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Book on Stella

Posted: Wed May 07, 2008 6:46 am
by Squeaky
Hi Everybody,

I am finding great difficulty in actually using Stella to build my own shapes.

Ulrich has been very kindly helping me create a model of the London Gherkin but my lack of basic knowledge of what can be done with this software is really hampering me.

Even with Ulrich's kind help I am just about on the point of quitting

The 'manual' is probably O.K. (for those who possibly do not need it) but I really struggle.

I noticed some link to George Hart but that link does not seem to work on my computer.

Can anybody suggest where I may find help in learning what is quite obviously a very powerful piece of software?

Posted: Thu May 08, 2008 7:33 am
by robertw
Was the George Hart link this one?
It still seems to work for me, but may not help you much unless you're making a fractal polyhedron.

As the author of Stella, I think it's main limitation is not in its functionality but in its accessibility to new users. Although I have spent some time on documentation, it's always more fun for me to work on new features, so there ends up being an imbalance.

Many of the features are tied to polyhedral ways of thinking too (stellation, faceting, subsymmetries etc), so the software is good for people who already have some knowledge of the area. On the other hand, learning to use the software also means learning about polyhedral issues along the way, which is not such a bad thing.

A book would be great! Anyone care to write it?

Using the software is often straight forward when you now how, but describing each operation to perform step-by-step ends up making it sound very complicated. Probably the best kind of tutorial would be a YouTube video, with someone explaining out-loud what to do while showing it on the screen. I'd love to see some people put together some how-to-use-Stella videos :D

I should point out though, many new users are probably happy exploring all the polyhedra provided and the various ways to view them. You are trying to be a more advanced user straight away by trying to design your own new shapes, which is fair enough but maybe not the experience most new users will have.


Book on Stella

Posted: Thu May 08, 2008 9:02 am
by Squeaky
Thank you for your kind reply.

I have now sucessfully downloaded the web pages.

Yes, I appreciate your comments about the steep learning curve in wishing to design my own shapes.

However, the shape of the London Gherkin is what I would like for my next model building project.

Ulrich has helped me considerably and when I return from Africa I will have another go at designing the Gherkin using his advice. Probably bombarding him with questions that he may consider rather stupid

I use your programme only as a 'tool' to obtain the side lengths and mitre angles for all the individual triangles (or whatever) that make up the building blocks for my models

I believe you have seen some of my creations from previous posts to this forum.

My real passion is producing accurate wood components... then assembling them .... which I can tell you is not always an easy task.

If some kind person would would like to make me the shape then I would be delighted. But if required I will stumble on till I achieve what I want.