graphics – Choosing platform for a specific program – Education Career Blog

Today I started thinking about a new project, and I found one. The goal is to get a first version working in the first three months.

I’m going to write a “laser/light-show simulator” program, that you can generate such lightshows as you see on big events nowadays. The problem is the platform/language I’m going to write it in. I’m looking for something new, possibly, or maybe I can better just stick to the things I’m using now.

My question is; what platforms/languages/libraries would you recommend for doing this? Don’t take my experiences in programming as you give requests, I’d like to see what you would advice without knowing my experiences with programming languages/platforms.

Thanks in advance,

William v. Doorn


Depends on your goals.

If the primary objective is to get something that works, then I’d highly recommend sticking to what you already have experience in.

If your primary objective is to learn or do something “cool” with with a new technology, then the world is your oyster and you can pick pretty much anything you fancy. But you’ll spend a lot of time exploring dead ends and might never finish……

Some 3D engines and tools that I personally think are great, all open source, if you think they might suit you then they are all well worth checking out:

  • Penumbra – OpenGL, functional programming style in the Clojure language. Definitely bleeding edge but very cool.
  • Blender – great 3D modelling environment, lots of support for simulations, physics, keyframe animations, rendering etc.
  • jMonkeyEngine – General purpose 3D engine, designed for games but I’ve used it sucessfully for simulations
  • Sunflow – “rendering system for photo-realistic image synthesis” – might be an interesting option for your more advanced lighting and atmospheric effects

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