The history of VModel
Several years ago I developed a simple utility on the Amiga computer for viewing 3D-Data,
read from text files, as a wireframe representation. Bit by bit, the functionality of this
3D-Viewer was extended over the years and a port to the Windows-PC was made. I implemented
a depth-buffer-renderer with phong shading and wrote import-filters for other 3D-file-formats
than my own .vmd format, such as the Imagine and 3D-Studio scene-files or the VRML-Specification.
Hundreds of public domain 3D-objects are found on the web in these file formats, but most of them
have got more or less damaged during several conversion steps; like missing or double faces,
maloriented normal vectors, lost colors or smoothing information, etc.. So I added more and more
repair- and optimizing utilities to my viewer, making it more and more a 3D-editor than just a
viewer. Additional functions for exporting 3D-models to other file-formats like POV, DXF or VRML
made the program very useful as a converter too.
With the port to Win32 and MFC, a complete restructuring of the applications was made, enabling
real-time shaded and textured graphics via OpenGL.
Several nice extensions like the Photo-Modeler / Texture-Extractor, or the raytracer and optical
ray simulator have been added since then, and I still have so many ideas for further extensions
Since version 0.4, WinOSi uses the same .vmd file format like VModel, making it an optimal tool
for building WinOSi scenes or convert them from other CAD or modeling software.
Some of the features
- Backface-removed Wireframe / Shaded & Textured OpenGL-Graphics
- Real-time Rotate and Walk
- Import 3DS, Wavefront OBJ, Imagine, Lightwave, VRML, DXF, ...
- Export DXF, VRML, PoV, RenderMan/BMRT RIB, VirtuaLight, ...
- same file-format as WinOSi
- Mesh editing (normals, smoothing, mapping, separating and merging, optimizing, ...)
- non polygonal primitives: Cube, Sphere, Cylinder(Cone), Ring(Disc), Torus, Paraboloid, ...
- Statistics (Number of vertices, faces, objects, autorotate-framecounter)
- Raytracing Phong or WinOSi Materials
- accurate measurement, light flow simulation
- Camera matching and 2D/3D texture extraction from photos
Because VModel started as a viewer and converter, it's object-creation features are still weak.
In practice I build my Models in AutoCAD, import them step by step via DXF-files, adjust views
and normals in VModel, add materials and special primitives via a text-editor, edit and preview
this in VModel again and finally render it with POV-Ray or WinOSi.
In the future, the building functions in VModel will of course be greatly expanded and probably
WinOSi will be integrated someday. Note that the current version is just a preview, that is far
away from being finished. I know, there are many bugs, missing or incomplete functions and a
very crude user interface. Nevertheless it may be already quite useful, especially for
editing WinOSi scenes.
VModel is copyrighted freeware
You are allowed to use and distribute the package freely for non-commercial purpose.
There's surely much to do, and if you are a programmer, you are very welcome to work with me on
the further development of VModel.
If so, please contact me.