Liz: Some news from Tim Skillman – which is going to be particularly interesting for those of you who wanted to use the accelerated 3D potential of the Raspberry Pi, but who didn’t fancy getting down and dirty with OpenGL ES. Pi3D is still a work in progress, but there’s already plenty you can already it do with it if you’re interesting in playing with 3D models on your Raspberry Pi. Tim includes download links for the module and for some examples. Over to Tim!

Pi3D is a Python module designed to open up the 3D abilities of the Raspberry Pi BUT with a difference: it will provide simple yet powerful functions for kids (and adults) to create 3D with very little knowledge of programming. The main aim of Pi3D is to instil some fun and excitement and get kids (and adults) coding!

Eventually, Pi3D will import and render several 3D & 2D file formats, create 3D objects, fractal landscapes, compile scenes into vertex arrays and render shaders. Pi3D is in its early stages although you can already experiment with both 3D models and 2D sprites (similar to pygame – but much faster and more capable!) Pi3D also uses the Python Imaging Library, so this will need to be installed first (instructions with the code).

The pi3d module is accompanied with four examples, ‘boxtest.py’, ‘raspberry_rain.py’, ‘bouncing balls.py’ and ‘clouds3d.py’ that demonstrate both 3D and 2D rendering. The code is available at www.github.com/tipam/pi3d or download it now at https://github.com/tipam/pi3d/tarball/master

Pi3D was initially based on Peter de Rivaz’s pyopenegl ‘Mandelbrot’ example and both of us have since been developing the code. Have fun!