Video playback methodology is an experimental technique that is used in many animal
behavior studies. This approach allows the scientist to simulate and control traits
in species that would otherwise be impossible to reproduce in a laboratory.
It involves manipulation of video sequences that can change the temporal arrangement
of frames or the morphological traits of the specimen under study. However, the
drawbacks of such a methodology is the time and effort necessary for creating such video
In Eileen Hebets' research of courtship display among wolf spiders, video playback is the
precise technique used in her studies. In order to address the issues surrounding
this methodology, I began working with my advisor Bruce Land, to determine what types of
simulation programs could be developed that would assist Eileen in her experiments.
The primary goal of this project was then to create a user controllable simulation of a spider.
The graphical user interface portion was implemented in Matlab for simplicity.
For performance, the actual rendering of the spider was done in OpenGL/Visual C++.
This report covers the design of both the Matlab GUI and the
OpenGL/Visual C++ rendering of the spider. In addition, it discusses how the two programs
interface through the use of MEX-files and contains demonstrations of the final application.
Masters of Engineering Report December
by Becky Chu