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geomview 1.4.1

   Here's an attempt at answers to your questions; apologies for the
long delay!  Let us (software@geom.umn.edu) know if you have other
   On a different note, I'm curious what "smith.com" is.  Can you tell
me a little bit about your company and what you're doing with
Geomview?  Judging from your questions it sounds interesting!


> 1. Is it possible to control (live) the step size of
> the different motion tools? (Often this step 
> happens to be too large for my needs, mostly
> while recording animations of complex objects
> when I would need the smoothest, slowest motion).

If you hold down the Shift key then the motion tools go 10 times

If you want more specific control, you can use the GCL command
   (set-motionscale FACTOR)
which sets a scale factor used in interpreting mouse motions.
The default value is 0.5; large values make things go faster,
smaller values make things go slower.

> 2. Is it possible to do frame by frame animation
> from the main tool? Or does one need to make 
> one's custom tool? If that is the case, any example
> of such tool I could use as a starting point?

> 3. Is it possible to define a path to animate a camera
> motion other than by the default tools?

We have some experimental external modules for doing these things
which we haven't been disributing because they're awkward to use and
aren't documented.  If you are interested we could arrange to give you
the source code for them as-is; I'm not even sure if it will compile
correctly at the moment, but it might give you an idea of what's
involved.  You would need to have the Geomview source code already
installed; if you have the Geomview source code and would be
interested in seeing the code for these modules, let me know and I'll
arrange to get it to you.

> 4. Manual observation: the index is dry and rarely helps.
> In my case: animation, motion, step, speed, frame, control
> are not referenced... (maybe for good reason if subject is
> not covered, or feature is absent!)

Yes, I know that the index is lame.  Sorry.  For the first draft of
the manual I concentrated on getting it written in the first place and
left things like making a useful index for later.  You can, though,
use the online version of the manual with Emacs Info or with a text
editor to search for certain keywords.

> 5. How, where can I get a renderman package for sgi?

RenderMan is a commercial package made by Pixar, Inc, in Richmond, CA.
You should call them to get the details; I found two phone numbers for
them, both of which are old: ((555) 555-5555, and ((555) 555-5555.  You
could try one of these numbers, or call directory assistance to
be sure you have the right number.

> 1. I have problems initializing appearances from .geomview, maybe bugs,
> more likely misuse...
> is there any docbeyond manual page 43-44 ? any example files ?

The best way to generate a usable appearance command is to use the
"Appearance" panel to create the appearance you want interactively,
then use the "Save" panel to save a "Commands" file for the "World"
object.  You can then extract the relevant appearance command from
that file, and edit it if necessary and put it in your .geomview file.

Note that there are two appearance related commands:
   merge-baseap: this command affects the default appearance that is
	applied to everything.  This is probably the one you want to
	set in your .geomview file.
  merge-ap: this one affects the appearance of a particular object;
	that object must exist before giving this command.

I'll include the default merge-baseap command at the end of this
message; you could start by putting that in your .geomview and
then editing it to suit your needs.

> 2. is there a way to control from Mathematica the appearance of geoms created
> from Mathematica ?

You can use the RGBColor[] Mathematica Graphics primitive to specify
colors for the faces in your object; these colors are preserved in the
final OOGL file.  Any other Mathematica appearance information (such
as HSVColor or lights) is lost.

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