39. Programming Animation and Interaction in Open Inventor

Half Day / Intermediate

This course covers the knowledge required to program animation and interaction in Open Inventor, including sensors, engines, manipulators, events, Windows interfacing, and performance optimization. Basic concepts are anchored with demonstration programs that execute on one screen while attendees examine associated source code on another.

Who Should Attend
Application developers, including those creating 3D, interactive, animated applications for Windows and UNIX platforms; multimedia developers who wish to use the Inventor library to handle rendering, interaction, and animation; OpenGL jocks who want to step up to a higher level of object-oriented specification; and VRML developers who want to extend their modeling knowledge.

Chris Buckalew
California Polytechnic State University

Lewis Hitchner
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

John Readey
Portable Graphics, Inc.


1:30 pm: Introduction and Overview - Buckalew

Course outline and schedule
Very brief overview of Inventor

1:40 pm: Sensors - Buckalew

Use of callbacks (with demo showing timer sensor)

Timer sensors (with demo showing alarm sensor)

Data sensors (with demo showing a field sensor used to achieve fast redraw while manipulating a textured sphere)

2:00 pm: Engines - Buckalew

Field connections (with demo)

Types of engines

Animation engines (with demos showing ElapsedTime, TimeCounter, and Gate engines)

Arithmetic engines (with demo showing Calculator engine)

Built-in engines (with demo showing Rotor, Pendulum, Shuttle, and Blinker nodes)

2:30 pm: Draggers and manipulators - Hitchner

Simple dragger (with demo showing Translate1 dragger hooked to cube->width)

Compound dragger (with demo showing three Translate1 draggers hooked to Transform->scaleFactor)

Types of manipulators (with demo showing ten different manipulators)

3:00 pm: Break

3:15 pm: Nodekits - Hitchner

Parts and catalogs
Simple example of ShapeKit (with demo)
Creating a nodekit (with example showing a CarKit)
Motion hierarchy example (with demo showing meshed gears)

3:35 pm: Cool nodes and other topics - Buckalew

Inventor database management
File format
Complexity node (with demo)
Environment node (with demo)
DrawStyle node (with demo)
ShapeHints node (with demo)
LevelofDetail node (with demo)

4:00 pm: Event handling in X and Windows - Readey

Handling events with callbacks (with demo showing keypress events)

Automatic event handling with Selection nodes (with demo of picking objects with a Selection node)

Bypassing Inventor event handling (with demo showing X-Window events)

Callback nodes (with demo)

4:25 pm: Interfacing to the Window System - Readey

Component classes in X and Windows
SoXt library
SoMFC library
Using components (with Windows demo)
Different viewers (with Windows demo)
Clipboard (with Windows demo)
OLE (with Windows demo)

4:50 pm: Optimizing Open Inventor for performance - Readey

Caching and culling
Optimization hints
Utility programs for Optimization (ivquicken, ivtoVP) (with demo)

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