Thursday, July 21, 2011

Getting some fish into WorldWind

Last few days I have gone back to biological data, well animal tracks. CSIRO has put together a very nice oceantracks website using the amazing Indie game engine - Unity 3D (amazing in every way except running on Linux). It runs on Android, so with some effort on GL-ES front it can be made to work on Linux.

Talking about multi-platform game engines the other impressive one is Ardor3D,  not that OGRE or Irrilicht are bad. It is just easier to get going without getting platform specific binaries or needing to set up a large tool-chain. It is also easier to maintain the Java based game engine on top of JOGL and LWJGL instead of maintaining JNI bindings to a C++ engine (especially if your bindings are outside the source tree) . The other large draw from Ardor is the JOGL based rendering which lets us share the GLContext between Ardor and WorldWind, as I have done in jaxb-collada (lots of thanks to the original Ardor hack post and improvements from niccastel and brujito). Some pretty famous use-cases have picked Ardor up as their rendering engine including the Mars rover project, I hope to catch up with them in a few weeks. May be the local guys down here in Hobart will adopt it as a mission control system for the SLOCUM Gliders.

There are some altitude setting bugs in the Ardor3D+WorldWind code , and the animations key-frames are not enabled, but the models load nicely and will look great with some more water surface shaders and actual track data.


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