February 2008

More from H Diaz Alonso and Florencia Pita’s studio at Pratt:aggregation1.png

Thanks to Nathan King for identifying the “Stargate” shader!


The problem with ming was trivial and stupid. Here’s an animation. This is the last piece of 0.4 left to work out, so barring any big bugs the next version of Pantograph should be out some time this weekend.

I’ve been trying to render a larger file with around 160,000 triangles, and there seems to be a memory hole. Things have gotten a lot faster, but it eats up 8GB way too fast.

prehistoric fish is your new bicycle

Pantograph 0.4 is coming along nicely – quite a few features that had been planned for a while have almost reached fruition. Plus, I’ve been able to do a lot of stress-testing with large data-sets, and necessity is a good optimizer. I’ve closed a few huge memory holes, and tightened up a lot of the data structures. Needless to say, the code will need a good laundering after 0.4 – its a mess, and some fundamental paradigms have been shifting.

I’ve been replacing a lot of the lists in Pantograph with sets – it seems I was spending a lot of time removing items from the scene, which can become quite costly when the number of faces is over 100,000.  I’m hoping that sets can squeeze a bit more performance in places where I don’t need ordered sequences.

I’ve got libming (mostly) working – it will make an swf file, but I can’t figure out why its not showing all the frames:


Ming won’t do dashed lines, unfortunately (that I can discover). And the Python documentation seems to have been written by accident…

Getting smooth curves:

Since Pantograph is working from a faceted model, you’ll never get true smooth splines (believe me, I’ve been trying to figure out how to do that!).  With some quick work in Inkscape, you can vastly improve things.


After ungrouping the drawing (Shift-Ctrl-G), you will be able to select individual polylines


Hit Ctrl-L (“Simplify Path”) until you are satisfied  with the smoothness of the curve.  If there are multiple overlapping linesyou may need to smooth both.

These are preliminary proposals for a park/cultural center in Parana, Argentina, for Florencia Pita and Hernan Diaz-Alonzo’s studio at Pratt:



This is from a competition entry that I just completed for a natatorium in Rouse Hill, Australia with Frank Bitonti and Brian Osborne for the Output student work competition:









There are few people on the web that you feel an immediate affinity for – Sheldon’s generous and un-pretentious writing on bicycles and cycling has been a constant resource since I built my first wheel.  The cycling world has lost a great man.