Reflections on 38 years of graphics programming

While this isn’t a question, I hope you’ll allow it.

I started graphics programming about 1983 on a VAX 11/780 with a 512x512x24 Grinnell Systems box hooked up via a parallel port. The VAX was the only computer serving all the needs of the Computer Science Department at Stony Brook University. When the screen updated, which took several seconds, the VAX froze for all other users.

It was an absolute bear to get hidden lines removed let alone surfaces. The C programming language was still relatively new and relatively unknown. Among my accomplishments at that time was to read the “on” pixels in a font and render them as per-pixel shaded spheres on the Grinnell.

Later I did a Newton’s Cradle on the Commodore Amiga, appearing on Fish Disk #1 using software-based floating point math as there was no FP hardware on the Amiga at that time.

For many years I taught graphics starting with OpenGL 1.2 up through WebGL in (badly written) Javascript.

I was a cofounder of Hypercosm, a very early fully programmable web-based Graphics and Simulation system. Too early alas. and date from 2000.

At Profound Effects, we did particle systems coded in Python running inside Adobe After Effects. Here are some screenshots from 2005 although some of the images are lost to time.

This brings me to the point of this posting.

The folks behind BabylonJS are geniuses and are to be thanked and appreciated. Given what I have seen since the early 1980’s, the abstraction and design of BabylonJS is magnificent. The wrapper surrounding alternative physics engines is a delight as is the abstraction surrounding particle system support. The performance in the browser is amazing.

I want to express my appreciation and thanks to all the people who develop, maintain and support BabylonJS. The next time I teach graphics, it will be with BabylonJS.


Could not agree more! I’m a novice in (web)development but creating scenes and games with BabylonJS has been relatively easy for me to do.

By the way, it was nice to see those old websites you linked. Walk down memory lane :slight_smile:


@Perry_Kivolowitz : it has been along time for me too.Started out back in ~1975 modelling cliff erosion in Fortran. All those cards, time at the key punch. reams of paper printouts to show the impact (remember erosion takes a long time).

Then my first game - Breakout done with a Timex 1000. Then onto VRML, then Second Life and finally Babylon.Js.

I am not a very good coder, but I was welcomed here in 2015 - and been here ever since. I enjoy looking at the answers by @Deltakosh and all the other developers (@PirateJC is one of my favorites) and trying to help where I can.

Stay Safe, gryff :slight_smile:


Thanks a million for your appreciated words! Furthermore coming from someone with such background!

And I have to admit it warm my heart to read it because maintaining an OSS project for so long can sometimes be challenging as not everyone is kind as you

So thank you so much for being part of the family!



@Perry_Kivolowitz thank you for the kind words. We’re incredibly happy to have you as part of the Babylon family!

1 Like

I’ve been on the project for a very brief amount of time, but having the honor to receive such amazing minds like yours @Perry_Kivolowitz on the community makes it a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Thank you very much! I’d love to hear about your experiences teaching BabylonJS when you do start it.