Reply To: Feature wish list

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Hi Oliver, I really wish to thank you for making this available. I saw the box at Fall AGU 2014 and started building one from an old computer and an old projector I have at home over christmas. After struggeling quite a bit with the first instructions, the ones you published recently in March work like a charm, and after getting used to the Vrui handling, it took me about 30 min to compile and set up the software and to do the basic calibrations. Now my kids have somethig to play 🙂

Also, I didn’t have a short range projector, but a regular one. I therefore extended the range with a mirror, which is really easy (some pictures of set ups showed this on your site) so in fact any projector would do.

In my experience, the success is mainly dependent on the right graphics card and good drivers. CPU is not very important. I use Ubuntu 14.04, an old Intel Quadcore Q9550 CPU and a GTX770 Graphics card. No need to buy an expensive i7 or such, but I wouldn’t go with a les powerful graphics adapter.

Now the reason why I post here – there are actually two additional features that I would suggest:

1. it would be great if one could let water flow in on one side or point of the box (e.g. from a hill at the side, and out at another, in the valley or ocean. Also being able to define currents in seas or lakes would be great. The reason is, that the water animation shows nicely, where the topography is rough, by more curly waves, so I imagine one could use the box to model obstacles and waterflow along a coast for example.

2. what about burying virtual objects, like bones, rocks or other objects, which could be discovered? It would be good if the pictures showed the cut through the object as it is dicovered. My background is Geology and with virtual objects, one could create an interior geology, which would then be projected onto the contour maps, therefore making the sandbox a tool to teach students how to read and work with geologic maps. The same could be used for virtual excavations in paleontology or archeology. The striking thing would be, that one basically would dig through an object, and I think it helps a lot in teaching, if students learn to identify obejcts by looking at cut planes through them.

Cheers, Manu

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