by Stacey Falconer
his month’s cover was another experiment using a combination of the POVRay ray tracing engine and the Linux KDE front end for POVRay, Kpovmodeler. It started out as an idea, though because of the complexity of the idea and the steep learning curve I had to simplify the object models and use both The Gimp and Photoshop to bring it to fruition.
POVRay is a free ray tracing program that has been around for some time. It is available for Windows and Unix/Linux based systems. Because POVRay uses a scene description language to render a scene, it looks more like an object style programing language, and a front end modelling program makes the task much easier by converting simplified objects into the final POVRay code.
Since the Monthly meeting for October will be a Linux presentation, and because of a renewed club interest in Linux I chose to try and use it as a theme for the cover.
In keeping with my Linux article this month, the gold/marble/transparent objects in the foreground represent the kernel and the system programs that make up a distribution. Here they are a combination (in this case an intersection) of a sphere and a cube. As they emerge from the ‘primordial soup’ plain you can see both components: the rocky-like core that makes up the kernel, and the nice shiny golden metal sphere that represents the complex but fancy GUI interface and the applications we normally associate with modern day systems.
As the cube/sphere intersections rise higher, we only see the shiny surface and not the complex core.
Since a Linux system has to have a Linux Kernel (which is under constant development), we have Tux, the Linux mascot hovering in the background. There is finally the lightning-like structure behind Tux. We still need electricity to run a computer.
Finally, the Debian logo and name were rendered as a shadow on the "primordial soup" plain. Debian is a flavour of Linux, and is used as the basis of a large number of distributions. The Linux ‘system that was used to render the cover image is called Simply Mepis, and is a Debian type distribution.
Tux was a complex image in three layers worked over in Photoshop from a Tux image grabbed from the Web. The electrical storm was a fractal generated in The Gimp, and the final assembly used Photoshop-7.