A few questions...

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starbase1
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A few questions...

Post by starbase1 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:37 am

I am considering buying Stella 4d, and have a few questions...

I am mainly interested in the export of objects for use in 3d graphics software. I see some great possibilities for 'chrome' models, or sticking a volumetric light at the centre of the ones with holes, or even using refractive glass!

Is it possible to export a sequence of object files from a morph? I think it is possible manually, but for smooth operation with minimal effort, I'd want to do this automatically - with 250 operations for a 10 second clip it could get boring!

This would be particularly cool for the 4d stuff.

Along the same lines, is the order of points preserved in exported objects? If it is, it becomes possible to morph between steps in the software.

The one thing that really does alarm me is the condition in the license about sharing any objects exported from the program. Can this be clarified please? I can understand an objection to large sets of objects that might remove the need to buy the program. What I would typically want to do would be put several together into a Lightwave scene (with credit for the creating program), and put that onto my web page. Would this kind of use be a problem?

And if I modify the objects, how much change would be required before it counts as a new object? Again to give a specific example, one of the more obvious things for me to do would be to put fines rounding along all the sharp edges to make it look more like a physical object.

Thanks,
Nick

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robertw
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Re: A few questions...

Post by robertw » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:48 am

starbase1 wrote:I am mainly interested in the export of objects for use in 3d graphics software. I see some great possibilities for 'chrome' models, or sticking a volumetric light at the centre of the ones with holes, or even using refractive glass!
You can see a few examples of ray-traced renderings from Stella here:
http://www.software3d.com/Renders.php
Stella can export to POV-Ray format, if you choose to use POV-Ray as your ray-tracer.
Is it possible to export a sequence of object files from a morph? I think it is possible manually, but for smooth operation with minimal effort, I'd want to do this automatically - with 250 operations for a 10 second clip it could get boring!
Sorry, but you need to export each frame manually. You can set the precise morphing ratio via the menu though (rather than doing it interactively by mouse and hoping the intervals are roughly equivalent).
Along the same lines, is the order of points preserved in exported objects? If it is, it becomes possible to morph between steps in the software.
This should probably work. I think the vertex order will remain the same at least for any part of a transition where the topology doesn't change (eg, it will change at various point when animating a 3D slice through a 4D polytope). On the other hand, I wouldn't guarantee it. For dual morphing I'm pretty sure the order will remain the same, at least within each half (0.0 < t < 0.5 and 0.5 < t < 1.0).
The one thing that really does alarm me is the condition in the license about sharing any objects exported from the program. Can this be clarified please? I can understand an objection to large sets of objects that might remove the need to buy the program. What I would typically want to do would be put several together into a Lightwave scene (with credit for the creating program), and put that onto my web page. Would this kind of use be a problem?
It's kind of there in case I need it really, but I've never acted on it. Quite a few sites have lists of polyhedra created in Stella, and I'm not worried about that. If someone just put all the built-in Stella models up on a website I wouldn't be too happy, and nets in particular created by Stella should not be published. But I don't mind you using models in a Lightwave scene and putting it on your website, as long as it doesn't get out of hand and turn into some sort of comprehensive polyhedral database :wink:
And if I modify the objects, how much change would be required before it counts as a new object? Again to give a specific example, one of the more obvious things for me to do would be to put fines rounding along all the sharp edges to make it look more like a physical object.
I would think that if the model originated in Stella, then a note crediting it as such should be present. What in particular are you hoping to be able to do with your significantly changed models? Or rather, what are you worried that you won't be able to do?

Rob.

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starbase1
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Post by starbase1 » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:45 am

Hi Robert and thanks for such a comprehensive answer.

I hope you will consider auto export sequences for a future release - I'll have to try and tempt you by doing something impressive manually!

I don't do a large amount of downloads on my web pages, so databases of objects are right out! Which would pretty much cover modified objects too. Credits definitely not a problem, when us graphics types look at a cool image we always want to know how it was done! :D

Think I'll be buying a copy in the next few days, thanks again for a prompt and helpful reply.

Nick

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robertw
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Post by robertw » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:52 pm

starbase1 wrote:I hope you will consider auto export sequences for a future release - I'll have to try and tempt you by doing something impressive manually!
I don't doubt it could be impressive, along with direct export of video. Currently though the only way to see the animations is within Stella. If people start putting up videos of such animations, that may mean there's less reason for other people to buy the software. Or maybe it's just good advertising. If only I had a better head for marketing :(

Rob.

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starbase1
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Post by starbase1 » Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:25 pm

robertw wrote:
starbase1 wrote:I hope you will consider auto export sequences for a future release - I'll have to try and tempt you by doing something impressive manually!
I don't doubt it could be impressive, along with direct export of video. Currently though the only way to see the animations is within Stella. If people start putting up videos of such animations, that may mean there's less reason for other people to buy the software. Or maybe it's just good advertising. If only I had a better head for marketing :(

Rob.
I really can't believe that showing people the power of the software could be anything but good for sales. When you think about how many objects there are and the number of transforms etc, no video library could substitute. I guess one or two might find it handy to show some aspects of polyhedra, but I would suggest that anyone who is satisfied with that is very unlikely to be bothered with buying and learning software anyway.

I hang out in a lot of 3d forums, and people there are always on the lookout for something new that has not been done to death. Plenty of graphics oriented friends, including prefessionals (I am strictly amateur), have found some of the things I have come up with using software not normally associated with pro graphics tools very interesting - I am thinking of things like knotplot (knot software), Xenodream (fully 3d fractal resonant objects), or Groboto (thrashing organic shapes)...

I suspect that quite a few who work on scifi shows and films would really love the idea of using your software to make alien looking mysterious technology objects...

Anyway, I am getting way ahead of myself, lets see what I can come up with my the end of the weekend!

:D :D :D

pollyhendra
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Post by pollyhendra » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:06 am

I was just thinking how good it would be for this forum to have a section for free Stel.files that have been created or requested by users.
This can only be good for you, as people get to show off works created by your program, inspire others and reach new heights with your software.
Your software would have broader appeal, especially for newbies,busy people and innovators. Heck, you haven't even seen the limits of what your software can do yet.

As far as marketing goes, since you are in the initial stages of conquering the big wide web, the more profile you have the better - it equates to free advertising - priceless.

I am all for protecting your software. I wouldn't provide nets, but I don't see a conflict in the Stel.files as they would need the program in order to work, free or otherwise. I would assume that most people would want to be able to make nets, hence the pricing of your mobile app. compared to the pc version.

I was rather disappointed that I couldn't find a particular model. Now you may say that there is a way to get that, however due to lack of time with
your Youtube vid, this is still a learning curve for newbies.
The other issue is how to include every geometric model without bloating your software. Again there is that precious thing called time.

I think you always need to keep in mind why you created this program; for the love of geometry. It's a fascinating subject and it's a limitless
world to explore, so I would suggest opening up this avenue to broaden your appeal and attract more visitors, who like me, will become buyers.

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