1. Introduction
2. System Requirements
3. The main menu
4. The editor
5. Problemsolving
6. License Agreement
6. Bass Sound Engine
7. Contact Information
Introduction INDEX
Welcome the the Silex Particle System explorer. "Silex" stands for vulcano or firestone. Silex is a demo unlike any other. With silex you can create your own stunning effects with great ease. The goal of the Silex demo is to show how Act 3d can use state of the art technology to create stunning interactive applications.
In With silex you can explore a particle system. A particle is a dot in 3d space. By taking loads of dots and giving them different appearances you can create all sorts of effects. Particles are used to simulate water, fire, or smoke for example. With Silex you will be able create and play around with your own particles.
System Requirements INDEX
The Silex demo needs the following system specifications:
  • 10Mb of free diskspace
  • A DirectSound compatible Soundcard
  • A Direct3D compatible 3D accelerator
  • About 32Mb of memory and a resonably fast processor.
  • DirectX 6.0 or better installed

The Silex demo was tested to work on the following 3D accelerators:

  • 3DLabs permedia2/permedia3
  • 3dfx voodoo/voodooII/voodooIII
  • Matrox G200/G400

known problems
Some boards may not support certain 3D features that is why silex can look a bit different on one card than on the other. The Matrox G400 for example does not support texturemapping on 2 pointed polygons that is why the models that need this feature look a bit different.

The main menu INDEX
This is the main menu of silex here you can select three options.
  • Editor
    Here you can define your own particles and view them in a 3d animation.
  • Showcase
    Here you can view the animations with predefined particles. There also is an "about" section where you can learn more about act 3d.
  • Quit
    This quits Silexs and returns you to Windows
The editor INDEX
Particle viewer
In the big circle you see your current particle settings. You can move your mouse over the grid so it will light up. Then you can press the mouse and rotate the particle emitter to view it from different angles.

View in scenes
Under the circle are three buttons you can press one of them to view your particles in an animation.

Back to menu
This button on the top left brings you back to the main menu.
This slider sets how fast new particles are generated. If you set the slider to the right the emitter can be out of particles so that it will not emit any particles. To solve this simply move the slider to the left. You can also make use of this effect if you want to craete an explosion for example. If you move the slider to the full right all particles are emitted in one big bang.
This causes the particles to fall or float upwards. When the slider is in the middle the particles will not fall. If you move the slider to the right they will fall down. If you move the slider to the left the particles will "fall" up.
This sets how long a particle will exist. When a particle "dies" it is ready to be reborn again. When the emitter is out of particles you can not only decrease the birthrate but you can also decrease the lifetime to create a continuous particlestream.
This sets how fast the particles are emitted from the emitter. When you set the slider in the middle the particles will have a speed of zero. If you move it more to the left they will move faster. If you move it to the right they will also move faster but the speed will be varied randomly for each particle.
This sets how big the particles are when they are generated. Just as with the speed the middle wil set a size of zero, left will make them bigger and right will make them bigger and random in size.
Move this slider to alter the colour of your particles.
Emitter shape
This defines the starting position of the particles. You can let them start to form a spiral or the word "silex" for example.

Particle shape
This defines the shape of a particle. You can let the emitter emit stars or circles for exampe.

Short help
When you move your mouse over a slider a short helptext will appear in the bottom left corner

Problemsolving INDEX
When you encounter problems when running Silex you can look in the Silex dir if an "error.log" exist. This file can contain several messages. If Silex can not find some files it will also show up in the "error.log". If this is the case unpack the demo again and make sure that all files are in the right directory. Below is a list that helps you to solve errors that can occur in the "error.log".
"Could not create DDraw object"
WHY: It appears that directX isn't installed or the
displaydriver isn't setup properly.
SOL: Install directX and latest video drivers

"Could not create directdraw4 (No directX 6.0?)"
WHY: Directx 6.0 or later is not installed
SOL: Install DirectX 6.0 or later

"Could not set cooperativeLevel"
WHY: Another program is interfering with the demo
SOL: Close all programs that use directX

"Could not set display mode"
WHY: You selected a displaymode that the card can't display
SOL: Select another resolution

"Primarysurface init failed!!"
WHY: Graphics memory is allready taken by
another application or you simply do not have enough memory
SOL: Reset and run the demo without any other application running
or try to select a lower resolution.

"Backbuffer init failed"
WHY: Graphics memory is allready taken by another application
SOL: Reset and run the demo without any
other application running

"couldn't create Zbuffer"
WHY: Not enough graphics memory
SOL: continue without Zbuffer
SOL: Select a lower resolution(16 bit?)
SOL: Quit programs that use graphics memory

"couldn't initialize D3D device"
WHY: Your card doesn't support Direct 3d
SOL: Buy a 3d card or select another card if you got one

"couldn't get D3D device capabilities"
WHY: Driver bug of your Graphics Accelerator
SOL: Get the letest drivers for your 3d device

"Can't initialize digital sound system"
WHY: The soundcard is taken by another application
SOL: Quit any program that uses audio

"Can't load music"
WHY: Files cannot be found
SOL: Make sure that you run the demo from it's directory
that means that there is a music, objects, textures,
camera and sound dir
SOL: Unpack the zip again to a new directory and make sure
it unpacks the directorystructure too

License Agreement INDEX
IThis Act 3d Interactive End-User License Agreement
("EULA") is a legal agreement between you (either an individual or a single
entity) and Act 3d Interactive for the Act 3d Interactive software accompanying
this EULA, which includes computer software and may include associated
media, printed materials, and "online" or electronic documentation
("SOFTWARE PRODUCT" or "SOFTWARE"). By exercising your rights to make and
use copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT, you agree to be bound by the terms of
this EULA. If you do not agree to the terms of this EULA, you may not use


The SOFTWARE PRODUCT is protected by copyright laws and international
copyright treaties, as well as other intellectual property laws and
treaties. The SOFTWARE PRODUCT is licensed, not sold.

1. GRANT OF LICENSE. This EULA grants you the following rights:
Installation and Use. You may install and use an unlimited number of
copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.
Reproduction and Distribution. You may reproduce and distribute an
unlimited number of copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT; provided
that (I) each copy shall be a true and complete copy, including all
copyright and trademark notices, (II) each copy shall be accompanied
by a copy of this EULA, and (III) no copy shall be offered for resale.

Limitations on Reverse Engineering, Decompilation, and Disassembly.
You may not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the SOFTWARE
PRODUCT, except and only to the extent that such activity is expressly
permitted by applicable law notwithstanding this limitation.
Separation of Components. The SOFTWARE PRODUCT is licensed as a single
product. Its component parts may not be separated for use on more than
one computer.
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this EULA, provided the recipient agrees to the terms of this EULA.
Termination. Without prejudice to any other rights, Act 3d may
terminate this EULA if you fail to comply with the terms and conditions
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PRODUCT and all of its component parts.

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Bass Sound Engine INDEX
The Silex demo uses the BASS sound engine. You can reach the BASS site trough the link:
Contact information INDEX
Act 3d website: