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CAVELib is [tm] the University of Illinois, and commericially distributed by VRCO.

2 September 2000

OpenRM and CAVELib[tm]

OpenRM Scene Graph and CAVELib are complementary technologies: CAVELib is an API providing a framework for creating cross-platform virtual reality (VR) applications, and OpenRM is an API that provides cross-platform scene management and rendering services. CAVELib gathers VR device events, and computes view transformations for all visible display surfaces in a spatially immersive display environment, invoking application-supplied "draw code" for each display surface. OpenRM Scene Graph provides cross-platform "draw code" in the form of a developer-extensible scene graph model. Used together, these technologies complement each other, producing a powerful technology base for high performance and cross-platform applications development.

Obtaining OpenRM Scene Graph and CAVELib

OpenRM Scene Graph may be downloaded for free from the OpenRM website. The CAVELib software is commercially licensed by VRCO.

Some Technical Details

The following is taken from the OpenRM FAQ, and outlines some technical issues related to creating hybrid OpenRM and CAVELib applications. For additional information, please read the OpenRM/CAVELib Applications White Paper.

What is the CAVE library?

This information is copied from VRCO's website:

The CAVELib(tm) is an Application Programmers Interface (API) that provides general support for building virtual environments for Spatially Immersive Displays and head-mounted displays including desk-type devices, cubic displays, multi-piped curved displays, and some dome styled displays. The CAVELib is not an application, it's a building block used to create applications for a variety of virtual environments.

The CAVELib configures the display device, synchronizes processes, draws stereoscopic views, creates a viewer-centered perspective and provides basic networking between remote Virtual Environments. The CAVELib allows a single program to be available on a wide variety of virtual display devices without rewriting or recompiling. The CAVELib uses a resource configuration file that can be modified to change display and input devices, making the programs written on the CAVELib portable to a wide-variety of display devices.

The CAVELib is an API of functions that can be used by programmers to create robust programs for virtual display devices or desktops. The CAVELib is not the product of choice for the non-programmers and end-users simply wanting to interact with a virtual environment. For those customers there are a variety of applications available including the VRCO's VRScape[tm] model viewer.

Can one create apps that use OpenRM for rendering, and the CAVElibrary?

Yes. R3vis and VRCO have both created a number of applications that use both OpenRM and CAVELib. These applictions use VR input devices, and render to stereo-capable tiled surface displays. See the CAVE demonstration section (below) for more details about demonstration versions of these programs.

What are the basic issues with OpenRM and CAVE applications?

While a complete description of the technical issues that have bearing upon OpenRM and CAVELib applications is beyond the scope of this FAQ, a summary of the most important issues follow.

What are the specific areas in OpenRM apps that require attention for use with CAVELib?

If we assume a standalone OpenRM application, such as one of the OpenRM demonstration programs, the following list of changes are required to enable compatibility with CAVELib.

Where can I find lots of in-depth technical information about OpenRM + CAVELib apps?

At this time (Sept 2000), this FAQ and the example code are your best sources of information. Visit the VRCO website to obtain technical information about the CAVE library, and study the example programs available from the OpenRM download page. We are working on a White Paper that examines technical issues in more detail, but it is not finished at this time.

Are there any example programs that show how to use OpenRM and the CAVE library?

Yes. Visit the OpenRM download page to obtain the OpenRM+CAVELib demonstration programs. These examples use CAVELib to gather VR device information, and OpenRM for rendering.

CAVELib Trademark Information

CAVELib is a registered trademark of the University of Illinois.