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Tips and Tricks

Open Inventor

For browsing an Inventor file in emacs the tcl-mode is useful. For creating and editing Inventor files visit the pages of the first VRML workshop. To get an understanding of the scene graph and also to debug an Inventor file the progam gview will do it's best.

gview - an Inventor file debugger

Save your scene graph into a file

Test your scene graph by saving it to file before you invoke the viewer. #include <Inventor/actions/SoWriteAction.h> // your code for creating the scene graph // Write file for tests SoWriteAction mySceneOuput; if (!mySceneOuput.getOutput()->openFile("test.iv")) { printf("Can not open file!\n"); exit(2); } mySceneOuput.getOutput()->setBinary(FALSE); mySceneOuput.apply(root); // root of your scene graph mySceneOuput.getOutput()->closeFile(); // call the viewer The file test.iv contains the scene graph. Load it into gview.

Stereo Viewing with Open Inventor

Stereo viewing with Open Inventor and stereo glasses (e.g., ChristalEyes2) is possible by switching monitor mode and selecting stereo viewing in the preference menu of the viewer.


Emacs C++ mode

Emacs has a C++ mode which highlights syntax, allows easy formating and has some other useful features. For automatic recognition of the c++ file extension put somewhere in your ~/.emacs file: (setq auto-mode-alist (cons `("\\.c\\+\\+$" . c++-mode) auto-mode-alist))

Object-oriented Development Environments - find your way through all classes

Class libraries like Open Inventor or larger applications can become rather complex. If you than apply traditional methods of "linear editing", you might get lost in the forest of classes and to switch between the files will take you a lot of time. We recommend an object-oriented development environment. Commercial products (e.g. Sniff+) and free usable software (e.g. OO-Browser) are available.


The syntax of Java is similar to C++, so that you can use the emacs C++ mode. Set somewhere in your ~/.emacs file: (setq auto-mode-alist (cons `("\\.java\\'" . c++-mode) auto-mode-alist))

More tips

  • Screen shots
  • Local setup

    A lot of tools are stored in /public/u-aizu/sgi/bin. So we suggest to put it into your path or to use Ease. This and other documents contain links to Inventor or VRML files. The server is assigning a mime type, so that you only need to have setup your ~/.mailcap file or to use /public/u-aizu/sgi/lib/netscape/mailcap to start webspace or ivview automatically. Open Inventor is not only available on SGIs. For Sun workstation you need a slightly different setup.
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