Zhu3D 4.1.8

Heinz van Saanen zhu3d at aon.at
Thu Jan 1 17:53:00 CET 2009

Name: Zhu3D
Version: 4.1.8
Type: KDE Scientific
Depend: Qt 4.x
License: GPL
Homepage: http://sourceforge.net/projects/zhu3d/
More Info:

 Zhu3D is an interactive OpenGL-based mathematical
function viewer. You can visualize explicite
functions, parametric systems and isosurfaces. The
viewer supports zooming, scaling and rotating as
well as filed lighting or surface properties.
Special effects are animation, morphing,
transparency, textures, fog and motion blur.
Equation systems can be solved with a fast
adaptive random search.

You have up to 8 lights, background settings,
wire-modes or different illumination models. For
picture rendering and textures all common
pic-formats are recognized. You can define your
own customized functions to any desired complexity
level, nested or even recursive functions
inclusively. For special purposes if-clauses and
boolean operators are supported. Isosurfaces can
use different volume-based algorithms.

Zhu3D is originally designed for *nix-systems, but
runs as well under Mac OS X or Windows 2000-Vista
in all 32/64 bit-flavours. It is fully localized
for English, German, Spanish, French and Chinese.
API's like KDE, Gnome, Motif, Mac OS or Windows
XP/Vista are supported natively. All these
settings as well as most others can be changed
dynamically at runtime. The application comes with
extended help files and a lot of examples. A
precompiled and ready-to-go Windows version is


For basic tasks even a really slow and ancient PC
without HW-OpenGL may be sufficient. However, neat
things like motion blur, morphing or isosorfaces
are a challenge for every GPU/CPU out there. Zhu3D
automatically utilizes up to 16 highly optimized
parallel threads therefore. When compiling by
yourself, you easely can enable vectorizing with
SSE3 as an additional boost-option.


All unnecessary dependencies are strictly avoided.
So compiling is a mere child's play at your
fingertips. Everything you need is Qt >=4.3 and
OpenGL >=1.4 whereas OpenGL may even be a pure
software implementation like Mesa. The qmake
easily can be taylored for special needs, what
supports packagers.


When starting Zhu3D the very first time, you may
get a "No hardware OpenGL" warning. This is
(mostly) a false warning and does NO harm at all.
So click it away happily. This little issue will
be fixed in 4.2.0.

Have fun, Heinz van Saanen

 What is new in 4.1.8

- Added workaround for asinh() and friends under
MS Windows. These hyperbolic functions are
re-enabled now, but are a tick slower and - in
solver mode - not as precise as under *nix
- Added example for hyperbolic functions (again)
- Tuned initial values for animation and morphing.
These should be suitable for more standard cases
now. Optimised framerates for minimum
CPU/GPU-usage and better support of older/slower
- Reworked all demo examples. Enabling
animation/morphing shows nice and sensible results
throughout now. Same for fog-settings and motion
- Reduced initial grid count in favour of slower
- Finetuning for initial light settings. Same for
motion blur. The latter not only for optical but
performance reasons too
- Added CPU-thread scheduling workaround for Mac
OS X. Zhu3D should compile (again) now hopefully
- Added patch for Qt 4.0.0 to force correct comma
handling. This effects both Qt 4.4.0 and German
users only
- Added small patch for Qt4 4.5.beta1. Good news,
99.99% seem to work though 4.5 is still an early
- Added "Tips & tricks" and "Translations"
sections in the readme.txt and improved the "Quick
start" section. Added hints on composite managers
- Small code shrinks in the OpenGL/pic saving part
- Some modest example tuning
- Removed unreferenced functions from the
- Added *nix64/ICC 11.0 as tested platform
- Added Ubuntu64 8.10/Intel GMA X4500 as tested
- Added Ubuntu64 8.10/AMD/ATI 1200 as tested
- Added MS Vista Phenom X3/NV 9600 GS as tested
- Typo hunting throughout all txt-files
- Switched Qt4 logo to new one
- Updated intel-icc.txt with info regarding new
ICC 11.0

What was new in 4.1.6

- Tremendous speed-up for expressions containing
x^2, y^3, $pi^2, ... e.g. Most isosurface examples
can even be morphed in real-time now, especially
when using 2 or 4 CPU-cores. Old or slow hardware
will profit a lot too of course
- The zhu3d.pro-file offers a switch to enable
SSE3 now. Vectorizing with SSE3 is used for
generating OpenGL-lists and normal calculations.
The speed gain varies depending on the task and is
some 5-40% on my older x_86_64 CPU. Possibly more
recent CPUs with better SSE-units may benefit a
lot more
- Added SSE3 info in the system information box
- Slightly tuned OpenGL normal-generation for
- Enabled -ffast-math switch as default now. This
shows another speed-up of a few percent
- Slightly improved optical quality of isosurfaces
- Synchronizing colours in the legends editor
differentiates between axes and other text-labels
now. So these areas are strictly independent from
each other
- Synchronizing colours in the legends editor did
not respect colour locking-information. Fixed
- Adopted parsers to fparser version 2.84. Added
some slight tunings for both the OpenGL- and the
- Removed never referenced functions from the new
- Added inline assembler code for Intel icc in the
tsc-class, so icc serializes instructions too now
- Fixed icc warnings when compiling the tsc
- Tuned clock-timing-function: Minimized
interferences through interrupts and locked it to
one CPU-core. Regardless of CPU-cores or speedstep
you always get a very precise clock-timing from
the cpuinfo-class now. Surely an overkill, but
- Described a neat way, how to prepare a
customized slideshow for presentation/educational
purposes with just a few mouse clicks. Look in the
new slideshow directory for details
- Another workarround for wacky Windows. Asinh()
and friends are available under *nix-systems only
- Slight example tuning, typo hunting ...
- Updated icc.txt and the zhu3d.pro file with
icc-specific informations
- Updated install.txt. Added SSE3 infos

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