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POV-Ray Short Code Animation Winners 80

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the 512-bytes-is-plenty dept.
Paul Bourke writes "Every year the POVRay rendering community run a short code competition. The challenge is create an image using a limited number of bytes, normally just 256. This year the competition required the artist to create an animation rather than just an image. The winning entries are now online where you can see what can be created for a meager 512 bytes."
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POV-Ray Short Code Animation Winners

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  • by augustz (18082) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @12:33PM (#22445902) Homepage
    If you are going to link to what looks like a single machine that is supposed to serve up loads of videos, a mirror would be nice in the story submission :)
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The winning entry (464 bytes):

      #local C=clock*pi;#macro B(N,F)sphere{0F/7 1scale 1-pow(I.5)translate-I*F*x rotate y*N*90rotate-N*x*pow(5I)*10*sin(I*2-C*8+i)scale.2+x*.8translate-x}#end#local i=C;#while(itranslate*2rotate x*37pigment{slope y}}#local i=i+pi/8;#end light_source{1spotlight}media{intervals 6scattering{2rgb/99}}
    • by xaxa (988988) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @12:48PM (#22445992)
      Robot filter
      Sorry, some robots are filtered from this site.
      You are using Wget/1.10.2
      This filtering is not intended to restrict your enjoyment of this site. There is a very large amount of data contained
      within and robots who attempt to copy the whole site adversely affect our bandwidth and wallet.

      Anyway, here's the winning result:
      #local C=clock*pi;#macro B(N,F)sphere{0F/7 1scale 1-pow(I.5)translate-I*F*x rotate y*N*90rotate-N*x*pow(5I)*10*sin(I*2-C*8+i)scale.2+x*.8translate-x}#end#local i=C;#while(itranslate*2rotate x*37pigment{slope y}}#local i=i+pi/8;#end light_source{1spotlight}media{intervals 6scattering{2rgb/99}}
      (by Jeff Reifel)
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Back in the days people looked at timestamps and moderated the first guy up, and the second guy "redundant". What happened to Slashdot? Gotta penalize those who repeat a comment, whether it's plagiarism or not bothering to read the thread.
        • by MadnessASAP (1052274) <madnessasap@gmail.com> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:54PM (#22446368)
          I'm going to forgo posting with mod points and actually post a meassge, the reason the first poster did not get modded up was because he posted AC and only posted the solution, whereas xaxa posted the solution, the author and the reason why mirroring the website wouldn't work.
        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Using CoralCDN

          Taking advantage of CoralCDN is simple. Just append .nyud.net to the hostname of any URL, and your request for that URL is handled by CoralCDN!

          I'm going to forgo posting with mod points and actually post a meassge, the reason the first poster did not get modded up was because he posted AC and only posted the solution, whereas xaxa posted the solution, the author and the reason why mirroring the website wouldn't work.
          (by MadnessASAP)
      • wget http://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au/~pbourke/exhibition/scc5/final.html [uwa.edu.au] -O- -q -U Mozilla |grep \\.mov |sed -e "s@.*href=.@@" -e "s@mov.*@mov@" |while read e; do echo http://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au/~pbourke/exhibition/scc5/$e [uwa.edu.au]; done |xargs wget -U Mozilla --referer="http://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au/~pbourke/exhibition/scc5/final.html" :) --feep
      • It does not compile. I added a ) after the while(i. It did not compile at the scattering command either. Suppressed rgb. Got a black screen. So... Are those 256/512 byte file somewhere available to download ? Not that I doubt that one could do nifty things in a compact unreadable code (after all I did similar stuff, although not as cool, in assembly and MCGA a long time ago). But I would still like to see it done on my PC , maybe to learn something who knows.
    • by xaxa (988988) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @12:53PM (#22446036)
      Forget my previous post, the NYUD.net [nyud.net] mirror is working well.
  • Slashdotted... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by madcow_bg (969477)
    The poor guys :(.
  • I wonder (Score:5, Interesting)

    by g0bshiTe (596213) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @12:35PM (#22445918)
    Seeing these submissions for their artistic value, and knowing they were produced entirely from code, I wonder if there is any correlation between artistry and programming.
    I know that programming is very creative in the first place, but some of these submissions go beyond, especially when you take into account they are less than a k.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      http://scene.org/ [scene.org]
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dousette (562546)
      So how on earth does one come up with the trig functions necessary to do these transformations by hand without a modeller? Look at the complexity of the winner [uwa.edu.au].

      I am not artistic by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy math and programming and downloaded POV-Ray and the related documentation hoping to learn more about art through programming. So far, I made a sphere on a checkered floor, and POV-Ray handled all of the trig for me there.

      Any tutorials out there on mathematic transformations a
    • Re:I wonder (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Grard Menfin (1178135) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @04:02PM (#22447248)
      It's been traditional for POV-Ray users to create images entirely by code. That was the case for instance of this image [povcomp.com] that won the POVCOMP competition in 2004: most objects, including very complex ones, were made using isosurfaces, that are basically function-based objects. Scenes like this one [oyonale.com] and this one [oyonale.com] were also written in POV-Ray code, and the source is available.
  • bad summary? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by friedman101 (618627)
    Seems to me like the challenge is to create a script for "POV-ray" that is less than 512 bytes to create a cool animation. Title lead me to believe that some of those animations were under 512 bytes which would have been totally amazing.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by TheSunborn (68004)
      If you think of powray as an animation player, and have a REALLY fast computer, then the animation is only 512 bytes :}
    • Er, it mentioned it was a "short code competition". How would that lead you to believe the output was short?

    • Title lead me to believe that some of those animations were under 512 bytes which would have been totally amazing.

      How about some neat animations as 256-byte executables -- 256b.com [256b.com].

  • I think... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16, 2008 @12:38PM (#22445926)
    ...the second animation pretty much shows what happened to their server.
  • by Xtense (1075847) <xtense&o2,pl> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @12:38PM (#22445928) Homepage
    POV-Ray? Screw that, see what can be made in a 256B EXECUTABLE. Just to give some popular examples, tube/3SC [pouet.net], PHOBIA/ind [pouet.net]. Yup, the demoscene was there a long time before, and still it churns out some beautiful code that boggles the mind. Nothing impressive to see here though, just a fat-ass raytracer with a small input file.
    • by Xtense (1075847)
      Oh, wait, copy-paste screwup.

      tube/3SC [pouet.net]
      • by neumayr (819083)
        While those demos might be more impressive from a technical standpoint, the Povray animations look a lot better.

        Anyways, it's not a competition between demos and animation, those two can't compare. Totally different things.
        • by Xtense (1075847) <xtense&o2,pl> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:02PM (#22446092) Homepage
          True that, but every time i see some size-coding competitions, I can't help but feel like they are some form of geeks' penis-measurement competitions. Thus, to satisfy my inner asshole, i like to point them to those demoscene productions, which, to the best of my knowledge, are indeed one of the smallest coded animations in the world. And the 256B limit is just traditional, there are animated moire patterns in 15B down there and four-kilobyte demos utilizing OpenGL and DirectX. Some of the OpenGL ones are for linux, too, with source.

          Oh, and these renders might be prettier, but these are still just input files for a huge raytracer, so IMO, there's nothing really to cheer about. Make a 'tracer in 512 bytes, then I'll be impressed :) .

          And yes, this post is really inflammatory, get off my lawn, you insensitive clod, etc. etc.
          • by neumayr (819083) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:35PM (#22446242)
            Heh, yeah, let's keep the fire going:
            Utilizing OpenGL/DirectX you say? So, the code's 15 or whatever bytes long, but dynamically linked to a huge library. That's not so far removed from interfacing with a raytracer, at least it's a lot closer to it than the demos you originally posted.

            I personally never did anything for Povray - honestly I didn't know it could do animation before this story. But given the range of quality of the animations in this contest, getting anything done in a 512 bytes Povray files seems to be a noteworthy achievement.
            So, let them cheer :)
            • by Xtense (1075847) <xtense&o2,pl> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @02:00PM (#22446418) Homepage
              Oh no, the 15B moire pattern is pure assembler, no libs attached. I had a link somewhere, let me find it in a moment (crap internet connections suck!). You could say that it's cheating, using the MCGA 13h 320x200 256color mode (or for the pros out there - raping text mode's charset to produce something weird), but that's one step from declaring that the true form of demomaking is building your own hardware and coding effects for it with your own assembly. Which in itself would be immensely cool, but a bit overkill. As for the OpenGL/DirectX 4K stuff, it's just moving on with the times - every normally used computer out there has at least DirectX 8 and OpenGL 1.1 with compatible hardware on it, so it would be a shame not to use natural-environment libraries.

              Couldn't find the 15B one, so here's a one-byte bigger thing: fr-016: bytes/Farbrausch [pouet.net].

              I remember doing school stuff in POV-Ray, simple things like cubes, spheres, intersecting cones and whatnot for my math geometry/stereometry classes. While not having heaps of experience like these guys, i think i can safely assume that, while requiring creativity and effort, these aren't truly that hard to make, since this is mostly 3d math, fractals and quadrics sprinkled a bit with randomness on the top. But i guess i just get my boner from creative software hacks (which, in turn, are too 3d/2d math, just hacked up beyond all recognition), not scripts. Oh well, different fetishes ;) .
              • by Yetihehe (971185)
                It's atually 15B but COMPILED. Try this with uncompiled code. Povray doesn't have compiled code, only source, so 512B IS admirable, when some of your instructions have 15B in length.
                • It may be 15 bytes, but they're cheating because they are using CISC processors. Try using a RISC for real demo studliness. :-/

                  Eventually, you get to the point where it is silly. Setting a particular limit forces people to be creative and efficient, something that most software companies forgot decades ago.

                  Whether it's 512B animations in POV, 256B images, 4K demos using OpenGL, 4k assembly hacks, or whatever, they are all exercises in creativity and cleverness, and just really cool nerd-fu.

                  By the way, POV
                  • by Yetihehe (971185)

                    It may be 15 bytes, but they're cheating because they are using CISC processors. Try using a RISC for real demo studliness. :-/
                    You're right. It looks like for every purity lover, it is possible to find another, who is even more of a code puritan.
          • by Trogre (513942)
            Oh, and these renders might be prettier, but these are still just input files for a huge raytracer, so IMO, there's nothing really to cheer about. Make a 'tracer in 512 bytes, then I'll be impressed :) .

            Does that really matter?

            A lot of demos use software interrupts. Should those be considered invalid too?

            It helps to think of the tracer as a platform-independent machine, and we're writing code for that machine.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      512 bytes ought to be enough for everyone!
    • by Cctoide (923843) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:22PM (#22446176) Homepage
      No, mine's smaller!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Trogre (513942)
      Look I'm as keen on the oldskool demoscene as the next guy. I've seen pretty much every noteworthy 256b, 512b, 4k etc demo there is. But you know what? In this age of multi-tasking pre-emptive multitasking operating systems, I miss that scene. I really do. That drive to create, given a constrained framework, something unexpected and impressive. And these POV demos bring back that same feeling (probably nostalgia) for me. More than that though, they seem like a logical evolutionary step in that scene.
    • by doti (966971)

      Nothing impressive to see here though, just a fat-ass raytracer with a small input file.
      These are pre-rendered animation.

      POV-Ray is not intended to render in real time, and there's no such thing as a fast-ass ray-tracer yet.
      • there's no such thing as a fast-ass ray-tracer yet.

        No, but there are several fat-ass raytracers about.

  • a server does an amazing impression of the second-place winner. [uwa.edu.au]
  • Mirror (Score:1, Informative)

    by jrwr00 (1035020)
    http://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au.nyud.net/~pbourke/exhibition/scc5/final.html [nyud.net]

    Note to Editors, Next time you see a site that is on a 486 hosted on ISDN

    Please at lest link to some kind of mirror
  • Coral cache link (Score:3, Informative)

    by burris (122191) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:11PM (#22446136)
  • Considering the slashdot effect of people trying to view just these tiny files was enough to bring a server at an Australian University to its knees...
  • by Zarniwoot (979457) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:19PM (#22446164)
    Incidentally, the most recent FLOSS Weekly podcast (with Randal PERL Schwartz) is about POV-Ray. As usual interesting:
    http://www.twit.tv/floss24 [www.twit.tv]
    • by pthisis (27352) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @03:30PM (#22447008) Homepage Journal

      Incidentally, the most recent FLOSS Weekly podcast (with Randal PERL Schwartz) is about POV-Ray. As usual interesting:
      http://www.twit.tv/floss24 [www.twit.tv]


      That's pretty odd considering that the POV-Ray license, while quite liberal, is not open-source. The podcast erroneously lists it as such, and the podcast doesn't correct that (at least in the first few minutes). The POV-Ray license in particular prohibits much commercial distribution (in violation of OSD/DFSG term 6) and allows a revocation list of people/distributions who are not allowed to distribute at all (in violation of OSD/DFSG term 5).

      I don't want to give the impression that the POV-Ray team is against open-source/free software. There is a lot of thought towards a GPL'd rewrite by the POV-Ray team, and the main reason it's not open-source is that the license predates any real definition of open-source or free software in the modern sense and there are too many contributors to relicense easily.

      I just want to point out that the POV-Ray license is not currently open-source, that's a known issue that the developers are trying to address, and it's odd for a podcast dedicated to FLOSS not to mention that up front (and indeed to erroneously list it as open-source on the intro page).
      • by Zarniwoot (979457)
        They discuss this in the podcast. And they discuss the current transition to GPL. It makes perfect sense to have this in FLOSS weekly! These people part of the open source community and deserve to be recognized for there work, despite any historic legal leftovers..
        • by pthisis (27352)
          Awesome, I listened to about the first 10 minutes (give or take) and didn't hear any mention of it. Yes they absolutely deserve to be recognized for their work, I've been using POV-ray since 1993 and it's tremendous. I was just surprised that the license status wasn't prominently mentioned and that they repeatedly referred to it as open-source, when it's a significant topic of discussion on the POV-Ray mailing lists.
  • Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I can't find the source for the animations...
    • by l_bratch (865693)
      My thoughts exactly - it even says "the source code provided".
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's right there - look for "Short version" just under the image. "Long version" is with comments and formatted to be readable.
    • by ODBOL (197239)
      Well, I was troubled when I ran povray on the winning program, and got only a still picture. After some muddling around, I noticed that the contest rules specified an "ini.txt" file, to wit:

      Output_File_Type=N
      Width=400
      Height=300
      Quality=9
      Antialias=on
      Antialias_Threshold=0.01
      Initial_Frame = 0
      Final_Frame = 99
      Initial_Clock = 0
      Final_Clock = 1
  • Well, here's definite truth that a picture does not tell a thousand words but less than 512 bytes.

    So much for poetry!
  • When fired, the Point-of-view ray causes the target to experience the point of view of the wielder.
    • by TheLink (130905)
      Warning: firing the Point-of-View ray at a mirror at yourself might cause recursion problems..
  • Gorgeous, in every sense of the accomplishment in making these animations.

    Tips hat.
  • I love this stuff, and want to look at all of it. I found SCC3 at http://ozviz.wasp.uwa.edu.au/~pbourke/exhibition/scc3/final/ [uwa.edu.au]
    but I can't find contests number 1, 2, nor 4. I tried the Wayback machine, with no luck. Maybe I didn't search right. Anybody know where to find 'em?
  • Am I not the only one to think Quicktime was not exactly the most intelligent choice for a "a movie format that will supported by all hardware and OS combinations"?

    The videos I tried crashed Media Player Classic using Quicktime Alternative codecs. But I guess I only have myself to blame for not installing that highly functional brushed silver "Quicktime Player".

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