Toy Box

Welcome to my toy box. I remember when I was little that we had all sorts of toys, most of which I didn't play with that often. The ones that I played with a lot were usually left out somewhere around the house, but the rest of them were faithfully gathered up in boxes by my mom. So throughout our house we had these cardboard boxes full of random toys. Occasionally we would find them and go through them looking for interesting toys, and pull them out and use them for a while. Many of you probably remember something similar to this, too.

My family also had a rule called "Mom's Box Rule", which stated that if you find something in one of these boxes, you could play with it for as long as you wanted. (I think the rule was created because one of us would find someone else's toy in a box and start playing with it, when the toy's owner would see it and remember it and say, "Hey! That's mine! I get to play with it, not you!")

This page is like a toy box. Of course, all of the most interesting stuff is categorized and well taken care of in other places on this website. Here, though, you'll find a collection of random junk/treasure that you might occasionally find useful. The Box Rule applies to this toy box too, so if you find something useful here, feel free to do whatever you want with it.

XNA in a Windows Form

I've created a simple program that puts an XNA form inside of a windows form. I know some people are curious about doing this, so here it is if you want it. I'm really putting it here so that I can come back to it later, when I use it again….


This is a simple command line Java program that lets you take two images, one that is colored, and one that is grayscale (like a heightmap) and create a new image by taking the color from the first image, and the tone of the second image and combines them so that the alpha values in the resulting image come from the heightmap. I've used it for a couple of different things. Heightmaps are extremely easy to make on their own, but doing anything useful by manually editing alpha values is difficult, because most image processing programs treat it as a transparency value. Rather than having to use two textures, a color texture and a heightmap for any of a number of purposes (like shininess, reflectivity, etc.), you can combine them with this utility program. I've used it for all sorts of things when I write shaders for a game. The program is extremely simple, and all of you programmers out there are thinking "I could have made that myself" are probably right. But this way, you don't have to. It's Java and command line, so run it with a command like:

java -jar EmbedInAlpha.jar colorImage.png shininess.jpg outputImage.png


Paint.NET Plugins

I've created a couple of plugins for Paint.NET that some people might find useful. There's only a couple, and they're not incredibly fancy, but somebody might like them.

Paint.NET Plugins