Project 2 - Chimes of Freedom

Due Monday 4/27 at 8:59pm Chicago time

The purpose of this project is to have you explore how you can use VR or AR in your own research.

Proposal phase - by 2/28 you should create a web page that describes the project that you want to do, along with any reference material that would help convince me that this is a good project. Tell me why VR will be beneficial here and what you expect to gain. Tell me which platform or platforms you want to develop your application for. You should then email the location of that web page to andy. I will then make links to all those projects available on the class web pages so everyone can see what everyone else is doing. Once andy approves of your project you move onto the implementation phase.

There is a default project if you can't think of one of your own: Wheel in the Sky.

Over a decade ago we worked with the Adler Planetarium on a visualization of the constellations, but one that allowed the user to move away from the earth and see how the constellations involved stars at very different distances from us, and keep flying even further away through the stars of the Milky Way.

See 43 seconds into this video for an idea what the stars looked like without the constellations showing -

The default project is a rewrite and enhancement of this idea to include not only the 88 official IAU constellations from 1930 but also those of other cultures.

The HYG Star Database is a good place to start at

It has 120,000 star systems with X, Y, Z locations (so you dont need to convert from RA and Dec), the Hipparcos ID (for linking to other star lists), the spectrum (for color) and the magnitude (for size and brightness).

Stellarium at
has a section on sky cultures and the constellationship.fab files in these directories give pairs of stars that should be linked in various constellations.

You should start the user off looking at our home star at about waist level. Galactic north should be up. By default a parsec should equal about a foot. You should be able to look around and see all of the stars at their proper distances, and see the 88 IAU constellations. The user should be able to use a button on the controller to turn the current constellations on and off. The user should be able to bring up a menu of at least 5 other sets of constellations to choose from and have those displayed instead.

The user should be able to fly in any direction, and rotate (roll, pitch, and yaw) in any direction using one of the hand controllers. There should be a button or menu item that resets the location and orientation back to the starting point. The virtual world should tell the user how far they are away from Earth and it what direction it lies.

Everything should be very smooth and look very classy.

There should be an appropriate music file playing on loop in the background. The user should be able to easily swap out that file for another of their choice.

The user should be able to bring up data on the number of planets in each of the nearby solar systems.

Any lines and text should look very nice, and very likely you will want to use a shader for the stars to make them look like stars.

It would be good to add in the larger star datasets such as tycho2 with 2 million stars, or even gaia with over 1 billion stars to allow the user to travel even further.

Note that unlike the first project this one will be done more in C# code, reading in data files and creating the geometry at startup.

The requirements above are for the one-person version of the project. For a group of two the project should probably add the following:

To turn in your project you should set up a web page with several pages describing your work, including the well-commented source code and required files to be able to compile and run your program, and some photographs and screen captures showing what your application looks like when its running. You should then email andy with the location of this website before the deadline. It  would probably be a good idea to put a backup copy of the web page at a second website just in case I can't get to the first one.

These web pages should include:

all of which should have plenty of screenshots or photographs with meaningful captions.

Be sure to document any external libraries or tools that you make use of - give credit where credit is due.

You should also create a 2-3 minute YouTube video in the CAVE or using screen capture showing your application running and feature the video prominently on your project web page. The video should be narrated and rehearsed to show off the important features of your project.

Remember that this website may be useful to you later on when you are looking for a job and want to show off the projects you have done.

When you send andy the location of your webpage you should also email a scaled down version of your favorite photo that is 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall in jpg format named p3.<your_last_name>.jpg. This image will be used on the class web pages along with the link to your project web page.

Each student will also give a short demonstration about your project in-class and answer some questions about your work. Be sure to practice your presentation so you finish within the allotted time so everyone has equal time to present.

Project proposal pages
Burks, Andrew
Habibi, Pantea
Sharifi, Hasti
Jyothula, Sai Priya
Kulkarni, Shreyas
Nishimoto, Ryan
Panthi, Amit
Perri, Anthony
Terhark, Jake
Tso, Jonathan

last revision 3/11/2020 - updated due date

2/28/2020 - added in links to project proposals

2/22/2020 - added in info for multi-person default project