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1  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 3D / Re: Check out my earth applet on: 2003-05-07 22:55:15
I know it's broken; I haven't been able to work with it for several weeks.  But now that my exams are over, I'm hoping to get back to it.  Thanks for the ideas and code.

I'll let you guys know if I figure it out...

- Kit
2  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 3D / Re: Check out my earth applet on: 2003-04-09 13:49:06
Yah, long live java3d, right?

No, seriously, I was working on getting some keyboard zooming going, but ran into a few issues, and (stupid me) I didn't have the old file.  So, for now, it doesn't work. (I think I have a message on the site stating that it doesn't.)

I have been crazy busy with school, so I haven't had time to fix it, which I think is going to require ditching the SimpleUniverse and learning how a more generic VirtualUniverse works.  The main problem I was having involved getting the right context so that I could modify the position of the viewer's eye.  When I have a little more time to get back to it, I figure it out, post some code, and get it back online.

Sorry for the delay.  THere will be more, I promise.

- Chris
3  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 3D / Re: How to zoom with keyboard? on: 2003-03-28 18:56:51
Well, I like math as much as the next guy, but I'd rather not learn it in-depth for the few functions I want my app to do.  This is not a generalized 3D world; it's just a few objects that I want to be able to rotate and zoom in on.

My problem is that to do a zoom-in action, for instance, I have to create the correct matrix, and I don't know how to go about it.  I can't seem to find any tutorials that say something like:

"You are looking at object X.  To zoom closer to it, create a Transform3D object using matrix (a,b,c) and multiply it times blahblahblah ..."

I tried your example, and it wants points instead of vectors.

The Javadoc for the Transform3D class seems to assume an understanding of matrix transformation math.  So, with no decent tutorials/explanations (that I can find), my next step would seem to be to learn the math.  Which is fine, it just slows me down, and this is only a tiny part of my project.

I really appreciate your input, though, and I'm sure that at some point it will just  "click".  Hopefuly it will be without my having to become an expert in homogenous coordinates and projective geometry.

- Kit
4  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 3D / Re: How to zoom with keyboard? on: 2003-03-28 17:23:30
Ok, it seems that what I really need is a good tutorial of how 4x4 matrix math relates to 3D coordinate space.  Presumably the Java3D stuff is just their own version of some universal mathematical truths.

-- Off to find elightenment --

- Kit

PS - Should I understand this one day, I'll let you know.   Wink
5  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 3D / How to zoom with keyboard? on: 2003-03-28 01:35:12
Ok, so I want to implement my zoom feature, but I want it to be keyboard-driven.  Just because. :-)

So, I'm looking through the tutorials, and I see how to zoom with the mouse, but that's a built-in behavior, and I can't see the source code.  And I don't want to do it that way.

So then I look some more and I see how to get the ViewPlatform transfrom object from the SimpleUniverse, but then they use _another_ pre-built behavior, with the keyboard, but not the way I want it.

Clearly, I want to create my own Behavior from scratch.  So, _then_ I look around and find the javadoc for the Transform3D class, and I see methods for rotation.  But most of the other methods don't make much sense to me.

So, two questions:

1.  Is there a tutorial/faq/example out there that will help me better understand the many methods of the Transform3D class?

2.  If I just want to move the viewer closer to/farther away from my object, I think that's along the Z axis.  So, how do I just add to or subtract from the Z-coordinate of the viewing platform?  Not rotating, just moving in a straight line?

Thanks in advance for your help to an annoying newbie,
6  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 3D / Re: Comparison between lwgjl and Sun Java 3D API? on: 2003-03-27 19:14:37
Oh, I feel dumb.

Quoting the intro page for lwjgl (

"The implications for security are simple and final: your game can no longer be considered secure ... This also means you will not be able to use it in applets ..."

So, no applets, eh?

Guess I'll stick with Java 3D.  :-)

- Kit of the unnecessary questions.
7  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 3D / Comparison between lwgjl and Sun Java 3D API? on: 2003-03-27 19:10:34
Ok, like I said, I am very new at all of this, so sorry for having to ask these questions.

I am just starting, so it's no big deal to switch to a different api if I need to.  People here seem to really like lwjgl, perhaps because the developers hang out here.

But here are my main questions:

1.  How do the two APIs compare as far as which platforms they will run on?  My current understanding is this:

Sun -> windows, linux, solaris, various unixes, but not Mac (any version)

lwjgl - Windows 2K or XP, linux (I think), Mac OSX planned but no others planned.

Is this close?  Could someone with a clue nail it down for me?

And question 2:

I am mostly interested in web-based stuff at the moment.  Does either of these have a clear edge in applets?  I mean, I probably won't be using fullscreen at all...

Thanks in advance,

8  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 3D / Check out my earth applet on: 2003-03-26 21:29:07
Hey guys.  Kit the newbie here.

I just wanted to invite you all to take a look at the applet I'm working on.  I am new to Java 3D (heck, 3D in general), and will be learning it as I work on this.

Right now, my applet displays a small model of the earth, using a public-domain NASA texture, and code modified from one of the Sun tutorials.  You can use your right or left arrow keys to rotate the globe.

What do I want to do next?  Here's the main list:

- Add the ability to zoom in or out
- Add multiple levels of detail, maybe about 5 or so.
- Add ability (with keystroke, probably) to "reset" the globe to default size/orientation.
- Allow quick zoom (to next closest LOD) by clicking on the globe
- Have the globe report longitude/latitude on screen as mouse passes over the terrain.

Once I have the interface working pretty well, I want to start connecting it to a database on the back end.  This will involve:

- Being able to use some kind of pointer to select a certain point on the globe (ie, longitude/latitude).
- Ability to navigate to a certain point by typing in coordinates.
- Ability to then open a new window to enter information about that point.
- Pass the information into the db (PostgreSQL).
- Conversely, when navigating the globe, one might be able to query the db to show current data.
- Possibly add different layers of texturing, with ability to decide what is shown - cities, national boundaries, etc.

This is going to be the interface to a historical db on the backend.  It's not exactly a game, and it's going to take forever to get it working right, but as I progress, you might find something of interest there.  I will probably never have more than a few 3D objects on screen at once (the globe, a pointer, some text), so I'm going to try to focus on optimization and overall smoothness and "polish".  Of course, if you have suggestions or want to see the code as I go along, that's cool, too.

So, anyway, just an introduction.  We'll see if I get anywhere with it.   Grin

You can find the applet at
9  Java Game APIs & Engines / Java 3D / <Newbie> - HUGE memory usage for small web app? on: 2003-03-26 12:50:54
Hey guys - thanks for reading a newbie post.

I am fairly well-versed in Java, and new to Java 3D.  I have started a project to connect a 3D representation of the earth with information in a database.  Eventually, I want to have a zoom-able globe, where the user can select points and attach information to them.  The info will then be stored in a PostgreSQL db.

But all that I currently have is a small demo, with a spinning earth.  You can find it at

I can post the code if you like, but basically it is from the texture tutorial (chapter 6) with the most recent version of Java 3D.  I have changed the code to work on a web site (ie, loading the file from a URL rather than a file object), made the display size a bit bigger, and switched in a higher resolution JPEG from NASA.  

Here's my problem.  The JPEG I'm using is 302KB.  But when I run the application (which just has one spinning sphere object mapped with that one texture), it appears to suck up 70MB of memory!  I am guessing this by watching Mozilla's memory in the Windows 2000 task manager.  It starts off at about 20-25MB.  But when I load the page with my demo, it shoots up to about 95MB.  I also doesn't appear to let go of the memory when I close the page (it finally releases the memory when I close Mozilla completely).

I am independently looking at some of the optimization pages out there, but there are a lot of topics to go through.  Could some of you guys get me started on understanding:

1. How to get a rough estimate of "reasonable" memory usage based on the number of objects, size of textures involved, etc.

2.  What "obvious" optimizations might get rid of my "dumb mistakes".

Like I said, I am also looking elsewhere, but I thought your experience could give me a head start.  I can also post the complete code if that will help.

Thanks in advance for helping a newbie,
Chris McCormick

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