Art of Illusion
Art of Illusion is a free, open source 3D modelling and rendering studio. It is written entirely in Java, and should be usable on any Java Virtual Machine which is compatible with J2SE 1.4 or later. The current version is 2.1, released June 14, 2005. This version is both stable and powerful enough to be used for serious, high end animation work. Many of its capabilities rival those found in commercial programs. Some of the highlights include subdivision surface based modelling tools, skeleton based animation, and a graphical language for designing procedural textures and materials.
OpenGL is now used for interactive rendering, allowing hardware acceleration (requires Jogl to be installed). The Scale Object, Create Sphere, Create Cube, and Create Cylinder tools show the objects being resized in real time, rather than just bounding boxes. The Preview Animation command can now use any of the standard display modes, not just wireframe. When saving scenes, it now does a safe save (implemented by Nik Trevallyn-Jones). There is an option to keep a backup file when saving. When displaying a grid in parallel mode, the grid lines are numbered. The Lathe, Extrude, and Skin tools place the newly created object in the same location as the objects it was created from. When saving a scene or image, it asks for confirmation before overwriting an existing file. The Scripts and Plugins Manager is now much faster when scanning for new scripts or plugins to download (written by Francois Guillet). Some minor optimizations to rendering speed.
Q: What is a JVM?
A: A Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is a program running in your computer that emulates another machine: an imaginary machine designed to run programs written in Java. Because Art of Illusion is written in Java, it needs a JVM to run on. Sun provides JVMs for Windows, Linux, and Solaris. JVMs for other operating systems are provided by the OS manufacturers.
Q: I would like to translate Art of Illusion into another language. How can I do it?
A: Start by downloading the source code. You will find a file called artofillusion.properties. This is a Java Properties file. It contains all of the localized text in the program as a list of key=value pairs. Create a new version of this file, in which all the property values have been translated into the target language, and send it to me.