AVL’s research can be divided into advances in emergent media technologies and scientific visualization methods. Academic organizations focusing on these areas of research include ACM SIGGRAPH and IEEE Vis. The mission statements of these organizations provide a very good introduction to the field’s concerns.
ACM SIGGRAPH‘s mission is “to promote the generation and dissemination of information on computer graphics and interactive techniques” across a “diverse community of researchers, developers, creators, educators, and practitioners” from “technical, academic, business, and artistic communities.” As its name suggests, it is a special interest group of the Association for Computing Machinery. Associated research publications: annual conference transactions, Computer Graphics Quarterly, and annual video review.
IEEE Vis‘ mission is to promote the best work on “subjects related to computer graphics and visualization techniques, systems, software, hardware, and user interface issues. Specific topics in computer graphics and visualization include, but are not limited to the following: a) algorithms, techniques and methodologies; b) systems and software; c) user studies and evaluation; d) rendering techniques and methodologies, including real-time rendering, graphics hardware, point-based rendering, and image-based rendering; e) scientific, information, biomedical, and flow visualization and analysis; f) volume graphics; g) shape modeling, including image-based modeling, geometric and volumetric modeling, dynamic modeling, point-based modeling, and geometry processing; h) virtual, augmented, and mixed reality; i) animation and simulation, including character animation, facial animation, motion-capture, physics-based simulation and animation; j) haptics; k) perception, human computer interaction and user interfaces; l) visual analysis and visual analytics; m) graphics aspects of computer games and edutainment; n) visual programming and software visualization; o) general purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU); p) high-dynamic range imaging and display, 3D display technology, multi-spectral displays; q) computational photography; r) applications of graphics and visualization.” Associated research publication: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics Technology (VCGT).
IEEE Visualization and Computer Graphics Interdisciplinary Areas
Emergent Media Technologies
A special focus of AVL’s work in emergent media technologies is 4K stereo display. AVL’s research into 4K stereo applications is situated in those interdisciplinary spaces where computing meets communications and engineering meets entertainment and informal education.
4K stereo “offers approximately 4,000 horizontal and over 2,000 vertical pixels – or roughly four times the total number of pixels in the widely used 1080i HDTV format (and 24 times that of a standard broadcast TV signal). 4K and the lower-resolution 2K format are expected to be widely used for future digital-cinema theatrical distribution under new specifications proposed by Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC, a consortium of the major Hollywood studios. The formats are currently being standardized by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE)” (Ramsey 2007). 4K stereo displays have been called “immersive” and “artificial” or “virtual reality” because of the incredibly color saturated and photo-realistic viewing experience they provide.
In addition to AVL, major contributors to 4K stereo research include:
CineGrid (AVL is a founding member): According to the organization, CineGrid is a non-profit international membership organization administratively based in California. CineGrid’s mission is to build an interdisciplinary community focused on the research, development and demonstration of networked collaborative tools, enabling the production, use and exchange of very high-quality digital media over high-speed photonic networks.
JVC North America R&D Center, ILA Technology Group (AVL serves as a test facility for JVC technologies)
NVIDIA: According to the company, NVIDIA Quadro® Plex visual computing systems (VCS) drive high-end projectors, such as those manufactured by JVC. Available in desk side and rack configurations, Quadro Plex offers a quantum leap in visual compute density, providing breakthrough levels of graphics capability and productivity for professional applications such as digital content creation and design to geosciences and medical visualization, while delivering incredibly high frame buffering rates per GPU.
RED Digital Cinema: RED has prototyped a 4K camer system, with 180-degree shutter at 24 frames per second. It is the state-of-the -art in high-definition live capture.
Sony Electronics America
Toshiba Display Systems
Zaxel Systems (AVL has served as a testbed for Zaxel Systems): Zaxel creates playback systems for 4K display devices. According to the company, the system boasts the industry’s first 4K video server with “lossless” compression. Using the company’s patented Zaxel Lossless Compression (ZLC™), the server enables customers to capture, edit, and playback the highest resolution images, including 2K (2048×1080 and 2048X1556) and 4K (4096×2160 and 4096X3112). Video streams from the 4K servers at 6 gigabits per second in RGB 4:4:4.