Re: newbie: display shapes

Hi Ibrahim,

>     I'm relatively new to VisAD (started 2 weeks ago). My work involves 
> providing visualization for a Discrete Element Analysis and I'll need to 
> display particles of various shapes  like Spherical, Cubical, Tetrahedral 
> etc. The no. of particles might run upto 4 or 5 thousand and I'll need to map 
> their positions and orientations (of every particle) at each time step. The 
> application I'm trying to design should take in data about the 
> positions(co-ordinates) of the particles at every time step from the DEA 
> program (which is in C++ or Fortran) and update the display accordingly. 
> Right now, at this early stage I need information about a couple of things
> 
> 1.    Firstly, do you think its possible to design such a package using 
> VisAD... is it capable of handling so many particles. How would the 
> performance be? I'd like your opinion about that.

It should be possible. I've attached a dna.jar file containing a
VisAD Python program dna.py( and its data file dna_molecule.txt).
It draws 656 atoms as octahedra using a mapping to Shape.

> 2.    I've almost finished the Tutorial but i couldnt find much information 
> about how to develop shapes in 3D. Could you please direct me as to where to 
> look?

The dna.py program, and the Test46.java and Test47.java programs
in visad/examples, should help. And check TrackManipulation.java
and FlexibleTrackManipulation.java in visad/bom.

> 3.    Any helpful directions re the project will be greatly appreciated.

The tricky part will be having your shapes at a large number
of orientations. You may just need a ShapeControl with a lot
of shapes for different orientations.

Good luck,
Bill