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September 7, 2008 12:00 PM

Categories: Other WowWee Robots

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Joined: 03/07/2008

I am starting this thread to discuss my upcoming Elvis Animator program. This program will let you create and edit custom animations for Elvis, which you can then put on your modified cartridge to playback on the Elvis Alive! Animatronic bust.

I am starting this thread because I am about half way through the major parts of the program, and am hoping to get some early feedback and suggestions for it.

The Source code can be shared with anyone that knows how to program in VB, but I will be the main distribution point. So, I expect that anyone that gets the source and modifies it, does not attempt to package it and deploy it separately (at least until the status is release candidate, and then you can do whatever you want with the source code.)

The program is being written in Visual Basic 6.0, which is a fairly obsolete language, but it all that I am familiar with right now for windows programming, except a little Delphi, for which I no longer have an IDE.

I would definitely like some involvement from others seeking to port the program to other languages and working to make it as open platform as possible. This is FAR FAR beyond me, so without help, only a basic windows-based program will be available.


This section will be updated with the status of the project


Status: Alpha

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 16-30 of 67 | Latest Comment | « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next »

September 14, 2008 1:53 AM

You don't care for my bald Elvis, Nocturnal? :)

September 14, 2008 2:52 AM

Only in a sort of horror movie, oh my god its going to kill us all, kinda way.

RoboGuide - Your guide to hacking all things WowWee

September 14, 2008 7:24 AM

Well ncturnal you wanted to rule the Earth, mabe this will help out alot in getting there.

GWJax, To Hack and make mods on robots is a life style and comes natural and not by choice. If a robot has a screw to open it then it must be opened!

September 14, 2008 1:31 PM updated: September 14, 2008 1:31 PM

I should put some piercings in his face ;)

Then it will look like a mug shot with biometric data

September 14, 2008 3:23 PM updated: September 14, 2008 3:23 PM

You've got a good start on the gunfighter robot from Westworld, as played by Yule Brennar.

ScottE -- collecting and building robots for 40 years - details in profile

September 17, 2008 11:18 AM

 It has taken me forever to get this working, but finally, I see some success! :) (Thanks for working through it with me, Sevik!)

It still isn't perfect, but at least I am plotting actual samples from the MP3 to the display. I need to tweak it a bit and it will get slapped into my main code. Right now, you are looking at just a prototype form that only serves the purpose and loading and plotting the MP3.

September 17, 2008 10:08 PM updated: September 17, 2008 10:17 PM

Now, we are talking! This is a comparison of my display versus the display of the same MP3 in audactiy. We are getting there. I can certainly make it prettier, but at least I have the basics down now. Each of the red lines in my display is *supposed* to represent 200ms of time. Why 200ms? Because that is how long one frame of the animation lasts. The final display will scroll a bar along the waveform to show you where you are at in the animation and will highlight that section of the waveform. So, the red lines are mainly just there now for debugging to be sure I am seeing the entire waveform and not scaling it funny. The previous picture was only displaying the first half of the waveform, but now it is all displayed, and it is pretty fast!

When I am finished with this code, I will probably post just the display code somewhere, because I have found hundreds of people trying to figure out how to do this, but nobody actually had any answers for them other than *theory*.

The next step is to build a proper spectrum display of the entire MP3 so that you can switch between the two. I also need to reduce the number of samples to display so it is faster and prettier. This will require a routine to interpolate the wave form data to only display large changes in values throughtout each 200ms "chunk". I have a general idea how to do it, but need to nail some numbers down to build a proper algorythm.

September 19, 2008 12:15 AM

Thought you guys might like a video of the program in action. This is just playing back an animation.

September 19, 2008 1:00 AM updated: September 19, 2008 5:55 AM

Here is another one demonstrating the editing of frames.

September 19, 2008 7:29 AM

Nice work retro!!!

GWJax, To Hack and make mods on robots is a life style and comes natural and not by choice. If a robot has a screw to open it then it must be opened!

September 19, 2008 7:42 AM updated: September 20, 2008 4:37 AM

Thanks, Jax. I am trying to finish up some of the frame editing code (like copy, paste, insert, etc...) and then I will point you at the newest source code.

It's a good thing that the video quality is so lousy or it would have given away an easter egg I am planning:)

September 19, 2008 11:54 AM

Cool I love easter eggs!!

GWJax, To Hack and make mods on robots is a life style and comes natural and not by choice. If a robot has a screw to open it then it must be opened!

September 20, 2008 4:36 AM

I think, you, in particular will get a kick out of it when you find it :) I'll have to remember to remove it from the source code before giving you an updated copy. :)

September 20, 2008 4:46 AM

I think I am beginning to run out of steam a little. I am not coding as fast as I was, but I have spent pretty much all of my free time on this for the last two weeks at least, so I guess that's understandable. After my last post yesterday, pretty much all I did was some general code cleanup and fixed some bugs in the appearance that I noticed when looking at the video again.

This latest one is technically "Version 4 alpha" because I have restarted the project 4 times now. :) I think for now, I am happy enough with this one to stick to it until a release. Then I will incorporate the more advanced features I am planning later.

One of the things I have started to do that helps me prevent making things unmanageable is to build a completely separate project for each new feature that I am trying out and then just fit the final code from that into my main project. Before, I was testing everything out right in my main project, and wreaking havoc on it in the proccess.

September 20, 2008 4:54 AM

BTW, Jax, I will be adding in some real-time serial output from the editor at some point. It would help to define that ahead of time, so when you make your custom controller, for example, my animator program can communicate with it.

This way, you could use the official animation format and still play them back with your controller. I am assuming that you intend to communicate with your PIC from the serial port of a PC, right? When I modify the firmware to accept serial commands, I will also make it compliant with what we come up with. Then, either way someone wants to build it, they can use the same format and programs.

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Back to Top | Comments 16-30 of 67 | Latest Comment | « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next »

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