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Generating the Computer Images

Despite the fact that good mathematical software exists, the production of high-quality computer images and movies is still a difficult and time-consuming process. We used a variety of tools to produce the pictures for the gallery show. The "Torus Triptych" was generated using a program called fnord developed at Brown University, but not generally available to the public. The "Triple-Point Twist", "In- Outside the Torus" and "Math Horizons" images were created by an ancient piece of custom software for SGI workstations developed by Nick Thompson as an undergraduate at Brown University. Remarkably, it still runs beautifully after more than 10 years without maintenance. The three images in celebration of Dirk Stuik's 100th birthday were generated at the graphics laboratory at Brown University. The remaining images were produced using geomview, which is distributed as freeware by the Geometry Center, though it runs only on unix workstations. The MPEG movies that are part of the interactive gallery were created using geomview and its associated StageTools modules.

The images were produced first as high-resolution TIFF files, but some post-processing was done after creation (e.g., combining the separate images to form the necklace and tetraview sequences) with a variety of image tools on both the unix workstation and on a Macintosh. These tools included the ImageMagick library under unix, and GraphicConverter on the Macintosh. The final results were printed as Ilfochrome images at 20 by 24 inches and mounted on foam-core. The images in "Torus Triptych" were arranged so that the 20 by 24 prints could be cut in half and joined end-to-end to form 12 by 40 or 10 by 48 panels.

Surfaces Beyond the Third Dimension
Last modified: 26 Sep 2000 22:15:09
Comments to: Thomas F. Banchoff
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