OGLE: Stop Staring!

My sabbatical from programming web applications is nearly over, and fortunately I do have something to show for it: OGLE, The OpenGLExtractor (pronounced Oh-Gull, as in the word, 'ogle'). This is the Eyebeam OpenLab's first new project of the year, with more to come soon.

OGLE is a software package that allows for the capture and re-use of 3D geometry data from 3D graphics applications running on Microsoft Windows. It works by observing the data flowing between 3D applications and the system's OpenGL library, and recording that data in a standard 3D file format. In other words, a 'screen grab' or 'view source' operation for 3D data.

The primary motivation for developing OGLE is to make available for re-use the 3D forms we see and interact with in our favorite 3D applications. Video gamers have a certain love affair with characters from their favorite games; animators may wish to reuse environments or objects from other applications or animations which don't provide data-level access; architects could use this to bring 3D forms into their proposals and renderings; and digital fabrication technologies make it possible to automatically instantiate 3D objects in the real world.

mple: 3D-printing your World of Warcraft character
Some people in the lab are rather obsessive about their World of Warcraft characters. After capturing the character with OGLE and cleaning the geometry with Maya a little bit, we were able to render it into the real world with our Dimension BST 3D printer, as seen below.

Read more about what we have done with OGLE so far (think SecondLife and Google Earth), check out how it works, or just go ahead and download it and get to OGLE'ing.

In the meantime, don't be afraid to share it with friends or colleagues who are into 3D stuff, and stay tuned for some more exciting relases by the new-ish R&D Fellows.