OpenCOVER is a further development of COVER, which was the original COVISE VR renderer. It is based on OpenSceneGraph, an open source high performance 3D graphics toolkit, to make optimal use of the rendering hardware. OpenCOVER stands for "Open COVISE Virtual Environment" and is an integral part of the COVISE visualization and simulation environment. The design of OpenCOVER was developed to support technical and scientific applications. OpenCOVER supports loading VRML2.0/VRML97 datasets, Detailed information about the supported features can be found in this compatibility matrix.

Tracking Systems & 3D Input Devices

Here is an incomplete list of Tracking systems supported by OpenCOVER:

  • ART optical tracking system
  • VICON optical tracking system
  • Ascension Motionsstar / Flock of Birds
  • FASTRAK System from Polhemus
  • TrackD tracker library


Tablet PC User Interface

We implemented aTabetPC user interface for interaction in the CAVE.

Interaction & Feedback

The user interacts with the scene through the 3D device and a 3D menu. A line coming out of the device intersects with the menu and the scene. Depending on the selected action an appropriate interactor is drawn. The pictures on the left show some of the interactors. Pressing the buttons selects a menu item or object. The pictures on the left shows some of the interactors that can be attached to the stylus.

Feedback is a very special kind of interaction: it's interaction with other COVISE modules like on-going numerical simulations and post-processing steps. Currently you can set interactively:

  • the startpoints for a particle tracer by just pointing to the place where they should start and then press the button
  • the new position of a cuttingplane or cutgeometry module
  • the new position of an isosurface module
  • the angle of a rotor blade created by the transform module


Collaborative Working

As a COVISE renderer module OpenCOVER also supports collaborative working. Three collaboration modes have been implemented, Loose Coupling, Tight Coupling, and Master/Slave Coupling. Cone-shaped markers can be placed in the 3D scene to point to positions of interest.

Supported VR Environments

OpenCOVER was developed for the virtual environment at HLRS, consisting of a large backprojection screen from TAN with an Electrohome projector, but it runs in all backprojection screen based environments like Immersadesks, Responsive Workbenches or CAVEs. The screen size can be configured through a configuration file. The stereoscopic effect is created with the SGI quadbuffer stereo mode (available with RealityEngine, InfiniteReality and Impact graphics) and stereo glasses. With active stereo glasses only one projector is necessary, with polarized paper glasses two projectors are necessary.