Featured demo – Concentrate

I’m starting a series featuring demos. If you don’t know what demos are, bring yourself up to speed with 5 of them.

Demos are multimedia applications combining programming, art, and music. There might be a storyline, an artistic direction, a showcase of physics concepts or even a statement by the creators. Plus they’re just fun to watch.

2 facts I’ve gleamed from watching demos. Sometimes, if there are text in the demo, and you want to read them, be prepared to watch the demo over and over again. Because the text will generally appear for split seconds. Second fact, “greets” or “greetz” refer to greetings or salutes by the creators to other demosceners (or sceners).

We’re not going to just watch demos. We’re also going to analyse them. Let me just give you the demo first. It’s “Concentrate” by Adapt. It was submitted to the Breakpoint 2008 demo event. Download it. It’s about 15.4 MB in size and about 5 minutes in length.

Keep these 2 points in mind while watching:

  • The sparks waterfall – collision detection, physics, gravity.
  • Texture in texture.

The technique used in the 2nd point goes like this. You render a scene onto a texture. Then you add an object, map that texture onto the object, and rerender the scene. Let me show you an example. Say I have this scene:

Texture scene

I render the scene onto a texture. In this case, I saved it into a bitmap. In the demo, it’s saved in memory. Then I created a cuboid and mapped the texture onto it, and then rerendered the scene.

Texture scene mapped

One characteristic of demos is that you usually have to watch them a few times to truly appreciate the beauty, the art and the skill used to produce it. Feel free to space your demo viewings.

Then tell me your experiences in the comments. What did the demo make you feel? What did you notice? Can you recreate a certain effect? Can you figure out how you can code certain parts? This is like an open homework project, so let’s discuss!