DAWN for GEANT4 Visualization

Paper: 159
Session: E (talk)
Speaker: Tanaka, Satoshi, Fukui University, Fukui-shi
Keywords: free software, graphics, simulation tools, software tools

DAWN for GEANT4 Visualization

Satoshi Tanaka and Minato Kawaguti

Department of Information Science, Fukui University,
Bunkyo 3-9-1, Fukui-shi 910, JAPAN
e-mail: tanaka@i1nws1.fuis.fukui-u.ac.jp

Key words: high energy simulation
remote graphics
high quality

We have developed and released a versatile software package
"DAWN'', which is a 3D graphics renderer available to visualize computer
simulation of high energy experiments.
DAWN runs as an independent process, being separate from a
process of high energy simulator program.
The connection between the processes is established with
either bi-directional pipe or TCP/IP sockets.
DAWN visualizes complicated detectors, steps and trajectories of particles, etc.
The visualization is done based on various three-dimensional primitives,
such as boxes, tubes, spheres, polylines, sent from the high energy simulator.

Characteristic features of DAWN are:

Remote graphics.
That is, DAWN can visualize three-dimensional data sent from a simulator,
which is running at a remote host being connected via local
or wide area network.
Thus, it is quite straightforward to perform
distributed processing of simulation itself and its visualization.

Stand-alone re-visualization.
Visualized three-dimensional data sent from a simulator
are saved to a file.
DAWN can re-visualize the saved data later without help of the simulator.
In the re-visualization, camera positions, drawing styles, devices, etc
can be different from the original setting specified by the simulator.

Support of both
(1) high-speed Z-buffer mode and
(2) high-quality analytical hidden
line/surface removal mode.
The latter allows unlimited resolution of drawn figures,
and so is suitable for hard-copy output.

Support of three devices, i.e., X, PostScript, and OpenGL.
The OpenGL is an option and can be excluded at the time of compilation.

Simultaneous drawing of surfaces and edges of three-dimensional primitives
Drawing edges is important to illustrate structures of detectors.

Line haloing.
This function illustrates relative positions of trajectories easily.

Automatic detection of outlines and auxiliary lines
of three-dimensional primitives to be drawn.
This function, for example, enables intelligent wireframe drawing in which
only outlines are drawn.
It improves the transparent feature of wireframe drawing to a great extent.

Assignability of different drawing style to each three-dimensional
primitives. For example, a part of a detector can be drawn with
wireframe, such that it is made transparent.

We stress that DAWN has already been connected to the prototype
version of GEANT4
which will be one of the most popular high energy simulator,
and is able to visualize its simulation.
(The connection to GEANT4 was made in collaboration with John Allison
and Andrew Walkden at University of Manchester.)
DAWN is a free software, and already made public at our ftp site: