coin250 - New Features in Coin v2.5.0 This is a brief summary of the
new features in Coin v2.5.0, grouped by feature category.
Geographical Data Support
The Geopgraphic Data Support nodes are partly based on GeoVRML
(http://www.geovrml.org/), and partly based on our own UTM-nodes which
can be found in the SmallChange library.
The Geographic Data Support nodes makes it possible to create e.g.
globe-spanning models that you can navigate around in without getting
into float precision problems (’the shakes’). Some assistance from the
application code is needed for this though; it is not a fully automatic
In addition to new nodes, SoCamera and its derived nodes have been
updated to support the SoGeoOrigin node.
The coordinate system support in the above nodes are currently a bit
lacking (only a few systems/zones are supported), but this will improve
over time. API-changes should not be needed to extend this, so
patchlevel releases would be enough to add more coordinate systems.
The VRML2 counterparts of the above nodes, which would be a subpart of
implementing the GeoVRML extension, are not yet in development, but
they might show up for the next major release since a big part of the
implementation will be shared.
Note: These above SoGeo*-nodes make the UTM*-nodes in the SmallChange
library obsolete (for anyone who uses those), so the support for those
nodes will eventually be deprecated and removed. They won’t be removed
over night though, but for new users: avoid starting to use the
UTM*-nodes at all cost to avoid having to waste time on a port down the
Generic GLSL Shader Support
Shader support is implemented through a set of new shader nodes, more
or less compatible with the corresponding TGS extensions. Beyond GLSL,
Coin also supports ARB shaders and Cg shaders (if the Cg library is
installed). However, we will only recommend the use of the shader
language GLSL and put our focus on that one.
See also the ’Shaders in Coin’ page for more information.
Generic Shadow Rendering Functionality
Support for rendering shadows has been added to Coin through a set of
shader-based nodes. The technique used is the Variance Shadow Maps
Vertex Buffer Object (VBO) Usage
A lot of nodes have had their rendering code optimized for VBO usage,
giving great performance increases. However, this is not universally
enabled - it is necessary to organize the scene graphs in specific ways
for VBOs to be used.
See the VBO Rendering in Coin page for a detailed description.
Expanded Sb* Class Collection
The set of Sb* classes in Coin has been expanded greatly, with most
notable a whole skew of SbVec and SbBox classes. The reasoning behind
this move was that historically these classes were just added as
needed, one by one, causing the stable branch of Coin and the
development branch of Coin to diverge and become more and more
incompatible as time went by. Also, extension nodes were created in
peripheral libraries that used these new classes from the Coin
development branch, and consequently couldn’t be built gainst the
stable branch of Coin. With this preemptive class set expansion, we
hope to cause that the Coin stable branch and the Coin development
branch stay closer in sync over a longer period, and that the
incompatibility divergence will happen around major new feature sets
instead of around minor details.
New Sb*-classes: SbBox2i32, SbBox3i32, SbBox3d, SbVec2b, SbVec2ub,
SbVec2us, SbVec2i32, SbVec2ui32, SbVec3b, SbVec3ub, SbVec3us,
SbVec3i32, SbVec3ui32, SbVec4b, SbVec4ub, SbVec4s, SbVec4us, SbVec4i32,
Note: You can also find a good deal of these classes in TGS Inventor,
so this was also a TGS compatibility move.
Expanded Field Class Collection
The exact same reasoning as for the Sb*-classes goes for the field
New field classes: SoSFBox2s, SoSFBox2i32, SoSFBox2d, SoSFBox2d,
SoSFBox3i32, SoSFBox3d, SoSFColorRGBA, SoSFDouble, SoSFVec2b,
SoSFVec2i32, SoSFVec2d, SoSFVec3b, SoSFVec3i32, SoSFVec4b, SoSFVec4ub,
SoSFVec4s, SoSFVec4us, SoSFVec4i32, SoSFVec4ui32, SoSFVec4d,
SoMFColorRGBA, SoMFDouble, SoMFVec2b, SoMFVec2s, SoMFVec2i32,
SoMFVec2d, SoMFVec3b, SoMFVec3s, SoMFVec3i32, SoMFVec4b, SoMFVec4ub,
SoMFVec4s, SoMFVec4us, SoMFVec4i32, SoMFVec4ui32, SoMFVec4d
This node is added to make it possible to set up a custom camera with
full control over the view volume. SoFrustumCamera is basically a
mapping of the OpenGL glFrustum() method.
The typical use of SoFrustumCamera is in a CAVE or MultiPipe
environment where it’s often necessary to set up cameras based on the
configuration of the different displays.
Below follows a non-exhaustive list of other, more minor, tweaks and
SoSearchAction on SoFile nodes
To facilitate control over whether an SoFile node should traverse its
children during an SoSearchAction traversal, two static methods have
been added to SoFile.
· SoFile::setSearchOK() [static]
· SoFile::getSearchOK() [static]
SbTypeInfo<T> template type information library
For those who write generic code using C++ templates, a template type
information library has been added for the primitive Coin-types, so you
can use type relations for populating a template instead of needing
template parameters for all changing types of the template, or you can
write generic code on type attributes like the number of dimensions of
an SbVec class. SbTypeInfo<T> can be found in Inventor/SbTypeInfo.h.
Visual Studio Projects
The Visual Studio projects have been split into projects for separately
building, installing, uninstalling the Coin SDK, and document
generation. This was done primarily to be able to build without
automatically performing the installation procedure at the same time,
but also to offer other supplementary targets later like the doc-
New features for Coin v2.4.0 are here.