I am an avid Poolplayer, and have played for 44 years, and I ma a retired systems developer of mainframe systems mostly, and have never done raw development on a PC (standalone program). I know several languages, for expample, COBOL, SAS, fortran, databus (remember that..lol), modula-2, RPG3. I am familiar with HTML, XML, AND SOME jAVA.

The system, or program, I have chosen to develop, of hwich there is none currently, is a 'Cue Design' program for cuemakers and Pool players planning on having a custom cue made. If you have seen or are familiar with Custom Cues, you know they have many parts to them with many various wooods used.

I will need to develop similiar to a sophisticated paint program or photoship program, only with Pool oriented templates to used in building the cue (selecting woods, different joints used, different ring material, different wraps, etc). In additions varioius design components (like different styles of points made, and different patterns of inlays).

When the cue is built, I want to do a 3 dimensional rendition of it, and rotate it for the customer, so they can get as actual a feel as possible.

I also want to do a print with a parts list for them. Of course, they must be able to save their creations too.

I developed systems for 25 years on mainframes, both online and batch, including object oriented code (SAS frame).

But in the PC application area, I do NOT know which language, or combination of software applications, would be BEST for me to accomplish what I described above. I NEED RECOMMENDATIONS. FOR THE RIGHT TOOLS (remember 3 dimensional renditions and animation). PRICE OF THE TOOLS
IS ALSO A CONSIDERATION. IF a tool is $1,000 forget it, if it is $100-300, that's okay.

I know computers, functionality, and how various languages function. I pick up new languages very fast. I pride myself in my logic ability.
Can you help out with some suggestions?

Well kiddo, let's not beat around the bush here. What you are asking to develop is pretty hard. Well not that hard, just time consuming, especially if you want to build it from scratch.

First of all you have to familiarise yourself with how to create 3d drawings on a 2d screen. And for this you will need to know about matrices. Then you can do stuff like rotate your pool cue in three-dimensional space.

Adding the materials to the pool cue, well I guess you could do that using OpenGL, but you would also have to develop your own lighting algorithms and stuff - :eek:

The best 3d app on the market which would cover all your requirements, would probably be autocad. Since it was developed specifically for engineering, you can create high precision 3d objects, which is ideal for your needs.

But what you are asking is to develop something like this as a stand alone application, just for pool cues. Tough.

Which language to choose. Hmm, well anything which incorporates OpenGL I guess,java or c++ will do.

Anyway, here are a few thumbnails of a crappy pool cue I rendered in autocad- which provides the utility to view your objects in 3d space and with their appropriate materials. Food for thought kiddo.