2015-05-15 – Pluto-Palooza

Alex: In preparation for the first public pre-release, I was busy with preparing the website, including Google Analytics to get some impression about OpenSpace’s popularity. Furthermore, on the code side, I implemented the parsing of the REX instrument on-board New Horizons and implemented a basic rendering of it, which was further improved on by Anton. Last but not least, preparing distribution packages on Mac is *way* too complicated for my taste.

Anton: Before our big presentation I was thrown between run-throughs, meetings and last minute fixes to make the demo look as good as possible. I was also on the Pluto Palooza event at The Explorers Club on the upper east side to see what we would expect the scientists talking about before/during the presentation. It all turned out great and we got tons of compliments of what we have achieved so far!

Tomas and Emil: We are up and running at Goddard! We have started looking into how we can optimize the multi-res bricking volume rendering, which is going to be a big part of our thesis. Previously the volume rendering was performed in two render passes per frame. A dry-run was carried out by the GPU in order to select the bricks required for the second step – rendering. Our first experiment was to move the brick selection to the CPU to minimize the amount of data being sent back and forth between the GPU and the CPU. This seems to have resulted in a slight speedup, especially when the volume takes up a large portion of the screen. We are further looking into how we can make use of the data from the first step instead of doing the brick lookup twice. This will keep us busy for a while!