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APPENDIX A: TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS AND RELATED ISSUES
The project developed for this thesis was generated and simulated using the following hardware and software:
Pentium PC (Digital Equipment Corporation)
AutoCAD for Windows Rel. 12 (Autodesk)
3D Studio Rel. 4 (Autodesk)
Animator Studio 1.1 (Autodesk)
Photoshop 3.0 (Adobe)
XV 3.00 (John Bradley)
Lightscape Visualization System 1.2 (Lightscape)
ivcat (Silicon Graphics)
ivfix (Silicon Graphics)
ivToVRML (Silicon Graphics)
Textures used for hyperlinks were rendered 3D Studio graphic image files (.gif) and edited using Animator Studio and Photoshop
Textures were converted to IRIX (.rgb) using XV
Geometry was created in AutoCAD (.dwg file) and edited in 3D Studio (.3ds)
Geometry was saved as data-interchange format (.dxf)
Geometry was loaded in Lightscape and edited (.lp) and textures (.rgb) were applied
Geometry was rendered as a radiosity mesh (.ls) and the data was converted to Inventor ascii scene graph (.iv) using ls2iv
Scene graph was edited to optimize rendering for GreenSpace II software with ivcat and ivfix
Scene graph was converted to VRML for publication on the World Wide Web using ivToVRML
Processor: Onyx Reality Engine 2 (Silicon Graphics)
Navigation: Cyberman (Logitech)
Tracker: 3SPACE FASTRAK (Polhemus)
Display: VR4 Head-Mounted Display (Virtual Research)
Webspace 2.0 (Silicon Graphics)
ivview 2.1 (Silicon Graphics)
GreenSpace II (Human Interface Technology Laboratory)
Many of the decisions made in the development of this thesis project came about as a result of the technical equipment used in the generation and simulation of the data. They are as follows:
The use of AutoCAD and 3D Studio to generate the data influences the development of the design to incorporate more planar forms than may have occurred using other software.
The use Lightscape and its method of generating radiosity meshes to simulate light on a surface minimizes the number of texture maps required, but maximizes the number of polygons used to define a softly-lit planar surface
The use of a Cyberman provides six degrees of freedom in navigation, although it is difficult to move at different scales or rates. This influenced the variety of scales of spaces used in the design.
The use of a VR4 HMD limits the participantís field of view such that one can only see a limited amount of data at a time. This influenced the shape, scale, and proportion of many architectural elements and spaces the design.
The use of the GreenSpace II software, based on Open Inventor 2.1, does not allow the implementation of the hyperlink tunnel in real-time. The tunnel displayed on the video (see Pocket Material) was edited by video insertion.
The use of the GreenSpace II software, based on Open Inventor 2.1, does not allow the use of alpha maps (transparency in texture maps), but does render transparency of materials.
To detect a link using ivview, the data must be optimized using ivfix
Forward to Appendix B