A local Natural History Museum asked Black Hammer to create a touchscreen interactive display called The Tree of Life for their Hall of Human Origins. This project involved writing functional specifications and using Java 3D to modify and incorporate an open source 3D hyperbolic visualization program, Walrus. Built using the Java Swing and Quicktime for Java APIs, the software we developed allows for free-viewing and pre-programmed animated camera movements through a three-dimensional view of the tree of life. In free-view mode the user may manipulate the tree manually on 3 axes. By choosing from one of the nine species buttons the view animates along the paths of the tree from the basic view, to the species node and then to detail screens. These animated movements through a 3 dimensional tree of life tie together video and animated content provided by the museum, that describe each Species, Domain and Kingdom in detail.
In addition, Black Hammer created an attract loop, and dramatically modified Walrus in order to allow animation, and placed it as a pane within a Java 2D environment with controls to allow users to freely rotate and zoom the tree display while still being able to access all the available nodes.