Thursday, 23 April 2009

3D Development

Around 18 months or so ago, I decided to look at the 3D development within genes1s CAD. We were getting to a stage, where the 2D and database side of the system, was pretty much well developed, but the 3d component was certainly lacking in functionality, stability and extensibility.

I looked around for some suitable 3d engines. I have developed a 3D viewer for the system in Directx 8.1, but this was difficult to maintain and lacked in features. I came across the irrLicht 3d engine, developed by Niko Gerbhardt and after some initial testing, I decided to use this engine. We use the engine primarily for display purposes and don't really use many of the other features (like collision detection or 2D GUI) as that is already taking care of with the existing components of the system. It turned out to be a wise decision, as the irrlicht library has been proving to be excellent. We are currently using version 1.5. It is an open source project and long may it's development continue. It provides us with the ability to support a multitude of graphics subsystems, including DirectX 8.x, 9.x and OpenGL. There is also support for software only (BurningsVideo) drivers.

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