VoxelDesc

2014-10-12

What is VoxelDesc, exactly? It's a voxel painting application, except instead of being mouse-driven as you might expect, everything is done via a command line backed by a powerful scripting language -- Javascript for now, because that's the default in Java 6/7. I came up with the idea after noticing how tedious other voxel editors are: you need to click your mouse, very precisely, a lot of times, in order to make the simplest object. My experience with POV-Ray suggested that a declarative, procedural approach should be a lot more effective.

voxeldesc screen 1

This is hardly unprecedented; perhaps the most notorious piece of software based on the same concept is AutoCAD. The difference is that VoxelDesc won't have mouse commands for anything apart from the few GUI elements. Speaking of which: I deliberately kept the GUI spartan, having prior experience with Swing, and it's still a fractal of tiny little things that need to be implemented, yet when you do, several more pop up. This isn't purism, believe me; it's self-preservation.

voxeldesc screen 2

In any event, so far it all seems to work out reasonably well. The scripting API is fairly expressive despite being still sketchy, and well-suited for both interactive and batch mode. I'm yet to try making more complex scenes, mostly for lack of ideas, but I trust my beta-testers with that part. Hopefully I'll be ready to publish a first version on No Time To Play's itch.io page soon. Stay tuned.

(Edit: the app was published soon after.)