Visualization Services

Volumetric visualization of the brain during a migraine attack.

Volumetric visualization of the brain during a migraine attack.

Visualization is the distilling of data, or concepts, into a visual form to expose meaning or increase understanding.

Perhaps you have volumetric data of solar winds, an architectural space that needs to be experienced before being built, or even a theory you think can be better shared visually. Regardless of where you’re starting from we’re here to help give you access to the technology and expertise to realize your vision.

  • Types of Visualization

  • Developing Your Project

  • Available Technologies

  • Tutorials

Types of Visualization

There are many types of visualization and attempts to categorize it. Some break it down into three categories such as:

Data Visualization

Visualization of data that has been modified/filtered to help with understanding. (e.g. extracting gender/age from census report)

Scientific Visualization

Visualization of unfiltered/unmodified data directly from it’s source, occasionally in real-time. (e.g. digitially slicing through a MRI scan)

Illustrative Visualization

Visualizing a concept or theory that is not represented entirely by it’s data. (e.g. animation depicting concepts around dark matter)

However, those categories really only describe the source of the data and also lends itself to blurred lines between them as some visualizations can fall into multiple categories. We can help you work through these questions regardless of where you are in your project’s life-cycle and what skills you have available to you.


Developing Your Project

The 3D Lab also provides consultation and development toward projects. Consultation is free-Even if you have nothing more than an idea in your head, the best way to see if you’re on the right path or have fully considered what development means for your project is to schedule a consultation with our group. Our team of experts can help walk you through the key questions, demonstrate various technologies, help with fund raising and content creation, and bring in other resources from across campus to ensure the right people are at the table as we figure out a solution. We have expertise in developing projects for a wide variety of platforms and use-cases, and have developed close partnerships with many of the schools across campus.

Simulations

Creating simulations either as demonstrations of a process or for interactive purposes to gauge skill, integrate hands-on learning, and assess human interaction. Often these can incorporate other technology like eye trackers, BCIs, and other devices.

Applications

The creation of virtual reality environments, augmented reality content & custom applications for iOS and Android devices or for the web.

Animations

Creating 2D or 3D animated visuals to convey a concept. The 3D Lab has created instructional videos for classroom use, full dome planetarium shows, and proof of concepts.

These categories really only scratch the surface of what can be done! 
Consider the following:

What is the message, or story you’re trying to share?
What data/information do you have?
Who is your target audience?
How will the information be shared?
Should it be interactive?

To request a consultation or get familiar with the technology we have available, reach out to us at um3d@umich.edu.


Available Technologies

Just as your inputs can make a big difference in the methods available to you for visualizing your data/concepts, what tools and methods you use for your outputs can make a difference as well. Below are a few technologies available to you for exploring your visualizations. Whether you need to parse very high-resolution data, mix data types in a single experience, step inside for a unique view, or show it in 3D to a larger audience we have technology to help you.

Software
tech_JugularSponza

Jugular

Jugular is the 3D Lab’s in-house virtual-reality visualization software.  It imports 3D model files, composes them into scenes, projects them in various monoscopic and stereoscopic display environments, and allows users to interact with them in 3D.  It can combine different kinds of model data into a single heterogeneous scene. Jugular supports a variety of display environments, including common laptop and desktop computers, the Oculus Rift, the Stereo Wall, the MIDEN, and the Library’s Visualization Hubs.  In addition to monoscopic projection, it supports stereoscopic projection in anaglyph (red-cyan), cross-eyed, wall-eyed, and quad buffered formats.  It also supports 3D interaction with models using various motion-capture systems, including Vicon iQ, Vicon Blade, Oculus Rift, Microsoft Kinect, and Leap Motion.

vis_game_engines

Game Engines

Game engines are software kits for the development and execution of interactive virtual scenes, such as in computer video games.  They include tools for importing visual and audio assets , assembling those assets into actors and scenes, scripting behaviors and event handlers, and managing user interaction with the scenes.  Unity and Unreal Engine are both software development kits that provide some of these tools for free, or for a more professional project advanced kits are available for a cost. Additionally, both Unity & Unreal game engines now provide integrated support for devices like the Oculus Rift, Leap Motion, or the Microsoft Hololens.

Virtual Reality
tech_OculusRift

Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift is a motion-tracked head-mounted display (HMD) that provides highly immersive stereoscopic views of 3D scenes.  It’s both an input and an output device.  As an input device, it provides quick and accurate tracking of the user’s head relative to a rigid coordinate system.  As an output device, it provides a high-resolution stereoscopic display with a wide field of view.  It relies on software such as Jugular or various game engines to accept its positional input, to use that input to accurately locate the user’s eyes in a virtual scene, to generate left-right stereoscopic perspective views of the scene, and to output those views to the display.

tech_MIDEN_Fisheye

M.I.D.E.N. (Michigan Immersive Digital Experience Nexus)

Much like the StereoWall the Michigan Immersive Digital Experience Nexus (M.I.D.E.N.) relies on stereoscopic projections for its effect but the system takes the concept much further. Unlike the StereoWall, the M.I.D.E.N. tracks where the user is within a space and adapts to the simulation to what the person would expect to see. It is a 10 x 10 x 10 foot (3.048 x 3.048 x 3.048 meter) immersive audio-visual environment that offers 3D stereoscopic projection on the left, front, right, and floor surfaces. Users can walk naturally within the physical boundaries of the space, use a game controller to navigate through a larger virtual space, and see their own bodies in the context of the projected virtual environment. The M.I.D.E.N. brings together a wide variety of disparate technologies to create the highest level of immersion that effectively places you “inside” the data.

Augmented Reality

Microsoft Hololens

The Microsoft Hololens is a head-mounted augmented reality device. It allows users to overlay interactive digital content onto the real world. It also has the ability to “map” your real environment, allowing digital content to be projected accurately onto walls, ceilings and floors.

 

High Resolution Displays
The 3x3 tile display at the U-M 3-D Lab

Tiled Display

There are times when one has a vast amount of data that needs to be presented on a large screen with high enough resolution so that the finest of details are preserved. This is where a tiled display comes in. A tiled display is typically comprised of multiple monitors or projectors organized in a grid where each device displays a small section of the total image. This allows for very high resolutions coupled with the impressiveness of a large display. Additionally, the display can easily connect with FLUX HPC and offers many common software packages for researchers, designers, and programmers.

4K Resolution, 84″ 3D TV

We offer a 4k rolling 3D display & Blu-ray player for the viewing of 3D movies and stereo content. This can be connected to other devices like Oculus Rift, to provide a larger viewing area, and is available for presentations where a projector would not be suitable.


Tutorials

  • 1. 3DS Max – Primitives, Modifiers, Booleans & Extrusion
    1. 3DS Max – Primitives, Modifiers, Booleans & Extrusion
  • 2. 3DS Max – Shapes, Sweeps & Lofting
    2. 3DS Max – Shapes, Sweeps & Lofting
  • 3. 3DS Max – EditPoly & Graphite Modeling Tools
    3. 3DS Max – EditPoly & Graphite Modeling Tools
  • 4. 3DS Max – Cartoon House (Use Case)
    4. 3DS Max – Cartoon House (Use Case)
  • 5. 3DS Max – Keyframe Animation & Time Configuration
    5. 3DS Max – Keyframe Animation & Time Configuration
  • 6. 3DS Max – Curve Editor, Physics, Constraints & Controllers
    6. 3DS Max – Curve Editor, Physics, Constraints & Controllers
  • 1. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – Scene Setup
    1. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – Scene Setup
  • 2. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – Configuring Daylight
    2. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – Configuring Daylight
  • 3. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – Preparing UVs
    3. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – Preparing UVs
  • 4. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – Render to Texture
    4. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – Render to Texture
  • 5. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – Exporting to VRML
    5. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – Exporting to VRML
  • 6. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – Compositing Maps
    6. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – Compositing Maps
  • 7. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – GI Scene Setup
    7. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – GI Scene Setup
  • 8. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – GI Daylight & Final Gather
    8. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – GI Daylight & Final Gather
  • 9. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – GI Setup & Pseudo Colors
    9. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – GI Setup & Pseudo Colors
  • 10. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – GI UV Preparation & Baking
    10. 3DS Max: Real-Time Environments – GI UV Preparation & Baking
  • 1. Real-Time Characters – Blocking Out Forms
    1. Real-Time Characters – Blocking Out Forms
  • 2. Real-Time Characters – High Poly Sculpting
    2. Real-Time Characters – High Poly Sculpting
  • 3. Real-Time Characters – Retopologizing
    3. Real-Time Characters – Retopologizing
  • 4. Real-Time Characters – UV Mapping
    4. Real-Time Characters – UV Mapping
  • 5. Real-Time Characters – Digital Painting Part 1
    5. Real-Time Characters – Digital Painting Part 1
  • 6. Real-Time Characters – Digital Painting Part 2
    6. Real-Time Characters – Digital Painting Part 2
  • 7. Real-Time Characters – Digital Painting Part 3
    7. Real-Time Characters – Digital Painting Part 3
  • 8. Real-Time Characters – Digital Painting Part 4
    8. Real-Time Characters – Digital Painting Part 4
  • 9. Real-Time Characters – Rigging & Skinning for Animation
    9. Real-Time Characters – Rigging & Skinning for Animation
  • 10. Real-Time Characters – Rigging & Skinning Part 2
    10. Real-Time Characters – Rigging & Skinning Part 2
  • 11. Real-Time Characters – Presentation
    11. Real-Time Characters – Presentation
  • 1. Paraview – Basics of Clipping
    1. Paraview – Basics of Clipping
  • 2. Paraview – Basics of Keyframe Animation
    2. Paraview – Basics of Keyframe Animation
  • 3. Paraview – Basics of Slicing and Planar Plots
    3. Paraview – Basics of Slicing and Planar Plots
  • 4. Paraview – Basics of Volumetric Rendering
    4. Paraview – Basics of Volumetric Rendering
  • 5. Paraview – Creating a Stereo Image
    5. Paraview – Creating a Stereo Image
  • 6. Paraview – Creating a Stereo Video
    6. Paraview – Creating a Stereo Video
  • 7. Paraview – Creating IsoSurfaces
    7. Paraview – Creating IsoSurfaces
  • 8. Paraview – Creating IsoVolumes
    8. Paraview – Creating IsoVolumes
  • 9. Paraview – Creating Vector Fields
    9. Paraview – Creating Vector Fields
  • 10. Paraview – Exporting VRML
    10. Paraview – Exporting VRML
  • 1. Powerpoint – Using Stereo Image Pairs for 3D Presentations
    1. Powerpoint – Using Stereo Image Pairs for 3D Presentations
  • 1. VisIt – Basics of Clipping
    1. VisIt – Basics of Clipping
  • 2. VisIt – Keyframing and Creating a Stereo Movie
    2. VisIt – Keyframing and Creating a Stereo Movie
  • 3. VisIt – Slicing and Planar Plots
    3. VisIt – Slicing and Planar Plots
  • 4. VisIt – Volumetric Rendering
    4. VisIt – Volumetric Rendering
  • 5. VisIt – Creating a Stereo Image
    5. VisIt – Creating a Stereo Image
  • 6. VisIt – Creating IsoSurfaces
    6. VisIt – Creating IsoSurfaces
  • 7. VisIt – Creating IsoVolumes
    7. VisIt – Creating IsoVolumes
  • 8. VisIt – Creating Vector Fields
    8. VisIt – Creating Vector Fields
  • 9. VisIt – Loading & Working Protein Data Bank Files
    9. VisIt – Loading & Working Protein Data Bank Files
  • Architecture Research in Virtual Reality
    Architecture Research in Virtual Reality
  • Audification Explained with Robert Alexander
    Audification Explained with Robert Alexander
  • Big 10 Network – MIDEN
    Big 10 Network – MIDEN
  • Channel 4 – Virtual Cadaver
    Channel 4 – Virtual Cadaver
  • Discovery Channel, Daily Planet Visits MIDEN
    Discovery Channel, Daily Planet Visits MIDEN
  • EPOC: EEG Navigation
    EPOC: EEG Navigation
  • EPOC: EEG Navigation in Virtual Reality
    EPOC: EEG Navigation in Virtual Reality
  • Jaw Surgery with Virtual Reality
    Jaw Surgery with Virtual Reality
  • Kinect Navigation in Virtual Reality
    Kinect Navigation in Virtual Reality
  • Oculus Rift
    Oculus Rift
  • Out of the Blue: Disaster Simulator
    Out of the Blue: Disaster Simulator
  • Steel Structures in Virtual Reality
    Steel Structures in Virtual Reality
  • Unreal Engine in Virtual Reality
    Unreal Engine in Virtual Reality
  • Virtual Brain Helps Analyze Migraine Pain
    Virtual Brain Helps Analyze Migraine Pain
  • Art & Design: “Teleporter Troubles”
    Art & Design: “Teleporter Troubles”
  • Digital Production Pipeline for Art & Design
    Digital Production Pipeline for Art & Design
  • Jaw Surgery with Virtual Reality
    Jaw Surgery with Virtual Reality
  • S.C.I Hard for Spinal Cord Injury
    S.C.I Hard for Spinal Cord Injury
  • Unreal Engine in Virtual Reality
    Unreal Engine in Virtual Reality
  • Ann Arbor TV – SCI Hard
    Ann Arbor TV – SCI Hard
  • Back Quack
    Back Quack
  • Epistles of Paul – Digital Reader
    Epistles of Paul – Digital Reader
  • Jaw Surgery with Virtual Reality
    Jaw Surgery with Virtual Reality
  • Pain Trek – Mobile Pain Tracking
    Pain Trek – Mobile Pain Tracking
  • S.C.I Hard for Spinal Cord Injury
    S.C.I Hard for Spinal Cord Injury
  • Unreal Engine in Virtual Reality
    Unreal Engine in Virtual Reality