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Open Inventor

Open Inventor is an object-oriented 3D toolkit developed by Silicon Graphics (SGI) offering a comprehensive solution to interactive graphics programming problems. 

The MeVisLab implementation of Open Inventor is based on the original SGI source code that was released to the public in 2000. The MeVisLab Open Inventor builds on Windows/MacOS X/Linux on both 64/32bit and has been extended with various features, e.g. Vertex Buffer Object support. It is used within MeVisLab but can also be used independently. You are welcome to use the MeVisLab Open Inventor for your own purposes under the LGPL 2.1 license.

We welcome any useful contribution to the MeVisLab Open Inventor. If you feel you would like to share your improvements of the Open Inventor source code please send us a patch.


As of MeVisLab 2.0, the Open Inventor sources are included in the MeVisLab SDK installer that is available for download.

Open Inventor Documentation

Open Inventor Reference for MeVisLab

Recommended Literature

The Inventor Mentor by Josie Wernecke (ISBN 0-201-62495-8) Online version

This guide provides basic information on programming with Open Inventor. It includes detailed program examples in C++ and describes key aspects of the Open Inventor toolkit, including its 3D scene database, node kits, interactive manipulators, the Inventor Component Library, which contains editors and viewers, and the Open Inventor file format.

The Inventor ToolMaker by Josie Wernecke (ISBN 0-201-62493-1) Online version

The Inventor Toolmaker provides advanced information on extending Open Inventor by creating new C++ classes and customizing existing classes. Detailed examples and discussion show how to create new nodes, actions, elements, fields, node kits, draggers, manipulators, engines, and components.