Friday, November 11, 2016

Status of the blogger

This blogger is tired, largely thanks to his day job, from which he is taking a break while writing this blog entry.  However, I have managed to make a bit of progress on various things, but have no pretty pictures to show at this time.  I'm doing some experiments with scripted generation of 3D models.  That is hardly new - in addition to scripting capabilities in traditional CAD packages, there are slew of other applications that employ various such approaches: POV-Ray, OpenSCAD, OpenJSCAD, and (via a rule-based system) City Engine.  My approach is probably closest to OpenJSCAD, but with a few additional ideas added in.

Alas, there are no pictures because I got temporarily sidetracked learning a bit more about WPF and MVVM while putting together a GUI for it.  I've used both in the past, but mostly applied them to database applications.  This was a bit different, there were some third-party controls (AvalonEdit for a syntax-highlighting text editor, and AvalonDock to organize the various chunks of UI) I wanted to use, around which I was having a hard time applying MVVM.  I think I've got the basics worked out now.

In terms of the core of the experiment, it is all pure C# code, and can therefore be utilized by any .NET language.  My plan for the scripting approach is to do so using PowerShell.  I've used PowerShell somewhat in my day job, and even implemented a custom host, so this should actually be pretty easy.  We'll see.

There should be a few pictures later from prototypes in testing certain algorithms that are still under development, such as implementations of polygonal offsetting/buffering and generation of the straight skeleton of a polygon.  Once all this is figured out, it'll be integrated with the engine from previous posts, so buildings, vehicles, etc. can be generated via script in the engine - or models generated and saved can be, depending upon usage.

In addition to all that, I recently purchased FilterForge, and have been having a bit of fun seeing what it can do.  As its name implies, it largely consists of filters, which can be applied to photos, renderings, art, etc.  But it also has a fairly significant capability for texture generation, as well - very useful for 3D modelling.  I may do a longer post on it at some point.

I'm continuing to read Arch Whitehouse's The Zeppelin Fighters, regarding British anti-Zeppelin operations during the Great War.  Its well written and an easy read, but I've only been reading it when I've been out to lunch - er, literally, that is - which hasn't happened as often as normal due to various factors this week (elections, overslept one day, problem at work, etc. etc.).  I'll do a review in full when I finish it, but that might be pushed back a bit, as David Weber's At the Sign of Triumph, the last book in his Safehold series (at least the current arc of it), has just been released.

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