We're back and how things came to be...|
The year is 1993 and we have come to the age where we can create computer graphics without having to own expensive Cray® supercomputers. Of course it wasn't for impatient people back then, and it still isn't, even today.
The Internet is still in its infancy, Compuserve is one of its predecessors. And every month we get a very nice colorful magazine from Compuserve showcasing what their forums have to offer, in one of the magazines there is an article about POV-Ray, a raytracing program, with which you can create your own computer generated images!
That program gets downloaded and tried... It is not easy to have to program what you want to see in your picture without being able to visualize it, but soon images are created with shiny metal balls floating over checkered planes... But it is always easier and more enjoyable to learn a new program better, when you give yourself a real life project...
A few weeks later there is a birthday party of a young family member and he gets a small LEGO® set for his birthday (for those who want to know, he got the "6357 Stunt 'N Copter" set)... And then a proverbial quarter drops! LEGO® bricks and sets!
The bricks are very mathematically shaped, using standard shapes of cylinders, boxes and spheres that POV-Ray offers. Because of the brick sets being very modular, a library could be created with pieces that are used again and again, creating many different models that way!
But like with so many of us, all of the childhood LEGO® had been sold... because a computer had to be bought!... In the LEGO® communities they have a name for this "illness"... They call it a persons "Dark Ages"...
That same 6357 set was purchased at a toy store and as well as a ruler for measuring the bricks. They were entered into POV-Ray, at that time running on an old Apple Macintosh IIvx.
A lot of help is received from Eduard Schwan, the great guy who was doing the Apple Macintosh version of POV-Ray at that time. He is writing a book about POV-Ray so that people can more easily learn how to use it and an invitation is extended to contribute images that we've created. One of those images even makes it into his book, an image of... Yes, the helicopter from that same 6357 set!
Another LEGO® set is bought to make a POV-Ray version when the 6357 set is done, and another... Slowly a new LEGO® collection is starting to build again (no pun intended), one larger than before the first "Dark Age"... More and more images are created and through Compuserve a very small first website is offered to show those images.
The website grows and even a first animation is made, a flyby of the little "6515 Stunt Copter". Years later even one of our animations gets shown on TechTV! The website is moved to another provider and even gets hit by some sort of a "Dark Age" too, interest is lost for a while. But... We're back! Enjoy all that we're making and what we will be adding over time. And feel free to leave a comment here!
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