We’re not quite ready to announce release dates for the beta or final versions, but we though we’d update you on our progress.
* Mac OS X & Windows Versions
* True 3D
* Real Time Editing with Full Rendering
* Real Time Bot Editing
* New Interactive Animation Tools
* Shadow Casting & Local Lights
* Fully Editable Primitives.
* Fantastic Proprietary Texture Mapping
* And much more…
Groboto has been defined by its authors either as “an intuitive 3D art tool”, or, more modestly, as “an amazing 3D program where kids can create cool images through the exploration of math, science, and art”. However, this is a piece of sotware which defies categorizing since it touches many different fields. Its key point is that of growing both organic and inorganic- like shapes, (hence the Gro-), that emerge from the trail left by a Bot (hence the -boto). In this sense, Groboto reveals an inheritance from the Logo language as much as from the principles of Evolutionary Art. In version 1.6 (the one I bought), it was possible to tweak the organic shapes, crossbreed them, evaluate the offspring from several points of view and use the selected individuals as parents for the next generation, among many other things. Actually, it was even possible to create games based on the bots´ behaviours (I didn´t go that far, though). Although the main view was not 3D, there were options to export the shapes created so that they could be manipulated by the “in-house” renderer or by other 3D software, which was the key to obtaining the best looking results. As for the cons, Groboto v1 suffered from an interface which was difficult to understand and not as flexible as it should be (from my own experience: others may say this was part of its magic, but even they may agree that having no undo function is not the best option in a program which stimulates trial and error), and the fact that the shapes always had to be exported in order to be manipulated in 3D slowed the work down by quite a lot.
All this said, Groboto v1 was a great program, and my ibook is still full of offsprings from my mad scientist experiments. When I got the program (two years ago), there was already an announcement posted about a new version, but time ran without any news and I was fearing that the project had stagnated. I was therefore greatly surprised by the recent update on the new version: v2 will be released, and from the description above it looks like it will improve upon the original both in the interface, the 3D manipulation and the bot tweaking. It´s also good news that this new version will come in Windows and Mac flavours, as the user base could increase considerably. As for now, the authors are asking for beta testers, and my hopes are that even though they give no date for either the testing or the release, this will happen soon, as Groboto is a wonderful and inspirating program that well worths a try. (Mac users can already get a 1.6 demo from here (runs under os9, and also in classic mode): also, buying v1.6 entitles grants free updates up to the upcoming v2).
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