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I am planning a 3d file viewer with option to view 3d files (both geometry and mesh viewer). I would also like to put an option to convert between geometry and mesh.

I am well versed with c++/qt. But novice in the field of 3d programming.

What would be the ideal 3d engine, any open source projects already existing, matching my details? And why it would be a good example of what I plan to do?

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3 Answers

I would recommend Ogre. Another good one is Irrlicht. I don't know what you mean by "between geometry and mesh" since the mesh is geometry. If you want your utility to support lots of file formats I would recommend Assimp but if you are totally new to 3D programming then I'd recommend just sticking to the engine's built-in file formats to start with.

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If you're well versed in C++ and Qt you might want to take a look at VTK. VTK plays nice with Qt and is a great framework to build upon.

A longer description lifted from VTK website:

The Visualization Toolkit (VTK) is an open-source, freely available software system for 3D computer graphics, image processing and visualization. VTK consists of a C++ class library and several interpreted interface layers including Tcl/Tk, Java, and Python. Kitware, whose team created and continues to extend the toolkit, offers professional support and consulting services for VTK. VTK supports a wide variety of visualization algorithms including: scalar, vector, tensor, texture, and volumetric methods; and advanced modeling techniques such as: implicit modeling, polygon reduction, mesh smoothing, cutting, contouring, and Delaunay triangulation. VTK has an extensive information visualization framework, has a suite of 3D interaction widgets, supports parallel processing, and integrates with various databases on GUI toolkits such as Qt and Tk. VTK is cross-platform and runs on Linux, Windows, Mac and Unix platforms.

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Depends what kind of meshes you are dealing with.

Openscengraph is excellent for GIS type apps, if your mesh is a surface of a real (or imaginary) landscape. It has good Qt support

VTK is designed for solid objects and volume type applications where you have a 3D grid of values - as in a fluid dynamics or mathematical model

Ogre/Irlicht are essentially game engines - I don't have a lot of first hand experience so see the other answers.

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