AERO - Animation Editor for Realistic Object movements

AERO - A Physically Based Simulation and Animation System


AERO is a simulation program based on rigid body systems. With the built-in 3D editor you can create a virtual scene consisting of spheres, boxes (cuboids), cylinders and plains. These objects may be connected with links like spring, damper, rod and joint.

Now the simulation can be started and all objects obey to the laws of physics. That means gravitation, air resistance, friction and all additonal user defined forces are taken into account and set the scene into motion. You can watch this sequence similar to watching a video tape: play the scene or step back to memory positions and replay or you can "wind" back to the beginning or forward to the end of the scene.

In addition AERO is capable of creating scene files for the raytracing program POV-Ray out of these sequences. This means you can create fully rendered animation sequences, e.g. MPEG videos.

News 26.02.2001

For quite a while there weren't many news about AERO to tell. Slowly but steady the development went on, but we all had very little time for programming on AERO. In addition AERO was not in a state where it was suited for a general open source release: it had only German source text comments and needed some major redesign to make it easier to add new features.

This is now about to change. AERO is moving to another release. The first step was to give AERO a new web site, the one you are looking at right now. So if yo were redirected here from any old site, please update your bookmarks.

The next change is that I'm currently converting the whole program to C++. There we can use the concept of object oriented programming which makes quite a lot things much easier. And at the same time any extensions like additional raytracer modules or support for additional bodies will get easier to implement. And as these changes are so extensive anyway, I'll also translate everything to English as a side effect. I hope this will make it easier for all people out there so that we get lots of ideas and improvements for AERO in the future.

Currently I already have built a class CBody which is a base class for all bodies. The well known bodies SPHERE, CUBOID, CYLINDER, PLANE, and POINT are also available as classes. The module that used to be called koerper.c is already converted. Now the computation modules are next. Once the whole program uses these classes, I'll change the vector and matrix arrays to classes also. This will make computation look a lot clearer. Then I'll change the output modules that draw the elements to the screen or to a file for the raytracer.

So as you can see this will not be yet another small update with only a few bug fixes. This will be a major new release which will move AERO to V2. So please don't be disappointed if this still takes a few days.

Now we all have a mail address at the new AERO domain As you can guess these are obviously only mail aliases, so don't be surprised if you send a request to one of these addresses and we answer from a totally different one.

Hartmut Keller
Horst Stolz
Andreas Ziegler
Thomas Braunl

Usually on the old web page there was a section here offering links for downloading AERO and looking at some example images created with AERO. This section is temporary unavailable as I'm setting up this new site step by step. All this stuff will reappear soon.

An Australian mirror site is available at
Hartmut Keller,
Last modified: Mon Feb 26 05:33:07 2001