3D-News Archive December 2007

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Mechdyne Applauds Opening of See3D Visualisation Centre at University of Wales, Aberystwyth
3D-News Posted: Friday, December 14, 2007 (19:40 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Mechdyne Corporation announced that its has installed a custom 4.6-m (15-ft) dome and a 4.6-m (15-ft) wide Fakespace PowerWall™ immersive display system at See3D, the state-of-the-art computer visualisation centre at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (UWA). The facility, which officially opened in October on the Penglais campus of UWA, makes a world-class Virtual Reality environment available to academic and commercial researchers throughout the region.

The new See3D Centre (http://www.see3d.co.uk/) has already performed breakthrough work in immersive display, including viewing stereo imagery of the sun using data from the NASA STEREO (Solar TErrestrial REelations Observatory) mission, which was shown for the first time in April 2007 on the PowerWall. Other work at See3D includes development of visualization techniques for evaluating wind farm locations, as well as urban planning and historical preservation simulations.

"Immersive display technology is a powerful tool for our academic and commercial partners," said David Neill, program director of the See3D facility. "Working with Mechdyne, we were able to have the PowerWall in place at a temporary location earlier this year, and then move the display and upgrade its capabilities as part of the permanent installation with the Dome at the new centre."

Mechdyne designed the 4.6-m radius dome to seat up to ten people. The two monoscopic projectors in the dome, each with 1400 x 1050 resolution, are blended to fill the screen with a total continuous resolution of over 2.5 million pixels. The stereoscopic Powerwall utilizes two projectors, also with resolutions of 1400 x 1050. Projectors in the Dome and the PowerWall are seamlessly blended using Mechdyne’s proprietary optical blending system that eliminates the need to electronically set up and constantly adjust blended projectors.

Computing resources tied to the visualization systems at See3D include an SGI Prism Graphics Engine (configured with 28 processors, 56 GB of RAM, 12 graphics outputs and four image compositors), a 24-processor SUN V40z high-performance computing cluster, and a three TeraByte (3 TB) RAID storage system.

PassmoreLab Creates Prototype Multi-Camera Array for 3D Imaging
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 (8:48 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

PassmoreLab has succeeded in creating a prototype 10-camera array specifically designed for the production of live-action content for auto-stereoscopic displays. This groundbreaking multi-camera array presents exciting possibilities for the creation of 3D content, with applications ranging from entertainment to research, education, industrial, and other fields.

Historically, stereoscopic vision has required the use of two cameras to produce a dual stream of inputs - one for the left eye, and one for the right eye. Today, however, a new class of display devices uses more than two channels of video to produce stereoscopic imagery. Several auto-stereoscopic display devices (ASDD) use up to 10 parallel channels of video to generate stereo pairs at various angles across the viewing field of the display device. Because the ASDD is designed to accommodate multiple viewers, who may be seated or crowded around a single flat-panel display, the geometry of the channels are not parallel. This effectively mimics the line of sight for the stereo pair from the virtual object to the viewing audience.

With these factors considered, the camera array designed by PassmoreLab sits on a flexible base, allowing for differing amounts of convergence based upon the ultimate size of the ASDD. For instance, larger displays typically require less angular convergence between the cameras. According to PassmoreLab's Zach Peterson, "The cameras are secured so that they can be adjusted between shots. The radius of the array can be changed depending on the size of and distance to the subject. This allows the user to have more control over the end product." All cameras incorporated within the array utilize a patented system for automated alignment between each unit, as well as an automated system for frame synchronization in time.

The camera array, although created primarily for ASDDs, is also designed with a wide range of applications in mind. As an aid in research, these applications include the use of multiple stereo video channels to assist in the process of depth map creation based on stereoscopic offset, as well as experimentation in the area of synthetic aperture arrays, and the capture of light fields for use in image-based rendering.

PassmoreLab developed this technology in cooperation with 3DH Corporation, which is based in Atlanta, GA. 3DH Vice President of R&D, Brian Lanehart discussed the importance of the multi-camera array in today's rapidly changing tech market, "As an immersive imaging company, we have always remained display agnostic. As the newer generation of auto-stereoscopic displays begin to hit the market, we knew that to stay ahead we must continue to support these displays as well. CGI imagery on these displays is a pretty simple effort, but video is a much more difficult undertaking. We already have demand in the digital signage, entertainment, medical and education industries for these displays which currently outpace manufacturing capacity. Our most significant demand is in advertising and marketing with a lot of requests for video-based content. The multi-camera array we are developing, along with other patentable tools, will enable us to serve this market with video and enable our partners with the same ability." 3DH Corp. will be establishing a product division to begin marketing the technology for use in entertainment and advertising.

BBN Technologies' Stereoscopic Digital Mammography Technology Shows Major Advance In Breast Cancer Screening Through More Accurate Detection of Breast Lesions
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 (8:44 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

BBN Technologies announced its patented Stereoscopic Digital Mammography (SDM) system significantly improves accuracy in the early detection of suspicious lesions in a clinical trial conducted at Emory University's Breast Imaging Center in Atlanta. With SDM, false-positive findings at screening were reduced by 49 percent and false-negative results were reduced by 40 percent compared to standard two-dimensional mammography.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, according to the American Cancer Society. One woman in eight in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Early detection and diagnosis is the single most relevant factor in predicting long-term survival.

SDM is a mammography system that provides a three-dimensional, in-depth image of the breast viewed by a radiologist on a Planar StereoMirror™ display. The results of the Emory University trial show that this new system enables a radiologist to detect subtle lesions that the standard digital mammogram fails to detect.

Interpreting standard mammography images presents a challenge to radiologists, as subtle lesions in the breast may be masked by overlying or underlying normal tissue. An additional challenge arises when these layers of tissue superimpose to resemble a lesion, leading to a false positive report. Stereoscopic mammography overcomes these challenges by providing a view that separates tissue in depth, making subtle lesions more visible and their characteristics far clearer.

The BBN Technologies SDM system was developed by Dr. David Getty, a division scientist at BBN Technologies and the principal investigator of the SDM project. He is also a prominent researcher in the field of medical imaging and a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Psychological Society. Dr. Getty conducted the preliminary study of SDM with Dr. Carl D'Orsi, the director of Breast Imaging at Emory's Winship Cancer Institute and primary clinical investigator of the SDM trial. Dr. D'Orsi is a Fellow of the American College of Radiology, a founder of The Society of Breast Imaging, and Professor of Radiology and Hematology/Oncology at Emory University in Atlanta.

The ongoing clinical trial has included 1,093 women who receive both a standard digital mammogram and a stereoscopic digital mammogram. The results from the clinical trial will be the topic of a presentation at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) conference in Chicago on November 27.

"SDM is a promising new technology in the fight against breast cancer, and the results of this clinical trial are very exciting," said Dr. Getty. "We believe that the added information provided with the SDM system will result in less frequent recall of women for further work-up, reducing the emotional trauma, uncertainty, and financial costs associated with unnecessary additional diagnostic work and procedures."

Dr. Getty added, "In the current standard mammography exam, two images of the breast are taken from two different viewpoints. The radiologist must examine the two images individually and must then infer from the two images how the tissue is arranged in the breast volume. With the new stereo mammography technology, a stereo pair of images is taken, and then displayed on the new stereoscopic display workstation. The resulting three-dimensional image enables the radiologist to see directly how the tissue is distributed in depth in the breast."

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