Axis

DESCRIPTION

"Axis" will annotate a geometric, rendered image that was constructed from an Explorer 3D Uniform Lattice. The user has control over the axes that are displayed, as well as textual information such as axis labels, tic labels and an image title. This module is meant to be used in conjunction with the "Render" module, since all of its output is in the geometric data set.

"Axis" was written so that the user can "know where he/she is looking" in a render window. Although explorer is an excellent visualization tool, the lack of any common reference can be quite confusing after you've stretched, rotated and zoomed behind your image a multitude of times. "Axis" provides you with a common reference point, and allows for a bit of useful annotations.

Although images rendered in conjunction with "Axis" can be used for presentations or reports, the extreme two-dimensionality of the fonts in a three-dimensional world can look a bit...strange. In a future release, we will offer better control of font placement, font type, and (hopefully) three-dimensional block fonts. Until that time, feel free to use "Axis" as a starting point and perhaps fill in the "nicities" of image label using "Showcase" or a similar presentation tool.

When the "Axis" module is connected to a 3D Lattice input stream, it take certain reasonable defaults for the axis attributes. The number of Major tics will attempt to correspond to the number of incremental divisions in the user's X, Y, and Z matrix. If the user is not satisfied with the tic spacing, then he/she can set any spacing desired, or turn them off altogether.

Axis labels, tic labels and tic marks are placed in the plane that the axis in question shares with the X Axis. Y Labels, for instance, are written in the XY plane. For now, numeric tic labels are limited to 1 decimal position for output. We realize this is troublesome, and it will be remedied in subsequent releases.

Image titles and subtitles are placed in either the XY plane above the maximum Y value, or in the XZ plane above the maximum Z value. An attempt is made to center the text string, but there are no guarantees since we cannot get world coordinate information *back* from the Render module easily.

Image titles can be up to 1,024 characters in length. Subtitles are separated from the main title with a "||" separator. (Two pipes together.) There is no limit as to how many subtitles there can be in any one image. The main title is moved upwards forever to make room for the subtitles.

INPUTS

Port: InputLattice
Type: Lattice
Constraints: 3-D.
float..double.
uniform.
Input port from other Explorer modules.

WIDGETS

Port: X Axis Visible?
Type: Radio Box
Menu Item: X Axis Off
Menu Item: X Axis On
Turns the X Axis (with labels) on and off.

Port: X Major
Type: Slider
Number of major tics on the X Axis.

Port: Y Major
Type: Slider
Number of major tics on the Y Axis.

Port: Z Major
Type: Slider
Number of major tics on the Z Axis.

Port: X Minor
Type: Slider
Number of minor tics on the X Axis.

Port: Y Minor
Type: Slider
Number of minor tics on the Y Axis.

Port: Z Minor
Type: Slider
Number of minor tics on the Z Axis.

Port: Numeric Tic Labels?
Type: Radio Box
Menu Item: Numeric Tic Labels Off
Menu Item: Numeric Tic Labels On
Turns the numeric labeling on and off.

Port: Image Title
Type: Text
Enter a title for the image.

Port: X Axis Label
Type: Text
Enter a label for the X Axis.

Port: Y Axis Label
Type: Text
Enter a label for the Y Axis.

Port: Z Axis Label
Type: Text
Enter a label for the Z Axis.

Port: Y Axis Visible?
Type: Radio Box
Menu Item: Y Axis Off
Menu Item: Y Axis On
Turns the Y Axis (with labels) on and off.

Port: Z Axis Visible?
Type: Radio Box
Menu Item: Z Axis Off
Menu Item: Z Axis On
Turns the Z Axis (with labels) on and off.

Port: Title Location
Type: Option Menu
Menu Item: XY Plane
Menu Item: XZ Plane
Place title on either the XY plane or the XZ plane.

OUTPUTS

Port: OutputGeom
Type: Geometry
Outputs the axis and labels in a geometric form to another Explorer module. (99% of the time this will be Render.)

PROBLEMS

The severe restriction of allowing for only 16 input ports in any given module meant that a lot of functionality was left out of the "Axis" module. Color, for instance, is outside of the user's control. "Axis" will draw its information using whatever color is in colortable position 1 in render. Likewise, the user has no control over placement of the labels, origin of the axes, etc. Hopefully, these omissions will be addressed in a future release.

"Axis" has a little bit of a hard time centering it's titles. Hopefully, this will be addresses in a future release.

"Axis" only understands 3D Uniform Lattices, because that was our immediate need. It would be worthwhile to consider the labeling of other Lattices and 2D Lattices in future releases.

SEE ALSO

Render RenderRemote
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© The Numerical Algorithms Group Ltd, Oxford UK. 1999