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VPython
3D Programming for Ordinary Mortals

stonehenge

VPython is the Python programming language plus a 3D graphics module called "visual" originated by David Scherer in 2000. VPython makes it easy to create navigable 3D displays and animations, even for those with limited programming experience. Because it is based on Python, it also has much to offer for experienced programmers and researchers.

For a quick introduction, see these YouTube videos:

3D Objects

Variable Assignment

Beginning Loops

Loops and Animation

Scale Factors

Debugging Syntax Errors

Jay Wang has posted a gallery of photos and movies of a variety of interesting VPython programs.

Descriptions of the options available in the left margin:

Documentation: Overview, tutorials, and detailed documentation

Download: Free downloads for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux

What's new in VPython 6: New mouse/keyboard handling; native buttons, sliders, etc.

Recent developments: News and history

VPython wiki: FAQ, questions and answers, contributions from users

User forum. (There are archives of a mailing list that was used until Feb. 2013.)

Contributed programs: Interesting and useful programs contributed by users

For developers: For those interested in contributing to further development of Python

Python web site: The Python programming language, on which VPython is based

Other:

GlowScript: GlowScript (glowscript.org) now supports VPython, which allows VPython programs to run in a browser. See the Help and VPython Help at glowscript.org.

iPython: John Coady has implemented VPython to run in iPython notebooks, with his ivisual module.

VIDLE: alternative to IDLE which fixes some significant problems

Python entry about VPython projects

Matter & Interactions: Introductory physics using VPython

Some advanced-level textbooks in which VPython is used:

A Survey of Computational Physics: Introductory Computational Science Rubin H. Landau, Manual J. Paez, Cristian Bordeianu (2011)
Computational Physics with Python Mark Newman (2012)
An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics Robert H. Swendsen (2012)
Equilibrium Statistical Physics With Computer Simulations in Python Leonard M. Sander (2013)

Write to if you don't find what you need, or to tell us how you are using VPython.

Development of VPython was supported in part by the National Science Foundation