Gravitation3D Tips and Troubleshooting

 

Tips

Tip:  Try to control the Animation Speed with the slider control, not the time step!

Though the time step has a visual effect on how fast your system evolves, it is better to speed up your simulation with the animation controls.  The reason is that though a larger time step will appear to speed things up, it also makes the calculations less accurate and your system more unstable.

Tip: Hacking the Definition File

You are encouraged to muck with the saved Gravitation3D files using a text editor!  You will find a few goodies in there.  There are some items not controllable through the UI (planned V2.0 features that are not yet maturely developed) and some items I didnít want to give the more casual user control over.  The file was designed to be readable. 

There is, of course, no guarantee that Gravitation3D will be able to read your changes or deal with them properly, so you might want to make a backup of any solar system with which you decide to go alter the internals.  There is also no guarantee that everything you see in the definition file currently even does something.

 

Troubleshooting

My simulations run sloooooooow!  

This program is meant to run on a modern machine with a graphics accelerated video card.  However, some features are more intensive than others and can be changed to improve performance.  Among the items you can change are:

            Lower the star count or donít display stars.

            Plane warping is a cool effect, but can be expensive.

            Ghost collisions are less intensive than Elastic or Inelastic collisions.

            Donít view in wireframe (surprisingly this is slower than filled mode).

Iíve added planets but canít see them!

I can't edit planet values!

How come I canít zoom out with some of the sample systems??

            The view may be slaved to a planet, so check this if the mouse doesnít seem to be helping.