Some 3D initial reactions

Mon Apr 29 15:45:25 UTC 2002


I finally made some time to experiment with Squeak's 3D graphics. 
 Using a Wonderland w/o an editor seemed the way to go, as I'm 
guessing that by the time I got Balloon3D to do what I wanted, I'd 
have created a buggy version of Alice anyway.  Reasonable?

Alice's terminology was a _slight_ hinderance, because I know just 
enough (though not much) about 3D graphics to expect different 
conventions.  Even so, with the Squeak books handy, I had stuff 
floating around on the screen under (horribly simplistic) user control 
in just a few hours.  

I'm really just getting started, but, the performance so far is fine on 
my P4.  It appears not to be adequate on my P2-400 and a P3 
here in my office, but, I'm not yet using hardware acceleration.

Interestingly, the same P2 was happy with slightly more graphics 
using Dolphin's DirectX kit.  My guess is that hardware 
acceleration was the key.  But, I can't prove it because enabling 
acceleration on that machine in Squeak causes a crash.  I have a 
dump if it will help.

Much to my surprise, my P4 experienced a reduction(!!) in frame 
rate with acceleration enabled.  Same on the P3, but I hear lots of 
disk activity, so maybe that's the problem?  The P3 has "only" 
128MB of RAM, so with win2k, it's not the fastest machine.  
However, it's also possible that I don't have the machines properly 
configured.  Is there a way to tell whether Balloon3D is happy with 
the setup?

Is there a way to disable shading?  Some of what I want to display 
would actually be better as wire frames anyway.


Wilhelm K. Schwab, Ph.D.
University of Florida
Department of Anesthesiology
PO Box 100254
Gainesville, FL 32610-0254

Email: bills at
Tel: (352) 846-1285
FAX: (352) 392-7029

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