Sunday, December 30, 2007

Obstacle-avoiding algorithm in povray

Here's an animation showing an obstacle avoiding algorithm in povray. The camera follows the path of a boid trying to negotiate its way through a maze of balls suspended in place, and follow a set path. The path goes through the red balls. The boid is supposed, of course, to avoid hitting the red ones. There is some jerkiness as it tries to decide what to do when one part of the algorithm is telling it go through the ball and another is telling it not to hit anything. Maybe there's more work to be done there.

Jittery bunch of superheroes

I found this also from years back.

It's a short animation of a team of superheroes I was putting together. The characters were uprooted from other scene files, some where they were dancing, some where they were marching, some where I took a "walk cycle" file and put only the first frame in a dramatic pose. When I just started generating images, I got this wacky concoction.

Done in povray.

Friday, December 21, 2007


I was dusting off an old CD and found this rendering. One of the few things I did in Bryce with Poser. From around 2004.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Lamest Winter Festival ever: Virginia Beach Festival of Lights.

Originally uploaded by pterandon.

While driving to this festival in the town square of Virginia Beach, Virginia, my host explained that there would be lights. I sarcastically said, "Oh, what are they going to do: light up the rectangular outline of some buildings?" Then I immediately apologized for being such a bitter cynic, for expecting something so lame.

Then we got to the town square of Virginia Beach. There were a few large teddy bears covered in lights, a face painting booth, and a beauty pageant winner walking around asking folks to sign Christmas cards for wounded service personnel. That's about it.

There was a musical act, a trio of local teenage girls singing. The quality of their performance would have been fine for three songs, but they went on for eight. That's the problem. In planning such an event, one ought to take into consideration an economy of crowd's patience vs. entertainment talent level. We in the crowd were happy to entertain anybody for a short time, but for it to have lasted so long, with not much else to do, tested our endurance.

Then came the finale: after the mayor's speech, Santa drove up in a car. He flipped a switch and on came the lights!

The lights traced out the rectangular outline of several buildings.

Monday, December 17, 2007

How to make a giant UFO-like tubular balloon

This was so cool when I saw what he had at the end!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

Animated GIF for Rotating Earth

An animated GIF made with povray.
It is a stack of 15 spheres, each slightly larger than the other, and slightly different pigment:
[n/max color transmit 1.0]
[n/max color mapcols(n/nmax)]
scale 0.125*1.5}

Where a is a number that goes from 0 to 1, and mapcols is a linear spline that I used to set up my colors.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ellipsoidal Star Discovered

Why, it's our own sun!

Original sunset image:

Contrast adjusted:

Zoom in on sun, draw the nearest ellipse which matches its shape: an ellipsoidal star!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Christianity as Global Threat.

Before I talk about Brian McLaren's article, Christianity as a Global Threat, let me make an analogy. Consider the speed limit.

Consider a town where speed limit signs have been posted along the side of the road for longer than anyone in the town has lived. Folks have debated exactly who put up the signs. The signs say, "Do not drive faster than 30MPH in front of daycare centers". The drivers on the road have a variety of responses to the sign. Some hate being told what to do and so drive 50 MPH. Some drive 30 MPH, ever careful to slow down whenever they see a kid by the side of the road, because the sign reminds them about the risk of hitting children. Some drivers, however, drive 30.0 MPH, rain or shine, regardless of whether there are dogs, cats, deer, little old ladies, or children in the road in front of them.

Now in my analogy, the townsfolk start complaining about the mean drivers in the third camp. The third camp drivers say, "I believe these signs are a divine ordinance. Because of these signs, I have a divine mandate to drive 30 MPH whenever I want." Some of the townsfolk, rightly alarmed at the philosophy of this third camp of drivers, point to the speed limit signs as a source of evil, and say that whoever posted them must be a very bad person. The second set of drivers, meanwhile, get offended that a philosophy of running over kids is somehow associated with a literal reading of the stop signs, noting that there are also laws against hurting people. The second set of drivers say that the townsfolk mad about the sign are as silly as the third set of drivers who drive crazy.

McLaren points to three dysfunctions in American Christianity, which are "prosperity, equity, and security." I don't think that blame for the Prosperity Gospel, nationalism, and Bush/Falwell's view of the War on Terror can in any way be laid on a literal reading of the bible. I say folks like Martin Luther King Jr., Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Oscar Romero are the literalists. They neither skimped on the spirituality nor remained silent when their fellow men and women were being trampled upon.

McLaren continues:
"The final conclusion of the book surprised me as much as I hope it will surprise readers: the most radical thing we can do to bring change into our lives and world, it turns out, is an act of faith – an act of withdrawing trust from the dysfunctional stories we’ve been told – stories both secular and religious, and transferring our trust to another story, a story captured by Jesus in the metaphor of “the kingdom of God.”
(Hat tip to Willzhead blog for a link to that discussion.

Here's the problem with McLaren's view. I say that belief in the old story, even a literal belief, an ardently-held belief in the old story of sin, cross, and redemption, has nothing to do with the misanthropic content of the Falwells of the world. McLaren's argument shows incredibly sloppy scholarship and it gives the bigots and torturers far too much credit. It seems to say, "Oh poor Falwell and Robertson. They are such inherently good people, they've just been duped into following some misanthropic stories, which they follow oh so faithfully in all extents. If only we could find some different stories for them to follow." Another apparent mistake with McLaren's approach is the implication that one were ardently to hold to a story, one must therefore start bopping the heads of those who disagree. Does the same apply to McLaren's story? Ouch!

KISS Becomes Old Farts

As a kid, I was something of a loser, a nerd, and a religious prude from a socially conservative midwestern family. So I was especially unpopular with the kids who talked about alcohol or drugs and whose parents let them go to rock concerts. I even half-believed in backmasking.

The rock group KISS was one of those groups that the popular kids listened to.
KISS seemed to be the epitome of rebellion against everything I believed in, starting with moderate physical appearance.

Then as I grew older, I became more socially progressive. My "social justice" views also influenced my opinion of the struggle of the RIAA against those who download music. I strongly support private property rights and so oppose illegal file sharing, but know that musicians are horribly exploited. The RIAA is on the wrong side of justice but the most effective way to fight them involves diverting our entertainment dollars to companies that pay fair royalties: magnatune, beatpick, etc.

Anyway, now it looks like KISS has become old farts, now looking to "The Man" to protect their nickel at any social costs. Or maybe there's no change. Naked self interest back then and now. I have quoted below interesting excerpts from Billboard magazines' Billboard Q&A: Gene Simmons
It has been nine years since we've seen a new KISS album. Any plans to get back into the studio?
The record industry is in such a mess. I called for what it was when college kids first started download music for free -- that they were crooks. I told every record label I spoke with that they just lit the fuse to their own bomb that was going to explode from under them and put them on the street.

There is nothing in me that wants to go in there and do new music. How are you going to deliver it? How are you going to get paid for it if people can just get it for free? I will be putting out a Gene Simmons box set called "Monster" -- a collection of 150 unreleased songs. KISS will have another box set of unreleased music in the next year.

The record industry doesn't have a f*cking clue how to make money. It's only their fault for letting foxes get into the henhouse and then wondering why there's no eggs or chickens. Every little college kid, every freshly-scrubbed little kid's face should have been sued off the face of the earth. They should have taken their houses and cars and nipped it right there in the beginning. Those kids are putting 100,000 to a million people out of work. How can you pick on them? They've got freckles. That's a crook. He may as well be wearing a bandit's mask.

Doesn't affect me. But imagine being a new band with dreams of getting on stage and putting out your own record. Forget it.

But some artists like Radiohead and Trent Reznor are trying to find a new business model.
That doesn't count. You can't pick on one person as an exception. And that's not a business model that works. I open a store and say "Come on in and pay whatever you want." Are you on f*cking crack? Do you really believe that's a business model that works?

Gene, does the RIAA model work for new bands? for Billy Joel?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Randomized Povray guys

Not sure what I was expecting from this ...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

St. Augustine on Waterboarding

"Even when a city is enjoying the profoundest peace, some men must be sitting in judgment on their fellow men. Even at their best, what misery and grief they cause! No human judge can read the conscience of the man before him. That is why so many innocent witnesses are tortured to find what truth there is in the alleged guilt of other men. It is even worse when the accused man himself is tortured to find out if he be guilty. Here a man still unconvicted must undergo certain suffering for an uncertain crime-- not because his guilt is known, but because his innocence is unproved. Thus it often happens that the ignorance of the judge turns to tragedy for the innocent party. There is something still more insufferable-- deplorable beyond all cleansing with our tears. Often enough, when a judge tries to avoid putting a man to death whose innocence is not manifest, he has him put to torture, and so it happens, because of woeful lack of evidence, that he both tortures and kills the blameless man whom he tortured lest he kill him without cause. And if, on Stoic principles, the innocent man chooses to escape from life rather than endure such torture any longer, he will confess to a crime he never committed. And when it is over, the judge will still be in the dark whether the man he put to death was guilty or not guilty, even though he tortured him to save his innocent life, and then condemned him to death. Thus, to gather evidence, he tortures an innocent man, and lacking evidence, kills him."

St. Augustine, The City of God, Book XIX, Chapter 6, pp. 444-445.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Religious tests for office?

Should a Mormon be elected President?

I am a Lutheran. Lutherans disagree with Mormons on the doctrine of "homousia", or the question of whether Christ and the Father are One. For this reason I"m not a Mormon, and do not consider them to be Christian. This doesn't mean that I cannot be friends with a Mormon, would doubt in the least that they'd make a good neighbor, or this doctrine alone would invalidate the moral legitimacy of a Mormon Presidential bid.

Should a Mormon be elected President?

I find Romney to be a dangerously immoral man. My earlier suspicions are only confirmed by this exchange between Romney and McCain in the recent Republican debate. McCain repudiates Romney's position on the form of torture known as waterboarding, saying Romney's position is dangerous to America's ideals and security.

Question: are Romney's political views here shaped by his "conservative" religiosity?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Why the MP3 Must Not Die

The band Ugress has made available some really cool tracks for free on the web. They are living out the business model of being nice to your customers instead of suing their grandmothers. They had an interesting perspective on the conflict between mp3 and other audio formats. Among linux-types, you often hear a lot of dissing of the mp3 format in favor of ogg. Here's their perspective, shown in
Rant: On mp3 and other audio formats
"One can not DRM-ifize mpeg layer 3. Mp3 is a holy format that must never, ever die or be left behind. The alternatives will kill music. Mp3 is what keeps digital music alive, it is the current lifeblood of music and it was the spark that ignited the revolution. Because it is all-encompassing, it works everywhere, any product that wants to survive MUST support the mp3 format.
Ogg, Flac, whatever, yes they are brilliant and good and perfect and better options technically than mp3. But they do not have the sheer massive force of mp3, they do not carry any weight on their own. Being better is not necessarily good enough in today's world. (I KNOW.)"

Friday, November 23, 2007

My Paternal Grandparents

Over Thanksgiving vacation, I ran across a scan of this photo on a family computer. I wanted to post it because it has one of the few pictures I have of my paternal grandmother. Didn't know her really at all. This picture probably shows "what she looked like" better than any other I have seen. It's always fun to look for resemblances of ancestors in your families.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

gtkpod: How to use an Ipod with Ubuntu linux

I have an Apple Ipod Nano. I regularly use it to play podcasts I have downloaded using the linux application podracer on my Feisty Fawn Kubuntu Linux box. I do not have to use Itunes in order to maintain a playable list of MP3's on the Ipod. Here are some tips on how I go about it, assuming that I've already used podracer to create a directory of MP3's that I want to put on the IPod. Of course with anything you find on the internet, use this advice at your own risk.

First, make sure that your ipod is mounted as a device on your system. With Kubuntu, it autodetects my device when I plug it in. On this dialog box I'd click OK to mount the ipod.

In Kubuntu, clicking OK automatically brings up this Konqueror session, which provides reassurance that the device is mounted and tells you the name that linux is calling your ipod. Here it's "gregjohn"

Next I run gtkpod. Notice that when it first runs, it has the name of my ipod "gregjohn" on the list of devices. Notice the symbol in front of the ipod, however. This means it's not connected or recognized by gtkpod YET. The name is there because I used it with this box once before and it remembers its name for that reason.

Click on "Load Ipods". Now, there is a more reassuring- looking icon in front of my "gregjohn" device.

Each time I use gtkpod, I clean out the old files on it. (You don't necessarily have to.) I do it with the "Remove files" utility.

Next, I click on the Add Directories button (+ Dirs) and it brings me to a dialog where I choose the directory whose contents I want to add to the device:

If you have "rm" based podcasts, they won't play on (at least my) Ipod. You may also get error messages associated with some of your MP3 files. I tend to ignore the errors on my MP3. I believe I've had playable files even though gtkpod warned me they had "zero play length".

Review your list, make any changes (I deleted one particularly annoying podcast I had forgotten to remove from my podracer subscription list). Hit Save Changes, and wait ...

... and wait ...

... and wait ...

.. and wait some more! This is an important point. If you have a lot of files to write, gtkpod may say "Writing Database ..." for a very long time. A few times when I saw it sitting there for over a minute, I assumed that the system had locked up, so I rebooted. DON'T DO THAT. You may then end up messing up your ipod to the point of needing to find a Windows box to reinstall its operating system.

Now, when that "Writing Database ..." message goes away, you are free to unmount your ipod.

I believe that gtkpod may give one a menu option to eject the ipod. I like the reassurance I get from using Konqueror to "Safely Remove" the ipod. It sounds to much nicer.

Happy podding!

Human fails Turing test.

Here's a fascinating podcast from Scientific American. A college educated computer researcher was engaged in a long distance relationship with a Russian woman. He later found out his girlfriend was a bot!

powered by ODEO

Magnet Sunrise

A Mandelbrot fractal made in povray.

Source code in povray Scene Description Language is here:

box{ < -50 , -50 , 5 > , <>
mandel 32766
#declare n=0; #while (n <> ]
#declare n=n+1; #end
[ 1 rgb 0] }
translate <0.163779887,0.89496106>
scale 400000000
finish{ambient rgb 1}


Saturday, November 17, 2007

This shirt is selling like hotcakes at!

Two in one week! But I cannot figure out exactly why......

The Right Abandons the Unborn, III and IV

ITEM: Pat Robertson endorses Giuliani

From Pat Robertson Explains Support for Pro-Abortion Candidate Rudy Giuliani"
"And I think Rudy Giuliani has assured the American people that he's going to appoint justices in the likeness of Scalia and John Roberts, et cetera," Robertson explained. "And he has assured people that, he assured me and others, and I believe him."

However, Giuliani has said that the judges he appoints could rule either way on the question of reversing the Roe v. Wade ruling that allowed unlimited abortions.

ITEM: National Right to Life endorses Thompson

From Right-to-Lifers Endorse Thompson -- Cynically, in a The Nation blog:

While Thompson may have had lobbying ties to Planned Parenthood, which advocates for abortion rights and in some regions actually provides access to the procedure, the former senator from Tennessee is a 100 percenter when it comes to serving the interests of major corporations. And that's what concerns National Right to Life these days. The group is part of a Washington-based alliance to advance corporate interests by using social-issue appeals to convince working-class voters to oppose their economic interests.

What is my take on this? You SHOULD seek protection of the unborn because it is a LIBERAL cause. It should be no surprise that those who oppose "paternalism," the "nanny state" and support "freedom" when the issue is a simple one like belching out more toxic pollution than you need to would turn around and be "laissez faire" when it comes to taking unborn life.

Friday, November 09, 2007

IQ Test

I took the test at I got 121.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Business leader on solar power.

"America is behind the world in solar energy adoption, and that's not acceptable."

Mike Splinter-President and CEO, Applied Materials, from a Commonwealth Club talk hosted at odeo

powered by ODEO

Provocative political quote of the day

"Giuliani's conversion is absurd. This guy's now going to be a values guy? He's had the wildest personal life. The only way it'll work is that I guess he's a Catholic but he has to abandon that and suddenly discover God and become born again in a different way?

It's so cynical. It really shows that they've been using the Religious Right of their party. They really don't believe in this stuff, they've been using them to bamboozle poor whites into abandoning their class interest and vote for greedy capitalists.
Robert Scheer, on the 10/26/07 edition of the "Left, Right, and Center" podcast produced by KCRW.

Friday, November 02, 2007

'Yes' but not 'no' from an extruded mesh character

A further improvement.
Alas, I have realized that I cannot make a part of the body undergo a rotation along the axis of extrusion. So it can nod its head but not shake it.

This turns out to be the first major limitation in my approach to make characters with extrusion a mesh2 along a spline rather than with blobs in povray. I can think of ways to fix it, but it may ruin the portability to other users. It's already quite an unwieldy way of constructing characters.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Recent Earthquakes in the Northeast-- Who Knew??

This is a map of recent earthquakes in the Northeast as provided by the Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network.

The way I set up this blog posting, I may be guilty of "bandwidth stealing." But I hope the two links back to the original source I just provided make up for the sin.

All I can say is, "WHO KNEW??"

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Well, my images have got to sell now!

Zazzle has changed how they display the T-shirts that you might have for sale. They now use some computer graphics to put your image on a hypothetical model.

My images have got to sell now!

And isn't this guy's pose just perfect for this "Nerdy Super Hero" T-Shirt?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Because sometimes you just feel a need to run up the score against the computer.

A screen grab from playing the linux game Tenes Empanadas Graciela, which is an emulation of the classic game, Risk.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Teremoto: Take it or Leave it

This is an album by a Christian singer. Acoustic guitar and vocals that make me think of a very relaxed Elvis Costello. Just posting this because i) it's Christian and ii) it's from the web site Jamendo and is released under a Creative Commons license. Even if you aren't into Christian (there are actually very few albums with this tag at Jamendo) or don't like this artist, it's worth checking out Jamendo. Listen & download for free, pay artists as you please.

Another scandal of the evangelical conscience

The following is from a CBS NEWS POLL: "White Evangelicals, the Issues and the 2008 Election" October 12-16, 2007.

My response is that I believe that these answers represent a scandal in the evangelical conscience. I do not believe that the moral problems shown in the answers evangelicals have to these answers do not say anything about whether you should be an evangelical-- one who believes in a literal or authoritative word revealed in scripture, and seeks a personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior. In this regard, there's nothing wrong with being an evangelical; but these poll results point to something wrong with being an evangelical.

Quotes from the poll below this line:


White Evangelicals
All Americans
Right thing 62%
Stayed out

Evangelicals have consistently been strong backers of U.S. military action in Iraq.


Right thing
Stayed out

In addition, white evangelicals think the U.S. troop surge in Iraq is working. 54% say the surge is making things better, compared to 33% of Americans nationwide who say this.


In the long run, do you think the people who are immigrating to the United States today will make American society better, will make American society worse, or do you think today's immigrants won't affect American society one way or the other?

White Evangelicals
Won't affect society

Thursday, October 25, 2007

So how many meshes did it take to make Mr. Incredible ?

Here is the latest state of development in my efforts to make mesh-based animatable characters in povray. Features:
  • 19 kb of files (HDD storage space) to make everything you see here.
  • Each leg is "one" mesh.
  • I can define a spline in povray. The leg is then extruded along the path. Simply animate the path (change a few variables in it), then the whole structure is animated.
  • uv-mapped coordinates in the mesh-- I can apply a texture and have it "stick" and "bend" with the movement of the underlying structure.

This last point is why I think this is such an advancement over my earlier creations. I was using blobs.

gmesh 49 animation

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Is it possible to run a business without being a total sleaze?

Yesterday, I went shopping for a piece of equipment that costs about a grand. After inspecting the models available from a major department store, I went to a small business that specialized in the equipment. I asked the owner if they sold any items from a well-known brand. He told me there were quality problems with that well-known brand. He went on to tell me:
  • that the major department store I just happened to have been to was selling that brand, but they marked it up SIX HUNDRED TO SEVEN HUNDRED percent;
  • that the models he sold were of such quality that it was difficult for him to achieve a ten percent markup;
  • that all his models were on sale, he just hadn't printed out any of the sale prices.
In my mind, these facts don't add up. The guy way making up lies to me to pressure me into a sale. When the implausibility of all these things being true dawned on me, I got a bit ticked, and resolved to buy off the internet if his brand were any good.

Then I started wondering: is it possible to run a small business without being a total sleaze? My question is purely an economic one: is this type of sales pitch in the long run, economically favored-- will you eventually make more quick sales from idiots than you will lose business from the intelligent and easily offended? Studying the question would make an interesting master's thesis in economics. Say you were to set up two stores at the opposite ends of a town. In one, sell the products at a clearly displayed, no-haggle price, albeit change the price bimonthly to cope with demand & supply. In the other store, adopt our friend's habits: post MSRP stickers on everything, say there's some secret sale price, invite aggressive haggling, and have a schtick that offends the intelligent or flighty out of your store in the first 30 seconds. Then after six months, switch tactics. Which is necessarily better for business?

Thinking about the psychology of the thing, I can easily imagine a business owner or regional manager fearing for their economic life and deciding that the only way to survive is to get aggressive in this manner. I think it's human nature to want to set aside a principle in order to survive-- I think this is why 38% of us openly favor torture in the war on terror.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Preaching law to the regenerate

Should the law be preached to the regenerate? In an online forum, I was debating this question as within the context of Lutheran theology. Here are a series of my thoughts on the topic, making reference to notable Christians' writing.

1) "No Law preaching to the regenerate" is not a doctrine to which Martin Luther actually subscribed.

Even though Martin Luther once advocated against law preaching, he later repudiated this as a doctrine and stated that his life's work was full of counter-examples where he had applied the law:
" But admit I had taught or said, that the Law should not be preached in the Church (although the contrary be evident in all my writings, and in the constant practice of my Catechising from the beginning) why should men so stiffly adhere to me, and not rather oppose me, who having ever taught otherwise, were now revolted from myself (even as I dealt with the Pope's Doctrine?)"
Martin Luther, A Treatise against Antinomians written in an Epistolary way

"[Luther] was misunderstood by many, who concluded that to preach like Luther, they must preach faith, justification, and righteousness without the deeds of the Law every Sunday. The practice of theirs Luther denounced as a greater error than the error of the papists. By preaching faith only and saying nothing about repentance, the preacher leads his hearers to that awful condition where they imagine they are in no need of repentance, and finally they get so that they are past help."
C.F.W. Walther, "The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel"

Even though Luther's "How Christians Should Regard Moses" says:
"The law of Moses binds only the Jews and not the Gentiles. Here the law of Moses has its place. It is no longer binding on us because it was given only to the people of Israel.
... but it also says:
"Thus we read Moses not because he applies to us, that we must obey him, but because he agrees with the natural law and is conceived better than the Gentiles would ever have been able to do. Thus the Ten Commandments are a mirror of our life, in which we can see wherein we are lacking, etc. "
Martin Luther, How Christians Should Regard Moses"

2) The willful, "secure", indulging in sins has spiritual consequences.
Lutheran theologians have held that there are two ways the relationship with God can be destroyed-- one is seeking merits on the basis of your works, the other is outright indulgence in sin.
"This means there are two ways we can miss the mark of righteousness before God, two ways the relationship can be destroyed. One is more or less obvious: outright sinfulness, unrighteousness, lawlessness, self-indulgence, what the Bible would call "worldliness" or perhaps in more modern dress, carelessness or heedlessness. In other words, we can just say to God, "No thanks, I don't want it, I'll just take my own chances. [The other way of missing the mark is to seek merit with God on the basis of your own works]."
Gerhard O. Forde, "On Being a Theologian of the Cross," p. 26

"There were many hypocrites among the Galatians, as there are also among us, who pretend to be Christians and talk much about the Spirit, but they walk not according to the Spirit; rather according to the flesh. Paul is out to show them that they are not as holy as they like to have others think they are.
Verse 21. Of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in the past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

This is a hard saying, but very necessary for those false Christians and hypocrites who speak much about the Gospel, about faith, and the Spirit, yet live after the flesh. But this hard sentence is directed chiefly at the heretics who are large with their own self-importance, that they may be frightened into taking up the fight of the Spirit against the flesh.
Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians, Chapter 5.

"Likewise the faith of which we speak ... cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them."
Defense of the Augsburg Confession, Article III

3) There's something about "again and again" in Lutheranism.

"Likewise the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins, and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. "
Defense of the Augsburg Confession, Article III

"[Cheap grace says,] Let the Christian rest content in his worldliness and with this renunciation of any higher standard than the world. ... That is what we mean by cheap grace, the grace which amounts to the justification of sin without the justification of the repentant sinner who departs from sin and from whom sin departs. Cheap grace is not the kind of forgiveness of sin which frees us from the toils of sin. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.
Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
Cost of Discipleship

4) Law preaching is a part of preaching of the Gospel, and teaching of Christ's work.

But how come we to know what sin is, if there be no Law, nor conscience?8 And where shall we learn what Christ is, and what he hath done for us? if we could not know, what the Law is, which he hath fulfilled, or what sin is, for which he hath satisfied?
Martin Luther, A Treatise against Antinomians written in an Epistolary way

The gospel is the truth of God in Christ Jesus by his Spirit.
The Spirit tells us the truth-- you are a sinner. That is the reality.
You have not only sinned, but you ARE a sinner. This is the Gospel's bite.

When I was first teaching and starting to travel in the church, I would go to visit congregations and I would run into people whose pastors I knew (they were my former students). And they would say things to me like this, "Grace, grace, grace, I'm so sick of grace I could puke. If I hear one more thing about the love of God, I'm just going to get up and leave."
You know my initial suspicion was that they were legalists. But I knew better. These things were being said to me by faithful believers. I knew the students who had become their pastors. I could not figure out for the life of me figure out what in the world was going on. So I asked the students to send me copies of their sermons. I read them. I found out what was going on. They were skipping this intensification. They were declaring the Gospel as a kind of universal acceptance without confirming the reality of people's sins. It was like gagging on sugar. It was so sweet. It had no bite whatsoever. It's critically important to recognize this point right here. Here is where repentance yields its right of way to faith. This intensification by the gospel, this underscoring-- the Spirit making of the Law a teacher-- makes the difference between the faithful witness of the gospel and Gospel reductionism, that reduces everything to grace and cannot for that reason speak of the law. Both must be set out together. If one is neglected, if gospel is neglected or law is neglected, we go awry.
James Nestingen, Australian Lutheran College on Wednesday 15 August 2007.

Mesh2 improvements

Here's the latest state of my mesh2 macro.
I think I've got a pretty slick system for making it all move.
I was intending those things between the arms to be stationary pectoral muscles, not animated breasts!
Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Just a test of photoblogging with flickr.

Originally uploaded by pterandon.

Wondering what size it was. This is from the aquarium at the Mall of the Americas.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

They still consider it fanaticism: Walther on seeking self-interest.

From The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, C.F.W. Walther, p. 386:

"If some one were to arise in a congregation of such people and declare with greaty joy that he is loving God above all things and that God is his all, that He is everything to him, he would be regarded as speaking out of his mind. Such people have not the least inkling that it is possible to love God above all things. The Second Table of the Law receives no better treatment from them than the First. Little it is that a member of a so-called "free" congregation know of the Second Table, spite of the zealous preaching of virtue and piety by his minister. When he returns from church, he proceeds to cheat people in enormous fashion and calls that 'business' He may be merged in sin and shame and pass for an honorable man. On occasion he may show himself liberal and give a hundred dollars to-day, but cheat people out of a thousand to-morrow. His maxim is: Charity begins at home. When he is reproved for not conducting his business in the interest of his fellow-men, but for the purpose of making a lot of money, he considers that fanaticism. You see, by means of the Law we cannot raise anything better than miserable hypocrites.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Animated GIF from povray rendering.

Showing off my new sweep mesh macro for povray.

It borrows from Mike William's (which was itself based on an idea of mine). This one is an improvement in that it allows one to choose multiple different splines as cross sections along the length. It also automatically closes at the beginning and the end.

The macro to construct the mesh is here.
That scene file doesn't involve this walking movement, which is from my earlier work.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Bono on torture

"Although today, today I read in The Economist an article reporting that over 38 percent of Americans support some kind of torture in exceptional circumstances. My country – NO! Your country – tell me no. (Crowd answers back “no”) Thank you."

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Science quiz

JustSayHi - Science Quiz
JustSayHi - A Free Dating Website

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A povray mesh2 based character modelled IN povray

This is a 100 frame animation I made of a new thing I did in povray.

This is a single mesh2 object. I modeled it with a routine I wrote in the povray Scene Description Language. What it allows me to do is specify a certain number of "cross sections" or splines, and then it skins or draws a series of triangles between then. The cool thing is that in povray I can then animate the meshes themselves and then I have a "character" that is animatable and made from a single mesh.

Others have done this before. The new thing I have done here is to allow a different cross section at every step. I start out with circles for arms and then make a parallelogram that mimics the shape of a chest.

Persistence of Vision Raytracer SDL posted below:

//povray 3.6 scene file originated by Greg M. Johnson


#declare rarm_transform=transform{translate -8*x rotate -45*z*sin(2*pi*clock) translate 8*x}
#declare larm_transform=transform{ translate 8*x rotate 45*z*sin(2*pi*clock) translate -8*x}
//#declare larm_transform=transform{ rotate 30*z*sin(2*pi*clock) }

#declare toppt=vtransform(<-14,0,0>,larm_transform);

#declare numrings=8;
#declare npts=90;//frame_number;
#declare ring=array[numrings+1]
#declare ring[0]=spline{ cubic_spline
#declare n=-1;
#while (n
<0,sin(n/npts*2*pi),cos(n/npts*2*pi)>+<-12,0,0> ,larm_transform)
#declare n=n+1;
#declare ring[1]=spline{ cubic_spline
#declare n=-1;
#while (n
#declare n=n+1;
#declare ring[2]=spline{cubic_spline
#declare n=-1;
#while (n
#declare n=n+1;
#declare bre=0.5*<0,0.5*sin(4*pi*clock),sin(4*pi*clock)>;

#declare ring[3]=spline{linear_spline

#declare ring[4]=spline{linear_spline

#declare ring[5]=spline{cubic_spline
#declare n=-1;
#while (n
#declare n=n+1;
#declare ring[6]=spline{cubic_spline
#declare n=-1;
#while (n
#declare n=n+1;
#declare ring[7]=spline{ cubic_spline
#declare n=-1;
#while (n
<0,sin(n/npts*2*pi),cos(n/npts*2*pi)>+<12,0,0> ,rarm_transform)
#declare n=n+1;

//#declare botpt=vtransform(<0,-6,0>,chin_transform);
#declare botpt=vtransform(<14,0,0> ,rarm_transform);

#declare themesh=
#declare nspacer=0.5;

#declare ringo=0;
#declare n=n+1;

#declare a=1;
#declare anen=0;
#declare np=0;
#declare np=np+1;
, //the problem??
, //the problem??
#declare np=0;
#declare np=np+1;
, //9:
, //9:

, //
, //,

#declare nspacer=mod(nspacer+0.5,1);
#declare a=a+npts;
#declare anen=anen+1;

#declare n=0;
#declare n=n+1;
pigment {rgb 1}

object{themesh rotate 180*y translate -12*x}
object{themesh rotate -90*x translate 12*y+8*z}
object{themesh rotate -104*y translate 15*x+5*z}

light_source{<0,200,-50> color rgb 1}
light_source{<0,200,0> color rgb x rotate -80*x rotate 45*y}
light_source{<0,200,0> color rgb z rotate -80*x rotate -45*y}
light_source{<0,0,0> color rgb 1 translate 10*x }
background{rgb 1}

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A news reader designed by folks who can find very large prime numbers

Attached below are subsequent screen grabs from a Firefox browser that is using the latest version of Google Reader.

Google had been allowing users to choose between two different versions of the Reader interface. They just forced all users (or at least me) to swich to the new interface. There are a number of problems with the new version:
  • It seems to have a major bug in html, in that the scroll bar on the right side of the page is half off-screen.
  • The shape of the screen now forces one to view pages in a wide rectangle instead of a square. This poses a problem for readability. As the designers of newspaper columns and the template on this blog hosting service understand, it is easier to read text that isn't much wider than the alphabet. Realllly long sentences which take up most of the width of the screen make reading a pain.
  • The ability to tab between articles by use of the space bar is broken. Attached below are subsequent screen grabs from the service. The problem is you never know whether you have to start reading the one article that is only showing up in the bottom quarter of the screen. Sometimes when you hit space bar, that half-off article will pop up to the top of the screen so that you can read it properly, sometimes it will merely jump to the next point in the text that hasn't been displayed yet. It makes for a miserable reading experience.
  • It also makes it very hard to tell when you've hit the last unread article-- the only change I can see is a very subtle lightening of the font color in the title when the previously-read article is at the bottom of the reader.
Google has been famous for recruiting the best minds in the planet-- they have for example made certain job applications open to only those who could find certain very large prime numbers. This Google Reader smacks of being designed by such people. When it comes to being able to design something that is usable by average humans, I guess I'd rather have someone who has some common sense in typography and is willing to test the product in Firefox.

Google, revert your Reader interface!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Creation ex nihilo debated by Young Earth Creationists

Here is a paragraph taken from the Fall 2007 issue of LifeDate: a quarterly journal of life issue news and commentary from National Lutherans for Life. Under an article ironically entitled, "God, the Orderly Atheist," which is itself an excerpt from "PBT Creation " by Cleone H. Weigand, copyright 2000, Northwestern Publishing House, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. My quote of the article is in the context of a review:
Creation out of nothing
It seems obvious from these verses [Hebrews 11:3 and Genesis 1:1-2] that when God began his creation, there was emptiness, a void, nothing to see. Then, from nothing, He filled this void with what He had planned to construct. This teaching of "creation from nothing" (Latin: ex nihilo) has something been contested by people who embrace other ways of interpreting Genesis chapters 1 and 2. However, it is difficult to take what seems so obvious from the creation account and all the other references to creation in Scripture and twist it into something different.

The problem I have with this assertion is that those who "embrace other ways of interpreting Genesis chapters 1 and 2", ways different from the Young Earth Creationists, are no surprise, the Old Earth Creationists. I cannot think of a contemporary Christian writer who has done more to advance the cause of Old Earth Creationism (OEC) than Hugh Ross. OEC is the idea that Genesis is literal history, if translated properly. It tends to have more in conflict with neoDarwinism than it does astronomy.

I also do not believe that any contemporary Christian writer has done more to advance the idea of creation ex nihilo than Hugh Ross. Why, his organization, even has a FAQ on creation ex nihilo (CEN). The FAQ first affirms CEN as a clear doctrine of scripture, citing eleven passages that affirm it. Then the FAQ says,
Modern scientific cosmology buttresses the doctrine of CEN more pointedly and potently than does any other discipline. According to prevailing scientific theory, the universe had a singular beginning nearly 14 billion years ago. All matter, energy, time, and space exploded (in a carefully crafted event) into existence from nothing.

So who are they debating? I don't know. God could have created a universe only 10 ky ago, but if so it was complete with red-shifted photons "from" distant stars already in transit to Earth. I am not an opponent so much of those who might hold to a young earth in their heart as I am to the chicanery of the YEC think tanks. It's not exactly grounded in reality, even in the reality of what other people are saying as evidenced here. They create disbelief.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

New Stop Motion animation with clay

We put a little bit too much action too quickly at the end.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Magnet fractal: watch the background.

I made this fractal animation in povray. Testing out blogger's new video uploading service.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Progress on blender modelling

My modelling skills have progressed a bit. I've still got a bit to go with learning how to make Blender make an effective presentation of a model.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Magnet 1 fractal in povray

This is just one small render in an animation I am running to help me find the best color pattern for my pigment_map.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Knee-jerking at Virginia Tech.

I am a Hokie alum.

In the wake of the tragic shooting, a petition went out saying,
We feel that these individuals and groups, especially Dr. Steger and Chief Flinchum, have borne the brunt of unwarranted criticism by members of the media.

We understand that they did their best to make life and death decisions with limited information, and that they acted in the best interests of the students, faculty, and staff of Virginia Tech.
In the internet forum for alumni in which I originally saw this petition posted, I wrote that I could neither support the petition nor felt I was ready to criticize the administration of the university. A reservation of judgment means neither an indictment nor an absolution.

Five months later, a statewide panel has issued a report on the response to the tragedy. WSLS-TV's web site reported Governor Timothy Kaine's summary of the report.
“Sixth, in retrospect it seems clear that, in the immediate aftermath of the first shootings, the campus community should have been notified of the fatal shooting and the fact that the perpetrator was at large. There is no downside to providing prompt and accurate information to a community of adults who have the capacity to make decisions to keep themselves safe.
Net: Dr. Steger and Chief Flinchum could have acted differently to save lives.

Now I have every confidence that the town police and university administration will respond in a professional manner to the constructive criticisms raised by the report. I see no need to call for their resignation or other punishment. My heart goes out to them for the difficult time they have gone through.

I believe that those who acted most irresponsibly, and may not see the need for change, are those who filed this petition. This kind of knee-jerk defense of the status quo does more to endanger lives over the long run than does poorly thought-out responses to tragedies.

At the time I saw this petition, I thought, you know, this response to criticisms is exactly what must have enabled problems like Abu Ghraib and the coverup of Pat Tillman's death to escalate. This response means don't investigate, support your troops, because the media cannot be right.

My view is that I would like to see those who initiated or supported the petition to represent me in neither the alumni organization nor in government.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Two failed ways for the church to talk about the poor.

In listening to the dialog about how and whether the mainline denominations should be talking and acting about poverty, I have two criticisms. First, let me explain my view with an analogy about natural law and what Lutherans call "second use of the law."

ANALOGY: There's a narrow curving road which winds through a forest and by a few daycare facilities. There's a posted speed limit on the road. There's a tower overlooking the road. There is a rumor that in the tower sits the local sheriff with a radar gun and at the end of the year he will come down from the tower and mail speeding tickets to the owners of cars he has caught speeding. Occasionally on this road, cars drive at excessive speed . There are two consequences to the speeding: the cars bang into trees and they bang into kids playing in the yard at the daycare centers by the road. As a result, both the drivers and kids playing in the yards both get bloody noses.

In this analogy, I'm trying to make a case that there are two different kinds of consequences. One is natural law: clearly visible cause-and-effect reactions in the temporal realm, such children with bloody noses and fenders wrapped around tree trunks. The other is a kind of spiritual consequence: there is some Person overlooking the whole scene who will judge the quick and the dead for their actions. The unpleasantness of natural law consequences which are borne by the irresponsible parties (driver's own bloody nose) may act as an "invisible hand" to reduce the tendency for folks to do the irresponsible behaviors that lead to them. If they're smart and care. But not reduce it 100%. And half the natural-law consequences are born by a third party (the kids). The spiritual consequences, however, take place regardless.

Now back to reality. The mainline denominations of Christianity, in their national assemblies, have often passed resolutions about social justice problem, things like wage fairness, the apartheid wall in Palestine or the plight of tomato pickers. Conservative critics of these denominations have oft criticized these resolutions. Among the criticisms I've seen two different kinds of complaints:
  • "I have a different way of helping these people."
    Typically this has meant that they want to talk about sexual morality instead of economic justice. They want to engage in law and gospel preaching, which calls sinners to repentance and informs them of God's grace, on the kind of sins or personal vices which can break up marriages. I will help the poor not by talking about how we treat the poor but instead about how marriages can stay together.
  • "I have a different way of helping these people."
    This time it means that these persons have excelled in acts of personal charity in the private sector, whether it is going on mission trips to build houses and preach the gospel or volunteering for direct relief agencies in their towns such as the soup kitchen.
Now back to the analogy. Consider the folks who want to help the poor by preaching on sexual morality. This to me seems like saying you will remain silent on the issue of speeding but will strongly urge the daycare facility to put up a slightly bigger fence and light the yard. It's hard to say that these are bad things to be in favor of, but it's kind of an obtuse way of helping the daycare kids, and it remains silent on the issue of the consequences the drivers will eventually face with the Sheriff in the Tower on the Hill.

On top of this, natural law does in fact provide a curb to irresponsible behaviors in the social justice realm. If there were "wage exploitation," it's likely workers will want to work elsewhere or "rise up" and cause trouble. Smart businesses have learned to keep workers moderately happy as a way of staying in business. Governments that oppress people have troubles with the people. Corporations that pollute excessively may pay more in energy costs or lawsuits, or have unhealthy workers, or lower property values. These are all "natural law" curbs on injustice, but none are an excuse for silence in response to the sin. There's the Man on the Hill to consider. We know that every sexual sin has a natural law consequence that will eventually provide some curb to the behavior, but we don't refrain from calling sexual sinners to repentance.

Consider the folks who want to instead focus exclusively on the private charity. My view is that this is like setting up a first aid stand for the kids who were hit by the reckless drivers. Attending to the physical needs of your neighbor directly are a great thing to do-- it is commanded of God, but it doesn't do much to address the rate of injury. It too offers silence on the topic of what sorts of reckoning the drivers will face with the Sheriff on the Hill.

The tradition of the Christian church (from John Bunyan to John Paul II) has frequently been filled with preaching about abuse and neglect and exploitation of the poor. In one place in Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis summed up sin as "greed and trickery and exploitation." A few papal encyclicals have even gone so far as to say that one cannot rely on the market mechanism alone to absolve oneself of the responsibility to pay a living wage.

Post originally written in 2007; edited in April 2012

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Nation on Mother Teresa's Doubt

From The Mystery of Mother Teresa, published in the online version of The Nation.
That was a dark night of the soul that lasted decades...

It's a life-long struggle. It's not unusual in the history of saints in the church that there would be this experience of doubt. Christ himself on the cross experiences doubt. "My God, why have you forsaken me?" That is his last cry into the darkness. Why have you left me alone? This is not a consoling cry. And throughout the history of the church there are these voices, monks and nuns who, we find out in their deepest moments of darkness, felt the emptiness of belief.

We think we go to church, temple or the mosque and it's all very clear to us. Especially people who do not have faith, they think that people who have faith have no questions. But in fact as the church teaches us, doubt is very much an experience that lives along with faith.


America now is very, very religious or very, very secular.

This feeds atheists. They say, "See, even she didn't believe."

People like Bill Maher and Christopher Hitchens --they are precisely the kind of problem that they present the religious world to be afflicted by. They are people who have no faith. Period. The whole idea of transcendence, a metaphysical reality beyond that which they normally experience, is foreign to them. This is very dangerous. They appeal to the political left when they should have learned its lesson.

What lesson?

For thirty years the political left has ceded religion to the political right in America. It has given all expression of religion to right-wing Christianity.

It seems to me what the left needs to do is shy away from this teenage-boy irreverence, these "farts in the chapel" that you hear from Hitchens. It's not persuasive, not intellectually challenging because it does not admit to doubt. Like the fundamentalists, they live in a world of such certitude the rest of us are left wondering, "Where do we belong?"

I'm quoting this article not only because it resonates with me, but also just because it's from The Nation. Weren't the liberals supposed to hate God?

Theology of the Cross from U2

"Please, please please, get up off your knees, now
Please, please live it out!"

Stop the religiosity. Get up off your knees and live out your faith.

Hat tip to U2 Sermons blog for pointing me again to one of the most spiritually moving songs from U2's repertoire.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Misers dragged into perdition?

"Christians are even tempted with the desire to grow rich. Merchants, in particular, are in great danger of turning misers. If they were not warned and admonished, they would be dragged into perdition as if caught in a snare, and would be lost forever."
C.F.W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, p. 315

What are we to make of this statement from a man instrumental in founding the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, from a textbook on advice about sermon writing that is based on lectures he made from 1884 to 1885. Is he some 19th century loon who is expressing how he knows nothing of economics, is he expressing advocacy for some kind of big government program, or is he expressing a spiritual truth?

I would lean towards the latter. Some of this message about scraping and hoarding and penny-pinching and greed has a spiritual dimension beyond anything to do with legislation. I think this is exactly the big fix we're in that C.S. Lewis spoke of in Mere Christianity, that "Part of you really is on [God's] side and agrees with his disapproval of greed and trickery and exploitation." Walther is not saying that being rich or owing capital is bad, but I think he's saying the temptation to fall into greed and trickery and exploitation is something the church has called a sin, and unrepentant indulging in sin separates us from God. Fortunately Jesus' work on the cross has paid the price for our sins and is what brings us back to God. All this has nothing to do with what the government should do. The church has in the past acted to show how it has a message about what is going on spiritually behind the scenes. That's what preaching is about.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Newbies, update your linux systems often.

I sort of had a falling-out with my local Linux User's Group. My main sin was to post a message where I stated that newbies should not ever update their system. On the face of it, this is stupid advice. Newbies, please update your systems often.

What prompted my outburst was that I was using a buggy distro and the update just plain locked up on it, leaving me no option but a hard power reboot. Upon re-powering back up, the distro was "broken" to the point where I had to re-install completely. I have ruined the installation at least three times on this box with updates. I am sure it is a combination of:
  • my lack of skill and intelligence. Either I was doing something wrong or unable to recover from a minor error.
  • a decrepit 4 year old box which locks up frequently--worse with some distros-- maybe it's got a bad fan and it is over-heating. It is in fact probably unwise to continue investing time in this one buggy box given the number of hobby hours I've wasted with problems associated with it locking up.
  • my unwise experimentation with 2nd and 3rd tier distros put out by a club of ten geeks rather than enterprise-ready, professionally polished distros ( if the products of Novell, Canonical, or Red Hat were to fit this description). In one case, a distro's team was occasionally rearranging its repositories and posting messages in English (but burying them on a German-language web page) saying "don't update this week." Guess what, I updated. There may also be distros which are meant to run well as a live CD but are not intended as a front-up option for a HDD installation. Guess what, I HDD installed and had problems.
Maybe a smarter person on a non-defective box using SLED wouldn't have had these problems. If there were any grain of truth in my outburst, however, it would be to point to the schizophrenia in the linux community of simultaneously saying:
  • "We're all been ready for enterprise for years. It's only FUD & corporate graft that keeps folks in Microsoft."
  • "Buyer beware. It's not a bug if you're the only one experiencing the problem."

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Give 'em a hand!

Some friends in the blenderartists forum gave advice on my last hand. I may have had duplicate faces, I dunno. In any case it was probably a mistake to make too complex a hand model with essentially a four-vertex shape. This time I tried six, and started out my creation of each finger as a six-vertex "tube" insetad of a "cube".

Much better. So much happier.

Give 'em a hand!

Some friends in the blenderartists forum gave advice on my last hand. I may have had duplicate faces, I dunno. In any case it was probably a mistake to make too complex a hand model with essentially a four-vertex shape. This time I tried six, and started out my creation of each finger as a six-vertex "tube" insetad of a "cube".

Much better. So much happier.

Friday, August 24, 2007

modelling with blender

I tried my own method for making the hand. I extruded a cube and then knocked down some of the quads to triangles in order to try out a method for getting a bendable "knee."

Now I get this. I've tried an Alt-N to recalculate normals outside the mesh. It still looks the same.

Any tips?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Conservative Christians in the 19th vs. 20th centuries

In the nineteenth century, conservative Christians warned of the dangers of communism and socialism. Some, such as C.F.W. Walther of the Missouri Synod Lutherans, went so far in his principled objection to socialism even as to condemn the participation of workers in trade unions. Among the reasons they gave for opposing socialism was that the church itself offered a stronger and more effective critique of the social and economic injustices of the world.

In the twentieth century, conservative Christians warned of the dangers of the church being engaged in critique of the social and economic injustices of the world. Among the reasons they gave for opposing the critique was that communists and socialists started out upset with those injustices as well and ended up taking stronger far more violent means to address them.

Give me that ol' time religion!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Free blender models

This post is a compilation of URL's to ten different blender model and rigs which are available on the internet and appear to the best of my knowledge to be released by their copyright owners under either a Creative Commons license or the Blender Artistic License. I've started to play around with them, and here is at least one way I intend to provide "attribution". I'll leave it as a game to the view to figure which is which.

Blank Character;
Game Knight

License: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.


License: Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.
Creator's note:

In short, you are free to change and redistribute Otto as you like. I just ask you that you let the credits of the original to me (Virgilio Vasconcelos) and a link to this page.


Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike license
Creator's note:

The clip and the model are available under the Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike license, so feel free to take it and run with it.


See below
Creator's note:
Licensing and Using Ludwig in your own work Using the Ludwig Rig The Ludwig rig may be used royalty free for both commercial and noncommercial purposes. This includes all armatures and the face maquette. You do not need to credit me, but you may if you so desire. As a courtesy, I would like to be informed when you use the Ludwig rig in your own projects (this is not a legal requirement, it is simply to satisfy my own curiosity). Using the Ludwig Mesh and Character Design The Ludwig mesh or derivatives of the Ludwig mesh may only be used for noncommercial purposes. This includes all parts of the mesh (body, mouth, eyes, etc.) and all shape keys. Acceptable use of Ludwig character includes school projects, demo reels, animation practice and contests (for example, 10 Second Club and elYsiun/ animation challenges). You do not need to credit me when using the Ludwig mesh in your own projects, but you may do so if you wish. If you would like to use the Ludwig mesh in commercial works, contact me for pricing and terms at: Redistribution of Ludwig You may freely redistribute the Ludwig source file or derivatives of the Ludwig source file. However, this licensing agreement must included with any distributions of Ludwig. You may not modify this license in any way. Any derivatives of the Ludwig mesh and armature are subject to the licensing terms outlined in this document.

Suzanne (rigged)

License: Blender Artistic License
Creator's note:
I have made a free Character Rig for Blender - Enjoy You will need the latest testing build (at least 082005 or later.) from the testing builds forum at ( I have been using the windows builds - not sure how this will behave in other Operating Systems. Release Under Blender Artistic License Blend file 1.7 MB
More details are at Elysiun Forums

Man in Suit (Armatured);
Man 2 as Doctor (Armatured);
Woman in Casual Clothing (Armatured)

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Creator's note:
This 3D model is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License and is Copyright © 2003-2007 Andrew Kator & Jennifer Legaz.

Blender Summer of Documentation Walk Cycle

License: I'm not sure


My own very ugly rig. I'm not sure if I've released it or not.