STRUCK + Povray:
Synergy to the max!


Thanks to the dedication of some serious professionals, you now have the power to transfer complex geometrical creations directly from your imagination to the computer screen, with only simple keyboard and mouse clicks -- no messy coordinates to worry about. Now you can concentrate on the geometry and leave the bookkeeping to your computer.

The amazing software combination which makes all this possible is STRUCK + Povray. STRUCK is a standalone Java application, mind-blowing for its sophistication and elegant simplicity. Simply twirl your creation, examining it in stereo (takes some practice), while adding new "springs" -- structural members which push, pull, or remain relaxed.

Once satisfied with your artwork, save it as an EIG file for future modifications (EIG = Elastic Interval Geometry). Then export it to Povray, a world class ray tracing program (also free!) and render it. Within mere minutes you'll be staring at graphics that would have taken days, weeks -- close to forever -- using more conventional tools.


True, it'll take some no-kidding powers of concentration to get over the hump of installing these tools, especially if your hardware isn't up to the task. But isn't it about time you equipped your computer to run standalone Java applications anyway? The Java Runtime Environment makes this easy -- and again, it's free!

And what you've read so far only scratches the surface of what STRUCK and Povray can do, both alone and together.

STRUCK allows you to explore the dynamic aspects of structures, as the springs push and pull, causing your shapes to change, deform, collapse, expand. As these changes occur, STRUCK can be toggled to export snap-shots in POV format, giving you the frames you'll need to build Quicktime movies, AVIs or MPEGs. Advanced users can also explore the ActiveWorlds and upcoming VRML output features.

Povray is likewise a whole world in itself. Within a short time, following the built-in tutorials, you'll be able to modify POV scripts, to change viewing angle, background color, lighting sources. You'll have the option to go on to become a master ray tracer.

And don't worry, you don't have to master all this stuff alone. The STRUCK community is standing by to offer its assistance. And as you become proficient, you can give back by joining the ranks of assistance providers. The Povray user community is likewise friendly and helpful.

So get started on an exciting adventure in learning. The investment you put in redounds to your personal benefit, as the engineers behind these tools are giving them away for free, hoping you will join them in likewise unselfish service according to your own skills and talents.

Plus your investment will pay off in marketable new skills, new confidance with your computer, and a better grasp of spatial geometry. Don't be surprised if you find yourself looking forward to using these tools just for the sheer fun of it. That's how learning should be.

Return to Topics for Exploration
oregon.gif - 8.3 K
Oregon Curriculum Network