What it is
It all starts with POV-Ray.
POV-Ray is a Ray Tracer, a program the generates realistic
3D images, or "artificial photographs," of almost anything you can
imagine. You write a scene description in a special modelling
language, describing the size, shape, location and surface
characteristics of all the objects in the scene, the light sources,
and the camera. Then you feed the scene description to POV-Ray
and wait while it renders your scene.
Then you wait some more.
There, in a nutshell, you have the two reasons why Mondfarilo exists:
- Scene descriptions are hard to write.
- Ray tracing is very slow.
Mondfarilo, like any Wireframe Modeller, solves both
of those problems.
It provides an intuitive click-and-drag interface for creating,
shaping, sizing and placing a variety of objects, so you don't
need to learn the scene description language.
And it draws "rough drafts" of your scene very fast, fast enough
to change in real time as you drag the mouse,
so you don't have to wait minutes or hours to see the results
of your changes.
Mondfarilo began life as a Macintosh program, written in C++ with
Metrowerks Codewarrior and their PowerPlant application framework.
This version, currently for a PowerMac running System 7.5,
continues to be the main focus of development efforts.
Things happen first on the Mac.
But eventually, it all gets ported to Java.
It runs as an Applet, which
you can play with
provided that you visit this site with a Java-capable browser.
And it will run as a stand-alone application on any computer
that supports the Java Virtual Machine.
For example, I develop and test on a Sun workstation running
their peculiar variant of Unix.
All object and scene building must be done by easy, natural,
touchy-feely mouse manipulations, with typing of numbers into
boxes kept to an absolute minimum.
Precise mathematical control must also be available wherever the
user needs it.
It must operate directly on POV-Ray primitives in ways that are
familiar to POV-Ray users, and it must generate scene descriptions
consisting of those same primitives.
Modelling operations more complex than POV-Ray can handle directly
must be expressed in terms of POV-Ray primitives to the
The billions-of-triangles syndrom is to be studiously avoided.
About the Name
In inventing the name Mondfarilo I tried to combine a concise
description of this program with an affectionate nod to one of my
other hobbies: Esperanto.
The name means world making tool. Its derivation is as follows:
- is the root of mondo, a noun meaning world.
It rhymes with stoned.
- is the root of fari, a verb meaning to make
or to do.
It rhymes with car.
- is a suffix denoting a tool suitable for performing the root verb.
It rhymes with wheel.
- is the nominative singular noun marker.
It rhymes with go.
The accent goes on the third syllable:
stoned car WHEEL go, Mond-far-IL-o.
Send me some mail.