The Geek abides...

The MakeHuman Marathon!

Date/Time Permalink: 02/02/08 12:36:19 pm
Category: Reviews

Since I discovered MakeHuman I've become The Blogger Who Cannot Stop Drawing. This is always a sign that I've found a valuable graphics tool, when I can't stop playing with it. Here's the latest surviving pieces, as always with MakeHuman models which are then edited in other programs:

jumping boy

very confusing vector drawing

very sexy sitting female

And take a close look at that last one - I covered her up enough to be decent. So it should squeak by with a PG rating and not violate my rule of not posting NSFW images. Am I right? Tell me I'm right, just this once?

On a side note, I have a horror story about trying to get it from source. Begin horror story:

I did have continued challenges with getting the rest of the software installed. Bottom line, I needed Aqsis so I could do real renders instead of screenshots. Now, the Windows executable installer for Aqsis comes in around a mere, tiny 6 MB. But I tried to install Aqsis natively for Linux, since I had MakeHuman compiled natively already.

Boy, was I in for some trouble! Aqsis has a dozen little dependencies, one of them being an iron-clad dependence on this thing called "Boost", which is supposedly a C++ library. Don't believe this for a minute! Boost is a complete freaking operating system that tries to rewrite, like, everything in the entire world. I got the source for Boost and started compiling.

Four hours went by, on an AMD Duron with a half-Gig of RAM. It still wasn't done compiling the library!

Meanwhile, I watched in growing horror as nearly Two Gigabytes of disk space filled up. You know, when I compile a library, I don't expect to have to dedicate an extra hard drive partition to it. I've gotten Linux From Scratch up and running with fewer resources. I kept running du in the console every minute close to the end, and had my finger hovering over Ctrl-C to kill the job, which would have undoubtedly trashed my entire system, but it ended just in time.

Fat good it did. I then turned to building Aqsis, which also requires it's own special build system called SCONS, whose entire purpose in life is to aggravate you by not using Make like every other FOSS program in the world does. Finally, finally, I got Aqsis installed and running, where it died screaming upon merely being invoked. Since I had installed about 2 Gigs worth of software from source, I now had to uninstall it all manually.

End horror story

So you understand, I'm being a little hard on the Linux native port because it wasted upwards of an entire day. My advice to you is to get the Windows executable of Aqsis and run it from Wine. Wine and Aqsis love each other. You will be done and happily on your way in five minutes. As for the team porting it to Linux, maybe we can just call it a Wine program and be done with it, or else try to do it without reinventing the compiler? Or get it all into binary packages, for RPM and DEB goodness?

Anyway, all's well that ended well. MakeHuman continues to be a powerful tool in my growing graphics toolbox.

My previous reviews of MakeHuman here and here. And another shout-out to Eric's Binary World, whose nifty blog turned me on to this program!

¶ UPDATE: Check out the comments, where Aqsis project manager Paul Gregory himself arrives with a flashlight to lead us out of the darkness. RPM packages for Aqsis are here - if I'd only thought to look there!

Update the Second: Looks like Linux Torvalds doesn't like Boost and C++, either. Until he let loose with this rant, I was wondering if I was too hard on Boost. Guess not.

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