Stellar Computer Inc, Newton, Massachusetts has a new piece of software designed to make it easier to study scientific and engineering data. The Application Visualisation System is claimed to obviate the need for users to wrestle with graphics programming interface standards such as PHIGS and GKS or proprietary interfaces such as GL2 and Dore, instead […]
Stellar Computer Inc, Newton, Massachusetts has a new piece of software designed to make it easier to study scientific and engineering data. The Application Visualisation System is claimed to obviate the need for users to wrestle with graphics programming interface standards such as PHIGS and GKS or proprietary interfaces such as GL2 and Dore, instead offering graphics supercomputing without graphics programming. The system is claimed to provide an environment as radically different from traditional graphics programming interfaces as the spreadsheet is from Cobol. The user can select multiple data files for display in one or more AVS windows, specify wireframe or smooth-shaded rendering, set colours, select the position, type and colour of up to 15 light sources and specify surface properties such as transparency or texture – all with real-time, interactive performance, claims Stellar. The system is built on a foundation of PHIGS+ and the X Window System, providing portability as well as performance. It comes with fully documented source code to allow end-users to use it on other machines that support the standards, and complete AVS source code is available as a base for visualisation application development. It uses data filters to convert existing data into geometry suitable for display and comes with a range of filters for commonly used geometry and application data formats, including data from Wavefront, Mathematica, MSC/Nastran, Ansys, Movie.Byu and the Protein DataBank. If a new filter is required, AVS provides a suite of fully documented tools, including example filters and geometric conversion utilities, which permit the development of additional filters easily and quickly. Future releases will provide an extensible visualisation environment that encompasses all phases of the process, including data access, conversion and transformation, interactive steering of computational processes and flexible rendering, as well as AVS modules tailored for specific disciplines such as computational fluid dynamics and image processing. The Visualisation System is the application layer of Stellar’s previously announced StellarVision visualisation environment and is bundled at no charge with all Stellar Graphics Supercomputers.