Chris Want

[Work] [Fun]

Work Stuff


An API I wrote for creating visualizations with VTK from inside Blender's embedded Python interpreter. Meshes from Blender are converted to vtkPolyData, and vtkPolyData can be converted to Blender meshes.

One thing I like to do is use the vertices in a Blender mesh as seeds for a Runge-Kutta integration, then send the resulting streamlines (usually with tubes extruded along them) back to Blender for rendering.

Mercury redux

I did an illustration for the article "Mercury redux" by Moritz Heimpel and Konstantin Kabin in the September 2008 issue of Nature Geoscience. The picture shows vorticity isosurfaces in Mercury's core, Mercury's magnetic field, and the orbits of the space craft MESSENGER. This was my first experiment using Blender's compositor (to do the annotations).


A rendering of flux tubes from data from a BATSRUS run on WestGrid, performed by Konstantin Kabin. A nice stereo effect occurs when ChomaDepth glasses are used to view the image.

3D Printer

I was the project lead for the AICT 3D Printer between 2002 and 2012.


I used a NextEngine desktop scanner to scan a meteorite for Andrew Locock, the curator of the Earth Sciences museum at the U of A. The data was loaded into Blender, and the 3DNP (3D no plugins) script was used to render many views that could be interactively viewed, javascript being the only requirement.

Magnetic field of Neptune

A visualization of a simulation of Neptunes magnetic field for the PhD research of Natalia Gomez-Perez. A mix of a Homemade 'Magic' reader and Runge-Kutta integrator, VTK to extrude tubes around the fieldline, and Blender for rendering.

A tangible magnetic field of Neptune

A version of Neptune's magnetic field printed with a 3D printer. The doo-dad surrounding the fieldlines was modeled with Blender, and is essentually a truncated isosahedron, with a few edges missing for better visibility.

The cover of "Magnetospheric ULF Waves: Synthesis and new directions"

Data from Robert Rankin and Konstatin Kabin. VTK was used to extrude tubes around fieldlines. Rendered with Blender.

Processing Workshop

A course about the open source java-based language "Processing" that I've instructed for our visualization workshop. Assumes that the student has programmed with some other language previously.

Blender Workshop

A class I've instructed for a few years usually during the AICT research support annual High Performance Computing workshops.

A tangible magnetic field of the Earth with plasma density.

This visualization of the Earth's magnetic field (the 'magnetopause') and plasma density cut planes was printed with our 3D printer. Data was from a BATSRUS simulation performed on WestGrid facilities by Konstantin Kabin. The doo-dad surrounding the visualization was modeled with Blender. Based on a visualization by Tanaka.

Hydrogen Orbitals

A java web program, written in Processing, to explore the hygrogen wave function. Based on a FORTRAN code by my colleague Jon Johannson, with isosurface code based on code from the processing sketch Base26 by Karsten Schmidt.


Magnetic field code adapted from Matlab code by Dr. Alex Degeling, based on the 1985 paper "Parabolic Harmonics in Magnetospheric Modeling: The Main Dipole and the Ring Current" by David P. Stern. Multi-threaded: one thread finds closed field lines, the other thread does drawing and interaction. Nice painted fieldline effect based on code from the sketch Noise Particles 06 by Marcin Ignac.

Fun Stuff

Chocolate Monkey Heads

Chocolate, food-grade silicone, and 3D printing, together at last!

Python & Blender: Designing for 3D Printing

A talk I gave to (my local Python user's group). Slides are here

Want Unlimited

My shop on Shapeways (currently just a few rings and monkey head mold dies).

Flash Bouncer

Using laser scanning, Blender, and 3D printing to improve the flash on my camera.

Google Summer of Code

I was the organizational administrator for Blender's involvement in Google's Summer of Code program from 2005 to 2009 -- thanks Google! In 2010 I passed the torch to another volunteer.

Mole City

Ah, my old band, Mole City. Our CD release party in December 1998 would be our final gig. I'm proud to say that the track "Aw Gee Minor" from the CD was recently used in Jason Pichonsky's film "8 1/2 Short Films about Zombies".


After the Mole City CD came out I used to get a fair amount of email from people interested in the incidental jazz music from the 1960's Spider-man cartoon (Mole City did a 13 minute medley of some of this music that was quite popular). Spidey-Jazz is a yahoo group I started to get some of these people together to try to identify and locate this music.

The first season's music was arranged and composed by Ray Ellis (the theme music was by Bob Harris), while much of the music from the second and third seasons comes from the "KPM 1000 series" soundtrack library. Many thanks to Henry and the other tireless fans from the group for the detective work!

RVK Sliders

I added the first set of slider controls for RVK's (a.k.a., morph targets) to Blender, circa 2002.

Gimp-Perl for Animation Post-Processing

Some ancient perl scripts to do some fun video effects with the gimp.

Ancient Blender Lip Syncing Tutorial (2000)

I ended up getting a free T-shirt for writing this, back when Blender was a closed source program.

Ancient Blender Characters and Animation (1999-2002)

Some stuff I was working on while I was learning Blender.