How tos and Resources

You wll find here several articles describing specific features or usage of Open Inventor that are not included in the User's Guide.

Basic Annotation

Data Management for Computing with VolumeVizLDM

Seismic Visualization

Using a Spaceball or a Space Mouse with Open Inventor

Multithread Development with Open Inventor

Perfomance Tips

Basic Annotation

Annotation is loosely defined as extra information that helps to understand the main part of the data. In a visualization application this may include both 2D and 3D information. Examples of 2D annotation include titles, legends, logos and colormaps. Examples of 3D annotation include bounding boxes, axes, text labels and the compass or gnomon that shows the orientation of the data set. All of these items are straightforward to implement in Open Inventor but not necessarily provided as built-in objects. In this document we’ll show how to implement some commonly used annotation graphics so you can spend more time implementing your application specific features. Read more...

Data Management for Computing with VolumeVizLDM

In a typical scenario the goal is to load some data, perform some computation and save the result as quickly and efficiently as possible. We may visualize the data later, but computational performance is the highest priority. We might be modifying the data, for example applying a noise reduction filter, or we might be deriving a new data set, for example computing an attribute volume. Read more...

Seismic Visualization

The Open Inventor extension VolumeViz provides the features needed for managing and visualizing volume data, including, with the LDM option, extremely large data sets. VolumeViz is a powerful tool for any kind of volume data but is particularly well suited for visualizing 3D seismic data. Many features like volume “skin” rendering, Large Data Management (LDM) and multiple volume combining (co-rendering) were developed specifically to address requirements of seismic data applications. Read more...

Using a Spaceball or Space Mouse with Open Inventor

The SoXtSpaceball (or SoWinSpaceball or SoQtSpaceball) class can be used to manage events generated by the 3Dconnexion Space Mouse and Space Ball, including motion (SoMotion3Event) and button press or release (SoSpaceballButtonEvent) events.

There are example programs showing how to use this type of device:
    $OIVHOME/src/Inventor/examples/Features/Magellan (for SoWin and SoXt)
    $OIVHOME/src/Inventor/examples/Qt/QtSpaceMouse (for SoQt)

The Space Mouse supports two kind of drivers:

  • ClientMessage driver: a deamon program generates user events that can be caught by the application. This driver is available for Windows and UNIX platforms. This mode is supported since Open Inventor 5.0. If you have not already installed the driver, you will need to do so before using the Space Mouse or Space Ball with Open Inventor.
  • [UNIX only] Xinput extension: a binary module is added to the X11 server. This module is loaded by the server. It generates Xinput extension events similar to normal XEvents. This is the way Open inventor worked prior to version 5.0. This mode is no longer supported.

See the 3Dconnexion website ( for further information.