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Senior Project - Derp


3D OBJ Viewer Control

Senior Project: 2007-2008
Claire Hopkins, Travis Offtermatt, Spencer Porter and Paul Steinbrecher

Microsoft has been developing Virtual Earth, a mapping program providing an extensive view of the Earth. Virtual Earth includes street information, satellite images, 3D terrain details, and much other information all integrated into a single easy-to-use program. Recently, Microsoft has been adding 3D building models to Virtual Earth. These building models are generated from multiple aerial and ground photos and stored in the OBJ/MTL format. The model generation process is quite involved and there is considerable potential for error. A good quality control application is needed to assist in model generation.

The goal of the project was to create a "model viewer" control, which could then be used in quality control (and other) applications. The model viewer is capable of reading and displaying any OBJ file given to it. The viewer also provides appropriate feedback on problems with the file, e.g. if the file is corrupted, improperly formatted, or is missing information. Models loaded into the viewer can easily be rotated and moved using the keyboard and mouse. The models can also be displayed using multiple display settings useful for analyzing a potentially problematic model. These include wireframe, vertex highlighting, textures and adjustable lighting conditions.

The viewer was designed to provide an easy-to-use application programming interface (API), so that it can also be used for many other uses besides quality control. The API allows the model viewer to be easily integrated into any application, even allowing multiple model viewers to be placed into a single window. The entire library was implemented in C# using DirectX 9.0c.

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