This paper presents a scenegraph animation application programming interface (API), known as the Animation Engine, which was constructed for software developers to easily perform smooth transitions and manipulations to scenegraph nodes. A developer can use one line of code to enter the property, end state and number of frames to describe the animation, then the Animation Engine handles the rest in the background. The goal of the Animation Engine is to provide a simple API that integrates into existing applications with minimal effort. Additionally, techniques to improve virtual reality (VR) application performance on a large computer cluster are presented. These techniques include maintaining high frame rates with 4096 × 4096 pixel textures, eliminating extraneous network traffic and reducing long model loading time. To demonstrate the Animation Engine and the development techniques, an application known as the Virtual Universe was created. The Virtual Universe, designed to run in a six walled CAVE, allows users to freely explore a set of space themed environments. The architecture and development techniques for writing a stable immersive VR application on a large computer cluster, in addition to the creation of the Animation Engine, is presented in this paper.

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