StarBrowser3D in Avalon Beta 1 RC video

After few months of not really having touched Avalon, I spent sometime with it yesterday while on the train. I ported my StarBrowser3D to the latest bits. For a screenshot, links to previous posts, and information about the StarBrowser have a look at the “An updated view of the current state of the 3D Star Browser in Avalon” post from back in January.

I think the performance improvements since the last drop of Avalon are significant. I have around 79,100 objects loaded and each object is made out of 48 faces. Even though my laptop is an old IBM Thinkpad T40p with an old graphics card (ATI Mobility FireGL 9000) and fully loaded, the animation is still smooth. Of course, Avalon is not created for this kind of scientific visualisation but for me it’s a cool way to try and learn the technology.

I couldn’t disable the ‘hit test’ with this version of Avalon so there is an additional performance penalty, especially when I move the mouse over the Avalon window.

My background worker works great now (it wasn’t working with the March bits). As the results of the queries to the stars database are returned, star objects are created and added to a Model3DGroup. Only every 100 objects the interface is updated and the group added to the animated 3D model.

There is a video now of the StarBrowser running (link bellow). I have used Point3DAnimationUsingKeyFrames to animate a PerspectiveCamera. Some of you may notice that the camera moves on a polygon rather than a circle. I used 12 SplinePoint3DKeyFrame to generate the intermediary positions for the camera (effectively the camera moves on a 12-edge polygon around the centre). Apologies for the axes. They are there to help me think in 3D :-)

The animation is much much smoother on my screen. My version of Camtasia cannot capture what goes on in the window at the actual frame rate.

The video (format: AVI, Camtasia codec required, size: ~3MB).

The video (format: WMV, size: ~5MB)

UPDATE: I’ve added a link to a Windows Media Format version of the video since the AVI version required the Camtasia codec. Sorry about that. Thanks to Paul Watson for letting me know. The conversation from AVI to WMV with Windows Movie Maker is not great but it’ll give you an idea.