a TV monitor if you want an audience.

For a simple game like Beatsaber, where you just hold two light sabers and have to hit incoming boxes in the correct direction, it was fine. That game is really more like repetitive exercise since your memory is what will win you the stages.

For more complicated ones like Walking Dead all those hand things are far more important as you'll not only be picking up, crafting or healing yourself (by getting bandages and virtually wrapping them around your arm) - you'll also need to be stabbing walkers. Velocity is a thing so light hits won't kill the zombies  and the system is smart enough to know if you are doing a two handed strike, or holding the walkers head before you strike etc.

My main problem with the Oculus might just be a "me" thing: for the Walking Dead I got super dizzy because while your arms are functional, you move using the thumb controlled joysticks... it just felt super unnatural.

Then we also tried Far Cry VR at a Zero Latency arcade - its basically a large room you book for 30 minutes or so and pay per head. Again you get a headset but this time your controller is a rifle - and that's it! Six of us went in this cooperative game to play against Vaas and his goons (though it can go up to eight) and it splits you into two teams for most of the match. Expect to be moving a fair bit to take cover and don't worry about what you look like in real! :P

For safety if you move towards a wall or another player in the real world bit red caution shields appear to warn you of the fact. That wasn't a problem for us though, and no one ran into any walls or each other. Super fun experience that I highly recommend and want to do again. Oculus? Not so much.

Any who, that's all for now - hope you've all had a good Christmas and are having a Happy New Year! :) 

Most Viewed Posts:
Stable Diffusion: Portraits of "the Sky"
Warframe: Spectrosiphon Zephyr

Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Trhia

Friday 16 December 2022

Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Wild Jim

[Part of the AI Art Gallery]  

Finally got decent ones for Jim the Lord of Storms. For some reason it was hard to get a decent portrait for him - I guess my prompt skills are improving?

He does wear hats, but I'm not sure he'd wear that.
I like the colors in this one!

Thursday 15 December 2022

Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Sylmeria

[Part of the AI Art Gallery]  

Today we have portraits of owl bear guardian and activist Lady Sylmeria. She was never happy with any quests that involved hurting her beloved owl bears! 

Wow, this was a fantastic result!
And this is her manwha (Korean comics) form.

Wednesday 14 December 2022

Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Kantor

[Part of the AI Art Gallery]  

Today I'm back to AI generated imagery for my guild members and this is an attempt at my grandfather's  character. These look younger than what I thought they'd be, but maybe that's how he pictured himself?

You can see the unfinished diffusion as a spot on his cheek.

That's closer I think!

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Full Metal Alchemist: The Final Alchemy and The School of Good and Evil

Movies that will make you go "Huh?"

Full Metal Alchemist: The Final Alchemy

Directly continuing from the previous one this is very long as it decides not only to add a number of new characters but then has to try wrap up everyone's story lines neatly. While the main actors have improved even more now it is the plot and the main villain that are stupid here. For one, people just show up out of nowhere either mid battle, or mid conversation. Weren't you just on the opposite side of the country!? Those trains must be super efficient.

Also, the entire point of the villains evil scheme didn't make much sense at the end - nor how he was beaten, despite there being cool things occurring for that to happen. Ugh. If you've already survived the first two movies you may as well finish it off. If you haven't, then don't bother as this really won't make any sense.

The School of Good and Evil

When two best friends who are both treated as outcasts in their village find their way to the magical school of Hogwarts titular School of Good and Evil, they and the audience quickly learn that it is a most stupid place that teaches almost nothing and entry requires accepting to be kidnapped. Why two schools? To keep the "balance" because you obviously can't do that in one school right?

Despite that negativity there are nice sets, decent CGI and action pieces and all the actors and actresses do an ok job with what they have. Much like most of the princesses here they are very pretty but also ultra shallow. Entertaining enough if there isn't anything else on, but it's not something I'd actually recommend.

Monday 12 December 2022

Stargirl and Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special

Superheroes being silly.


This three season series follows high school student Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) as she becomes the titular hero by inheriting a powerful weapon and all the enemies that come with it. While there is the usual high school drama at the start and actors who eventually look too old to still be in school, each season improves on the last and there are really awesome action scenes, a good death count and my favorite portrayal of Sportsmaster in any DC media so far. Worth a try just to see if you'll stick to it.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special

Certainly provides holiday cheer!

In this TV length episode, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista) decide to try give Starlord (Chris Pratt) a surprise gift and a memorable Christmas by going on a ridiculous quest. While definitely not mandatory viewing I still recommend it as we enjoyed it immensely, despite a few jokes falling flat and most of the Guardians just being extras. We're definitely Mantis fans now. :)

Sunday 11 December 2022

Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Belghast

[Part of the AI Art Gallery]  

Decided to try someone outside my guild - this is what the AI thinks blogger Belghast the Aggronaut looks like, or at least my very vague description of him based on his character art.

Hmm, to young maybe?
That's better. I prefer it when it does pencil sketches!

Thursday 8 December 2022

Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Juris

[Part of the AI Art Gallery]  

It's Juris' turn for AI portraits and I think these are a good result for our resident writer.

Complete with evil twirly mustache!
Anime form!

Wednesday 7 December 2022

Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Pyriim

[Part of the AI Art Gallery

Now for Wrothak's twin sister who is shorter than him, but I think putting "short" in the description affected the hair length instead. 

Cute result, but that's a long neck!

That's closer to how she'd draw herself I think.

Tuesday 6 December 2022

Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Wrothak

[Part of the AI Art Gallery

Now for one of our Canadian members, Wrothak the scientist - I think these turned out really good!

Hmm, apparently he has a beard too.
And this is his "epic beard" form!

Monday 5 December 2022

Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Trhia

[Part of the AI Art Gallery

Since I can't get good results for Jim, I decided to do his sorceress wife Trhia instead. She is a bit of a sorceress in real life too!

Anime style!
And in more traditional sorceress form.

Sunday 4 December 2022

Stable Diffusion: Portraits of DL

[Part of the AI Art Gallery

Since our guild master "Dragonlord" is pretty generic I was more reliant on feeding the generator DL's standard colors of green and gold.  

Not bad despite the generic description I provided.
I notice it likes hiding his arms though.

Saturday 3 December 2022

Stable Diffusion: Portraits of "the Sky"

[Part of the AI Art Gallery]

An easy first choice. I tried describe my online persona as best I could and this was the result. Since "Skyrim" is a pretty well known game I'm sure that influenced these results a fair bit.

It insisted I have a beard.

Also I spend each morning brushing my long locks before adventuring!

AI Art Gallery

Playing with text to images!

As I previously mentioned I've become fascinated by text to image programs so I thought I'd setup a space to store the ones I've made. Obviously I'm only keeping the ones I think are OK as most of the time you can get some pretty ridiculous pictures.

Stable Diffusion: Portraits of "the Sky"
Stable Diffusion: Portraits of DL
Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Trhia
Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Wrothak
Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Pyriim
Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Juris
Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Belghast
Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Kantor
Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Sylmeria
Stable Diffusion: Portraits of Wild Jim

Friday 2 December 2022

Skill and the Machine

A small collection of cool things.

Usually I'd work these into the end of month posts but since those have been preoccupied with the Ukraine / Russia conflict, I thought I'd just give them their own post here:

Have you ever played the browser based Game of Life?  Since it is a Turing machine some people have done crazy things with it - like compute a Fibonacci sequence! If that's too abstract for you perhaps Really Bad Chess would be more your speed, or this Powerball simulation which lets you play and win (and lose, big time) fictitious Powerball draws. Excellent if you want to see just how far your adds are of winning.

If you are feeling "artistic" instead, you might like to try Stable Diffusion - where you simply supply a prompt and their "browser" amalgamates what it thinks you want to see from images it can find. This text to image result can be horrific - I love it! I'm thinking maybe I should share me masterpieces (*snicker*) here on a regular basis. Definitely give it a try. :P

Thursday 1 December 2022

Warframe: Spectrosiphon Zephyr

A very fun build for defense type missions.

Of the Inaros, Chroma, Octavia, Harrow and Zephyr Prime frames I currently have - the Zephyr is my favorite, especially with Gara's spectorage replacing air burst (using the Helminth) and with the spectrosiphon mod installed. With these stats (150% DUR / 130% EFF / 175% RNG / 100% STR) this is how the powers work in tandem.

Tail Wind - lets you fly or hover to make the most of Zephyr's +150% crit chance while in the air.

Spectorage - creates a carousel of mirrors that attracts baddies into its center (there's a little more that it does but it's not important in this build). The spectrosiphon mod increases the chance (up to +50%) that enemies that die in the carousel to drop energy.

Turbulence - creates an air shield that makes you invulnerable to most ranged attacks (except nearby splash damage) for a time.

Tornado - drags nearby enemies into a tornado (or tornadoes), lifting them and basically making them helpless while dealing low damage. This damage can be increased by shooting the tornadoes (or you can attack them directly). A tap on the button lets the tornadoes run amok. Holding the button down keeps them in place.

So the sequence is cast spectorage where you expect enemies to pass - they'll want to come close to the mirrors. Cast a non-moving tornado in the center of spectorage which will pull them in. Kill them while they are helpless. Collect lots of energy. Repeat.

This defeats most infested units. Against gun wielders, either put this trap around a corner or you go around a corner after putting it to lure them in. Don't forget Turbulence makes you invulnerable to their fire. Very handy. Still doesn't replace my Loki for stealth, nor Slowva Nova for interception, but it's definitely one I'm keeping around.