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Art of Illusion

Art Of Illusion
Screenshot of ArtOfIllusion v2.3.1 showing scene view and render
Developer(s) Peter Eastman
Stable release 3.0.2 / June 27, 2015 (2015-06-27)
Written in Java, BeanShell (for custom scripts)
Operating system Cross-platform
Size 7.8 MB (Windows), 8.0 MB (Linux), 7.2 (Mac)
Available in Danish, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
Type 3D computer graphics software
License GPL
Website .orgArtofIllusion

Art of Illusion is a software package used for 3D modeling, texturing, ray tracing, and otherwise rendering computer generated imagery stills or animations (movies).

Art of Illusion is capable of modeling and rendering photorealistic images and animations; it is capable of non-photorealistic rendering as well. Art of Illusion has features, such as mesh editing, texture mapping, and Boolean modeling, that are comparable to other high end commercial graphics software. Some of its features, like the use of online repositories and a built-in downloading tool for installing extensions, are not found in similar proprietary software.

The primary creator and maintainer of the software is Peter Eastman.

Art of Illusion is written in the Java programming language. Distributed under the GNU General Public License,[1] it is free software.


  • Features 1
  • History 2
  • Development 3
  • Recognition 4
  • Press coverage and awards 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Interface Modeling Animation Textures Materials Rendering Post-processing Scripting File handling Extended functionality
Object list, scene layout windows, and animation score 2D n-gon creation Distortion tracks Uniform, image mapped, procedural 2D and 3D Procedural and uniform materials Multithreading Camera filters (Exposure Correction, Glow, Outline, Tint, Blur, etc.) Scripting language (Beanshell) allowing development of new tools/commands Imports .obj natively; .dem, .dxf, .geo, .lwo, .pov, .inc, .3ds via plugins Direct-to-disk rendering
Tooltips Primitives (cube, sphere, plane) Skeletal animation with weighting, constraints and inverse kinematics Mapping options: Projection, spherical, cylindrical, UV Adjustable index of refraction, scattering, eccentricity Global illumination rendering, along with caustics and subsurface scattering. Global illumination methods include Monte carlo, photon mapping with final gathering, direct photon mapping, and ambient occlusion Noise Reduction Dynamic Scripts for "Smart Objects" Exports .pov, .obj, VRML, all native; .stl via plugins Wireframe/polygon renders with antialiasing and SVG export
Bundled Documentation Mesh Editor Poses and Gestures Per-vertex, per-face and per-face-per-vertex texture assignment Animatable materials via Time module Point lights, spotlights (both with editable radii), and directional lights Preview renders in sidebar
Extensions as scripts or plugins Lathe, extrude, boolean modeling Keyframe Editor Layered Textures Soft shadows Subdivision (Ngon) modeler
Customizable Grid view Object Array Tool Path Animation Graphical language for procedural texture/material design Multiple Light Scattering Options Procedural tree and plant creator
Realtime display modes (Wireframe, Smooth, Textured, etc.) Scaling, Translation, and Rotation Tools Animation Preview Animatable textures via texture parameters and use of Time module Motion Blur Grunge, Heightfields, Chain creation
Textures created using the Art of Illusion procedural texture editor
Screen capture of Art of Illusion's graphical procedural texture editor (AOI 2.5)


The first public version was released on October 29, 1999.


Art of Illusion is a free and open source application, with independent developers contributing to the main program's source code, the scripts and plugins base and other aspects of the software. The program's creator, Peter Eastman, retains the control for deciding what code is included in the official version of Art of Illusion.[2] Developers who wish for their plugins to be included in the repository should submit them to the maintainers at Scripts and Plugins Repository via e-mail.

Prior to 2006, the development cycle for new Art of Illusion releases included two builds called "Early Access" (EA) releases, followed by a Beta, or "bug fix" version. Since then, the bug-fixing portion of development has been shifted to make sure that more bugs are fixed in existing features.[3] Art of Illusion includes in-tool access to scripts and plugins, allowing the user access to the tools other people have found useful.


Below is a listing of some of the artists who have placed in the Internet Ray Tracing Competition, an online computer graphics competition, using Art of Illusion for their submission:

  • Nate Ryan's image won 1st place in the September - October 2003 "Decay" contest (Final ranking with gallery).
  • Julian MacDonald's "Gladiators" animation won the Honorable Mention Artistic Merit in the July–October 2004 contest (Final ranking with gallery).
  • "Bathtime Fun", also by Julian MacDonald, won 2nd place in the September–October 2004 contest (Final ranking with gallery).
  • Kevin Lynn's "Is Juggling a Sport?" animation won 1st place in the July–October 2005 contest (Final ranking with gallery).

Press coverage and awards

The French Linux magazine Linux Pratique has published articles about Art of Illusion.[4]

Art of Illusion was the

  • Official Art of Illusion Site
  • Official forum
  • The Friendlyskies AoI Forum (Unofficial)
  • Art of Illusion Scripts and Plugins Repository
  • Art of Illusion Benchmarks Project
  • Text of Peter Eastman interview by author Olivier Saraja
  • Localising Art of Illusion
  • Manual for version 2.9

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Les Editions Diamond. Retrieved on 2014-03-13.
  5. ^ Project of the Month. Retrieved on 2014-03-13.
  6. ^ Extending Art of Illusion: A Reference for Creating Plugins and Scripts: Timothy Fish: 9781612950020: Books. (2011-12-13). Retrieved on 2014-03-13.


The book Extending Art of Illusion was published December 13, 2011.[6]


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