Going beyond


We have presented many functions in this introduction. Recall that ipython is a wonderful tool to find the information quickly, with more details than in this introduction.

Suppose for instance, you want to create a cylinder but you don’t remember the syntax. You can get information on the Cylinder class immediatly by typing ?Cylinder in ipython. And you can get the complete code for the Cylinder class by typing ??Cylinder.

If you don’t know ipython, here is the procedure. If ipython is installed on your system, open a terminal and type the command “ipython”. Then, you see the prompt, and you enter the command execfile(“theNameOfYourPycaoFile.py”)

In particular, if the executed file (for instance template.py) has all the required imports in its preamble, all the objects will be known to ipython and you can query them with the ? and ?? syntax as explained above.

To get the methods of construction of an object, recall that constructions start with the string from. Thus to see the many ways to define a plane, in ipython, enter “plane.from” and press tab for completion. You will see the name of the functions to construct a plane.


Objects without boxes also carry markers to speed up the description of the scene. For instance objects of revolution have a marker object.axis() which is the axis of revolution. The list of markers for each object is described in the docstring of the source code (accessible through ipython for instance).

For more information, a few possibilities:

  • read the source code : this is the most up to date documentation.
  • read the developper and advanced user doc. This is not up to date, but give clues of the architecture of the source code and the reason of the choices.