It’s a little mind-boggling to me, but artist Sebastian Pirch has managed to use free, graphical patching environment Pure Data (Pd), with its graphical extensions Gem, to build a graphics engine. The Salzburg-based artist explains on the Pd forum (to incredulous Pd patchers):

hehe…not kidding…honestly only pd-extended + gem modelling and texturing and particleFX in 3ds max.
animations exported as textfiles using maxscript and obj sequences for the astronaut.
to stick the astronaut and camera to the terrain i rendered a higthmap in 3dsmax and read it with pix_data. a little bit of glsl for the spray of the waves…

i swear this is the truth.

The workflow from Pd to 3D Studio Max makes a lot of sense to me. (Blender would be another choice, if you want to stay in the open source domain, though of course it has its own game engine, as well.)

He’s offered to share the files; if he puts them up, I’ll let you know. (I’d sure like to see them.)

Thanks to Philip Cunningham for the Twitter tip!

  • Now THAT is cool. I wonder, has anyone ever done anything like this with Max/MSP?

  • Aaron Mcleran

    haha.. awesome. Love the use of tools in unintended ways. Brilliant… 🙂 Now, to make minecraft in PD.

  • Gorgeus!

  • EATYone


    When in M4L to build a synchronous game with music creation????

  • Peter Kirn

    No reason this couldn't also be done in Jitter, among other tools. There are certain things I think that make GEM nice to work with, from people I've talked to.

  • I think Jitter is quite different from Gem. Gem is a straight OpenGL port, and Jitter is built over Quicktime. On Gem you put some geometry into the 3D space, and apply some mapping on it. That's (almost) all.
    But maybe you can do it also on Jitter, anyone doing 3D on Jitter?

  • ok.
    this just made my mind go into total meltdown.

    they say "do no reinvent the wheel", but when half the idea of reinventing the wheel is the actual reinvention of the wheel, then why not?

    possibly the coolest thing ever.

  • joni

    I think it can be made in jitter,jitter ogre for animations, javascript to write open gl code etc

  • Peter Kirn

    It *can* be made in all kind of things. LuaAV, vvvv, C, Python, Assembler…. so go do it, if you want it. 😉

  • Jaime Munarriz – Jitter can draw 3D geometry, texture, post process and load models that properly animate (rather than swapping all the vertices like this does).

  • hey, thanks for your encouraging comments, and thanks for sharing this here, peter kirn!

    the thing about reinventing wheels was also in my mind when i did this in the last year. Now that the work is done, id say, the path is the goal. i learn a lot about programmflow and vector mathematics, and created a tool, that has some really nice features.
    – you can span the gemwindow over a couple of gfx-card outputs
    using expanded desktop mode (9 screens @ 1280 x 1024 is the most i did)
    – you can use multiple inputs for machine user interaction
    like Wii Controler (piped via osc from glovepie), Sensors with arduino boards, LiveCameraTracking with openCV, wacom tablets,…yeah actually pd can connect with whatever. and so it makes my little Gem engine a good place to start developing interactive installations.
    it all started as a small programm for opengl based parametric visuals.

    for max/msp users: why dont you make a osc bridge to pd, so you can contoll it from max 😉

    i will release that thing in a few days.
    on my site

    greetings from austria

  • its released
    go to my site and click on blog to download it

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