Nathan’s pyrotechnic adventure 🔥

Roop Saini
Published in
3 min readSep 15, 2021


Nathan has long been the graphics expert on our team. We have always lauded him for his superhuman abilities to render eye-catching visuals in his apps.

Nathan tends to shy away from the compliments though. He likes being modest about his skills. In his words: “In the context of the graphics world, I am just a toddler. But compared to our team…yes, I do have some superpowers.”

In order to demonstrate these powers, he recently put out a sample app that ignites a fire within an iModel:

The sample quickly sparked interest from multiple developers from both inside and outside the company. They wanted to know more: What can else can we do in an iModel? Can we make it snow? Can we make it rain?

Naturally — the first thing they did was pop open the sample and jump headfirst into the fire (AKA look at the code). Soon enough though, it got their heads spinning. They didn’t even understand the basics of fire…rain and snow was way too much!

So, Nathan did what any superhero would do. He quickly spun up a sandbox that demonstrated a simplified version of his app— we’re talking 1/5th of the code — and sent it over to both parties.

All they had to do was click the sandbox link, review the simplified code, and pull it into their apps. They responded back with happy emails 😃 What Nathan had done was a first of its kind: he had taken a (generic sample app) and created a (more personalized) sandbox to provide specific guidance to multiple people. And he had done it in just a couple of hours.

Nathan was ecstatic at the sheer amount of support he could provide on such short notice. He states: “That was the most useful I’ve felt in a single 2-hour span…a new personal record!”

“I have made fire!”

As he fondly recounted these details, I asked Nathan what his key takeaway from the sandbox experience was. He answered: “The old sample showcase approach was a bit demanding. It took days to create a sample…get it reviewed and published before it could be sent to anyone. The sandbox massively simplifies this process. Plus, only essential code needs to be written instead of a full-blown show for the showcase.”

“And the best part,” he added, with a flourish of excitement, “now…anyone can cook up a sample. You don’t need to be an expert!”

And as if to demonstrate his point…he popped open the Tetris sandbox that he is currently toying with.

A further flex of his graphics superhero (toddler) muscle.

Co-authored with Nathan Elrod.