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xyzview - Display 3-D point (velocity) and time data


xyzview [parameter=value]


xyzview is an program with which 3-D point data can be interactively displayed. It was initially developed on an SGI using the gl(3) library, but using e.g. the VOGL emulator library (available on most unix platforms) is quite an acceptable alternative if you don’t have an SGI workstation.

It can also create a set of shadow particles that represent the orbit of a selected star (see orbit=).


The following parameters are recognized in any order if the keyword is also given:
Point data to display. This file must be in xyzc or xyzuvwc format, usually created with snapxyz(1NEMO) . No default.
Range of times to display. [Default: all].
Scale factor for data.
Max number of points to draw in fast mode.
Draw a cube, scale units high.
Process at least this many points.
File with color table (binary) . Default: no colormap.
Use full screen (no border). [Default: false].
If given, set screen position.
If given, set aspect ratio.
Disable drawing window border.
Size of text in points. Default: 20
ID message for display.
Output viewing parameters
Maximum number of frames to store for movies. [1000]
Star number (0=first) to be selected to view the complete orbit of. This is done by creating pseudo-particles, and hence is somewhat memory consumptive if a lot of snapshots are used. If this option is used, all particles are loaded automatically. [Default: -1]
If set, snapshots from subsequent times will be automatically loaded. This is equivalent to hitting the ’l’ (load all frames) as soon as the first snapshot would have been loaded. Default: false.

Interactive Keys/Mouse Buttons

advance to next frame
write viewfile with viewing parameters
Viewing angles (xrot,yrot) are controlled by the X and Y cursor position. In most VOGL library versions you will have to depress the ’1’ key to get the same effect as on the SGI.
Viewing scene (z viewing distance and field of view) are controlled by the X and Y cursor position. In most VOGL library versions you will have to depress the ’2’ key to get the same effect as on the SGI.
Velocity vectors (vscale and vskip) are controlled by the X and Y cursor position. In most VOGL library versions you will have to depress the ’3’ key to get the same effect as on the SGI.


The standard color indices on the SGI GL are:
BLACK           0   (background)
RED             1
GREEN           2
YELLOW          3
BLUE            4
MAGENTA         5
CYAN            6
WHITE           7


in VOGL switching between 1,2 and 3 mousebuttons does not preserve the setting in the other frames. (orientation, zoom factor)


Here is a simple example of loading a movie when using the VOGL version (i.e. on most non-SGI machines). First create a simulation with 33 frames using hackcode1, then convert the snapshots to xyz frames, and startup xyzview (note you need to set an environment variable VDEVICE):
    hackcode1 out=r 64.dat tstop=4 freqout=8 > /dev/null
    snapxyz r64.dat
    setenv VDEVICE X11            (if not set yet)
now move the cursor in the window and depresss the ’1’ button and move the cursor around. You will now interactively roam around in 3D-space. Unfortunately (?) the cursor position is bound to a viewing angle in absolute screen coordinates, and not where you last left it. This often confuses users when they switch between buttons (keys) 1, 2 and 3.

Now switch to the ’2’ button and instead of roaming around, you now zoom in and out of the picture. ’3’ is somewhat specialized, and attempts to visualize the velocity vectors at the same time, for a subset of the particles.

Now we we load in all the frames using the ’l’ key. If you like to do this under a certain zoom factor and viewing angle, you can set those first with the 1,2,3 keys/cursor positions and then ’l’ (load) all frames. With the ’m’ key you can switch between movie mode and display mode. After the frames were loaded, you are still in display mode. In display mode the 1/2/3 keys/buttons are bound to orientation/zoom/velocity as you have seen before, in movie mode those are bound to backwards/continues/forwards motion of the frames. The most useful mode is the continues mode. So, first hit ’m’ (the ’4’ key is actually equivalent to the ’m’ key) to switch to movie mode and then hit the ’2’ key and keep it depressed, and move the mouse back and forth: the position is now bound to which frame will be displayed. If you like to play with this movie at another viewing angle, hit ’m’ and play with ’1’, ’2’ and ’3’ to select another viewing, then hit ’m’ again and with ’2’ roam around in time. Happy roaming.

To orient yourself, in rotation mode when the mouse is in the center of the image, you will see an X-Y view with the Z axis pointing outwards of the screen. Moving the cursor from the center to the top, parallel to the screen-Y axis will give an X-Z view (the X axis did not change position, the Y axis will now point into the screen away from the observer.

See Also

snapxyz(1NEMO) , snapcopy(1NEMO) , snapplot(1NEMO)


VDEVICE      set the display device (X11,postscript,ppostscript,cps,pcps)


src/nbody/xyz    source code


Josh Barnes (original), Peter Teuben (animations, orbit viewing)

Update History

xx-xxx-90    V1.0 Created                          JEB
20-jan-93    V1.x minor mods for VOGL emulator    PJT
30-mar-97    V2.0b formally released, added examples    PJT
4-apr-97    V2.1a made the ’4’ key equivalent to ’m’    PJT
3-sep-00    V2.2 added orbit=  orbit viewing    PJT
10-dec-03    V3.0 added movie=    PJT

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