Aaron Timbrell rounds up the software directory
Last issue we gave away an updated copy of Clare's Render Bender package. This was acquired by APDL when they purchased the rights to all the Clare's packages. I explained in my introduction to Render Bender that APDL took the decision to keep some packages just for RISCWorld subscribers and not to sell them. We have been gradually working through the list of products, last issue it was Render Bender, the issue before it was Virtualise. As part of this process we aren't just slapping old packages on the CD, we are updating them for as many modern machines as we can. Since last issue we have been busy giving another package an overhaul for RISCWorld readers. So this issue we are proud to present the companion package to Render Bender, Illusionist.
Illusionist - worth £14.95
Illusionist is a ray casting package for RISC OS computers. You may be familiar with ray tracing packages but you may not have heard of a ray caster. Both are designed to produce realistic 3D scenes but they work in a different way. A Ray Tracer, such as Render Bender, draws a scene by mathematically working out the path if light being sent out by a light source. All the paths of the light are calculated, even if they can't be seen in the finished rendering. This is a very accurate, but time consuming, method for generating images. A ray caster works the other way round. Theoretical rays are project out from the viewpoint and then the scene is rendered based on what these rays hit.
A simpler explanation might be that a ray tracer works with rays of light coming from a light source, a ray tracer works by scanning the scene pixel by pixel to see what each pixel can "see". You will no doubt have seen many ray casting "engines" in action over the years. Almost every 3D game ever created uses ray casting, as do most graphics you see on TV.
Illusionist provides an excellent introduction to ray casting. It comes with a full manual and a number of example files - so why not have a play and see what amazing images you can come up with.
This version of Illusionist has been updated to run on modern 26bit versions of RISC OS and is provided for the use of RISCWorld subscribers only.
The complete DiscWorld line up
As per usual we have our collections of the latest RISC OS applications, as well as support files for this issues articles:
All the games from Paul Brett's column.
Support materials for our Graphics On the Arm serialisation.
Exclusive full version of Illusionist for every subscriber.
Software featured in the Iyonix column.
Software covered in the letters column.
Software mentioned on our news page.
The latest RISC OS games.
All the latest PD, shareware and freeware releases from the PD column.
RISC OS components from RISCOS Open Ltd.
This contains two sets of Toolbox Modules. The Castle archive contains the latest 26/32 bit neutral system components, required if you want to run a lot of new software releases on 26bit machines. The RISCOS Ltd archive contains later and improved versions of a number of modules and is suitable for all versions of RISC OS from 3.1 onwards. We have also included copies of SharedUnixLib and UnixHome as these are needed by some programs.