FITS in Blender : Method 2

To get something more useful in the realtime display, we need to have meshes with faces that can be given realtime materials. Method 2 imports cubes instead of simple points. Blender has the capability to correctly handle different colours (i.e. intensity values) and transparency levels in realtime. While this makes the realtime display vastly more useful, it also eats up a lot more memory and importing the cube can be quite slow (in comparison method 1 is usually almost instant).


Example of a THINGS cube shown in Blender's realtime view, with pretty Open GL lighting effects


Like method 1, this again imports multiple sets of pixels into each mesh, since having each pixel-cube be its own object would use far too much memory. Again it operates on FITS files using numpy and pyfits.


The interior of a galaxy detected in the AGES survey as seen in Blender's realtime view


A demo reel showcasing methods 1 and 2 is shown below. Most of it was rendered in realtime. Some parts were rendered for extra effects, but the ability to create elaborate camera paths, coupled with being able to view (at the very least) the basic structures in the realtime view makes Blender vastly superior for animations than X-ray. The method 2 script can be downloaded here.


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