Pushing the envelope – Literally

After recording the Cool Stuff Collective second episode using the Haptic 3d device it made sense to get one and see what the predlets, and maybe their school, could do with one. Whilst the haptic show does not air until 20th September I thought it was worth sharing some initial impressions of ownership. Basically it awesome !
The entire package is called Chameleon 3d from A1 Technologies. A1 Technologies are the UK distributor of both the Novint Falcon (The haptic device) and the Anarkik3d Cloud 9 modelling package
The Falcon has a self contained set of mini games and tutorial demos. Although windows drivers tend to be a bit of a pain if you follow the right instructions it dos just work first time. The initial demo lets you feel a number of textures and forces rough, smooth, magnetic, rubber, honey etc. It makes for a very impressive feel for the potential.
Whilst I did spark up the haptic patch for Half Life 2 I was more interested in the creative modelling of Cloud 9 for the moment (more on virtual world and game navigation in another post)
Falcon Haptic and older tech
Here is the Falcon nestled with some much older tech gadgets.
The Falcon is quite a large device but sits on a nice sturdy base. It needs some weight to be able to offer resistance and not zoom across the desk. The footprint is about the same as the old microsoft sidewinder force feedback sticks I used to have for Combat Flight Sim.
On Cloud9 I dived straight in and in time honoured tradition “it all started with a cube”.
I pushed, prodded and deformed the cube both from the outside and from the inside too.
The video shows the resulting modified cube, then it published to Unity3d as an OBJ file. Finally it shows predlet 1.0 having a go. It really is very intuitive and very compelling to model with. I have a few ideas of things I want to try but like any modelling tool that also needs some inspiration and talent. As the creation can be exported as OBJ (or STL if you want to 3d print them) then can of course be put into other 3d packages to have extra effects applied.

Now when are Second Life going to sort out meshes 😉 I can generate some very organic structures then even as a techie.
If you want to see the actual unity3d spin around it is here I published it from the free windows version as my Mac paid for version is on the version 3 beta and so cant publish to the web yet.
BTW it was using this that predlet 1.0 uttered the immortal words “Dad, I love you job its way cool” 🙂