There are three programs that you need to learn about in order
to use Open Inventor to create your own 3D scenes and animations.
It is assumed that you are already familiar with using some
editor program like
emacs for editing simple text files.
ivview program is something you use to view the
Open Inventor files that you will create. It is easy enough to
use. Give it a try by typing the command (from the Athena prompt):
ivview /usr/share/data/models/chair.iv &
Use the mouse to move the chair around so that you can see it from
different angles. Play around with the various controls on
ivview to see what they do.
You won't often need to use
ivquicken, but you should
understand what it is. It is a utility for taking a complex scene
description and performing transformations that optimize the
scene graph so that programs like
can render the scene more efficiently. You can also use
ivquicken for converting particular scene description
files between ASCII and binary formats.
ivview will always run
on a file before it displays it. If you are writing animations, you
may run into a bug where
ivquicken makes incorrect
transformations to the file. Whenever you are working on animations
you should use
ivview with the
so that it won't use
ivquicken. For example:
ivview -q /usr/share/data/models/chair.iv &
You may want to get into the habit of only using
in this way, at least until your scene files get complex enough for you
to even care about optimizing them.
showcase program is a reasonably full-featured
graphical editor for letting you build complex objects interactively.
It takes a bit of fiddling and experimenting to learn how to use it.
The best way to start is to go into the
and use it to open up the
3D Gizmo. A window will
appear entitled "Showcase 3D Gizmo". Click on
and wait 20 or 30 seconds while it creates a 3-dimensional grid
for you to work in. When a flickering outline appears, click to
position it on the work surface that
Experiment and have fun. Don't be surprised if it seems a bit
difficult and unintuitive to use at first. If you are trying to
create very simple objects, you'll be better of writing an Open
Inventor file by hand. Using
showcase is a more
worthwhile effort when creating complex objects.
If you have a result you want to keep, you can save it to a file.
showcase has its own particular format for
storing an object to a file, but you can use the
Save As... option to convert the output into
an Open Inventor binary file. Just choose the "...As 3D (Inventor)"
option from there, and you'll be all set.
For more information about any of these utilities consult the man pages for them by typing any of the following commands at the Athena prompt: