17 January 2007

Open Aladdin4D

I've written before about the example of Blender, and how it was freed from its proprietary shackles. Now it seems that another modelling program, Aladdin 4D, may also receive its manumission:

What is Aladdin 4D? It's a powerful, but extremely easy-to-use, 3D modeling, rendering and animation package that includes the 3D tools that you'd expect as well as many unique features like relative time-based animation, an amazingly powerful particle system, and one of the fastest rendering systems on the desktop.

Nova originally purchased Aladdin 4D in the mid-1990s from Adspec, Inc. and then heavily upgraded and modernized to make it even more powerful and easy to use. Aladdin 4D has many advanced tools for professional 3D animation, yet its interface was designed to be easy for anyone to use. The source code for Aladdin 4D was designed to be as portable as possible. Adspec, under contract, once ported Aladdin 4D to the Transputer board and also did a special Intel processor rendering engine. Aladdin 4D has already had it's rendering engine test-compiled (a quick hack job) under Linux, MacOS X and other platforms in the past. The source code is highly standard C source code.

This would be great news. Great, because it reinforces this as a model for expanding open source; great because competition is good; and great because with the rise of virtual worlds (especially open ones), 3D modelling packages are going to become as common as HTML editors.

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