Programming for Ordinary Mortals
VPython is the Python programming language plus a 3D
graphics module called "visual" originated by David Scherer
in 2000. VPython makes it easy to create navigable 3D displays and animations,
even for those with limited programming experience. Because it is based
on Python, it also has much to offer for experienced programmers and
For a quick introduction, see these YouTube videos:
Loops and Animation
Debugging Syntax Errors
Lists, Part 1
Lists, Part 2
Jay Wang has posted a gallery of photos and movies of a variety of interesting VPython programs.
Descriptions of the options available in the left margin:
tutorials, and detailed documentation
downloads for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux
What's new in VPython 6: New mouse/keyboard handling; native buttons, sliders, etc.
Recent developments: News
VPython wiki: FAQ,
questions and answers, contributions from users
User forum. (Until Feb. 2013, there was a mailing list whose archives may be found at https://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?forum_name=visualpython-users. Please do not write to that list; instead post on the User forum.)
Contributed programs: Interesting
and useful programs contributed by users
For developers: For
those interested in contributing to further development of Python
Python web site: The
Python programming language, on which VPython is based
GlowScript: GlowScript (glowscript.org) now supports VPython, which allows VPython programs to run in a browser. See the Help and VPython Help at glowscript.org.
iPython: John Coady has implemented VPython to run in iPython notebooks, with his ivisual module.
Aaron Titus has posted a useful summary of the various ways to install and use VPython and here is an update to his ivisual instructions.
VIDLE: alternative to IDLE which fixes some significant
Python entry about VPython projects
Matter & Interactions: Introductory physics using VPython
Some advanced-level textbooks in which VPython is used:
A Survey of Computational Physics: Introductory Computational Science Rubin H. Landau, Manual J. Paez, Cristian Bordeianu (2011)
Computational Physics with Python Mark Newman (2012)
An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics Robert H. Swendsen (2012)
Equilibrium Statistical Physics With Computer Simulations in Python Leonard M. Sander (2013)
Soil Physics with Python:
Transport in the Soil-Plant-Atmosphere System
Marco Bittelli, Gaylon S. Campbell, and Fausto Tomei (2015)
don't find what you need, or to tell us how you are using VPython.
Development of VPython
was supported in part by the National Science Foundation