Modellus X 0.1 Release Candidate

Finally, after months of my spare time that amount to years, I’m finally able to release a version of my hobby project Modellus X 0.1 that I consider suitable for public release. For those who do not know Modellus, it is a free software used mainly to help in the education of sciences. On a more technical level this is a Swing with embedded JavaFX app.

This is a release candidate meaning it is very near the final version, the only thing that is missing is translation to other languages (other than English(UK) and Portuguese(Portugal)) and this is where I would ask for your help, if you think you have the capability of translating to other languages/locales that are missing than please contact me, full credit will be given and the Modellus community will be very thankful to you. Also feedback and bug reports would be very helpful.

This version can load all models made on previous versions 4.01 and 4.5.

You can temporarily get it here: Modellus google code download page You can also get previous Modellus versions examples from there. I’m currently also finishing a new site (www.modellus.co) wish will better serve the community. It will be the future home for all things Modellus.

There will be Windows 32, windows 64, mac and linux releases of the final Modellus X 0.1.

Going forward I expect to make public releases more often, not more than a couple months or so.

I hope you enjoy using  it as much as I enjoyed developing it.

Modellus 5 beta – Selecting an image from disk for the particle

To keep users updated on the new features being added and upcoming on Modellus 5, I’ll be producing a series of videos and blog posts.

For the videos I’ve created a youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/DuqueVieiraPedro and for the posts I’ll currently do them here but in the near future a new blog will be created which will be the focal point for all Modellus news, activities, community news, etc.

First up on this series is “selecting image from disk for the particle”, this new feature which should have probably be already included and will certainly come in handy, allows a user to select an arbitrary image from disk to represent the particle, the video of this feature is here: http://www.youtube.com/user/DuqueVieiraPedro?feature=mhee#p/a/u/0/pvCLszpKphg

I’ve been working hard on my spare time with the help of Albino Rafael (fisicanalixa.blogspot.com) which is doing all the user testing,  and hope to have a public release soon. Two more features and it will come out, these are controller pause/stop conditions (which I’ll start doing next) and video analysis.

First we’ll have a public preview release so translations to other languages may start and shortly after the Modellus 5 final release.

Modellus 5 beta 1 release

Modellus 5 beta1 is available for download here. This version should be extremely usable.

Unpack files and run Modellus5.jar through the JVM (Java 1.6 update 20 is the minimum requirement). This is the PC version, I suspect some things won’t work on Mac and Linux although I haven’t tried it yet.

Modellus 5 is free. It is primarily used to aid teaching. By using only a mathematical language (no need to learn any new language) students and teachers are able to create models which then they can interact/view using animations/graphs/tables, etc.

From a technical standpoint, this version was created using javafx and swing. The animation window (background) was done in javafx while all the rest is Swing.

I’ll be posting more information about this version, shortly.

There are some examples you can try: here and here these are Modellus 4 examples though, they don’t use version 5 new features.

Let me know of any bugs you encounter or feature requests.

Modellus new animated characters

Thanks to Feel Fine who has given us all their assets from their funny game Sweet Dreams (available on the IPhone) for free, we were able to add a bit more fun for kids learning science subjects through the use of Modellus.

On a technical aspect I don’t think there is much to say because I found things rather easy, the hardest part was retouching the images to fit nicely on Modellus format.
For every animation i use something like this Timeline :

var animationX:Timeline = Timeline {
 repeatCount: Timeline.INDEFINITE
 keyFrames: [
  KeyFrame {
   time: 0s
  },
  KeyFrame {
   time: 1s / fpsPerSecond
   action: function()
   {
     currentFrameIndex = (currentFrameIndex + 1) mod (sizeof frames); // change frame index
     currentImage = frames[currentFrameIndex]; // change currentImage which is bound to an ImageView image property
     if (currentSelectedFramesIndex == (sizeof selectedFrames) - 1)
     {
       // This is the final frame. I'm just going to stop the animation
        animationX.stop();

     }
   }
 }
 ]
};

You can see the new characters in action on the following video – the animations are actually much smoother than in the video (don’t know why):

If you’re a designer and would like to contribute some of your work: icons, animations, etc to Modellus please contact me (we don’t have the necessary time to create them) – mail is on the about page. Modellus is a free tool, used all around the globe, which aims to aid teaching of science subjects. Please help us shape the future of teaching making it more fun and less abstract. Your work will be credited and will obviously still remain your property.

Pan and Zoom Modellus 5

The new pan and zoom feature allows you to navigate through a larger animation area, tracking the movement of an object that has left the currently visible area or focus on a particular point.

You can zoom with the mouse wheel which zooms the animation to the area where the mouse is or you can pan by dragging the mouse on an empty area.

If you want to quickly zoom to a particular area you can do so by ctr+clicking the area.

Here’s a video demonstrating Pan and Zoom in action . This is not yet the final interface and will be subject to change, namely a small map will be available showing a zoomed out view of all the animation space.