Saturday, 8 March 2008

3D graphics in Excel

One of the cool things about how we use IT here in FBE is the repurposing of software and hardware to the benefit of our professions. One such example that is tangentially related is using a powerful tool like excel to drive functionality in some other arena - like 3D graphics.

The article on Gamasutra by Peter Rakos entitled Microsoft Excel: Revolutionary 3D Game Engine? sees him driving a 3D representation (a simple one admittedly) through excel. He argues there is more power to be had and that the idea could generate something of a paradigm shift. I like the two graphics modes and just the idea of getting cool tools to do things outside their comfort zone. (ta Andrew for pointing out this gem for me) I like some of the comments as well (the one about the TYPEWRITER keys and the AA testing one are fascinating).

[youtube vid from the Gamastutra site showing 3D graphics driven by Excel]


On a related note I was looking at setting up a set of excel spreadsheets which would benefit from allowing multiple users to edit things at the same time. Well, having a quick look at articles like this on the Abacus blog, shows that there is indeed a way to do this now. It looks like it will be quite powerful with edit tracking and conflict resolution etc. Have to do a test next.

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