Pantograph


Tamito Kajiyama has written a very comprehensive guide to installing Pantograph in Windows.  Thanks, Tamito!

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I’m still working on a few more basic tutorials, and hoping to put some more examples in the gallery.

Some highlights:

  • Export an animation to SWF – requires ming-python package
  • Export to PDF
  • option to re-load last settings
  • curve rendering

Enjoy it here!

dirigible

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:

test.swf

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.

smooth_curves1.png

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

smooth_curves2.png

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.

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.

Link

fritzKahn2No big changes, just a major refactoring of the code resulting in faster-leaner-more stable. I also set things up to hopefully put out 0.4 in the first week of January with some actual feature improvements.

Get it here.

Some Release Notes:

* The main executable script is now pantograph.py, not pantograf.py.
* Pantograph should be able to handle automatically converting metaballs and surfaces to meshes before rendering, and modifiers will be applied.

    Enjoy!

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