Catia Visualization

Visualizing Large CATIA Models Interactively Over the Internet 

In this project we investigate two concepts for interactive 3D visualization of large CAD models and simulations over the internet. This will ensure better collaboration among engineers around the world without the need of specialized expensive CAD software that typically has very high system requirements. The two methods are: 1) Rendering with a Concentric Mosaic, and 2) OpenGL rendering of the 3D environment. 

<u><strong>Walk-Thru Mode Image Changes</strong></u>

In the first methods we capture the 3D environment by constructing a mosaic of 2D images, where we rotate the camera and take pictures of the environment at fixed orientations. This is repeated at numerous locations along a pre-defined path. During viewing, we allow the user to traverse the path and choose any viewing angle. We compress the appropriate images and send them across the network to the client, where we recreate the concentric mosaic. This gives the user the effect of navigating in a 3D environment.

<u><strong>Rendered Model in OGRE</strong></u>

The second approach deals with setting up an OpenGL based 3D environment. The main idea behind this approach is to create a light weight model of the entire CAD 3D environment using OpenGL. Whenever the CAD model on the server side changes, we send these changes to the client side OpenGL program and perform the updates. The CAD API is used to extract the data of the 3D environment with a controllable level of detail so that it can be easily transferred over the internet. We use CATIA for the CAD system and OGRE, a 3D rendering engine to recreate the CATIA models.

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