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Issue 1.2


The Topographic Apprentice

Issue: 1.2 (October/November 2002)
Author: Joe Nastasi
Author Bio: Joe Nastasi is the developer of a spacecraft simulator, A-OK! The Wings of Mercury, which was created with REALbasic. Joe, who has been a programmer since 1977, has been a full-time REALbasic consultant since version 1.0 and is the author of the REALbasic Explorer series featured on the REAL Software web site. He lives with his family on the New Jersey shore.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 13,615
Starting Page Number: 38
Article Number: 1119
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Excerpt of article text...

Welcome back! Reading the thoughts of the main character in "Tom Sawyer" (the song by Rush): "He knows changes aren't permanent, but change is." When I wrote the first installment of "The Topographic Apprentice," REALbasic 4.5 was well into development and alpha testing. REAL Software had just added the Light3D object and added to the functionality of the lights built into RB3DSpace. I also left you with a demo project. If you've started to play around you may have noticed that 4.5 has even more fun stuff for 3D programmers. With the release of 4.5, the RB3D API now has all the basic features of a full-fledged real-time 3D engine. Note: download the demo project again because it has been revised to version 1.0.1.


The 3D Meta-File format was introduced by Apple as the basic file format for QuickDraw 3D, and it has become an "underground" format. Since Quesa is an open-source version of QD3D, it also uses this file format. A fair number of 3D modelers support it, but not very well. Most of them do not utilize the higher-level features of 3DMF/Quesa and therefore produce large, inefficient models. I do recommend Meshwork, however. Written by Joe Strout (who works for REAL Software), it's well supported, easy to use, and cheap ($30)!

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