Messing with 3D in Dolphin Smallltalk

To keep my kids off the XBox in the summer vacation, I put together a 3D playground in Dolphin Smalltalk for them to mess around with. The result was Aragon3d, an object oriented wrapper around the popular Truevision3D library.

Although this is still a “Work in Progress”, there’s enough there to have some fun with so I thought it was about time to release the code. Here are series of 5 minute tutorial videos showing you how to download, install and get started with the Aragon code.

Part 1: Download and installation. The Aragon installer can be downloaded here; it is around 70Mb due to the size of the 3D models supplied. Please note that you must have at least Dolphin Smalltalk 6.1 Beta 2 or higher to run this code.

Part 2: With the platform up and running, this video introduces the basics of the environment, focussing on 3D object and camera manipulation.

Part 3: TV3D (on which Aragon is based) includes a 3D physics engine. This video shows you how to get started playing with physics with static and moveable objects.

Part 4: Aragon3d comes with a bunch of 3D models sourced mainly from third parties. This video shows how to install the additional packages and introduces the new models.

Part 5: One of the hardest things in 3D programming is handling collision detection. This video shows how Aragon3d uses “constraints” to get characters to avoid other objects, walk on the ground and climb stairs.

Part 6: Skies. This video introduces two types of sky available with Aragon3d. The first is a simple sky-box that can be built in any one of a number of tools. The second is a dynamic (and frankly, much more interesting) sky created using HLSL. This particular approach is by Zaknafein at

Aragon3d is free code (although please read the enclosed license) and it is therefore provided on an “as is” basis. It is unsupported stuff. If you want to get more out of it than just messing around with the demos, you're going to need to delve deeper into the code. Feel free to ask the odd question in the Dolphin newsgroup but, if its more than a five minute response, I reserve the right to let others try and answer for me.
blog comments powered by Disqus