Tuesday, May 09, 2006


So I'm just getting my feet wet in this open source animations package, originally pioneered at Disney in support of ToonTown Online. Now it's being hosted at Carnegie Mellon.

At this point, I'm mostly just trying to pick up the basics of the genre: scene graph, models, textures, behaviors.

You'd think I'd already know this stuff, but distance education scholarships were still pretty rare in my middle years.

[I just saw a note from Chris Fearnley about some tensegrity he committed to a time capsule in Philadelphia c/o a business journal -- it's a short haul capsule, going to just 2015]

Most middle class adults couldn't afford to seriously study without losing their livelihoods. This tended to paralyze the economy, with too many would-be students unhappy in their dead-end jobs, piling up debts while a lot of important work went undone.

In the mean time, our on-board intelligence community (IC) had just barely attained critical mass, having suffered years of neglect at the hands of fear-mongering politicians.

For practice, I'm pulling instances of subclasses of my Polyhedron class out of my rbf.py (e.g. cubocta = rbf.Cubocta()) and writing them to disk as .egg files using Panda's API (lots of Egg classes).

My two modules of today ([1][2]) are sort of working, except the resulting shape is too Darth Vadery. I can't get the dang thing to illuminate. I'll blame incomplete documentation how 'bout i.e. not Congress this time?

Panda3D animations I'd like to see: a regular tetrahedron splits apart into 24 A modules; a regular octahedron splits into 48 A mods + 48 B mods. We'd like students to actually pass our basic IQ test before joining our IC.

The export license says I'm not supposed to download this stuff in Libya, which seems obsolete. No mention is made of Baghdad though, so I'm assuming my cowriters in Algebra City could develop scene graphs of their own.

Given Panda3D is runnable on Ubuntu and Fedora, I'm thinking low-cost, money-efficient TuxLab type operations scattered around town, gradually hooking up to the optical fiber infrastructure; the germs of a new think tank economy, much as we're germinating here in Portland.

If/when I get a prettier cubocta, perhaps with a little help from my friends, I'll add a screen shot to this post. I'm also interested in boning up on Soya3D, another open source games and simulations engine, and perhaps even legal in Cuba.