Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by Paul Tuckfiel » Tue, 06 Feb 1996 04:00:00



After seeing the post of a guy who was teaching some gradeschool kids to
use POVray,  I was sent on a nostalgic flashback to the first graphics
program I ever wrote.   I'm 30 years old and I already feel like an
old timer!  I hope to kick off a thread about quaint or quirky early 3d
graphics experiences by the readers of this group.  I'm sure some *real*
pioneers can put my story to shame.
   The idea is I beleive there are a lot of people who are so into this
stuff that at a young age tried some pretty cool things on nostalgic
hardware for the sheer love of it.  (don't be offended by old-timer
epithet please :->)
   Anyway, back in '79 I saw my first real "PC", a commodore pet w. 16k
ram.  I spent my lunch hours in the high school computer lab (4 like
machines in the back of a classroom) writing a 3d graphics program in
basic (saved to my cassette tape :->).  The program would draw
cabinet (?) projection views of 3d objects, with "shading".  
The program would draw using character graphics a bunch of little boxes
more or less like this:
   +-+
  / /|
  +-+|    
  | |/
  +-+
anyway, the code would draw them layer by layer (theyd overlap giving
seamless diagonal and vertical lines.  I used the commodore line drawing
characters not like this ascii char set here) and you'd wind up with
arbitrarilly complex (though only orthogonal corners) pictures. The front
face of the little cube was a solid box and the sides were lines so the
front faces of the objects appeared illuminated and the sides appeared
to be shadows.  My attempts to expand the program to print output failed
miserably, for various reasons.
   I loved graphics then and still do know.   My brothers started drafting
right out of high school and wound up using cad/cam.  My  early
programming attempts made me want to *write* cad/cam software.  (how did
I wind up an Oracle DBA though?  Anyway, that early experience was fruitful)
  So c'mon . . .  Let's hear about *YOUR* early attempts!  who got the most
out of the least hardware? who suffered the most just to create a
picture?  Who shot for the moon and ended up with green cheese?  How did
it influence your (probable) computer or artistic career?
 
 
 

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by DarrellM » Thu, 08 Feb 1996 04:00:00


well..
i remember POV .9 beta.. and a modeler was only a dream.. I started on
page one in the 300 page manual and 5 years later I've getting the hang of
it and am making pictures i'm proud of..I don't think anyone can say
they've mastered it . Thats really about it.. sorry i'm only 17 so i don't
have too much of a past. but POV gets better and better with every
release.. I hope POV 3.0 continues the tradition. I'm thinking of moving
up to Truespace or 3d Studio  for animation purposes. But i like the
expandibility and freedom of POV..
Darrell Miller

 
 
 

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by Chris Cas » Thu, 08 Feb 1996 04:00:00



>   Anyway, back in '79 I saw my first real "PC", a commodore pet w. 16k
>ram.  I spent my lunch hours in the high school computer lab (4 like
>machines in the back of a classroom) writing a 3d graphics program in
>basic (saved to my cassette tape :->).  The program would draw

I remember whan a TRS-80 Model 1 based on a 1 mHz Z80 8-bit processor was
considered a usable computer. sigh. maybe I should dig up an old TRS M1 and
port POV-Ray to it ? Shucks, I know it's only got 64k of RAM, but I could
always use the tape drive for swap ... (:-) [old joke, I know ...]

-- Chris Cason
   POV-Team

ps Oh yeah, the other lovely 'feature' about the TRS-80 Model 1 was they didn't
bother building in a lower-case font SO YOU HAD TO TYPE EVERYTHING IN UPPER
CASE LIKE THIS. what a design!

pps who remembers 'Android Nim' ? Eliza ? Scriptsit ?

 
 
 

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by J. Scheuerma » Thu, 08 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Well, I'm not as old as some people I've met in the computer graphics
world (nor as young), but my first computer graphics experience was
working with a computer that no-one has probably heard of.  I was working
with an Interact, which was a puny little machine with probably 8k of
memory (if that) and plugged directly into the T.V.  I punched in a
little program to do a graphic of a honeycomb.   At the time I was only
about 12 which would make it .... 1982?, and didn't really understand
most of what I was doing.  I copied the 20 line BASIC program out of a
book.  

Ahh  nostalga... How did I come to be a Database Programmer?

J
--
-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
Version: 3.1
GCS$>GFA$ d-(++$) s:+>: a- C++ U- P? E-- L W+(++) N+(++) K? o?

D++>$ G e++ h--->++$ r+++ y+++
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------

 
 
 

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by Scott Kevi » Fri, 09 Feb 1996 04:00:00



: I remember whan a TRS-80 Model 1 based on a 1 mHz Z80 8-bit processor was
: considered a usable computer. sigh. maybe I should dig up an old TRS M1 and
: port POV-Ray to it ? Shucks, I know it's only got 64k of RAM, but I could
: always use the tape drive for swap ... (:-) [old joke, I know ...]

Cool, mine only had 48K RAM, but at least I was eventually able to get an
expansion interface and disk drives - stored about 100K on each disk I
think!
And what a graphics machine they were with 128x48 b&w pixels!

: -- Chris Cason
:    POV-Team
:
: ps Oh yeah, the other lovely 'feature' about the TRS-80 Model 1 was they
didn't
: bother building in a lower-case font SO YOU HAD TO TYPE EVERYTHING IN UPPER
: CASE LIKE THIS. what a design!

Ahh well you obviously didn't get the hardware lowercase mod which allowed
it to display lowercase with descenders! Of course you had to load a
lowercase driver from tape everytime you wanted something to actually use
it! :)

: pps who remembers 'Android Nim' ? Eliza ? Scriptsit ?

Vaguely remember Android. Hated Eliza. :) Didn't use Scripsit much.
How about that BASIC game 'Taipan'? and of course 'Galaxy Invasion'
complete with sound effects out the tape port. I remember my joy when I
heard the digitised speech in 'Robot Attack.'

What was the original topic anyway? :) Ahh the good old days.

Scott Kevill.

 
 
 

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by Lee Bryar » Fri, 09 Feb 1996 04:00:00


I started out with a Sinclair ZX81, it had 1k RAM, it was really
crap...but I managed to print to screen a blocky space invader..Later my
Dad spoiled me and I got a C64 for christmas, this was like
state-of-the-art to me at the time and I managed to get to grips with
strange idea of sprites although mine always seemed to travel in a linear
path straight across the screen...

Lee Bryars




 
 
 

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by Miguel Me » Fri, 09 Feb 1996 04:00:00



Quote:>Ahh  nostalga... How did I come to be a Database Programmer?

Still remember... first time was with the program VU3D, a wireframe animation
program for the spectrum. You could move the camera around the wireframe and
zoom into and out of it. At easly one frame every 3 seconds (with a low
vertice count and wind in favour).

As you said, ahh, nostalgia...

--

  "I never wanted to be a games programmer... I wanted to be a lumberjack!"
            These are MY opinions: my employer thinks I'm working.

 
 
 

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by Christopher Dicel » Fri, 09 Feb 1996 04:00:00




> >   Anyway, back in '79 I saw my first real "PC", a commodore pet w. 16k
> >ram.  I spent my lunch hours in the high school computer lab (4 like
> >machines in the back of a classroom) writing a 3d graphics program in
> >basic (saved to my cassette tape :->).  The program would draw

> I remember whan a TRS-80 Model 1 based on a 1 mHz Z80 8-bit processor was
> considered a usable computer. sigh. maybe I should dig up an old TRS M1 and
> port POV-Ray to it ? Shucks, I know it's only got 64k of RAM, but I could
> always use the tape drive for swap ... (:-) [old joke, I know ...]

> -- Chris Cason
>    POV-Team

> ps Oh yeah, the other lovely 'feature' about the TRS-80 Model 1 was they didn't
> bother building in a lower-case font SO YOU HAD TO TYPE EVERYTHING IN UPPER
> CASE LIKE THIS. what a design!

> pps who remembers 'Android Nim' ? Eliza ? Scriptsit ?

Hey, I remember the first computer I owned was a Timex-Sinclair 1000
which had 1k of base RAM and an expansion box for 16k. I think it was
also Z80 based but I really don't remember (I was, like, 10 and I
wasn't into the processor scene.)

Then moved up to a TS 2068 with a whopping 72k RAM and sound and pixel
based graphics. Wow. I was impressed. That was when I got hooked on
computer graphics. My families first PC was had a mono-text display and I
was really disappointed because it couldn't do graphics. I remember being
really thrilled when we got CGA and I could write graphics programs in BASIC.

Chris Dicely

 
 
 

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by Paul Tuckfiel » Fri, 09 Feb 1996 04:00:00




> >   Anyway, back in '79 I saw my first real "PC", a commodore pet w. 16k
> I remember whan a TRS-80 Model 1 based on a 1 mHz Z80 8-bit processor was
> considered a usable computer. sigh. maybe I should dig up an old TRS M1 and
> port POV-Ray to it ? Shucks, I know it's only got 64k of RAM, but I could

> -- Chris Cason
>    POV-Team

. . . So did you write anything graphical for the TRS-80?  Were you into
graphics at that point?  or only later on?  I remember there was a
program that always drew diagonal lines on the TRS-80 in the R.S. stores.
kinda like a screen saver.  Looked like it could do some kind of pixel
(well, *fat* pixels of one color :) ) graphics . .
 
 
 

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by Joel Richar » Fri, 09 Feb 1996 04:00:00


: Dad spoiled me and I got a C64 for christmas, this was like
: state-of-the-art to me at the time and I managed to get to grips with
: strange idea of sprites although mine always seemed to travel in a linear
: path straight across the screen...
:
: Lee Bryars

:) I remember haveing similar problems. That and spending hours with
graph paper and a calculator calculating the points. I also remember
getting so angry at the 128 having a built in sprite editor because it
was "cheating" ok not all that upset...:)

 
 
 

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by PROF D. Rogers {EAS FA » Fri, 09 Feb 1996 04:00:00



!

!! !   Anyway, back in '79 I saw my first real "PC", a commodore pet w. 16k
!
!! I remember whan a TRS-80 Model 1 based on a 1 mHz Z80 8-bit processor was
!! considered a usable computer. sigh. maybe I should dig up an old TRS M1 and
!! port POV-Ray to it ? Shucks, I know it's only got 64k of RAM, but I could
!!
!! -- Chris Cason
!!    POV-Team
!
!. . . So did you write anything graphical for the TRS-80?  Were you into
!graphics at that point?  or only later on?  I remember there was a
!program that always drew diagonal lines on the TRS-80 in the R.S. stores.
!kinda like a screen saver.  Looked like it could do some kind of pixel
!(well, *fat* pixels of one color :) ) graphics . .

Heck, I wrote my first graphics program on a Model ASR-33 teletype
in about 1966. The first program I wrote was in binary (1's and 0's)
on an IBM 650 in about 1959.

Dave Rogers

 
 
 

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by Andreas Dilg » Sat, 10 Feb 1996 04:00:00




>Cool, mine only had 48K RAM, but at least I was eventually able to get an
>expansion interface and disk drives - stored about 100K on each disk I
>think!
>And what a graphics machine they were with 128x48 b&w pixels!

48K!  Luxury, I say.  I first tried programming a little graphical maze
program on a VIC-20, with a whopping 3.5K of RAM.  I failed to realize
that all of the game cartridges had loads of ROM on them to store their
bitmaps and such, so I was quickly out of memory.  My first SUCCESSFUL
graphics program was on an Apple ][+, which drew an isometric wireframe
cube, and also taught me about basic trig early on.

Quote:>How about that BASIC game 'Taipan'?

This also existed for Apple ][ and I played it for many hours.  It's
amazing how much fun a simple game like that can be, and yet how boring
a multi-CD game can be these days.  You play the new games once, and
that's it...  Oh well.

This is all making me feel old, when I'm not.  Cheers, Andreas.
--
Andreas Dilger   University of Calgary  \"If a man ate a pound of pasta and
(403) 220-8792   Micronet Research Group \ a pound of antipasto, would they
Dept of Electrical & Computer Engineering \   cancel out, leaving him still
http://www-mddsp.enel.ucalgary.ca/People/adilger/       hungry?" -- Dogbert

 
 
 

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by Peter Bjoe » Sat, 10 Feb 1996 04:00:00



>: pps who remembers 'Android Nim' ? Eliza ? Scriptsit ?
>Vaguely remember Android. Hated Eliza. :) Didn't use Scripsit much.
>How about that BASIC game 'Taipan'? and of course 'Galaxy Invasion'
>complete with sound effects out the tape port. I remember my joy when I
>heard the digitised speech in 'Robot Attack.'

Yeah, Robot Attack was good, the speech thing was nice ...
I still got my old TRS-80 model 1 I got back in '79 stowed away
somewhere in the attic. Hmm, wonder if it would still run ?

Regards
Peter

 
 
 

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by Chris Cas » Sun, 11 Feb 1996 04:00:00





>> >   Anyway, back in '79 I saw my first real "PC", a commodore pet w. 16k

>> I remember whan a TRS-80 Model 1 based on a 1 mHz Z80 8-bit processor was
>> considered a usable computer. sigh. maybe I should dig up an old TRS M1 and
>> port POV-Ray to it ? Shucks, I know it's only got 64k of RAM, but I could

>> -- Chris Cason
>>    POV-Team
>. . . So did you write anything graphical for the TRS-80?  Were you into
>graphics at that point?  or only later on?  I remember there was a
>program that always drew diagonal lines on the TRS-80 in the R.S. stores.
>kinda like a screen saver.  Looked like it could do some kind of pixel
>(well, *fat* pixels of one color :) ) graphics . .

heck no. I can hardly call those blocks 'graphics' (:-). I wasn't into graphics
until I got a CP/M machine called a Sigma Oki 80 or sometime like that. it had
(for the day) amazing graphics - I think it was 256 colour at a semi-reasonable
resolution.

-- Chris Cason

PS that TRS80 program that drew diagonal lines, as I recall, was called
'psycho'.

 
 
 

Old timers: Describe *your* first 3d graphics program

Post by Chris Cas » Sun, 11 Feb 1996 04:00:00



>Vaguely remember Android. Hated Eliza. :) Didn't use Scripsit much.
>How about that BASIC game 'Taipan'? and of course 'Galaxy Invasion'
>complete with sound effects out the tape port. I remember my joy when I
>heard the digitised speech in 'Robot Attack.'

I loved Taipan. A great trading game. And who can forget Zork under CP/M ?
These new graphics adventures don't make you use your imagination! [Not that I
can complain since I make my living writing VGA controller software for those
very games :]

Since the TRS-80 had limited sound capabilities, one of the earliest 'sound
effect' programs that I heard took advantage of the RFI generated by the
machine, and played music on the radio. You'd put the radio next to the
keyboard, turn it onto an unused frequency, and the program would modulate the
inteference generated ! I recall there was a * game that generated its
sound effects that way.

Then there was another program that used to modulate the disk drive heads to
make music ...

regards,

-- Chris Cason

It's dark. You're likely to be eaten by a Grue.

 
 
 

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