GSoC/GCI Archive
Google Code-in 2014 BRL-CAD

Beginner: Install and run BRL-CAD! #17

completed by: Bang Yong

mentors: Kesha Shah, Ishwerdas

This task merely involves downloading, installing, and running BRL-CAD and then proving you got it working.

You'll prove it by creating some really simple geometry, rendering it, and submitting a screenshot.

You have a choice of how to obtain BRL-CAD, each with different learning challenges:

  • BEST: You can download and compile directly from our repository:
  • EASY: You can download our Virtual Machine image:
  • MEH: You can use a binary tarball:

Once you have BRL-CAD installed, you'll want to run either mged or archer. You can see our Intro to MGED on for extensive tutorials on how to model, but here are some quick steps to get you going:

  1. First, create a simple 512x512 black and white image that has your name in it somewhere. Any paint program will do here.
  2. Save that as a png image named hello.png and
  3. Convert your png image to a bw image by running our png-bw command (png-bw hello.png > If you can't figure out how to do that on your system command line, this command on the mged> prompt should work if you copy-paste it exactly as written into mged: exec \[ file join \[ bu_brlcad_root bin \] pix-bw \] hello.png \>
  4. Create your extruded bitmap geometry: in gcirocks.ebm ebm 512 512 64
  5. Render a pretty picture: B gcirocks.ebm ae 35 25 zoom 1.5 l gcirocks.ebm rt
  6. You should see a rendering window pop up if everything else was okay. Take a full screenshot and submit it here.


  • <-- if you're trying to compile from source
  • <-- intro to mged and quick ref command card
  • <-- more details on the ebm you are creating