I need to say I am not a 3D expert, but I have comments given below 
to each point.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Original Message <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

On 2/28/00, 3:35:43 PM, Lauris Kaplinski <> wrote 
regarding 3D API RFC:

> Hello again,

> As there seems to be currently not much activity in 3D gnoming, I
> collected together pieces I've until now written into the following
> preliminary RFC.

> The code can be found at:

> It does not differ much from other scene graph libraries, but uses Gtk
> types. As a consequence, it requires C geometric libraries...

> It does not compile into libraries yet, but instead into some simple
> programs, you can tweak with. The most important is 'floyd', which you 
> test, executing it from toplevel source directory, with 
'samples/a.wrl' as
> a parameter. It probably does not behave well without 3D accelerator, 
> may not behave well with accelerator too... Sorry.

> Lauris

> Gnome 3D API RFC

> 2000.02.28

> Version 0 - a list of ideas

> 1. Should we use OpenInventor (OI), or separate Gnome3D (G3D) API?
> (All mentioned library names are subject to change)
> Currently I've divided (or plan to do it) things into separate modular
> libraries.
 Linux 3D scene is plagued with 3D libraries no one really uses. 
Adding another non standard one is useless unless you want to rewrite 
a DirectX for Linux as it is the standard 3D library in Windows world. 
The way to go is then OpenGl/DirectX like stuff if you want anyone to 
actually use the thing. 

> 1.1. libfl - low level library of geometric primitives, such as 2,3,4D 
> and vectors, quaternions, colors, matrixes ...
> Handles basic transformations, creation and testing, vector math ...

> 1.2. libflg - library of 3D objects, such as: vertices, polygons,
> polygon-sets, shapes ...
> Handles complex tasks, such as normal computation, polygon 
> intersection tests ...

> 1.3. libfloyd - Gnome 3D canvas
> A child of GtkGLArea, handling state-preserving 3D objects, such as 
> spheres, arbirary-shaped objects, cameras, lights...
> Also nonspacious objects, such as textures, moving objects...

> 1.4. libginventor - an openinventor clone, usign C and Gtk types, 
built on
> top of libfloyd

> 1.5. libvrml? - useful for reading 3D scenes, similar to libglade 
> of widget descriptions/callback signals

 Isn't this dead? I mean everybody I ask say it's dead!

> 2. libfl
> Completely NonOO, using simple structure types:

>  - FLPoint2, FLVector2, FLPoint3, FLVector3, FLPoint4, FLVector4
>    Vectors and points ARE different datatypes - you cannot add 2 
>  - FLColor3, FLColor4
>  - RGB and RGBA versions. Maybe also HSV, YUV...
>  - FLQuaternion, FLRotation, FLDirection
>  - 3 different methods for specifying rotation matrixes - quaternions,
>    axis/angle pairs and euler angles
>  - FLMatrix4 - 4x4 transformation matrix
>  - FLCuboid3, FLSphere - Basically intended for binding volume 

> Also libfl has array versions of these types, such as:

>  - FLPoint3Array...

> to implement highly-optimized block transforms. Here we can use 3DNow, 
>  Altivec...

> The most important parts of libfl are done.

> 3. libflg
> NonOO, complex data structures:
> FLGVertexList
> - a list of 4D points, 3D normals, 2D (3D?) texture coords, RGBA
>   colors ,FaceIndexes?, ...
> FLGPolygonSet
> - an array of indexes, referring to FLGVertexList
> FLGTriangleSet
> - an array of index triplets, referring to FLGVertexList
> FLGFace
> - structure, representing a face (FLColor, Normal...)

> nothing done

> 4. libfloyd
> A big part is done, needs massive rewrite & rethinking...

> GnomeFloyd - an OpenGL widget, deriving from GtkGLArea

> Hierarchical tree of physical bodies + flat list of 3D objects:

> FloydObject
>       FloydTexture
>       FloydGeometry
>               FloydRect
>               FloydBox
>               FloydSphere
>               FloydMesh
>       FloydItem
>               FloydGroup
>                       FloydBinder
>                               FloydSpy
>                       FloydIntertialBody
>               FloydShape
>               FloydLight
>               FloydView
>                       FloydCamera

> An implementation logic should be similar to the GnomeCanvas one:

> object = floyd_object_new (parent, FLOYD_TYPE, args..., NULL);

> floyd_object_set (FLOYD_OBJECT (object), args..., NULL);

> FloydObject
> - abstract base class. One object may belong to several other objects,
>   allowing to share OpenGL lists.
>::render method - is noramlly called by object owner during it's
>   own rendering - if object specifies some OpenGL behaviour (texture,
>   lighting params...)
>   '::render' is also responsible for updating half (display part) of
>   object's internal state, if delayed updating is requested. 
>   have in addition 'update' method, but this is reserved strictly for
>   physical bodies and changes in physical paremters)

> FloydItem - geometric body, with meaningful local coordinate system,
>   usually also with position, volume & other physical paremters.
> - physical objects
> - lights. [0,0,0] in local coords is position of pointlight
>           [0,0,-1] is the direction of directionallights
> - views. [0,0,0] is the viewer location, [0,0,-1] is viewing direction
> - groups of items
>::update method - is called in similar way to GnomeCanvas update 
>   whenever object requests it, or it's parent thinks it is appropriate
>   to force children to update themselves (parent's transformation 
>   changes)
> NB! although '::update' is invoked whenever object's transformation
>   changes, it is usually not a good idea to recompile GLList during 
>   Instead,  during rendering, physical body pushes transformation 
>   to OpenGL transformation stack and invokes '::render' method of it's
>   geometry object.
> Items may have binding cuboids, which should be updated during 
>   Cuboids are used to eliminate as much intersection testing, as 
>::intersect method - tests object intersection against other item.
>   If, due to update, object has any reason to believe, it can 
>   with other items, it can call floyd_item_request_intersect. It 
>   that, before rendering, intersection will be tested.
> If intersect gives positive result and both items share at least one
>   collision flag ((a->cflags & b->cflags) != 0), '::collision' method 
>   invoked. Typically this invokes object's "collision" signal.

> FloydGroup - group of FloydItems
> Probably has it's own flat FloydObjects list - limiting the scope of
>   those - lights, fog... Objects needing global scope should assign
>   themselves to root group

> FloydShape - physical instantiation of FloydGeometry
>   Making difference between geometry defs and instances allow us to 
>   glLists, probably resulting in much faster rendering

> FloydBinder - an abstract parent of groups, having one member with 
>   geometry rules. For example - an object, which stays in one place, 
>   looks always at other object...

> FloydView - an object, implementing glProjection matrix. There can be 
>   views, only one of whose is currently active. For multiview floyd,
>   different views can be active on different vieports

> FloydLight - an light. Floyd takes care of allocating OpenGL available
>   light sources to active lights.

> FloydInertialBody - a moving group, with fixed linear and rotational
>   speeds.

> Time model

> Floyd has its own global time, which is usually synchronized with 
> clock.
> An object (and user?) can request timeout events:
> - preferred timeout. Occurs at specified time, or ASAP later. Floyd
> collects together all timeouts, whose requested time is earlier than
> current timestamp, and executes these with timestamp set to current 
> - exact timeout - if floyd cannot process it in time, it stills world 
> and executes it with requested timestamp.
> - idle timeout - will be executed only, if floyd has idle time
> There can be at most 1 update and intersection test for any timestamp.

> Collision prediction
> Probably need separate method.

> Naming
> Floyd serves as dictionary for it's objects, so, for example, if it is
>   created from VRML, we can pick out separate items via names.

> Lauris Kaplinski

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