Instructions VR-Lab Vizard

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Please note:

• You can use VNC to see, and interact with, the desktops of the clients.

• To spare the beamer lamps. Shut them off if you don’t use them within a ½ hour.

• If you leave shut of the client computers, wiimote and FOB.

• Don’t shut down the server computer. Only the display.

• Place garbage (paper, food, candy etc.) in the bin.

House Rules

1. The beamers and their encasing SHOULD NOT be touched by anyone. A lot of equipment is finely calibrated to achieve optimal performance/alignment. The calibration of our beamers is done by a third party company and having to hire them every time someone decides to lean on the beamer suspensions is a costly affair.

2. Handle the glasses with care. The stereoopsis glasses are not the same as those flimsy iMAX glasses. These are glasses that filter a very specific band of the spectrum and are only obtainable from a certain company. Therefore they're also very expensive.

3. Remove or cover your shoes. You are also not allowed to enter the CAVE with your shoes or without the slippers present at the Lab. Also please clear the bottom of the slippers of any kind of debris before using the CAVE. The CAVE floor is coated with special reflective paint that is easily damaged by sharp objects.  

Workings of the CAVE

The Fontys VR Lab CAVE is a four walled CAVE. The walls are lit by 2x4 beamers. Every wall has two beamers that project their image on the same surface. Because one beamer projects the image of the left eye and the other beamer projects the image of the right eye passive stereoscopy is achieved. The two beamers of every surface is driven by one computer. Currently these computers are part of the Fontys CAVE cluster: caveserver, cavelinks, cavevoor, caverechts, cavevloer. Since none of the surface projection computers have any input devices, they rely on VNC to receive input from the caveserver computer over the network. It's possible for computers to join the local network by plugging directly into the switch and joining the workgroup. When running a CAVE application the caveserver, cavelinks, caverechts, cavevoor and cavevloer computers all run their own instantiation of the application. The caveserver is the master computer that keeps the other four computers in sync. How this is can be achieved depends largely on which method works best for your project. Input from human input devices are all managed by the server. The current input is supported by the Fontys VR-Cave: 1. A single Wiimote 2. Ascension Flock of Birds Magnetic Tracker (One on the glasses and one which can be held by hand.) 3. Keyboard/Mouse from behind caveserver (outside the CAVE).

Note that for the second item, there are actually three trackers.

Running your application in the CAVE

The platform you use is Vizard4 and you can use a template we made so it isn’t too difficult to run your application in the Cave. You can use a WiiMote for navigation and selection.

You can find a zipfile on the wiki of this site --> Cavetools -->2.4 platforms --> Vizard (in Dutch)-->Cavelib3 • C Cavelib3 which contains different file necessary for running in the CAVE or the a simulator.

• Main.py, contains a framework for a CAVE application. You can add your own code at the end of this file. Don’t use viz.go() here, it’s replaced by cave.go().

If you check out this file, you see that in the beginning you can choose between running in the CAVE and running it as a simulator on your laptop. Main imports Cavelib3.py which defines our Cave. Initially, it is configured to run on your laptop, so try that first. Use the arrow keys and the PgUp, PgDown key for navigation. Then change it to run in the CAVE.

Instructions to run a Vizard application in the CAVE

1. Go to the CAVE server computer (with the big screen).

2. Start all the client computers. There is an icon on the desktop to do that.

3. Start all the beamers. There is also an icon for this (“Beamers aan”).

4. Start Vizard4 (not Vizard3).

5. Since there are 5 computers co-operating now (1 for each CAVE-wall + the server), we have to run in cluster-mode. For that, first start the Vizard Cluster Master on the server computer (see the Tools menu in Vizard).

6. Then start the Vizard Cluster Clients on all the wall-computers. This cannot be done from Vizard, but you have to use another application, called “CaveServer”. This CaveServer application is probably already running, otherwise it can be started from the desktop. Inside CaveServer, choose the Vizard 4 clients and click Run. This will start the Vizard Cluster Client on every wall-computer (you can see them start on the CAVE walls), and also on the server itself. There will be an error on the server, because it is already running the Cluster Master and cannot also run the Cluster client. Ignore this error.

7. Within the Cluster Master, select all the clients and deselect the “Sync frames” option.

8. Make sure that the FOB (the device hanging high on the left, outside of the CAVE) is powered on.

9. Connect the WiiMote through Bluetooth (on the far right of the taskbar).

10. There is another application called “CAVE Daemon” that we need to connect to the FOB and the WiiMote. This Cave Daemon is probably already running, but otherwise start if from the desktop. Connect first the FOB (this will take a few seconds), and then the WiiMote.

11. Now start your application normally in Vizard. After a short delay, you should see it starting in the CAVE. It should react on moving the glasses that have the sensor sticked onto them.