3D Replay requirements and FAQ

What you need on your PC to use these visualizations

Software Requirements

The MBARI 3D dive replays have been constructed using open international standards. 3D visualization on the Web is an evolving area, yet (currently) to use these visulizations you must have the software listed below. If you have 3D graphics hardware and at least a 700 Mhz Pentium III CPU then the performance will be acceptable. (And yes, a Windows PC is required -- this is the only platform in which this application has been successfully tested.)

With Netscape 4.7x (preferred):

With Internet Explorer 4 and higher:

There are known bugs in this implementation. In testing of MBARI 3D replays on several systems these bugs usually result in the browser becoming unresponsive, requiring you to close all of its windows and end the task. This occurs more frequently as new worlds are loaded without restarting the browser. The solution is to close all windows of your web browser, restart it and then view the next world. If you are using this 3D data visualization tool and doing other web surfing please use another browser for the other surfing as the browser used for 3D Replay may freeze and lock up its other windows.

Unless you enjoy exploring new VRML worlds on your own I highly recommend asking me to help configure your computer and to walk you through how best to use the navigation controls. Please call me at (831) 775-1769 or email me mccann@mbari.org. If you wish to continue on your own please read the information below on how to configure your browser and navigate the worlds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the keyboard keys I press in Netscape/CosmoPlayer to move around the world?

For reference here are the keyboard accelerators for use in navigating these 3D worlds:

In order for these keyboard accelerators to work you must have "Turbo Mode and Continuous Seek" selected in your CosmoPlayer Preferences:

Here is a paragraph from the 2002 Web3D Symposium paper describing the navigation features of this system:

Which renderer should I use in CosmoPlayer?

I have had better experience with the Direct3D Renderer in CosmoPlayer; it does a better job of showing the dive profiles above the terrain.  

How do I navigate in Cortona?

I recommend using the CAD-skin as this provides similar navigation functions to CosmoPlayer's Examine mode.

Right click to bring up Preferences and select the CAD-like Skin:

What are the controls on the left?

Each dive has it's own individual set of controls that can be used to load in additional data for the dive, color the dive track with the ROVCTD data, adjust the height of the dive track relative to the terrain, and control the playback of the dive.

The letters (which are also buttons) have roll-over text to help you remember what they do. The large slider controls the ROV and ship position/orientations according to their time history. The GMT time is displayed on the left of the blue ball and updates only when you let go of the slider. The smaller slider in the upper left controls the vertical offset of the dive track relative to the terrain. You can adjust this plus or minus 25 m. The dive name in green is the one whose controls are active. To activate controls for another dive click on the green dive name to turn that one off (the controls are unloaded) and then click on another dive name (those controls are loaded).

Here is an image showing these functions and other elements of the 3D Replay:

(Click image for larger version)

The 3D Replay worlds no longer load in my browser. How can I fix this?

CosmoPlayer caches many of the files that are downloaded into the browser. This includes texture maps, geometry for the terrain, the external prototypes that make up the 3D Replay application, and external prototypes that support the GeoVRML operations. Occaisonally, one of these cached files may become corrupt - at least that is my suspicion. A corrupt cached file may lock up CosmoPlayer such that it cannot successfully load a 3D Replay. A remedy for this is to remove the cached files. To do this on Windows open a command window, cd to %TEMP%, and remove all cp* files:

     cd %TEMP%
     del cp*

Open Netscape and try reloading a 3D Replay.

What is the color lookup for the ROVCTD data mappings?


Additional screen shots

Last updated: 17 September 2003, Mike McCann