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Cosmic cookery : making a stereoscopic 3D animated movie.

Holliman, N. and Baugh, C. and Frenk, C. and Jenkins, A. R. and Froner, B. and Hassaine, D. and Helly, J. and Metcalfe, N. and Okamoto, T. (2006) 'Cosmic cookery : making a stereoscopic 3D animated movie.', in Stereoscopic displays and virtual reality systems XIII : 16-19 January, 2006, San Jose, California, USA. Bellingham, WA: SPIE, p. 605505. Proceedings of SPIE. (6055).


This paper describes our experience making a short stereoscopic movie visualizing the development of structure in the universe during the 13.7 billion years from the Big Bang to the present day. Aimed at a general audience for the Royal Society's 2005 Summer Science Exhibition, the movie illustrates how the latest cosmological theories based on dark matter and dark energy are capable of producing structures as complex as spiral galaxies and allows the viewer to directly compare observations from the real universe with theoretical results. 3D is an inherent feature of the cosmology data sets and stereoscopic visualization provides a natural way to present the images to the viewer, in addition to allowing researchers to visualize these vast, complex data sets. The presentation of the movie used passive, linearly polarized projection onto a 2m wide screen but it was also required to playback on a Sharp RD3D display and in anaglyph projection at venues without dedicated stereoscopic display equipment. Additionally lenticular prints were made from key images in the movie. We discuss the following technical challenges during the stereoscopic production process; 1) Controlling the depth presentation, 2) Editing the stereoscopic sequences, 3) Generating compressed movies in display speci¯c formats. We conclude that the generation of high quality stereoscopic movie content using desktop tools and equipment is feasible. This does require careful quality control and manual intervention but we believe these overheads are worthwhile when presenting inherently 3D data as the result is signi¯cantly increased impact and better understanding of complex 3D scenes.

Item Type:Book chapter
Additional Information:N. Holliman, C. Baugh, C. Frenk, A. Jenkins, B. Froner, D. Hassaine, J. Helly, N. Metcalfe, T. Okamoto, “'Cosmic cookery : making a stereoscopic 3D animated movie.”, Proceedings of SPIE : Stereoscopic displays and virtual reality systems XIII, A. J. Woods, N. A. Dodgson, J. O. Merritt, M. T. Bolas, I. E. McDowell, Editors, 6055, 605505, (2006). Copyright 2006 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.
Keywords:Stereoscopic animation, Scientific visualization, Cosmology, Astronomy, 3D video editing, 3D video coding, 3D display, Human factors, Rendering.
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:21 August 2009
Date of first online publication:January 2006
Date first made open access:No date available

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