Pd and GEM, the free software cousins to Max/MSP and Jitter, are already known for visual programming via patching, but mainly for manipulating sound and video textures. Here, we see an entire 3D engine rendered, incredibly, as a series of patching objects. We saw a first look at what it could do last month:

Truly Outrageous: An Entire 3D Game Engine, Built in Pd and GEM

Well, now you can download the patches for yourself and have a look; see the walkthrough tutorial at top. And – wow, it’s more powerful than I even understood when I first saw it (and I was already pretty blown away). Creator Sebastian Pirch explains his creation (copied here unedited):

It employs 3D navigation like you know it from 3D Programms like 3Ds Max or others in GEM, Pd’s OpenGL engine.
It enables you to navigate in 3d space using your mouse, or other input devices. It provides objects to select and move things in space among many other useful little tools for creating your interactive realtime 3d scenes within Pd.

There is also a bunch of MaxScripts, that export coordinate lists of any kind of animated objects from 3DsMax to Pd. By this procedure you can use motion data produced by ParticleFlow, Physics Simulations, Biped-Skeleton Animations or whatever in GEM.
If you use another 3D Programm you will have to write your own export scripts, which shouldnt be hard to do. IF YOU SUCCEED please let me know, so i can include them in the package. I’d also be glad to hear your experiences with it, just drop me a mail sonsofsol@gmx.net

Sebastian also makes a good explanation of why he chose Pd: the ability to use multiple monitors (he got up to nine!), flexible support for input from devices like the Wii controller, MIDI devices, Arduino and sensors, and video tracking, multichannel audio, and all the other things Pd can do.

Download and blog post: GEM-Engine 1.0 released! [3rdeyeanimation]

Thanks, yet again, to Philip Cunningham via Twitter for the tip.

  • Mind blow.

  • This is totally awesome and amazing. Many thanks to Sebastian Pirch for all his hard work, and for demonstrating once again that with enough effort and know-how you can do such impressive things with Pd/GEM. My mind is also blown.

    Unfortunately, the texture mapping currently doesn't work on Mac OS. Sebastian has suggested that this is a bug with the current version of GEM.