“FRAMES: Software tools for modeling, rendering and animation of 3D scenes” by Potmesil and Hoffert

  • ©Michael Potmesil and Eric M. Hoffert




    FRAMES: Software tools for modeling, rendering and animation of 3D scenes



    FRAMES is a set of flexible software tools, developed for the UNIX programming environment, that can be used to generate images and animation of 3D scenes. In FRAMES, each stage of the image-rendering pipeline is assigned to a UNIX System filter. The following is a typical FRAMES pipe sequence where each filter performs a task implied by its name:cat scene.frm|euclid|mover|shade|camera|abufFRAMES was designed to be easy to use, to permit flexible experimentation with new ideas in image rendering and geometric modeling, to allow distribution of different parts of the rendering pipeline to different processors, and to specify images in a common format for display on a variety of devices.The user communicates with FRAMES via a command language. This language is extended whenever a software developer needs to incorporate a new idea into the system by adding new commands. Data flowing through the pipeline is modified by a collection of filter programs and passed through the pipe in text or binary format.The modular and pipe-based nature of FRAMES allows for multi/parallel processor implementations and device independence. FRAMES has generated images on a local-area network of minicomputers (each filter runs on a different processor) and on a 64-processor hypercube machine (one filter runs on 64 processors). Applications of FRAMES have ranged from reconstruction of neurons from serial sections to rendering of antialiased octree objects with subpixel detail.


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