Hey, every<5-people-likely-to-find-this>, welcome! You've probably read the description of the program, so I'll skip that for now. I'll try to post better instructions at some point, probably, but in the meantime, I have a suspicion that the workings of my program are non-intuitive enough that without a basic list of steps, it will be simply unusable. So, here's the general order of things, once you start the program - the buttons are grouped in general order from top to bottom, in the program. Also note that most things have popup tooltip messages to help you figure out what my cryptic labels mean.
- Select the number of dimensions (with he radio buttons up top). They come in pairs: the first is the total number of spatial dimensions, the second is the number of dimensions of the surface of the intended mesh. (Eg., 3-2 would be used for a normal sphere.) Which particular radio button you pick has some effects on binding and stuff (more on that later). You can kinda experiment and see if/how they work, look at the source code, or wait and see if I add a better description.
- "Clear/Init" - this is necessary before any other steps will work. Some will otherwise just not do anything, others might give error messages. This clears and initializes the lattice (which is what I call the whole bag of points and faces and cells and dimensions and whatnot) and the engine (less important for you to know about explicitly - it does most stuff that is done). It will bring up the Rotations windows, responsible for rotating and altering your view of the mesh. The scroll bars each represent a plane of rotation. Also, in the main window, note the Stereo View check-box. If the stereographic aspect of the image is disconcerting, you can disable it.
- Click one of the place buttons. Which one may depend on your choice of dimensions. Place points works with all - it places random points.
- The next four rows of buttons are designed to aid in distributing points as you wish, if necessary. For spheres, I usually use (Bind) x1000.
- Click seed. This tries to place a first cell.
- Crystallize tries to add another point and resulting cell. Full does this until it cannot continue. Note that these and Seed apply the constraints found below them to each cell they try forming. Some settings can work better than others.
- Finish Prep calculates stuff for all the cells and faces, used with cameras.
- Place Camera places a camera in a random cell of the mesh. This brings up a Camera window. Note that currently the Strafe L button actually moves forward 2000 steps, taking a picture each time and saving it to your hard drive. This can take hours.
Note that you can also click on points of the mesh (ctrl-click to select multiple points) and right click for a menu of a few things to check about the points. Tag won't do much without a debugging breakpoint, FYI.
There's quite a number of things I'd like the program to be able to do that it can't yet, so I'll try to keep working on it.
Oh, also, tell me if you have any cool ideas or something - I might try to incorporate it. Also tell me of any bugs, if you would (I think what the Tickets tab is for, on this site). Thanks!