Thursday, January 27, 2011

Collada Models everywhere - WorldWind and COVE

Last few days I have had a lot of fun hooking one JOGL rendering engine into another. The fantastic Ardor 3D engine is designed with games in mind and WorldWind globe renderer interact nicely with each other. Ardor does not hog the GL context and behave as if it is the only thing with the run of the place. WorldWind can do the globe rendering then Ardor takes over to insert say a vertex shaded waving water layer and some buildings on fire.

105 macquarie st
There are the expected fights over z-buffer and texture caches, but a few context back-up restores in Java can take care of that. I had a bit of fun raiding the Google 3D warehouse for models and throwing them in. In some cases the positioning and scaling was not quite right, but the model framework established from joglutils and jaxb-collada work lets me specify this quite easily.

We also had a fantastic demo from Keith, developer of the COVE (Cooperative Ocean Visualisation Environment). Had nice chats about merits of scene segmentation trees from BSP to Hyper-Octrees(obviously harder to implement). He manages to keep decent performance with a wealth of features. Showing hundreds of arrows without VBO's can kill performance, but at least it keeps working on integrated graphics cards.
Current Vectors in COVE
Note to self: avoid DNS srv record madness for Google Talk, manually add the chat server If you are unable to fix the DNS settings, specify in the "Connect Server" field in the "Advanced" tab.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Starting work at CSIRO - after a long holiday

It was been a great December and January. We have seen a lot of Tasmania, gone for a few great walks - 5 hour Freycinet loop and few hours up Mt. Wellington. I have made some progress on editing a chapter and lots of progress on making a connection sharing point for multiple USB modems on my BeagleBoard (not that the USB-Ethernet hub can sustain the juice multiple modems draw).

The key ingredient turned out to be the udev rule to automatically insert the modem driver (good old usbserial) when the device was detected on the usb bus:
ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="usb", MODALIAS=="v05c6p0015*", RUN+="/sbin/modprobe usbserial vendor=0x05c6 product=0x0015"

Beyond this the nm-connection-editor tool (from the NetworkManager coterie) was used to add a Vodafone connection with the relevant APN. Now whenever the modem is plugged in ModemManager kicks in and a ppp connection is established without any more fuss.

First day at the new office in Csiro , ip phone and cove in the alcove
First couple of days at CSIRO have also gone swimmingly with a lot of help from my peers (Gary mostly). I spent sometime reading manuals and doing design decisions with GeoAPI. Got indoctrinated into the CSIRO way and spent sometime staring at stack traces from SAP. Otherwise I am really enjoying the shiny new Mac with lotsa RAM, time to kick around some shaders in WorldWind.