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NodeBox for OpenGL is a free, cross-platform library for generating 2D animations with Python programming code.

Project description

NodeBox for OpenGL

NodeBox for OpenGL is a Python module for creating 2D interactive visuals using OpenGL. It is based on the command set of the classic NodeBox for Mac OS X ( It has support for Bezier paths, text, image filters (blur, bloom, …), offscreen rendering, animation & motion tweening, and simple 2D physics. Its purpose is to implement a small game engine for “City In A Bottle” (




BSD, see LICENSE.txt for further details.


NodeBox for OpenGL is built on the excellent Pyglet module. It works on all platforms if you have Python and Pyglet installed. Note: on Mac OS 10.5, Python is already installed. On Mac OS X 10.6+ (Snow Leopard), you need to install a 32-bit version of Python (Pyglet won’t work as expected with the preinstalled 64-bit version).

Your video hardware needs support for OpenGL 2.0. If this is not the case, try updating to a new driver.


To be able to import NodeBox in your scripts, Python needs to know where the module is located. There are three basic ways to accomplish this:

  • Put the nodebox/ folder in the same folder as your script.
  • Put the nodebox/ folder in the standard location for modules so it is available to all scripts. The standard location depends on your operating system, for example: /Library/Python/2.5/site-packages/ on Mac, /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/ on Unix, c:python25Libsite-packageson Windows.
  • In your script, add the location of NodeBox to sys.path, before importing it: >>> MODULE = ‘/users/tom/python/nodebox’ >>> import sys; if MODULE not in sys.path: sys.path.append(MODULE) >>> import nodebox

If you get an “import pyglet” error, make sure that Pyglet is installed in site-packages/ too.

Binaries: NodeBox contains C extensions for faster mathematics. These are precompiled for Mac, on other systems you need to execute “python” in nodebox/ext/ manually. Psyco ( can boost performance as well (if you use a 32-bit Python). A version precompiled for Mac is included in nodebox/ext/.


  • For users coming from NodeBox for Mac OS X, or NodeBox 2: this NodeBox for OpenGL does not have a built-in code editor. You can use the IDLE editor bundled with Python. On Mac OS X, we prefer TextMate (
  • From the command line, you can run a script with: python (or command-R in TextMate)
  • This will open an application window with the output of your script.

Here is a simple NodeBox script:

>>> from import *
>>> def draw(canvas):
>>>     canvas.clear()
>>>     translate(250, 250)
>>>     rotate(canvas.frame)
>>>     rect(x=-50, y=-50, width=100, height=100)
>>> canvas.size = 500, 500

It imports the module with the standard set of drawing commands. It defines a draw() function and attaches it to the canvas, so that it will be drawn each animation frame. It opens the main application window with


Authors: - Tom De Smedt ( - Frederik De Bleser (

Contributing authors: - Lieven Menschaert - Giorgio Olivero

City In A Bottle: - Nicolas Marinus - Ludivine Lechat - Tim Vets - Frederik De Bleser - Tom De Smedt

Copyright (c) 2008 City In A Bottle

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