The Handyman project was the subject of my master's thesis.  This abstract describes it well:


This thesis is concerned with the design and implementation of a system called "Handyman" for controlling the motion of three dimensional objects in a computer graphics environment.  Handyman records, combines, and edits the real-time motions specified by human puppeteers operating controls concurrently at multiple workstations.  Handyman provides simple computer graphic renderings during recording and more detailed ones for final off-line production.

The thesis describes three areas of Handyman in detail.  One area is the configuration wiring diagram that ties together simple physical modelling, multiple live user inputs and pre-recorded motion into a complete performance.  Another is the graphics structure that features some extensions to the conventional directed acyclic graph for increased representational power and speedy caching.  The last area discusses the low level networking protocol and the networked Smalltalk proxy object system built upon it.

Thesis as a Web Page

If you want to read the HTML form of the thesis, look at Thesis.html, the whole document is there in one web page (160K), to make it easier to print. It's the same as the print form (I checked the wording), except for one missing screen shot.

Sphereotypes Cubed Cartoon

picture saying: Sphereotypes Cubed, by Alexander G. M. Smith, Done at Carleton
University Ottawa Canada, Copyright 1991.  Against a blue sky with clouds and
a sun, and a wood grain (well, something grain) spherical planetary surface,
from left to right are: White cube, cube of rippling water, hero with blue
eyes, villain with black hat, pink heroine with big blue eyes and a peaked
roof hat]
Publicity Photo

Near the end of the thesis, I took some time to actually use Handyman to make a short cartoon.  Originally I had a two minute production in mind, but time limits made me drop off the second minute.  So, you don't see the villain falling off the cliff after the heroine decides not to help him.  Oh, the final motions (exploding hero) are just extrapolations from the last motion when the clock runs past the end of recorded data; we just added an explosion sound effect to make it look like it was done on purpose.

I've re-made the cartoon in the spring of 2000, in MPEG-1 and Quicktime-4 movie format, with Joe May's musical sound track (there are others).  You can get the high quality 8 megabyte version at: SphereotypesHiQ.mpg, and there's a low quality, amazing 0.5 megabyte version at which is also fun to listen to for the weird sounding compression artifacts.

You can also listen to the music used in the sound track, in MPEG-1 Layer 3 audio compression format.  The music is copyright 1992 by Joe May.  Use of the audio portion (music and sound effects) of this work, without the author's express written permission, is prohibited.  So write to him if you want to copy it or use it for other than personal listening via this web site. The music fragments are: