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The Cal3D project: A status quo and a call for help

The Cal3D project gains more and more momentum each day. The website was recently hit by the 100'000th page view, and the download counter is not far behind at around 65'000 and keeps on gaining a few hundreds every day. Judging from the feedback I received, the library is used in diverse projects, ranging from all kind of games, VR applications, and even realtime performances in conjunction with motion capture body suits. Two commercial products using Cal3D have gone gold a few days ago, from which one is a race-game, and the other a fitness exercise trainer. Numerous people submitted patches and code to make the Cal3D library even better, and the number of posts in the message boards raised every month. I could go on and on ... to make it short: The little spare-time project Cal3D that hasn't seen its first birthday yet, is a wonderful success story. I would like to thank everyone who helped me make this happen, be it with code, bugfixes, art, questions, error descriptions, compliments, suggestions or critics.

To make the Cal3D library even better, I would like to invite everyone to take a look at the following points where some help is more than welcome:

- New configuration/compiling setup
I completely revamped the automake/autoconf setup for the Cal3D project in the last few days to address some installation problems I heard of. This is the chance to test and adjust this setup on all possible systems out there. As my own resources are pretty limited, I would like to invite everyone to download the latest CVS version of cal3d, cal3d_miniviewer and cal3d_cally and try to install/compile it on the systems you have access to. Send me the "config.log" file and the error message you encounter when it fails, or just the system specifications should it work out of the box. This would really help me fix the issues and make the library portable in a broad way.

- Ports
There are many people who would love to see a DirectX port of the cal3d_miniviewer, the cal3d_cally demo or another demo based on Cal3D. So, if you have something like this laying around your harddisk, please let me know.

The same goes for ports to non-C++ languages. There is a "C" wrapper in CVS that should allow pretty much every language out there to link to the Cal3D library now. What is missing are the specific bindings.

- Tools
An increasing number of Cal3D tools is developing. There is a Cal3D - CrystalSpace converter out there, and a plugin for the Nebula Device engine is in the works. If you know other tools (or even developed them), send me a hint, so I can put a list together.

- Art
If you don't know already, 3d artists are about the most valuable people for a project like Cal3D. The technology can be as good as possible, but if you don't have the media to show it off, it won't be recognized. So, this is my humble call for help to all 3d artists out there: Don't let your models gather dust on your harddisk, be proud of it, let us animate it with Cal3D and show it prominently to the rest of the world!

- Projects
Do you have a project that uses Cal3D? Have you developed a Cal3D demo? Do you know of a project that plans to use Cal3d? If so, please send me a message. It would be nice to have a list of project that are powered by Cal3D.

Regards
Bruno 'Beosil' Heidelberger

Posted by Bruno Heidelberger 2002-02-03