Guidance Please! 3D Visualization of real-time dat

Hello everyone.

Please excuse the possible simplicity and vagueness of my question, as I have no or at most very little experience in this field.

I’ve created a LabView (National Instruments) program that processes data in real-time from my hardware/instruments. This data is then manipulated to get a series of normal vectors and other dimensions.

So say I have a file which contains a series of points or vectors that are constantly updated (more than once per second). Indeed these points will dictate the shape of a cylindrical object with a known diameter. As the points change, the shape of the cylinder will change (ie. bend).

If I create a model of this “cylinder” in say 3dsMax or any other program, how do I go about allowing these coordinates to dictate its shape in a “real-time”/low latency virtual environment?

At the moment, I have a simple graph in LabView contained within a loop that plots a curve of points that simulates my cylinder. Obviously, however, this is subpar because the visual quality is poor, and I would like to customize the features of my model.

Come to think of it, essentially my system is only slightly different from any video game controller. A video game controller sends a signal to the processor, and the processor controls the graphics. In my case, it’s not different: my data is a representation of a physical system and I want that data to control my 3d graphics.

Thank you for any help!


If I understand you correctly, you have a set of vertices that dictate a cylinder shape.
I don’t know what your hardware can support but, what you can do to display a dynamic object in realtime is use “vertex buffer objects” with opengl. This an extension of opengl that allow you in your case to display very quickly large amount data in realtime and update it in parallel using another thread in your program to avoid application stalls.

Compute the triangles for your cylinder yourself. If you want to see how others do it, look at the GLU source code (MESA would have some). This is the easiest solution I can imagine.

Now, what does this question has to do with OpenGL? Won’t it be better suited in Math and Algorithms?