Merel 4K by Fulcrum [web]

4K Merel

a little babytro to announce the birth of our beautiful daughter Merel.
My deepest love to Kaatje for doing the hard work of this amazing release.

Credits for the intro:
Code: Seven/Fulcrum
Music: Coplan/Fulcrum (thanks man!)

- Windows XP
- a Pixel Shaders 3 compatible graphics card with lots of shaders (Raymarching,
  you know). It runs at 20 FPS (with a 12 FPS dip somewhere) on a 3-years old
  Geforce 8800 GTX with 128 shader pipelines, so most(*) modern mid-range card
  should run it quite fluently. It's also tested on a 8600 GT laptop card, but
  it ran in the single digit FPS.
  (*)Psycho/Loonies was so kind to test it on ATI cards, it runs fine on a HD 5000
  series card with Cat10.6, but the 4000 series has rendering artifacts, even
  though AMD's GPU ShaderAnalyzer says the shaders are OK :( The waves on the water
  look stretched and there are holes in thin leaves.
- a soundcard would be nice.
- 4K diskspace.
- about one and a half minute of your time.

There are three versions included, one for widescreen (16*10) aspect ratio screens that
don't do aspect-ratio correct scaling, one for standard (4*3) screens (or for widescreens
who do aspect-ratio correct scaling, since the intro runs at 1024*768 internally anyways),
and last version is for ATI HD 4000 cards (such as the one in the compo machine, sigh).
It has fatter (uglier) leaves, since the HD 4000 seems to have precision issues and punch
holes in them. It's more precise but slower.
If the intro doesn't run at all on hardware that should be able to run it, and you're
willing to run a debug version to gather debug info, let me know on Pouet and I'll try to
fix it, time permitting. Same for weird gfx modes or such.

Thanks to:
- Psycho/Loonies for helping with last-minute ATI compatibility debugging.
- Iq, for his nice raymarching tutorial
- FRequency, for their 1K "To the Road of Ribbon", the first raymarching
  intro I could wrap my head around.
- Auld for his port of FRequencys 1K, and his blog with great ideas
  and useful explanations: http://sizecoding.blogspot.com
- Youth Uprising for releasing the source of Muon Baryon
- SystemK for their useful 4K Procedural GFX Monitor
- Blueberry/Loonies and Mentor/TBC for their essential Crinkler tool.
- Gopher and pOwl /Alcatraz for their 4Klang software synth.
- the In4K site at http://in4k.untergrund.net for being a great resource
  for the (re)starting 4K coder
- and Pouet.net for the interesting technical discussions.

So, ignoring one 4K Gfx entry, this is my first 4K intro in almost 10 years... 
Things sure changed since then: no more hand-coded assembler, VESA2 video modes,
adlib music, apack,... But most changes are for the better.
I know I'm late to the raymarching party, and I wish I had tried my hand at it
a year ago. Still, I think there is room left for a small innovation here and
there. I'm quite happy with how the intro turned out (including primary colors and
saccharin music, yes. Goes with the subject). I was planning to do something
very simple to get back into 4K coding, but then you want to make it look just a
tiny bit better... It might be possible to shrink it by maybe a few tens
of bytes more, but I really don't have the time/motivation. Yes, a baby takes away
lots of time and ability to concentrate :) Also, congrats to MBB and Petra with their
bundle of joy, and to Jef/RBBS and Tineke as well.

Last-minute note: it's really a pain to get this running reasonly well on the compo
machine. This is a remote entry, and I have only nvidia cards at home. D.Fox from the
compocrew has been amazingly helpful running debug versions and mailing photos of the
screen back etc, but it's just very hard and tiring to get it looking correct on the
ATI HD 4870. If anyone wants to make a video to put on youtube, could you *please*
make it on nvidia or ATI 5000 series with up-to-date drivers? Thanks!