Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's full of classes!

"The thing's hollow---it goes on forever---and---oh my God!---it's full of stars!" (Arthur C. Clarke: 2001. A Space Odyssey)

When I presented GEF3D in the past, people often ask me if it will scale, that is if a large number of items could be displayed. Well, the following screencast, inspired by Kubrick's great movie, shows a flight through the JDK. That is, every package of the 1.000 packages contained in the JDK is visualized as a plane in 3D space. On that plane, the classes are displayed---in total, more than 20.000 classes and interfaces are shown that way. Since the whole demo is a more or less a performance test, the classes are not really layouted yet. Also, only intra-package generalizations and implementations are shown yet.

The flight is sometimes a little bit bumpy. However, flying through 20.000 elements is more or less the worse case. Usually, the camera is moved in a specific area, and only sometimes a tracking shot may be used to "fly" to the next interesting area. As you will notice at the very beginning of the video, the camera is moving quite smoothly. Well, there is still room for improvement ;-)

Note that the video does not only demonstrate the overall performance of GEF3D, but also some of its features:
  • the whole flight through the package tube is a single GEF3D tracking shot
  • note the high quality font rendering
  • level-of-detail (LOD) techniques are implemented in two ways:
    • fonts are either rendered as texture or vector font, depending on the distance of the text to the camera
    • packages are painted empty, with only the name of the package, or with their content, depending on the distance to the camera. This kind of LOD technique is not part of GEF3D yet, but it can easily be added.
  • actually, you see 1.000 GEF editors, combined into a single 3D multi editor