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3D Engines > Vpython
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3D Engines > Vpython

Vpython, short for "Visual Python" is a 3D library specifically written for the open-source, cross-platform language, Python.

Python is a powerful object-oriented programming language created in 1990 by Guido van Rossum. Python has a sort of basic-like syntax, being easy for even a non-programmer to pick up, yet running into a full range of object orientated programming commands, and producing compiled programs.

It is easy to start writing simple programs in Python, and even using classes and objects involves a gentle learning curve. Python will run on all versions of Windows, Macintosh operating systems, and Linux.

As it is open source4, it is free to acquire, and has a good size community. However, Python is a CLI language. It has no natural graphics processing facilities what so ever.

Vpython was created in early 2000, to correct this, and create a 3D interface.

The Visual engine actually runs in a separate thread to any python program, so the Visual engine itself takes responsibility for automatic updating of the 3D scene.

Vpython's capabilities are limited. At present, there is no known example of a Vpython shared 3D world. The navigation controls are integrated into Vpython and cannot be changed - navigation is limited to using the mouse to zoom and rotate around a 3D scene.

Vpython's main use to date has been by Students in introductory physics courses, who can gain 3D visualisation of concepts very quickly, without worrying about coding a UI.

References

Vpython
http://www.vpython.org/

Python language, central site
http://www.python.org/

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