This program allows you to create "FORMS" for display on your
monitor or for rendering by the POV or VIVID raytracers. A form is a
three dimensional object built up from a simple set of primitives
(sphere, box, torus, ellipse, cone, spacer) and some simple
operations that are performed on them (stack, bend, twist, grow etc.).
Although this sounds none too inspiring the FORMs you can create
with simple input files can be quite good.
You can also mutate these FORMs and "evolve" (or morph) between
two related forms.
This program is not a CAD package, none of the forms produced are
intended to represent anything real in any way, they are just
supposed to look good.
For those of you who have seen or read TODD and LATHAM's book
"Evolutionary Art and Computers" this program is supposed to perform
roughly the same function as that set out in that book.
- An IBM PC compatible with a 386 or better processor
- A co-processor (very useful, though not strictly needed)
- A VGA or super VGA display with a VESA driver.
- A text editor, such as DOS's EDIT.
- at least 2Mb of extended memory.
- Runs as DOS or Windows program (both supplied)
Form is at home in ftp://ftp.demon.co.uk/pub/ibmpc/dos/apps/graphics/form/
You can also get it from here as http protocol.
This program is FREE, you don't have to register. I would like some
feedback though, you could consider this some sort of registration if
- Coming soonish (in a couple of months or so)
- A Linux machine with a gif viewer. (only renders to a memory image which it saves as GIF files).
Basically don't charge for the program, and respect other
peoples copyright. Also ask me before you distribute with a publication.
If you don't have an IBM PC compatible but would still like to
run this program on your machine please let me know, I may do a
conversion for you, or release the source code.
I am planning on releasing the source code in the next couple of months,
after I have "tidied" it up.
These are just some people whose home pages I have found
- Dan Farmer
- Dan Farmer is one of the original POV Ray team, and was one of the first people to my knowledge to produce a raytraced form.
- Visionaries T-Shirts: Psiberspace Tencycles
- Some more here
- Form on a tee shirt!
- Russ McClay
- Math art gallery at transend
- More art from Russ McClay at OTIS rmfrm*.jpg
A small gallery of pictures by sue and me.
Starfish.flc A 6Mb FLC file (this will probably take at least 30mins to transfer due to intermediate line speed limitations. Other smaller sample animations to arrive soon.
Credits and Thanks
The code for FORM came from many sources,
Thanks also go to:
- UNIVESA and SVGAKIT came from Kendall Bennett. I no longer use
this but it was a useful springbard.
- FLEX the lexical analyser came from the GNU project
- BYACC the parser came from heaven knows where!
- The GIF encoder is a very mutilated version of the one in
Fractint. Thanks to the stone soup team, for making their source
freely available. ( and for sstools.ini , you should see the
junk in mine!)
- The PNG encoder is the public domain version, without ANY changes!
- The palette used for display in 256 colour mode is FRACTINT's ALT.MAP.
- Thanks to the people who published code from Graphics Gems I, II
and III. While very little of their code finally ended up in FORM
many of the display routines were originally tested using their
code. The Graphics Gems collection was a real godsend and should
be in your source code collection. It can be retreived from
- PANTEK Ltd for allowing me to release this.
- Stephen Todd and William Latham for the inspiration and a good
Evolutionary Art and Computers, Todd and Latham, Academic Press,
- Andrew Pearmund for providing a much needed get_pixel function
without which FORM couldn't save any pictures, and for breaking
the program it every time I showed it to him.
- Sue Cunningham for being with me, and constantly praising my
feeblest efforts at creativity, and finally showing me the sort
of form that could be created! I still feel shocked looking at
them. Most of her forms are included with this release.
- Robert Fargher for being the first person who sent me a FORM,
and for praising FORM.
- Dan Farmer for many suggestions and encouragement. And for
rendering some exquisite textures, take a look at NACRE in Dans Gallery.
This page last updated 15 January 1995
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