2009

MAGIC: Model and Graphic Information Converter

MAGIC is a software tool capable of converting highly detailed 3D models from an open, standard format, VRML 2.0/97, into the proprietary DTS file format used by the Torque Game Engine from GarageGames. MAGIC is used to convert 3D simulations from authoritative sources into the data needed to run the simulations in NASA’s Distributed Observer Network.

The Distributed Observer Network (DON) is a simulation presentation tool built by NASA to facilitate the simulation sharing requirements of the Data Presentation and Visualization effort within the Constellation Program. DON is built on top of the Torque Game Engine (TGE) and has chosen TGE’s Dynamix Three Space (DTS) file format to represent 3D objects within simulations.

The DTS file structure is generally intended to contain common game objects, with less than ten thousand polygons each, and if built using the standard methods will break (fail to load or contain corrupted geometry) after that amount.

MAGIC employs techniques to work around the DTS limitations, allowing for much more information to be successfully represented with the DTS file structure (millions of polygons). This ability opens up the Torque Game Engine to be used in applications where such detail is needed.

MAGIC can handle models of nearly limitless complexity (millions of polygons with complex scene structures) and save the information into a single DTS file to be used within a DON simulation.

MAGIC also handles every other aspect of simulation conversion (texture map conversion/creation, support file generation, mission folder, and hierarchy creation, etc.) and can create all the files needed for DON to successfully recreate simulations. MAGIC is a freely distributable, standalone executable that runs on Windows XP (or later) operating systems. All that is required is to provide MAGIC with the simulation data (models, images, telemetry, etc.) and a configuration file instructing MAGIC what it needs to do, then press “Go!”.

This work was done by W.C. Herbert of Kennedy Space Center. For further information, contact the Kennedy Innovative Partnerships Program Office at (321) 861- 7158. KSC-13201