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Generic Factory Animator

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Good animation capability is an important feature of simulation software. While modern commercial simulation systems nowadays commonly feature sophisticated 3D functionality hardly any academic software does. Many academic simulation frameworks exist which were developed in various programming languages and for very different purposes and are released under an open source license. These applications contain either no or very limited animation capabilities and are mostly used for educational or research purposes. 

The Generic Factory Animator (GFA) is a generic animation system which is developed to provide a generic 3D animation application for the above mentioned category of simulation systems. It transforms simulation data into a three-dimensional representation thereof. Structural and behavioral information provided as Extensible Markup Language (XML) files from simulation runs are converted into the Extensible 3D (X3D) format. Since X3D is an open and standardized format the resulting animation can be easily distributed and viewed in an X3D player without the need of simulation software. As a player we recommend the Octaga player. Any simulation system, which can be extended to provide the output of the simulation run in the required format, can be used with the GFA. The term ’generic’ does not refer to the application domain but rather to its ability to be used with any discrete event simulator. In fact, the GFA is not domain neutral and in its current version it is primarily designed for the simulation of manufacturing processes. 

It contains a basic set of 3D templates for commonly used objects like resources or vehicles but further templates can be easily developed and integrated. The GFA is an open-source software application written in Java and published under the GNU General Public License.

  • Here you can download the GFA as source files and compiled as a runnable jar file. Make sure to obtain the original folder structure when unpacking the zip file:
  • Here you can download a demo file generated with the GFA. As a viewing device we recommend the Octaga player:

A detailed manual will be available soon.
For any questions regarding the GFA please contact Patrick Kirchhof.