Monthly Archives: August 2013

Alive Numbers 2 – android release of my minimalistic live wallpaper with embedded widgets

Brand new version of live wallpaper –  Alive Numbers 2 for Android devices. Enjoy smooth OpenGl ES 2.0 animation of minimalistic animated background in couple with customisable embedded widgets. New version has adjustable color schemes and ability to hand-tune widget layout. You can choose from set of base animations and play with a lot of options for every widget.

Alive Numbers 2

It can be found by name ‘Alive numbers 2′ or here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.calibvr.minimal

This topic contains screens and details…

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Perfomance of complex GL ES 2.0 shaders on mobile devices

There is very nice site http://glsl.heroku.com/, where you can find the gallery of complex GLSL shaders (from very simple gradients to very complex rendering systems). You can modify their code at real-time using provided editor:

heroku

Current implementation of WebGL is using GL ES 2.0 – the same as all mordern android / iOS phones/tablets. So i decided to test if i can use these shaders at mobile applications – and tested their performance on Sumsung Galaxy Note II. Of course i tested only relatively simple shaders expecting them to run slow…

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Live Wallpaper under Android can be powered by my cross-platform engine now

After my recent modifications of android part of my cross-platform engine, it is possible to make application also run as android live background. I plan to implement the same feature as well for iOS 7, but a bit later. Here is working example (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.calibvr.synctimer):

Synctimer as live background

Android live wallpaper is not a general Activity application – it is special WallpaperService. And you cant implement it in pure C++ using NativeActivity. All my core is cross-platform C++ so i implemented two-way communication between C++ and JAVA. From C++ NativeActivity you can call JAVA classes through JNI and from java service you can call native (c++) methods of engine core.

The tricky part that all this communication involves a lot of different threads. Wallpaper service has its own thread, but rendering should be performed in another one. My native C++ core is launched as third thread and spawns other async threads which could call some java methods. But i got through all this nightmare using mutexed queues of events. As result i got full functionality of my engine at the background of android launcher.

When i only started working with android i wrote small live wallpaper in pure java (with no OpenGL). Wasted only couple of evenings and even lost the source code. But recently i was surprised when discovered that it has more than 100.000 downloads (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=back.livenumbers). It does not even work properly on my Note 2 now.

But the point is that now i have smooth OpenGl ES 2.0 animations/effects in couple with engine functionality. Probably, i will create couple of stylish backs fused with some in-code widgets (like battery indicator, weather forecast, clock, calendar date or something else) as implementation will be relatively easy now using my engine. Any suggestions on this matter are welcome.