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Visualization Systems

The Geometry Center maintains two scientific visualization software systems: AVS and Iris Explorer. Although both packages are very flexible, their main purpose is the analysis and visualization of scientific data. Thus, they typically assume that the user data will be large arrays of numbers, such as fluid velocities and the like.

In both systems, the user designs a "net" by dragging and dropping various processing modules. For example, there are data reader modules, and modules that compute level surfaces, and modules that triangluate surfaces, and modules that render trianglulations . By selecting from a long list of premade modules, or writing your own, These systems allow very sophisticated data analysis, translation into geometry, and finally rendering of geometry.

The cost for such power and flexibility is a steep learning curve. If you want to draw an icosahedron, there are lots better ways. If you are trying to visualize atmospheric data, there probably isn't.

To experiment with AVS, you need to first issue the command use avs on an SGI platform. Then type avs. The Center has only one license, so you may have to coordinate with other users. The Demo on the main menu gives a good idea of what AVS is like. For more in depth information, consult the documentation in the Center library.

To experiment with Explorer, log into one of the newer SGI machines and type Explorer. There is some documentation in the Center library, and some more online. However, unless you already know Explorer, you are probably better off with AVS, for which we have a full set of manuals.

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Created: Fri Sep 8 11:39:00 1995 --- Last modified: Jun 18 1996