What API for 3D UI development?

Discussion in '3D Hardware, Software & Output Devices' started by Arwin, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. Arwin

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    Hi all,

    I am trying to develop a little process management/knowledge/expert system (again, fourth attempt ;) but this time I think I've got the right setup, got it into good working condition already after about maybe 8 hours of coding in total), and I would like to render the knowledge graphs, and animate data movement, in 3D.

    What would be the easiest API for that? Unreal? Unity? CryEngine? WebGL? DirectX? OpenGL? The last one is the only one I meddled around with coding. Are any of them decent with rendering text?

    Basically I would want to build an organisational graph / parent-child tree, but in 3D instead of 2D.
     
  2. Davros

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    Unreal and Unity are not api's
    Would MS Chart Controls be good enough for you ?
    [​IMG]

    How about this its free (click product tour)
    http://www.qlik.com/uk/explore/products/sense

    Try typing charting tools for visual studio into google and see if anything meets your needs
     
    #2 Davros, May 2, 2015
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
  3. Arwin

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    I don't want charts though, I want to build a 3D ui ... I did find some examples of WPF 3D controls and such, which can do more than I expected, but it doesn't seem ideal (and it isn't hardware accellerated it seems). Still it can do a lot more than I expected, that's for sure. But City: Skylines was done in Unity, and that has some very interesting 3D UI stuff, so that may be the way to go, not sure yet. Keep the suggestions coming though!
     
  4. Alexko

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    I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to do. Are you trying to build a piece of software that lets you create and render graphs in 3D?

    If so, what would they look like?
     
  5. Davros

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    Thats what i thought graphs or charts theres nothing about a ui in the post
     
  6. Arwin

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    Ui in the title? I mean Knowledge graphs, so trees, workflows, etc
     
  7. Alexko

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    How would you actually interact with your data? Just a standard mouse and keyboard setup? If so, a 3D engine like Unity wouldn't be a bad choice, as you can easily create ready-made 3D objects and select them with built-in ray-casting functions, etc.

    That said, the GUI elements that you can create with Unity used to be absolutely horrible. Apparently they've remade everything and it's supposed to be much better now, but I haven't tried the new stuff.

    Presumably, the above would hold true for the Unreal Engine and CryEngine.
     
  8. Ethatron

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    Maybe lookup the old code of the SGI file explorer demo. ;) It was probably in Objective C.
     
  9. Arwin

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    I did some tests earlier with Unreal Engine 4 and there were some neat things in there - I could easily make something where for instance I could set an object to grow by 25% on mouse over. That was really truly easy with Kismet. So there's certainly some good options there. What wasn't as clear to me was how I could create objects from code, never mind how to do that without having to use C++.

    It's a tough choice, as there seems to be a lot of investment to do. However I really like how you can make components that then hook up into Kismet, and also how these modules can then easily be sold again as components that others can reuse. So who knows I may need to get back into C++ (been almost 20 years I think, pff).
     
  10. Alexko

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    What language(s) would you prefer?
     
  11. Arwin

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    C# is easiest for me, as I use that most of the time for work and hobby projects, websites, etc.
     
  12. Alexko

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    Then you might want to try Unity, it relies mostly on C#.
     
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