Progress Report + COOL NEW VISUALS! WOW!!

So today, I set out on the goal of getting the “interactability” of the ProtoType working.

First I wrote a small mouse tracking program that displays the coordinates of the mouse cursor wherever it moves (within the window) . It looks like this:


Then I wrote another very small program that simply kept track of the state of the left mouse button. The screen would display a “1” when the left mouse button was clicked, and would stay as “1” until the user releases the left mouse button. Otherwise, the screen would display “0.” It looks like this:


    So by combining these two elements, along with Rory’s nifty scrolling functions, we were able make this task (quoted from yesterday’s blog) a reality:

The second big issue is how to make the sun movable by click-and-drag. The problem here is that the DSE is simply a flipbook of images of the sun. It is not a 3D model, so “rotating the Sun” really just means flipping through the images in order. We want the user to click-and-drag like they would in Google Earth, and we want the pictures to scroll in a manner that simulates an actual rotating of a 3D sphere (bbut only in the x-direction). We did manage to make the images scroll based on the mouse’s location and Rory found a way to make the images scroll when the mouse is clicked and held at the edge of the images; however, this still remains a work in progress.

And what you’ve all been waiting for:


    It works pretty great minus a few laggy areas, but some of that can’t be helped due to missing Solar Dynamics Observatory images. The next step is getting a Wiimote to accomplish the same functionality as the mouse, but we might save that for a later date.

    The next task is going to be working on the Digital Space Explorer DSE – I believe I may have accidentally called the above project “DSE” a few times previously by mistake. This is because the above project currently has no name… We have considered:

Educational Solar Projection Navigator (ESPN)

Semi-Functional Educational Rotating Entity (SFERE)

Sun Navigator (SuN)

    Tomorrow we’ll be figuring out what we should do with the DSE. Cool stuff…


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