AGAVE - Access Grid Augmented Virtual Environment

System Requirements
Building COANIM
Importing your models


This document describes how to install several pieces of software that will allow collaborators to share 3D content in conjunction with the Access Grid. The details on how to set up the AGAVE configuration are described in the paper  AGAVE: Access Grid Augmented Virtual Environment .

System Requirements

 The software has been tested on Red Hat Linux Version 6.1.  In addition, you should have installed
CAVE library

IRIS Performer

Content - COANIM

COANIM (or the Collaborative Animator) is the application for viewing 3D content. It basically provides a  flip-book playback of 3D models. Coanim provides this capability to collaborating users so that several users can playback, stop, and single step through the animation.The dataset with our distribution contains an animation of the heart and lung showing the blood flow between them.
COANIM relies on the CAVERNsoft toolkit for the networking support required in order for distributed users to collaboratively visualize data.
The IRIS Performer - CAVElib allows the COANIM application to run across various display architectures. Hence, a collaborator in the CAVE is able to work with a collaborator on AGAVE seamlessly.
Coanim Overview


  1. Unpack the distribution using the command
    tar -zxvf agave.tar.gz
  2. This will create a top-level directory called agave with the following sub-directories
      cavernG2 The CAVERNSoft networking libraries
      modules The COANIM application and supporting modules
      caveGUI The GUI-related software
  3. Change the current directory to agave
    cd agave

  4. Begin by running the server as follows
  5. Now, multiple clients on different machines can collaborate through this central server. For each client, type
    RUN_CLIENT <yourName> <serverIPAddress>
      serverIPAddress is the address of the server in step 4
      yourName is the name used to identify yourself in the collaborative environment
    This will bring up a model of the heart and lung as shown here. This model was designed to teach children about blood flow between the heart and lungs. You can interact with this as described in the sections below


With this application, among other things, you can cycle through the animation of the lung, and using the cutting plane, slice through the heart to see the blood flow inside. Described here are all the possible forms of interaction.

Button Controls

The wand buttons are programmed for the following interactions within COANIM
LEFT button Brings up the menu shown below. Select items using the left button
MIDDLE button  Rotate the object around. It will follow your wand
RIGHT button Pickup and move the clipping plane

Keyboard Controls

Alternatively, all the menu options above are also accessible using the following keyboard shortcuts.
X Play animation
SHIFT + X Stop animation
Enable Cutting Plane
SHIFT + C Disable Cutting Plane
B Scale up the models
SHIFT + B Scale down
- Decrease Play Speed
= Increase Play Speed
N Show Next Frame
R Reset
I Rotate Up
K Rotate Down
J Rotate Left
L Rotate Right
U Rotate Counter Clockwise
O Rotate Clockwise

Simulated Wand Controls

In AGAVE, the wand is controlled using the mouse and keyboard. Moving the mouse while holding down the appropriate key will move or rotate the wand.
CTRL + mouse movement Move wand left/right/forward/back
SHIFT + mouse movement Move wand left/right/up/down
ALT + mouse movement Rotate wand left/right/up/down
< and > Roll wand (rotate about Z)
HOME Reset wand to be in front of user

Pressing the mouse buttons corresponds to pressing the wand buttons. Holding down the spacebar while moving the mouse controls the joystick values. Note that the joystick controls set the X and Y values based on the current position of the mouse on the screen, rather than the mouse's relative movement (i.e. the top of the screen is Y=1.0, etc.). The joystick is reset to (0,0) when the spacebar is released.

Building COANIM

It is recommended that you use the already pre-compiled software. However, if you still need to build the software, these are the steps
  1. Change directories - cd agave/modules
  2. To build, type - Make.script LINUX

Importing your models

If you have pfb models, these can be easily imported into COANIM
  1. Change directories - cd agave/modules/coanim
  2. Edit the file RUN_CLIENT- vi RUN_CLIENT
  3. In the command-line options for coanim, replace $frames/*.pfb with your pfb filenames
  4. If you have IRIS Performer installed, you can convert from other 3D file formats to pfb, using
    pfconv <yourfile>.<format> <newfilename>.pfb


If you have any problems, questions, or feedback please send email to
You can also visit the CAVERNsoft G2  website at The Open Channel Foundation