[Edu-sig] The Fate of VPyton >> BLENDER ??

John Zelle john.zelle at wartburg.edu
Fri Oct 13 17:39:22 CEST 2006


I've looked into Blender a number of times, and while I would like to learn 
it, I have never had time for the learning curve. VPython is something my 
students and I can use immediately to solve problems at hand. If my goal were 
to become a 3D artist, then something like Blender would be the way to go.

You suggest some sort of "streamlined"  tool built on Blender is possible. But 
my recollection of Blender is that it embeds a Python intepreter, but is not 
itself a Python extension. If that is true, then I cannot use such a tool 
(even if streamlined) to augment _my_ Python environment. When I need  a 
quick 3D visualization for something I'm working on, I would have to 
somehow "import" all my work, libraries, etc. into this Blender-based 
environment. I just don't see Blender and VPython in the same "niche." 

If I am wrong about this, please let me know. Perhaps I have not looked hard 
enough, or perhaps Blender has changed since I last visited it.


On Friday 13 October 2006 4:04 am, Jason Cunliffe wrote:
> Art
> Thanks for your clear reply..
> Yes. Having a reasonable sense of your sensibilities from edu-sig
> dialogues, I hesitated 3 times before even suggesting it.
> <personal memo>
> I range wide in my sensibilities and preferences.
> btw, I think I was perhaps the original poster to edu-sig about VPython.
> Was greatly influenced by a magnificent shell+3D window  on Amiga c.1987
> called "PageRender3D". Am fairly sure you would approve highly of that one.
> And then live GEOMETER implemented on SGI c.1993 [minimal and mind-blowing]
> Or REBOL for example for its less-is-more philosophy. In general prefer
> one-to-one encounters than groups anytime. Signal to noise is usually so
> much better.
> </personal memo>
> However we are entering the great RW [read-write] cooperative,
> collaborative epoch. Ideas and process having many roots in the world of
> [Open]software, networks of networks, virtuality
> [modeling/simulation/contemplation...  in every order]
> These dynamics are now bubbling up out into social financial and
> political spheres [ah see - Pure Geometry purifies]
> meme-nets are thriving as never before
> My subversive proposal to you is along those lines.
> Optimistically,  I imagined that maybe a VPython version of Blender is
> quite possible AND a good idea.
> The key paradigm is for a pure geometric minimal shell with live 3d
> viewer and modular architecture. small fast cheap beautiful user-controls
> I think using the Blender Python API it is possible to configure Blender
> to run as shell based Geometry [Game] Engine.
> You can ignore all the dancing  girls and singing seals if you want.
> What you gain however may be like a laboratory for geometry [with
> physics::: particles, light, gravity, etc]
> Geometry meme -> Kepler elipses -> lead to orbiting planets.
> or geometry behind this
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Milky_Way_2005.jpg
> And heres a video clip of experimental interface where minimal 2D
> geometry symbolizes physical mechanics
> [draw = think = link] [ancient Greeks making marks in the sand with
> sticks seashells and string]
> *
> MIT live drawing*
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZNTgglPbUA
> Won't be surprised if you tell me that you love it OR hate it :-)
> I understand why you don't want all the bells and whistles of Blender as
> it installs now.
> But if it turned out that all that stuff was in proactive very easy to
> turn-off ,and instead present a VPython face.
> Something installs well quickly cross-platform, how would you feel?
> Jason
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John M. Zelle, Ph.D.             Wartburg College
Professor of Computer Science    Waverly, IA     
john.zelle at wartburg.edu          (319) 352-8360  

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