Cinematically-Treated Scientific Visualizations Rendered in 3D
AVL creates high-fidelity, high-resolution, data-driven scientific visualizations in 3D. Although AVL can work with sparse data sets and produce general information visualizations that communicate data with accuracy and interest, the group specializes in visualization challenges that are based on extremely large, complex data.
These "advanced scientific visualizations" provide an important contemporary tool for discovery, enabling scientists to "gain insight and understanding of phenomena that are simulated in large, complex computer models" ("Scientific Discovery through Advanced Visualization; Journal of Physics: Conference Series 16, 2005: 491-500). What's more, the particular 3D visualization techniques used–from multi-scalar perspectives to isosurface reconstruction to flow- and direct volume-rendering–significantly impact the ability of scientists to find new knowledge in their data. AVL has developed a special expertise in such applied visualization research methods, especially within the domains of astrophysics and earth sciences.
Having found that the public in particular responds to extremely high production values, the kind that make visual environments immersive and lustrous, AVL also includes experts in projection and display technologies and in cinematic animation software, the same kind used at big animated movie production houses like Pixar.
Whether addressed to scientists, educators, policy-makers, or the public, AVL's visually stunning artistic representations of scientific theory and fact increase their potential to educate and inspire.
Specialized Software Development
AVL develops original software and augments off-the-shelf and open-source software for three-dimensional spatial and temporally evolving data-driven applications and movies.
Much of the software AVL has developed is the result of over a decade of work to build a sophisticated visualization software and hardware pipeline. The software pipeline is a collection of modules, utilities, as well as stand-alone interactive and rendering software to handle large-scale scientific data and produce ultra-high resolution (>4K stereo resolution) visualizations. This effort incorporates an advanced suite of data management, rendering, interactive viewing, and display management software.
Specific software application descriptions and downloads, if available–as well as a description of the AVL visualization software pipeline–can be found here.
On-Site Tours and Special Demonstrations
AVL provides on-site tours and special demonstrations to visitors at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications on the University of Illinois campus.
We display samples of our work on a new, ultra-high resolution 4K 3D visualization display. Driven by a Linux computer system with a RAID disk array and Nvidia Quadroplex graphics, the display system uses two JVC 4K resolution projectors with circular or linear polarization capable of displaying 4096×2400 resolution stereo imagery.
AVL custom movie playback software is capable of playing the 4K 3D movies at 30 frames per second.
In addition to these playback capabilities, the system can be used for immersive interactive data visualization and networked collaboration.