Amiga graphics at Ohio State

Amiga graphics at Ohio State

Post by Tony Lupi » Mon, 03 Dec 1990 00:12:00



     I am the graduate student at the Computer Graphics Research Group at
The Ohio State University in overall charge of the undergraduate amiga
graphics environment.  Our vax has recently gone to 4.3 BSD and postnews
doesn't work, thats why we've been silent lo these many weeks.
To answer some of the recent questions on the net, we are doing both instruction
and development. We have been a beta site for C-A since last Feburary.
We presently have 15 amigas we use for instruction of undergraduates in 2 and
3 dimensional graphics.  There is a series of 3 courses offered. We use Aegis
and D-paint for the 2-d work and local software (eye) for the 3-d stuff.  The
main thrust of the undergraduate program is to bring powerful 3-dimensional
graphics to the undergraduate level. The classes are studio oriented, and in
the higher levels the students do some C and create 3-d animations.
    The development work we are doing is limited to 3-dimensional
graphics/animation. Presently we are using a 3-d package written
here at Computer Graphics Research called eye. Eye is a simple program that
allows full eye point center of interest and object manipulation; translation,
scale, rotation, hierarchial attachment of components. Right now eye only
has vector rendering capabilities with trivial hidden line removal.  Eye is
is very similar to the rendering software running on the Unix systems
     The next level of development will include the amigas in the overall
software development scheme here at CGRG called the Animation Production
Environment or Ape (he he). This environment will allow the amigas to share
data (bitmaps, 3-d data bases etc) with all of the other systems we have:
Vax780, sun2's and 3's, Convex C1, Ridge etc...... Software under ape will
be device independent at the application level and all aplications will
have a similar user interface.  All of the software staff here have their
own amigas at home.
    What this means for the amigas is they will have a fully integrated 3-d
environment, with lots of components running concurrently.  The software
will have the same functionality of the stuff running on the big machines.
There will be a full size background raster display window. The 3-d images
will be rendered to disk in 12 bit virtual with a variety of display options
as low-res, hi-res hi-lace, ham. You could then save the image as a IFF
file, or conversly, load a IFF image and render on top of it.  The
raster renderer will be a fast scanline algorithm with probably no
anti-aliasing for non ham images. There will be a smaller vector playback
window to view in near real time a precalculated animation segment.
Eye will reside in another window. To manipulate objects you can either
type in the commands into a parser like it works now, or use the
mouse to manipulate object attribute gadgets. Included with the package will
be a program to interactivly generate 3-d data. An interactive keyframing
program and lots of specialized software for doing miscelaneous 3-d graphics.
Many of the components of this system are already here. The scanline algorithm
is running on the Convex and needs ported to the amiga. We already have eye,
and work has started on the window interface. I imagine that most of this will
be running by this summer. However at this point the software will not be
released to the general public. There is no system to activly support the
software offsite, and the documentation is not that good.
     The first versions of the system will go here and to other education
institutions. Akron University, Miami University (of Ohio), Moore College of
Art and other schools are purchasing amigas and peripherals according to our
recommendations, and they are in line to get software.  If you are from a
university or some other kind of school I could probably send you binary
copies when its ready.
     Hardware wise all of the machines have 1.5 meg of memory, there is a single
frame 3/4" video deck to do single frame animation, (we use a !ack! zenith pc
for the controller) a video digitizer, and we are evaluating the Ameristar
ether card/software as a possible means to network all of the machines to
a vax 750 in the same building.
    Anyway we hope to have an article in a future issue of amiga world which
will have the low down on whats happening here at Ohio State.
If there are any other specific questions I'll try to answer them.

        Tony Lupidi {ucbvax,decvax}!cbosg!osu-cgrg!tonyl
        Computer Graphics Research Group, The Ohio State University
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        Tony Lupidi {ucbvax,decvax}!cbosg!osu-cgrg!tonyl
        Computer Graphics Research Group, The Ohio State University