Topmodel2 (again)

Topmodel2 (again)

Post by John Nola » Tue, 17 Jan 2006 21:45:22



Hello All,

Does anyone know about this (potentially) brilliant 3D vector graphics
program ?

  (St. PV are you reading this ? Have you been in touch, recently, with your
Italian friend, who, I believe is/was one of the authors ?)

I say "potentially", because I almost get it to work consistently, but fail
to be able to render surfaces in a repeatable mannner.

It is most frustrating. This is the only problem I have found, so far, that
defeats me.

Is there a small group of you out there who would like to see TopModel2
resurrected as a flagship RISCOS program (liie Sibelius was and perhaps
TechWriter and ProCAD still are - I don't know about RiscCAD) ?

St. MartinW, are you reading me ? Is this a program you could consder adding
to your stable ?

I believe that TopModel2 was designed to be modular.

Sadly, I don't have the programming ability. But I could be a beta tester.

Are there any younger RISCOS devotees who would be interested ?

Cerilica seemed to leave the whole thing in the lurch.

Is the source code available ?

If not, it possible to reconstitute source code (reverse engineer is the
term, I think) ?

What about problems of copyright ?

I would be willing to send someone a copy of what I have, assuming that
there is not a copyright problem that someone will defend.

etc. etc.  ........

John N.

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Topmodel2 (again)

Post by J Peache » Wed, 18 Jan 2006 06:26:51




Quote:> Hello All,

> Does anyone know about this (potentially) brilliant 3D vector graphics
> program ?

[snip]

Quote:

> Cerilica seemed to leave the whole thing in the lurch.

> Is the source code available ?

> If not, it possible to reconstitute source code (reverse engineer is the
> term, I think) ?

> What about problems of copyright ?

> I would be willing to send someone a copy of what I have, assuming that
> there is not a copyright problem that someone will defend.

> etc. etc.  ........

> John N.

The program was aquired by XAT quite a while ago. Though what its
current status is I don't know.

You can get some limited info from
http://www.xat.nl/en/riscos/sw/index.htm

Hope that helps
John

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Topmodel2 (again)

Post by Martin Wuerthne » Wed, 18 Jan 2006 07:19:31




Quote:> Is there a small group of you out there who would like to see TopModel2
> resurrected as a flagship RISCOS program (liie Sibelius was and perhaps
> TechWriter and ProCAD still are - I don't know about RiscCAD) ?

> St. MartinW, are you reading me ? Is this a program you could consder adding
> to your stable ?

No way, sorry.

Quote:> Is the source code available ?

There would be many important questions to be answered before even
coming to this. First of all, who owns the copyright?

Quote:> If not, it possible to reconstitute source code (reverse engineer is the
> term, I think) ?

Yes, but it is exceedingly expensive and does not solve the copyright
issue. You need a licence from the owners in any case, and if they are
willing to give it to you, they can just as well give you the source
code. Reverse engineering is only useful in the rare situation that
the owners are happy to grant you a licence but have lost the source
code.

Quote:> What about problems of copyright ?

At least that is simple: The program needs to be licensed from its
current owners. As soon as you know who that is you can ask them
whether they still have the source code and whether it can be
licensed.

Martin
--
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Martin Wuerthner         MW Software      http://www.mw-software.com/
   ArtWorks 2 -- Designing stunning graphics has never been easier

 
 
 

Topmodel2 (again)

Post by John Cartmel » Wed, 18 Jan 2006 09:15:35




Quote:> Yes, but it is exceedingly expensive and does not solve the copyright
> issue. You need a licence from the owners in any case, and if they are
> willing to give it to you, they can just as well give you the source
> code. Reverse engineering is only useful in the rare situation that
> the owners are happy to grant you a licence but have lost the source
> code.

In that case one might want to look at rebuilding the alternative (DaVinci)
which was not developed further (AFAIK) because the source was lost.

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Topmodel2 (again)

Post by druc » Wed, 18 Jan 2006 09:41:03





> > Yes, but it is exceedingly expensive and does not solve the copyright
> > issue. You need a licence from the owners in any case, and if they are
> > willing to give it to you, they can just as well give you the source
> > code. Reverse engineering is only useful in the rare situation that
> > the owners are happy to grant you a licence but have lost the source
> > code.

> In that case one might want to look at rebuilding the alternative (DaVinci)
> which was not developed further (AFAIK) because the source was lost.

Reverse engineering is completely useless for performing serious on going
development of an appplication. Its only practical use is to make minor
modifications to simple fix bugs or to address code & OS API compatibility
issues.

---druck

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Topmodel2 (again)

Post by Martin Wuerthne » Wed, 18 Jan 2006 20:45:32






>> Yes, but it is exceedingly expensive and does not solve the copyright
>> issue. You need a licence from the owners in any case, and if they are
>> willing to give it to you, they can just as well give you the source
>> code. Reverse engineering is only useful in the rare situation that
>> the owners are happy to grant you a licence but have lost the source
>> code.

> In that case one might want to look at rebuilding the alternative (DaVinci)
> which was not developed further (AFAIK) because the source was lost.

Was it? Source code usually only gets lost when the publisher of the
application has lost interest far earlier. Of course, once the source
code has been lost, this can be used as an easy excuse to explain why
the application is no longer developed. The source code to ArtWorks
was nearly lost and only recovered by chance inside CC, but that was
years after they had decided to abandon the product anyway.

Just consider the following: If a publisher that owns the copyright
and that has intimate knowledge of the software does not think it
economically viable to continue developing it, what are the odds of it
being viable for someone who first has to invest enormous effort to
reverse engineer and understand the code and then has to invest even
more to negotiate a licence from the publisher?

I had to reverse engineer some small yet complex components of
ArtWorks and continued developing them, but this is on a limited scale
and it would never have been possible for the complete application.
Furthermore, I had hundreds of pages of documentation. It is difficult
enough to find a profitable way of developing an application with
source code written by someone else, so there is little point in even
considering the case where no source code is available.

Martin
--
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Martin Wuerthner         MW Software      http://www.mw-software.com/
   ArtWorks 2 -- Designing stunning graphics has never been easier

 
 
 

Topmodel2 (again)

Post by John Cartmel » Wed, 18 Jan 2006 21:14:10








> >> Yes, but it is exceedingly expensive and does not solve the copyright
> >> issue. You need a licence from the owners in any case, and if they are
> >> willing to give it to you, they can just as well give you the source
> >> code. Reverse engineering is only useful in the rare situation that the
> >> owners are happy to grant you a licence but have lost the source code.

> > In that case one might want to look at rebuilding the alternative
> > (DaVinci) which was not developed further (AFAIK) because the source was
> > lost.
> Was it? Source code usually only gets lost when the publisher of the
> application has lost interest far earlier. Of course, once the source code
> has been lost, this can be used as an easy excuse to explain why the
> application is no longer developed. The source code to ArtWorks was nearly
> lost and only recovered by chance inside CC, but that was years after they
> had decided to abandon the product anyway.

I contacted the author/publishers of DaVinci some years ago and was told that
further development had been cancelled because of code loss following a
harddrive failure. There were more details but it's quite some time ago and I
forget exactly what was inolved.

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Topmodel2 (again)

Post by John Nola » Wed, 18 Jan 2006 22:02:06


Many thanks for all your contributions.



> > I say "potentially", because I almost get it to work consistently, but
> fail
> > to be able to render surfaces in a repeatable mannner.

> > It is most frustrating. This is the only problem I have found, so far,
> that
> > defeats me.

> What sort of problems?

Well, thank you for that. When I get around to looking at it again, I'll try
to elucidate. I am sure I have fairly detailed notes about it.



> The program was aquired by XAT quite a while ago. Though what its
> current status is I don't know.

> You can get some limited info from
> http://www.xat.nl/en/riscos/sw/index.htm

Thank you for that, I'll follow the lead.

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Topmodel2 (again)

Post by Adam » Thu, 19 Jan 2006 08:20:38





> > Yes, but it is exceedingly expensive and does not solve the copyright
> > issue. You need a licence from the owners in any case, and if they are
> > willing to give it to you, they can just as well give you the source
> > code. Reverse engineering is only useful in the rare situation that
> > the owners are happy to grant you a licence but have lost the source
> > code.

> In that case one might want to look at rebuilding the alternative
> (DaVinci) which was not developed further (AFAIK) because the source was
> lost.

Maybe you missed the "exceedingly expensive" part of the above paragraph
;-)

Adam

--
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http://www.snowstone.org.uk/riscos/

 
 
 

Topmodel2 (again)

Post by John Cartmel » Thu, 19 Jan 2006 09:42:05







> > > Yes, but it is exceedingly expensive and does not solve the copyright
> > > issue. You need a licence from the owners in any case, and if they are
> > > willing to give it to you, they can just as well give you the source
> > > code. Reverse engineering is only useful in the rare situation that
> > > the owners are happy to grant you a licence but have lost the source
> > > code.

> > In that case one might want to look at rebuilding the alternative
> > (DaVinci) which was not developed further (AFAIK) because the source was
> > lost.
> Maybe you missed the "exceedingly expensive" part of the above paragraph
> ;-)

No. That's why I said "In that case". If you're going to take the expensive
route you might as well look at all the possibilities. ;-)

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Topmodel2 (again)

Post by John Nola » Thu, 19 Jan 2006 21:16:26





> > Does anyone know about this (potentially) brilliant 3D vector graphics
> > program ?

[snip]

Quote:> > I say "potentially", because I almost get it to work consistently, but
> fail
> > to be able to render surfaces in a repeatable mannner.

> > It is most frustrating. This is the only problem I have found, so far,
> that
> > defeats me.

> What sort of problems?

I have looked back over my notes from many months ago and think that I have
managed to repeat the problem. It is all to do with Attributes, about p.26
of the TM2 manual, and Colours and Textures.

Opening a very simple TM2 file that I had created to try to understand the
problem, there are a number of triangles on screen.

Opening the Rendering Menu, Clicking on "Phong" and then "Texture Mapping",
most of the triangles are textured with green grass - OK. Obviously I had
succeeded at some point, but I am finding it difficult, or impossible to
repeat. So what am I doing wrong ?

Opening the attributes pane I see that the selected colour is black.
I change it to "Coral" and click on Set Colour.

Now I select 1 of the triangles and, following the Drag-and-Drop mode
instructions on p.26, I drag "Coral" from the colour block and drop it onto
the selected triangle. NOTHING HAPPENS, the triangle remains textured as
green grass.

Perhaps I am missing something, BECAUSE I WAS ABLE TO GIVE THE TRIANGLE THE
GRASS TEXTURE ORIGINALLY.

So now I create a new triangle by :-

Clicking on Create then Path with Line and Filled enabled.
  I then create a triangle with Edit and Join Selection.
     At present this triangle is white.
  Using "Phong" and then "Texture Mapping", the original triangles turn to
green grass, BUT THE NEW TRIANGLE REMAINS WHITE.
  EVEN THOUGH THE SET COLOUR WAS C*AND THE SET TEXTURE WAS GREEN GRASS.

  HOWEVER THE DRAG AND DROP METHOD WORKS FOR TEXTURE AS FOLLOWS :-
     Selecting another Texture
        (clicking on Reset does not seem to be necessary)
     Drag and drop onto an object WHETHER OR NOT IT IS PREVIOUSLY SLECTED
        changes the texture.

  SO THE PROBLEM SEEMS TO BE CONFINED TO "Colour & material". It doesn't
seem to work in the same way as "Texture".

  I have noticed two incidental problems :-

  The first problem is again to do with "Colour & material". It seems to be
consistent with the provious problem,
     THAT TEXTURE WORKS AS ONE WOULD EXPECT, BUT COLOUR & MATERIAL DOES NOT.

  With "Texture" selected and No object selected
        clicking on "Set texture" in a TopModel message :-
     "You must select some objects to do this !"

    With an object selected  clicking on "Set texture" results in no
message, as one would expect, and the selected object changes its texture.

    So this is OK as one would expect.

HOWEVER,

  With "Colour & material" selected :-
     With No object selected
        clicking on "Set colour" or "Set material" results in the same
TopModel message, again as one would expect :-
     "You must select some objects to do this !"

    BUT with an object selected  clicking on "Set colour" or "Set material"
results in no message BUT THE SELECTED OBJECT REMAINS UNCHANGED.

     This seems to be the nub of the problem.

  The second problem is to do with the textures that seem to be available.
  re. Textures.

  With "Texture" selected :-

  When I click on the "Textures" text icon, the !TopRes.Textures opens
showing a whole range of textures, mainly those provided with TopModel,
initially. However, clicking on the Menu icon opens a window that shows only
the currently selected Texture.
  Going through the Textures using the Up and Down buttons shows
    1 as Grey grass 2 as Green Grass all the rest as black or blank.

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Topmodel2 (again)

Post by John Nola » Thu, 19 Jan 2006 21:38:48




> The program was aquired by XAT quite a while ago. Though what its
> current status is I don't know.

> You can get some limited info from
> http://www.xat.nl/en/riscos/sw/index.htm

> Hope that helps

A great help, and thank you again. What I say may interest others who would
like to see TopModel resurrected.

XAT's site says something like about it being in hand.

I have asked them if they can give any idea how long it might take.

I would certainly be prepared to make such contributions as my limited
abilities allow !

I am generally concerned with having views of 2 pieces of land. Both, have
in common that they are far from flat and will be covered with shrubs, trees
etc.

One is to do with garden design, the other to do with what a Welsh Hill farm
might look like.

I would certainly be willing to contribute to beta testing, proof reading
and the offer of any of my TopModel objects that others might find useful. I
am telling XAT of this.

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Topmodel2 (again)

Post by John Cartmel » Thu, 19 Jan 2006 23:54:14




Quote:> I am generally concerned with having views of 2 pieces of land. Both, have
> in common that they are far from flat and will be covered with shrubs, trees
> etc.
> One is to do with garden design, the other to do with what a Welsh Hill farm
> might look like.

Doing a touch of lateral thinking:
what about using Topographer - that lets you produce OS maps and then look at
the scenery fromany point any height?

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Topmodel2 (again)

Post by druc » Wed, 25 Jan 2006 08:47:38





> > What sort of problems?

> I have looked back over my notes from many months ago and think that I have
> managed to repeat the problem. It is all to do with Attributes, about p.26
> of the TM2 manual, and Colours and Textures.

> Opening a very simple TM2 file that I had created to try to understand the
> problem, there are a number of triangles on screen.

> Opening the Rendering Menu, Clicking on "Phong" and then "Texture Mapping",
> most of the triangles are textured with green grass - OK. Obviously I had
> succeeded at some point, but I am finding it difficult, or impossible to
> repeat. So what am I doing wrong ?

> Opening the attributes pane I see that the selected colour is black.
> I change it to "Coral" and click on Set Colour.

Its a struggle to remember after all this time, but Top Model was very
powerful, but had plenty of querks that had to be learned by experiance
before full use could be made of it. One of the main problems was ensuring
all of the intended verticies of complex objects were selected in order to
apply various attributes such as colour and texture. Texture being
additionally complicated by having to change viewing angle in order to get
the texture positioned on the correct plane.

Quote:> Now I select 1 of the triangles and, following the Drag-and-Drop mode
> instructions on p.26, I drag "Coral" from the colour block and drop it onto
> the selected triangle. NOTHING HAPPENS, the triangle remains textured as
> green grass.

> Perhaps I am missing something, BECAUSE I WAS ABLE TO GIVE THE TRIANGLE THE
> GRASS TEXTURE ORIGINALLY.

I think you have to remove the current texture completely before applying a
new one. I seem to remember having to do things like delete the bitmap from
the texture window in some cases.

Quote:> So now I create a new triangle by :-

> Clicking on Create then Path with Line and Filled enabled.
>   I then create a triangle with Edit and Join Selection.
>      At present this triangle is white.
>   Using "Phong" and then "Texture Mapping", the original triangles turn to
> green grass, BUT THE NEW TRIANGLE REMAINS WHITE.
>   EVEN THOUGH THE SET COLOUR WAS C*AND THE SET TEXTURE WAS GREEN GRASS.

I think its documented that new objects take on the existing attributes, but
it doesn't actually work that way.

Quote:>   With "Texture" selected and No object selected
>         clicking on "Set texture" in a TopModel message :-
>      "You must select some objects to do this !"

That does sound familiar.

Sorry I can't be of more help, all of your problems are things I've come
across and worked around, only its too long ago to remember, the only way to
try and jog my member would be use it again. Unfortunately this would mean
reconfiguring the Risc PC without ViewFinder in order to run it, which I
haven't got time to do right now.

But I have managed to dig up an article I wrote about Top Model 1 and 2 some
time ago, maybe some of the hints in that will be useful to you. Its a zip
file containing an Impression Publisher document and I've uploaded it to:-

http://www.veryComputer.com/

---druck

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1. TopModel2 - keeping it alive.

ello All,

  About 2 years ago I posted here and then about January this year. Please
forgive me posting again, but it is just so that I might catch some
interested people (if they are anything like me) who may have missed it
before. This is about trying to keep TopModel2 alive, for it is
(potentially) such an excellent program.

  I say "(potentially)" because for me there remains one important aspect
that I have not been able to crack, "Textures". I can find no obvious reason
for this and am always willing to blame my own incompetence, especially if
the answer is staring me in the face ! If I could crack this problem, I
would use TopModel a great deal. "Textures" are about replacing the plain
colour (say) of a surface with something more complex using a sprite or
another suitable RISCOS bit map image. I wish to do something about a garden
design, and a lawn looks better with a "grassy" look than the plain green of
a ping pong table.

  That earlier posting produced a very useful response from about 3 people.
One sent me a TopModel2 manual ( I had had to return my borrowed one to
Cerilica). Another said, Yes, he would be interested if he could get
TopModel to work ! A third is interested in helping me to crack my problem
when he has the time and if it is crackable, and not some bug.

  Since then I did a web search some time ago. I found a site where they
were planning to do something about it. But they were a bit vague. Perhaps,
I must try and look them up.

   One of the problems re. "Textures" is that I can find no example using
them. If any of you have such an application, I would be happy to receive it
by email. It might be about 100k. I can then study the application to see
what settings it has.

   I have no doubt that one of the things that will keep RISCOS alive is
having flagship applications in all the main areas. Of course, I am biassed,
but I think that 3D modelling is one of them.

  I have progressed some little way with TopModel2. I am quite willing to
try to help those who are behind me, or who are having problems that I have
not had, or who might like to dip their toes in.

  As I ended my last email, "If any of you, reading this, are interested in
reforming a TopModel group, please email me, and offer any ideas that may be
of help."

John N.

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