Hydrotrope RDF Explorer in VR

Read/explore the Hydrotrope RDF Demo app before trying this VR version!

Like so much of WebVR it is currently bleeding edge and works only on special versions of Chrome and Firefox. By early 2017 the standard Chrome, Firefox and Edge will handle WebVR natively. The app works with the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift plus its accompanying XBox controller. When Oculus Touch comes out it will, presumably, work well with that.

Instructions and acknowledgements are below.

Hydrotrope Demo VR

The basic need is to be able to fly around the box to get whatever view you want to see. Just look where you want to go and press a trigger - one takes you forward, the other takes you in reverse. When you fly, everything is put on hold. Just hit the pad button to re-start. You can also use the pad to toggle between paused and active. If you ever want to restart, press the Menu button.

You can alter some key parameters. Just look at the menu item and use the triggers to change the values. The J and S values are used "live", the others require a restart via the Menu button:

  • N is the Number of particles in the simulation, from 10 to 500
  • R is the Room size, from 10 to 30
  • F is the Fraction of particles that are emulsion particles, from 0 to 1.
  • S is the probability of a collision Splitting the emulsion particles, from 0 to 0.25. Keep it low or things get out of hand.
  • J is the probability of two emulsion drops Joining on contact, from 0 to 1.

The physics is of "soft" interacting spheres rather than hard collisions. The walls of the room are visual bounding boxes to a "wrap-around" simulation. For example, if the particle arrives at a left-hand wall it will pass through and emerge at the equivalent spot on the right-hand wall. It seems strange at first, but by removing the rebounds at the walls we can focus on the emulsion physics rather than wall effects.

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