Comparison of Vega tm an JAVA3D tm in a virtual environment enclosure
Christianson, Brian K.
Kimsey, Andrew J.
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Large enclosures offer a myriad of possibilities for virtual environments and can dramatically improve presence for a number of applications. Scene graphs are accepted as the logical and optimized way to generate and render applications, however most scene graphs are proprietary or platform specific. Open source scene graphs are emerging that are easily used and cross- platform. This thesis describes the physical construction of a large sized Multiple Angle Automatic Virtual Environment (MAAVE) and the programming of visual simulations using Vega, a powerful commercially available software package, and Java3D, an open source scene graph. The two simulations are networked walkthrough virtual environments using the same geometry. After the MAAVE was built, the two applications were tested on multiple platforms with frame rate being the main measure of performance. Initial expectations were that Vega would be faster, but the ease and speed of development of each application was unknown. Results showed that the Vega application was 10 to 30 times faster on SGI hardware and 4 to 20 times faster on a standard PC. The Java3D application required one third of the development time and was easier to program. Overall, we conclude that Vega is the better development platform for multi-channel walkthrough applications.
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