Geomview -- a 3D visualization program
- To: mathgroup at yoda.physics.unc.edu
- Subject: Geomview -- a 3D visualization program
- From: xinwei at otter.stanford.edu (Sha Xin Wei)
- Date: Tue, 7 Dec 93 19:59:08 -0800
Dear Colleague: This note is to let you know that version 1.4.1 of Geomview is available in our ftp directory on geom.umn.edu. This release contains many bug fixes and several new features and external modules. Another addition is a comprehensive user's manual. This release also contains complete source code which will compile on Silicon Graphics IRIS workstations NeXT workstations, and 486 PCs running NeXTStep 3.x. We are sending this note to everyone who has ever sent mail to our "software at geom.umn.edu" mail address. Many of you have explicitly requested to be notified when the source code and or the NeXTStep version is ready for release; thank you for your patience! A more complete announcement of this release, which we will be posting to various newsgroups, appears below. If you use Geomview in your work we would very much like to hear about what you are doing with it. Please send a note via email to "register at geom.umn.edu" describing what you're doing. We need this information so that we can report it to our funding agency, the National Science Foundation. See the file REGISTER in the new Geomview release for details. If you haven't used Geomview, we invite you to try it! Thanks! ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Subject: Geomview 1.4.1: Free 3D viewer for SGI, NeXTStep The staff of the Geometry Center announce the release of version 1.4.1 of Geomview, an interactive geometry viewing program. This version of Geomview runs on Silicon Graphics IRIS workstations, NeXT workstations, and 486 PCs running NeXTStep 3.x. The distribution includes source code and compiled binaries for these architectures. Geomview is available via anonymous ftp on the Internet from host geom.umn.edu (IP address 188.8.131.52). It's in the subdirectory `pub/software/geomview'. Get the file README in that directory for details. The main distribution files are: geomview-sgi.tar.Z: Compiled binaries for SGI workstations. geomview-next.tar: Compiled binaries for NeXTStep 3.x systems. geomview-src.tar.Z: Source code. We recommend that you get one of the compiled binary distributions unless you specifically want to look at the source code. This release contains many bug fixes and several new features and external modules. Another addition is a comprehensive user's manual. We are working on a version of Geomview for generic X windows; it should become available within the next few months. Geomview has been developed in the research environment of the Geometry Center where there is an emphasis on visualization of mathematical concepts. It can be used as a standalone viewer for static objects or as a display engine for other programs which produce dynamically changing geometry. Geomview was described in the ``Computers and Mathematics'' column of the October 1993 issue of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society. A brief overview of its capabilities is appended to the bottom of this message. The Geometry Center is an NSF-funded research center based at the University of Minnesota. Its mission is to support, develop, and promote the computation and visualization of geometric structures. The Geometry Center's official name is the "National Science and Technology Research Center for Computation and Visualization of Geometry Structures". We are very interested in getting feedback from people who use Geomview, so please let us hear from you! Send correspondence via email to software at geom.umn.edu, or via regular mail to Software Development Group Geometry Center 1300 South 2nd Street, Suite 500 Minneapolis, MN 55454 USA Thank you! The Geometry Center Software Development Group ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Overview of Geomview ******************** Geomview's main purpose is to display objects whose geometry is given, allowing interactive control over details such as point of view, speed of movement, appearance of surfaces and lines, and so on. Geomview can handle any number of objects and allows both separate and collective control over them. The simplest way to use Geomview is as a standalone viewer to see and manipulate objects. It can display objects described in a variety of file formats. It comes with a wide variety of example objects, and you can create your own objects. You can also use Geomview to handle the display of data coming from another program that is running simultaneously. As the other program changes the data, the Geomview image reflects the changes. Programs that generate objects and use Geomview to display them are called *external modules*. External modules can control almost all aspects of Geomview. The idea here is that many aspects of the display and interaction parts of geometry software are independent of the geometric content and can be collected together in a single piece of software that can be used in a wide variety of situations. The author of the external module can then concentrate on implementing the desired algorithms and leave the display aspects to Geomview. Geomview comes with a collection of sample external modules, and this manual describes how to write your own. Geomview represents the current state of an ongoing effort at the Geometry Center to provide interactive geometry software that is particularly appropriate for mathematics research and education. In particular, Geomview can display things in hyperbolic and spherical space as well as Euclidean space. Geomview allows multiple independently controllable objects and cameras. It provides interactive control for motion, appearances (including lighting, shading, and materials), picking on an object, edge or vertex level, snapshots in SGI image file or Renderman RIB format, and adding or deleting objects is provided through direct mouse manipulation, control panels, and keyboard shortcuts. Geomview supports the following simple data types: polyhedra with shared vertices (.off), quadrilaterals, rectangular meshes, vectors, and Bezier surface patches of arbitrary degree including rational patches. Object hierarchies can be constructed with lists of objects and instances of object(s) transformed by one or many 4x4 matrices. Arbitrary portions of changing hierarchies may be transmitted by creating named references. Geomview can display Mathematica graphics output.