Name: [116] Erik Thompson
Member: 108 months
Authored: 44 videos
Description: Hi! I am currently a full time student at California State University Long Beach. I recently began to do research in molecular dynamics. I have interests in Python programming, physics, chemistry, and 3D simulation. Also I like bird watching! Here are some of photos I've taken: http://ww ...

VPython: Projectile Motion 1 [ID:079] (1/9)

in series: VPython - Physics and 3D in Python

video tutorial by Erik Thompson, added 03/07

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This is the first video in this tutorial series. It briefly discusses where to find information to install python and the VPython libraries. Then we create a 3D program demonstrating the effect of gravity on a dropped object.

These videos are aggregated with the kind permission of Erik Thompson.

Full source-code is in the wiki. Would you show your appreciation if you like this video? Just visit and vote for this video - thanks.

Uploaded on 18th November 2006, running time 18 minutes.

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  • Video's rank shown in the most popular listing
  • Video plays: 278 (since July 30th)
  • Plays in last week: 30
  • Published: Sometime before 1st March 2007 (in other words - we don't remember!)

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64. Anonymous Sat, 09 Oct 2010 06:03

This was a very interesting and informative video. What a fantastic way to use Python programming to demonstate the physics of gravity and motion!!!

63. Anonymous Thu, 30 Sep 2010 03:04

Nice way to get started with Visual Python.


62. Anonymous Thu, 09 Sep 2010 06:29

Really,Really thank for this comprehensive video for beginner,especially for poor student like me.

61. Anonymous Thu, 02 Sep 2010 21:25

Good Intro.

60. mac eyeshadow carbon Fast Delivery ydQUcba67E Sat, 31 Jul 2010 07:23

Nice tutorial. Learn pretty much of the basic for Vpython just with first tutorial. Easy to understand. Thanks alot for your great effort !

Hey; great video! It helps me, a newbie programmer in Python, to start out! Thanks Erik!

58. TimhyMem Thu, 24 Jun 2010 11:10

very interesting for me. i have just started to look at Python so i am not sure want it can do

57. Bogner Deutschland Anti-pilling Anti-Statik- Wasserdicht Sun, 06 Jun 2010 19:26

very long

56. enalimabenqi Sat, 15 May 2010 17:21

Excellent video. I am a physics teacher and I plan to try to implement extra curricular activities involve programming (former programmer), and this tool/tutorial will be an excellent help for me to use with the kids.


55. christian louboutin online outlet Tue, 11 May 2010 12:57

good tutorial, I´m begining in this programmer and this is the first tutorial

54. Pembicara Internet Marketing Thu, 29 Apr 2010 06:14

this type of tutorial is very much attracting

53. svxdsmrm Tue, 20 Apr 2010 12:27

Thank you, nice video. I know now what else can be done with Python.

it help me a lot,thank you.

51. jasa SEO, Backlink, Blogwalking murah Sun, 21 Mar 2010 09:42

Not only did it help me learn how to begin using the vpython, but at the same time I learned the basics of simulation for physics, which was the whole reason I started python. Thank you.

50. marinir seo 085-635-945-40 Thu, 11 Mar 2010 19:56

Looking forward to learning more VPyhton. Thanks!

49. true religion watch Mon, 01 Mar 2010 13:32

Very interesting introduction to VPython thankyou for taking the time to make this.

after a play i will be checking out the others.


48. Bogner Deutschland Skifahren Anti-Statik- Franca Rose Drucken Sun, 28 Feb 2010 11:40

Thank you Erik - very useful introduction

47. men mbt sini shoes coffee Sun, 14 Feb 2010 10:47

Just watched the first video on motion. It was helpful that you didn't do it perfectly the first time--for example, misspelling 'finished'. This shows the inevitable and important process of finding and correcting errors.

Overall, very clear. Some of your comments that are almost 'asides' to you are actually very important to us beginners. For example, that position is a vector with x, y, and z coordinates, and that the VPython uses the center of the ball as a reference point. You have a great talent for demonstrating and explaining--glad you're taking time from your other research to keep doing these videos.

46. anonymous Fri, 01 Jan 2010 12:53

Hi, I am a programmer myself but I have never programmed in Phyton before. This video was a great introduction of the visual capabilities. I can now program small animations for my nephew when he asks for my help in motion physics.

Thank you.

45. anonymous Sat, 26 Dec 2009 13:09

great stuff man

44. anonymous Wed, 23 Dec 2009 17:48

really clear and useful

43. anonymous Sat, 12 Dec 2009 21:05


Thank you very much

42. anonymous Tue, 17 Nov 2009 19:13

I loved it, but you are missing somthing very important: the Mass.


41. anonymous Mon, 09 Nov 2009 19:07

Thanks! This gave me a great overview of VPython. It was very clear and concise.

40. anonymous Mon, 02 Nov 2009 12:55

Very clear and very interesting

39. anonymous Sun, 04 Oct 2009 20:22

Hi, I recently discovered python lenguage and it seems me so great, so I want to thank u for this tutorial. It will help to me.

38. anonymous Sun, 27 Sep 2009 00:16

nice. really interesting.

I've discovered something I did know nothing about.

gives me the idea to learn more about this.


37. anonymous Sat, 05 Sep 2009 12:50

Hi Erik -

I'm a long time high school physics teacher, working this year on an independent study with a couple very bright kids. This tutorial was PERFECT for me...I hope it will be useful to them. Look forward to my homework "assignment".

Many thanks for your time and effort putting this online.


36. anonymous Tue, 01 Sep 2009 14:47

Wow that was really cool!! Coming from an animation programming back ground, this looks really easy to use!

35. anonymous Sat, 22 Aug 2009 19:51

A nice and useful intro to VPython. Thanks!

34. anonymous Sun, 02 Aug 2009 07:19

nice video

33. anonymous Sun, 02 Aug 2009 07:19

nice video

32. anonymous Sun, 19 Jul 2009 11:03

Best tutorial ever. Extremely detailed and nice laid out.

Looking forward to more tutorials if you're making more of these!

31. anonymous Sun, 19 Jul 2009 08:30

Thx for the video really helped

30. anonymous Mon, 22 Jun 2009 12:35

Thanks for teaching, keep up the good work !

29. anonymous Mon, 22 Jun 2009 06:55

This was my introduction to VPYTHON and it was well done. I was able to enter and execute the code while the video was running.

I will be looking for additional python videos

28. anonymous Thu, 21 May 2009 18:33

Thank you so much, great tutorial!

27. anonymous Tue, 19 May 2009 15:11

Hi, i am desperate in learning 3D, and now after giving up on OpenGL DirectX and C++ and so on, i will try Python are these videos good? please tell me on and if i need any special python programs for 3D.

26. anonymous Tue, 05 May 2009 11:07

After looking at the video I feel like learning Vpython. Thank you for the demo!

25. anonymous Sun, 03 May 2009 14:23

It was fine......A new approach towards educations nice....Thanks.....

Bye the way I am new to Python......Thnks

24. anonymous Wed, 29 Apr 2009 12:39

Way To Go Eric!! This set ot tutorials is awesome!! I am a complete noobie to programming and have decided on Python to be my Learning Language into the world of programming.

You really are doing a great service for many people like me!! I'm sure I don't have to tell you that I'm not alone in trying to figure out where to start to learn programming. This site and your Tutorials make the process a lot more approachable, visual, and therefore easier to grasp before moving on to harder concepts.

Thank You Thank You!

Adam M - GIS Developer

23. anonymous Thu, 23 Apr 2009 10:08

Thanks for the video

22. anonymous Thu, 23 Apr 2009 10:07

Thanks for the video

21. anonymous Mon, 20 Apr 2009 23:28

Hi Eric :)

...a feedback to make you happy :)

Actually I am searching for some code which calculates intersections of polygons and stumbled over your video.

Of course I also noticed, that you misspelled the variable 'finsihed' - and waited for your reaction :)

Thanks for your video and take care,


20. anonymous Fri, 17 Apr 2009 16:17

Great tutorial, looking forward to learning more this way. Thanks.

19. anonymous Tue, 14 Apr 2009 08:53


18. anonymous Fri, 10 Apr 2009 22:49

Great Website. I have been visiting off and on for several years.



The best python projectile video ever. =)

16. anonymous Thu, 29 May 2008 00:33

You are the man!,,, Watch out for this guy right here.... =)

Thankz for the Vidz,,, Keep it up....

15. anonymous Wed, 23 Apr 2008 11:21

Great! Video! I have been trying to delve into some physics simulations on the computer for some time now, but didn't want to have to write all the gruntwork code. So this tutorial not only gave me a solution for rapid prototyping with vpython, but it also brushed up on my physics. Fantastic.

14. anonymous Thu, 10 Apr 2008 23:39

Review of VPython: Projectile Motion 1


this is awesome its almost just like gml(game maker language)

Great tutorial, thanks

13. anonymous Thu, 27 Dec 2007 23:01

Thanks loads. I must admit a certain schadenfreude when you mispelled "finished."

Wow, I didn't know Vpython was so easy.

11. anonymous Thu, 13 Sep 2007 15:35

I am a begining to learn python and found your tutorial very clear and informative.

10. anonymous Tue, 26 Jun 2007 10:17

The most interesting videos - and the way of typing the code as long as the talk goes is nice. Very memorizible.

Nice tutorial series. Thanks for making it.

I also very much enjoyed what I've had time to view so far!

In "Projectile Motion 1" maybe you should check the units in your comment for "gravity", since it's an acceleration rather than a velocity?


OOps, I've just had a look on the documentation. Probably, VPython doesn't have these features.

Vid request:

It would be nice, to have an episode about configuring the renderer. I mean: more tesselated shapes, batch rendering some complex simulation.

PS: Great series.

I welcome the idea of combining physics and programming. As soon as I will have a bit free time I will watch this series.

That's great to hear Igor. I'm glad you and your students are finding it beneficial. I think it's a good modern way to learn physics too. I always think to myself that if I am able to program some physics situation in python then I probably understand that concept pretty well.

I'm using your video series with high school students, they review the physics concepts and construct new things having fun with python, thanks :). it's at .

Hi Erik. I just wanted to say Thanks for this video set - combining physics and Python coding (and bug hunting!) in such a neat series is no mean feat.

The debugging was cool - I felt quite involved as I tried to figure out the bug whilst you were doing the felt like I was just looking over your shoulder. Great stuff!


Nice tutorial. I screaming at the screen when you were looking for that typo bug.

"It's the S and the I Eric! The S and the I!"

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